Hoppy - Underground Head
The extraordinary life of John "Hoppy" Hopkins
John “Hoppy” Hopkins was one of the most crucial figures of the Sixties. He was the heart and soul of the Underground scene that influenced the Beatles and Stones and changed the face of British culture.
Having started a promising career as a Government nuclear scientist at the height of the Cold War, Hoppy resigned after attracting intense scrutiny from the Secret Service having taken a holiday in the Soviet Union.
Hoppy radically changed careers and became a successful press photographer, working for the Times, Sunday Times, Observer and Guardian amongst others.
This move into photojournalism led to him co-founding International Times - the UK's first underground newspaper - which challenged moral and political boundaries and set the tone for modern media.
Hoppy and Joe Boyd opened UFO - the first psychedelic nightclub in Britain - carving the template for modern rave culture.
In 1966 Hoppy and London Free School cohorts Rhaune Laslett and Michael X established the Notting Hill Carnival as an annual street event.
In 1967 Hoppy hired Alexandra Palace to stage the 14 Hour Technicolor Dream - a happening that has passed into legend.
From the 1970s to 1990s Hoppy and partner Sue Hall were pioneers of independent video in the UK, co-founding production company and resource Fantasy Factory.
Focused initially on social activism and documentary, Hoppy and Sue also worked with artists as diverse as John Lennon, Frank Zappa, early punks 999 and psytrance innovators The Infinity Project.
Hoppy died on January 30 2015. The crowd at his funeral spilled out of Kensal Green Crematorium back out into the cemetery. The diverse faces who came to celebrate him spoke volumes of how this remarkable renaissance man changed British culture.
Hoppy - Underground Head
Hoppy's life as a cultural polymath was hugely influential. However his refusal to stay in one place has made his history elusive and fragmented.
Malcolm Boyle and Carl Stickley have shot exclusive interviews with Hoppy and his contemporaries for our film. The interviews yielded fascinating, funny and shocking stories about the Sixties underground scene and alternative culture.
We are weaving these distinctive voices into a film which tells the story of Hoppy and the hippy underground scene which changed the world.
Hoppy - Underground Head will give a unique insight into the man whose influence is still felt today.