Hoppy – Underground Head






John “Hoppy” Hopkins was one of the most crucial figures of the Sixties. Much of underground alternative London was his creation and invention.

Having begun his career as a successful photographer, Hoppy co-founded International Times – the first underground newspaper in Britain – which set the tone for modern media.

Hoppy and Joe Boyd opened UFO – the first psychedelic nightclub in Britain – and introduced the all-night rave to UK culture. In 1966 Hoppy and London Free School cohorts Rhaune Laslett and Michael X launched the first Notting Hill Carnival.

In the 1970s and 1980s Hoppy pioneered independent video in the UK and got video evidence accepted in a UK court for the first time.

The crowd at Hoppy’s funeral spilled out of Kensal Green Crematorium right back out into the cemetery. The diverse and renowned faces who came to celebrate him told their own story 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 were approached by Hoppy to make a film about his life. For the first and only time film-makers were given unique access by Hoppy to his archive and invited to tell his full story.

Sadly just as our film project was beginning to take wings, Hoppy succumbed to symptoms related to the Parkinson’s disease he had fought for many years and died on the 30th January 2015.

The last time Malcolm Boyle saw Hoppy when he visited him in hospital, Malcolm told him of progress on the film and promised Hoppy it would be finished. Malcolm and Carl’s aim is to fulfil that promise, complete the film and release it in 2017.

2017 will be the 50th anniversary of the 14 Hour Technicolor Dream, and would have marked Hoppy’s 80th birthday. Malcolm and Carl hope that in Hoppy’s absence, our film Hoppy – Underground Head will give a unique insight into the man whose influence is still felt today.


Get involved

Help fund this unique documentary of a remarkable time in British history and the man who helped make it happen

​We are seeking supporters to help us finish this feature documentary film.

​We initially need money for researching and sourcing archive, and completing the shooting and editing of the rough cut. The budget for this is around £35, 000. This will enable us to go for full funding to release the film.

In the longer term we need further support to complete the final cut and dubbing theatre mix, and cover music, still and film property clearances. Largely because of the expense of the archive involved, the full budget will be around £300, 000.

The extraordinary story of John “Hoppy” Hopkins – driving force behind International Times, the UFO Club and the 14 Hour Technicolor Dream.


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