BEHP 0452 Paul Watson
TAPE 1 SIDE 1
Childhood; the Blitz, Manchester Grammar School. Studies art at Royal College of Art, changes speciality to film making. Encounters difficulties with tutor, Iris Murdoch.
Enters BBC via Richard Caulston (Whickers World, etc.) and later works with Jack Gold. A Year in the Life wins award. Directs unfinished feature for EMI/Brian Forbes.
SIDE 2 Returns to BBC and makes The Family. Discusses technical and socio-political aspects of the series. Responds to accusations of intrusion and manipulation: “of course I manipulate, its called editing; but I never manipulate at source.” Discusses making Sylvania Waters some years later, and beginnings of decline of relationship with BBC hierarchy.
TAPE 2 SIDE 1
Continues to describe problems at the BBC (especially with The Fishing Party) and increasing dislike of bureaucrats and bullies. Expresses frustration as being seen as the creator of the “docu-soap”. Does not like the term “fly-on-the-wall” and has not made such films for many years.
Finally leaves the BBC and is recruited by Granada. Finds difficulties working for Manchester based company in London, and has just moved to United Broadcasting (1999). Discusses hopes for the future, the challenges facing documentary and concludes on the importance of being able to pan something (and current optimism much influenced by strong working relationship with John Willis)