Bournemouth University

The Media School

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BU students meet the father of reality TV

20 January 2010

Paul Watson's masterclass

New master classes bring students closer to leading practitioners in the television industry.

TV production students at BU have used a unique master class with the acclaimed documentary film-maker Paul Watson to contribute to a new range of teaching materials.

TV Keynotes,authored by Gordon Cooper, Head of Enterprise for the University’s world-renowned Media School, features master classes with leading television practitioners. These classes are freely available to BU students with the project fully supported by the School’s Centre for Excellence in Media Practice.

Watson was interviewed by Cooper, and a range of postgraduate and undergraduate TV students, using the University’s professional high definition television studio. The interview was interspersed with clips from Watson’s work over the last 35 years.

The often controversial Watson first came to prominence in 1974 with his series ‘The Family’ where he achieved an intimacy with his subjects which went on to define his documentary style. This led  him to produce some of the most memorable documentaries of the last 30 years including ‘Sylvania Waters’ – the country’s first ‘docusoap’; ‘Rain in My Heart’; the ‘Malcolm and Barbara’ series; and ‘The Fishing Party’. 

In 2008, after nine unsuccessful BAFTA nominations, Watson received the British Academy’s Special Award for his outstanding creative contribution to television.

“Paul Watson is an interesting and controversial film-maker who has a very strong attraction to students who want to work in documentary film-making,” said Trevor Hearing, Subject Leader for Television Production. “Instead of just running a traditional workshop with the students, we took the opportunity to record our own material giving students a chance to interact with him and get directly involved in the production of the recording.

“It’s the essence of what we’re about here in Bournemouth at the Media School,” Hearing continued. “It’s really very much about experiential learning - learning by doing - and we certainly have the facilities, staff and students to achieve it.”

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