Thatcher : The Downfall

TX BBC2 DURING MAY 2019

My latest film will be broadcast on BBC2 in May 2019 as part of a landmark series about Margaret Thatcher.  In the words of her inner circle the film tells the dramatic story of her final two years in power.

Director of Photography Brendan Easton with Luke Menges
Editor Ian Garvin
Music Alexandra Harwood

AMBULANCE : SERIES FOUR
Co Executive Producer

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Darcey Bussell Dancing to Happiness

When she retired from ballet Dame Darcey Bussell struggled with feelings of emptiness and depression. She realised that she needed dance in her life to be herself and to feel happy. In this very personal film Darcey explores the positive impact that dance has on mental health. From a group of troubled girls in Manchester experiencing anxiety and depression to a dementia seated dance class in Edinburgh and a cutting edge research project for Parkinson’s sufferers run by Dr Peter Lovatt Darcey hears the moving stories of people who use dance as therapy.

Director of Photography Brendan Easton
Editor Ian Garvin

 

Zoe Ball’s Hardest Road Home

Zoe Ball lost her partner, Billy, to suicide. In this personal and intimate film Zoe talks  about her grief and the impact of suicide on those left behind. Using the 2018 Comic Relief Challenge Zoe sets out to meet other families affected by suicide. Along her epic cycle journey from her birthplace in Blackpool back home to Brighton Zoe meets suicide prevention groups, families and survivors.

Directors of Photography Brendan Easton and Mike Carling
Editors Ian Garvin and Craig Nicholls

 

Dementiaville 

800 000 people in the UK already live with dementia and many more have their lives turned upside down because of the condition. In this three part series for Channel 4 we documented the heart breaking experience of families caring for a loved one with a dementia.

Despite the loss and tragedy over the course of the year we witnessed enormous love and resilience. Using cutting edge dementia care methods the families we worked with were able to piece together the memories and the essence of their loved one behind the dementia.

Shortlisted for Broadcast Awards Best Documentary Series 2015
Nominated for Best Documentary Series Grierson Awards 2016
Winner General Education Broadcast Award at Learning On Screen Awards 2016

Director of Photography  Brendan Easton and Luke Menges
(with Jamie Kennerly and Mike Carling)
Editors Gregor Lyon, Joby Gee and Ben Brown

 

Adopting Abroad

In 2010 I was asked by the BBC to make two documentaries over 18 months in Oxford, UK and Karachi, Pakistan. With intimate access to social workers the films follow Saira Khan and her husband Steve through the rigorous adoption process here in the UK. Saira then travels to Karachi to adopt an abandoned baby from the Edhi Orphanage.

Filming the baby being handed to Saira and following her during the long night spent in intensive care was traumatic, yet ultimately moving and uplifting.

Music Samuel Sim
Director of Photography Brendan Easton
Editor Paul Carlin

 

THE Moscow Siege

This Discovery Europe film was filmed in Moscow and tells the inside story of the Chechen attack on one of the city’s theatres. The tragic event ended in the death of at least 170 people when the Russian authorities stormed the theatre and used fatal doses of fentanyl gas to overcome the hostage takers.

Music Samuel Sim
Editor Gregor Lyon

 

Wasted 

Filmed over two years, this series was a personal passion and had a huge impact on the whole team not only as we were making it but in the months that followed the broadcast.

The four Channel 4 films document the lives of people who had fallen through the cracks in Blair’s Britain.

Stacey: Stacey was a prostitute, walking the same streets where Jack the Ripper sought his victims a century ago. We followed her over a year as she struggled to describe her heroin addiction through poetry. I watched the film with Stacey when it was first shown on Channel 4. A few months later I received an urgent call from her hostel and managed to arrive there a few minutes before she died of an overdose. I was proud to do a reading at her funeral and often think of her.

Petrolman: Evicted, Jill and Steve Bolton lived in a car when we met them and were struggling to stay in touch with their young son and beat their crack addiction.

 

The Magical World of Susie Wardrobe: Filmed against the backdrop of Blair's 2001 Labour victory this film tells the story of a single mother’s struggle to survive on a Gateshead housing estate as she gets deeper into debt with loan sharks. After the film was shown viewers sent in donations which paid off her debts twice over.

After the Fall: The story of alcoholic Steve Longstaff and his family who live in Ashington, which was once the largest mining town in the world. Steven comes from a mining family but as we watch the seasons pass there seems to be little future in an area devastated by the closure of the mines and the 1984 strike.

Director of Photography Petra Graf
Editor Gregor Lyon
Executive Producer Tom Roberts
Producer Steve Grogan
AP David Clews

 

Staying Lost 

Filmed over two years in London, Nottingham and Brighton this hard-hitting series made a legal precedent when Nottingham Social Services tried to prevent us telling the true story of runaways on the streets of their city.
With the support of David Lloyd and the team at Channel 4 legal department we won the battle to allow Staying Lost to be transmitted.

Filming the series took over the lives of the whole team and although some of the people we filmed have died or disappeared I keep in touch with many of them today in and outside prison.

Shortlisted for Grierson Best Documentary Series
Winner of the Indie Award for Best Current Affairs series
Nominated BBC2 Creativity Award
Nominated RTS Best Editing Award

 
Series Director Tom Roberts
Director of Photography Petra Graf
Editor Paul Carlin

 

The world according to kids 

Series directing this six part series in-house for BBC2 included both observational and rigged filming. But it was the interviews I was lucky enough to carry out with children throughout the country which supplied the glue for this ambitious series.

Director of Photography for interview set up: Luke Menges

 
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