24 Hours in A&E, One Born Every Minute, and Iceland Foods: Life Inside the Freezer Cabinet, are recent example of the work of documentary makers Roger Graef and Magnus Temple. They visited Middlesex University to share their experience and inspire students.
Documentaries are a staple of British television – which is why Professor Kurt Barling invited the pair to Middlesex in the first of a new series of discussions with prominent media personalities. They discussed just what goes into making and getting a documentary commissioned drawing on the industry experience of Magnus and Roger over a number of years.
Graef and Temple both talked about how commissioners “crave viewing figures”, so as documentary makers they have to come up with ideas that will get people watching.
The experienced Roger Graef advised the student audience: “If you want to have a critical conversation about documentaries, to see what flies and what doesn’t you need to watch television. Keep watching and paying attention to what some very good documentary makers are doing.”
Roger Graef is CEO of Films of Record, and Magnus Temple is The Garden Productions’ Chief Executive.
Graef is an award winning filmmaker, criminologist, and writer. He is best known for his unstaged observational films in normally closed places like boardrooms, ministries, prisons, probation, family therapy, special schools, and social work.
Temple was a documentary director and series producer, before launching a production company called Dragonfly, a venture which would include BAFTA-winning One Born Every Minute. He sold the company to launch The Garden Productions in 2010 - where he remains chief executive.
Since setting up The Garden, Magnus' Executive Producer credits have included Perfume, 24 Hours in A&E, Seven Dwarves and the upcoming drama about the kidnapping of journalist Sean Langan.The next instalment of the Broadcasting Today series, led by Professor of Professional Practice Kurt Barling, will focus on hyper-local news with London Live programme director Jane Mote and Talk About Local’s William Perrin.