Meet Damon Gameau – the Director and star of The Sugar Film
We had a chat to Damon Gameau and found out about That Sugar Film…have you seen it yet? Because you really should! Like Damon says, you don’t have to quit sugar – he just wants us to become more aware of just how much sugar is in out diets – and it’s very scary amounts btw!
1. What made you decide to check out the effects of sugar in your diet?
There were so many mixed messages out there for the public when we started 3 years ago. Some were saying sugar was toxic, others were saying it was essential for health. I thought an experiment would be the only way to find out some truth.
2.How long were you working on That Sugar Film for? How long did you do the “stuff yourself silly with sugary food” diet as well?
It was a beast to put together and took a total of 3 joyous, frustrating, rewarding, tear jerking years. The sugar eating lunacy lasted for 60 days.
3. Why should people go see your film? Sell it to us….the same way they sell chocolate bars to kids…
Packed with creamy information and nut crusted special FX, this celebrity filled indulgence will tantalize your tastebuds to an inspirational life change.
4. Will NZ schools have the option for the school screening program? Best way to get the message through would be via kids to their parents.
We have developed a curriculum study guide for Australian schools and have 1,000 schools already signed up. The plan is to adapt the guide to other countries and have the film’s message taught in schools all over the world. We release in the UK and USA in July.
5. Have you also put out a recipe book people can buy?
I never thought I would ever be involved with a recipe book in my life but I wrote a book to accompany the film, more of a guide for parents and children with lots of fun animations to explain the science. The publisher then asked if we had any recipes to help people and give them low sugar ideas. Zoe, my girlfriend whipped up 30 and they went with it. The book is called That Sugar Book (strangely enough).
6. What were some of the scariest things you learnt when you started out on your own personal “sugar rush” diet?
Probably developing fatty liver disease in just 18 days (nearly 6 million Australians now have the disease), that was a big turning point. Having the same number of calories as my pre experiment diet yet developing so many symptoms and putting on nearly 9 kilograms was astonishing to everyone working on the film. Also, the effect on my moods and behaviour. This is a big discussion point, especially in regards to children and their concentration and learning abilities at school.
7. Is there any ONE fact you discovered while making That Sugar Film, which totally blew you away?
One tablespoon of BBQ sauce has 2 teaspoons of sugar in it. In fact BBQ sauce, sweet chilli sauce and Hoisin sauce all have more sugar in them than chocolate sauce.
8. How much pressure was it to make this movie/doco for you?
I guess there is always a pressure when making your first film, I was probably a little more pedantic about choices than I would normally be. I felt the pressure of wanting to get it right.
Plus the nutrition space is a very hotly debated and often vitriolic one so I wanted to make sure I got the science accurate and that took a lot of time.
9. Any sustained injuries/medical problems you’ve gained since making That Sugar Film?
That’s the great surprise of the film. Once I stopped having the sugar, all of my symptoms completely reversed within 2 months. All the fatty liver, pre type 2 diabetes and heart disease risks: gone. It’s a great take home message of the film that none of us expected to happen.
11. Any words of advice for people planning on cutting out sugar from their diet?
You dont have to cut it out completely or ‘quit’ sugar, that’s not the message of the film. We are just encouraging people to read more labels and be aware of how much they are actually having. The World Health Organisation recommends just 6 teaspoons a day, most New Zealanders are having nearly 37. The main thing is to be kind to yourself and go gently, people have a tendency to go extreme but easy steps are the way to go, especially with children.
Now showing in cinemas across the country – refer www.thatsugarfilm.com/
ITunes preorder link – http://mad.mn/itunesnztsf
That Sugar Book is out now from all good book retailers $34.99 SRP