The BBC’s head of documentaries, Patrick Holland, speaks about the kinds of shows that have worked well for his department recently, and what he is looking to commission in the year ahead in this interview.
Holland was interviewed at Televisual’s Factual Festival late last year where he picked out BBC2’s recent access doc The Detectives, which centred on the Greater Manchester Police’s specialist sex crimes unit, to illustrate what he wants from indies. He argued that the access the production team had gained was important but it was also the team’s ability to “stay with the story and the intensity of their focus,” that made the show. “It isn’t just about access, it’s about the stories you’re going to tell and what questions are you going to ask” when you get it.
He said that on many access docs, “you feel the questions stop when they get to the front door” and that he was tired of “profiling documentaries that just describe process.”
On rig shows, he argued they have a danger of losing a point of view. “Great documentary has the presence of the director catalysing what is happening. We need to empower producers to drive stories with a point of view.”
See the full interview above.
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