Tell me a story about you that isn’t true | #storytelling

To be one of the founders of London’s most creative advertising agency is a life that many would envy.  And yet what if, sometimes, that founder actually dreams of a secret, alternative life, where he’s a Mossad operative, who keeps bungling up his assassination missions and now risks demotion.So began the seed for Mark Waites, the creative founder of Mother, for his new personal project Supposed Histories.

“Tell me a story about you that isn’t true,” runs the tagline on Supposed Histories, where 23 people have done just that, telling the story of their fantasy life, straight to camera to Waites.But the project is more than someone sitting in front of a camera telling a lie. Neither, is it the story of the life you wish you had, and more, the life that perhaps feels like it’s suited to you – one where all your characteristics, which might be a bit out of place in this world, now gloriously land together.

There’s the story told by an ex-flying squad detective, who, according to his supposed history, was in fact the East End’s first hermaphrodite a world class fashion designer, who, unbeknownst to Vogue Italia, grew up with an extra arm the Costa prize winning author, Christopher Nicholson and his strange, sinister neighbour, Mr Cunningham. Then there’s a spectacular spate of stories Waites shot in Los Angeles with the students of a run down High, found on the darker side of Hollywood.

Listen to their stories and something extraordinary begins to happen. Are they using fantasy to reveal a painful truth, or a dream future, that might be out of reach?After three or four films – they are surprisingly addictive to watch – you begin to wonder what Waites is actually doing with this metaphorical can of worms.Is the story revealing a bigger lie?Or is it in fact revealing the absolute truth of its tellers? An alternative narrative, running alongside their own, where the real soul of them is able to step out of the shadows and brazenly exist.Waites has yet to do one himself. Recently, his supposed history has shifted gears from being a Mossad operative, to the scientist who invents a genetically modified unicorn, who, unfortunately is incredibly badly behaved.

  • ‘The general theme is ineptness,’ says Waites.
Luckily, though Supposed Histories is anything but that.

Watch the stories here or contact Mark Waites if you have a supposed history to tell.

If you missed it, check out interview
If you missed it, check out some brilliant work from Mark Waites and Mother London.

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