Tweed: Episode 2 Harassed Tweed

Writer/Series director/camera/VO

BBC 4 docs

Bellwether Media

3 x 59m

Winter 2008 – Summer 2009

Password: viewfinder​

The second of what would be three self-shot series and my last for my own company, Bellwether.

Following a rather left-field series for BBC 4 about the behind-the-scenes drama over a year on Savile Row, Controller Janice Hadlow asked for another three character-driven films about craft and tradition in transition.

Originally this was to have been a series about the Whisky, Golf, and Tweed industries, but after shooting three pilots, it was decided to keep it to just Tweed. And then only Harris Tweed.

This seemed like a tall order but proved to be a challenging, complex, and exciting drama that veered daily between tragedy and comedy as AP Emily Sevenoaks and I began to oscillate between Paris, New York, Glasgow, and of course, the isle of Harris and Lewis.

Shooting on a Z1 in a climate that, despite its being wrapped in a fertilizer bag actually made the camera just stop, required the patience of Jove and the skills of a great cameraman, which I’m not.

During the nine months of shooting Emily met her husband-to-be, and I fell in love with the villain of the story, arch industrialist and monster egotist Brian Haggas.

Hated by half the islanders, excoriated in the local press, cursed from the pulpit, driven to despair by the endless edit, and almost bankrupted in the process, Tweed is nevertheless one of my two favorite series.

“Justifies the license fee” Tom Sutcliffe, Independent 

No 4 in Independent’s 2009 TV Top Ten.

BBC sponsored submissions for BAFTA and Grierson Best factual Series Award.


See all films in Documentary