I have always relished taking a camera somewhere unfamiliar to capture a slice of life.
There is no script, but you must come away with footage that will edit into a meaningful film…
‘The Real Ghostbusters’ was a popular American animation series screened regularly on Children’s ITV.
To demystify the subject matter, I went to Los Angeles and Tokyo to make a short behind-the-scenes documentary film about the show.
After interviewing Ghostbusters star Dan Aykroyd, I took this picture of him for the TV Times and Look In magazines.
Is it possible to capture the best of a big exhibition by having a presenter walk through a selection of stands talking to the people promoting their wares or services?
Of course it is – providing you have a great presenter and a great crew and nerves of steel. We made 13 of these hour-long shows for ITV.
Each segment (between commercial breaks) ran about 17 minutes, containing half-a-dozen interviews and no editing.
I worked as a location director for the BBC based at Pebble Mill in Birmingham for several years. I made many short films for ‘THE REALLY USEFUL SHOW’ and contributed to ‘INSIDE OUT’ with profiles on birds of prey and on cold war history powerfully presented by Adrian Goldberg.
Along the way I picked up a certificate (in my given name) for producing a week of volunteering specials.
FOR A TASTER OF SOME OF THE MANY FILMS I HAVE DIRECTED, GO TO YOUTUBE AND SEARCH FOR: WORCESTER MED IA MILE
(More about the Media Mile films at the end of Robert’s writing page)
Over many years I served as a team director on a range of the popular BBC format antiques/collectibles programmes: THE ANTIQUES ROADSHOW, FLOG IT and BARGAIN HUNT.
For HTV in Bristol I made a documentary film about the impact a prototype wind turbine had on the surrounding community in Gloucestershire. This required climbing up the exterior of the tower with the camera equipment in a rucksack on my back in order to interview the project instigator, green energy pioneer Dale Vince, at the top.
I was privileged to make a profile of STONEHENGE AT DUSK AND DAWN voiced by David Dimbleby for the BBC’s YEAR 2000 special.
For the BBC MUSIC LIVE extravaganza, I made a HOT AIR BALLOONS special at Long Ashton Park in Bristol.
For ITV West I directed a pair of documentaries exploring the Bristol Short Films Festival.
For the Discovery Channel, I directed 15 episodes of TIM BROOKE TAYLOR’S GOLF CLUBS – all shot on stylish courses in the Home Counties. Extremely exacting with just one camera. And we managed to incorporate a few GOODIES gags.
But the subjects which have given me the greatest satisfaction have been films about people with problems or disadvantages in their lives – gypsy travellers occupying caravans on lay-bys; families dealing with crippling medical conditions; marginalised men and women struggling to get by. It was an honour to meet them, and to gain their trust so that they felt able to explain and expose their circumstances.