An artisanal producer of quality broadcast comestibles.
Producer/Director making BAFTA and RTS award-winning and nominated films. Grierson finalist. Experience of most film-making situations; live, long-form observational, short, very short, 90 minute, feature, multi-part series as sole director, series director and self-shooter on all formats for many major world broadcasters and the web.
Victoria and Albert: the Royal Wedding
Some jobs are like super tankers. By the time you’ve reached the pointy end, you can’t see the stern. Even with binoculars. I embarked on Victoria and Albert: The Royal Wedding - BBC 2 on 21st December at 2030, and again on Christmas Day in the morning, when Spring had just sprung. We shot the drama in high Summer and the interviews in early Autumn.
The edit began when the swallows were heading off, and as the clocks went back, we could see the coast. Now we're in the docks I can’t remember the rush of shooting 15 scenes of reconstruction for five days, or in the chapel trying to make 60 extras look like 300, or shooting the making of a copper tin in which we’d bake sections of the 300lb cake, 9-feet circumference.
I’ve not forgotten the fabulous email sent by an incoming Commissioning Editor, who, in a staggering hand-brake turn, now wanted to reduce the bodice-ripping in favour of more constructed reality: “I know it seems crazy, but what we lose in romance we gain in pace and clarity”.
Maybe it’s like childbirth. Nature makes you forget the hard part so sight of the luscious baby makes you want to do it again. Please join Lucy Worsley and her throng of new presenters in a right royal, quite romantic romp.
We meet our heroes with trepidation. What if the lion we so admired from the stalls is revealed, in close-up, to have wild hair, goggly eyes and wonky crockery? Of course, working on a 90-minute bio of Ken Dodd presented none of those dangers. The real surprise was how comely young Dodd was. Passing in and out at speed, directing a film that was in reality entirely made by the editor of genius Nick Webb, whose job it has been to wrestle 40 odd and very-odd years’ worth of archive into 89 BBC2 minutes, I’ve been left astonished by how fascinating as a person this son of Knotty Ash was.
Our being the first crew ever to enter the home he was born and died in, and so jealously guarded from prying eyes, was surprisingly heart-thumping, but not surprising at all; a trove of theatrical knick-knackery. We learned from his widow, the very sane Lady Ann, how very un-showbizzy his off-stage life was – hours spent in the library, even more spent on his knees in church, bed by nine with an Ovaltine. It was bit of a relief, hearing that the high-speed schtick stayed in the theatre, that at home, the lion was a bit of a lamb.