Writers & Audience (1982)

Amber Talks & Interviews

A Side Cinema event from 1982 featuring sessions with Philip Donnellan, Tom Hadaway, Barry Hines, Jim Allen and Jeremy Seabrook.

As Amber began its Channel 4 Workshop franchise, it organised a weekend exploring the possibilities of film and television as a means of engaging with working class audiences, experience and concerns. Each session focused on one of the invited writers.

Philip Donnellan

0.00: Philip Donnellan. BBC. Feedback from audience. Letters.

1.20: Culture of BBC. Loss of confidence. Need for a political conviction.

2.25: Q. what feedback did you get from the blind community?

2.54: BBC Talkback programme. Producers invited to defend their programmes. Dick Francis – producer of current affairs, Panorama. Royal Institute of the Blind.

4.10: Charles Parker. Radio producer. Blind representation group. Establish a social spin off after programme. Film about gypsies (Where do we go from here?, 1968). Eat. West Midlands Gypsy Liaison Group. Eat, first site for travelling people in Wolverhampton.

4.50: Blind Integration Group after Bd8 The Enclosed World of the Blind film in London and Birmingham. Develop dialogue with two unions about blind welfare. County Councillor in Shropshire. Blind Committee – with one blind person.

5.55: Producer role. To expose people’s lives not adequately exposed. Sunderland. Programme, A Moment to Talk. Murray Martin contact in Boiler Makers. Austin & Pickersgill. Bartrams, South Dock, Sunderland. (Sunderland Oak, 1961)

7.20: Q. Brenda Whitelock, chairman of Newcastle Writers Club. New channel. Channel 4. Where to send scripts ans what they are looking for.

7.45: Channel 4. Commissioning Editors. Drama, Current Affairs. Charlotte Street, London. Swamped with application. First time access for independents. Embargo.

9.00: BBC Two research. A film by x for BBC television. BBC commission films by independents for BBC TV.

9.30: Double Image, 1965. 6 writers write a play and film documentary about the same subject. Ray Jenkins. Tom Stoppard. Allan Sharpe.

10.10: Set up with two directors. Charles Denton. Richard Marquand. Documentary for BBC Two.

10.55: ITV. Independent producers. Growth of freelancing.

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Philip Donnellan