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Hard-hitting Documentary: not just the reserve of big broadcasters

22FebHard-hitting Documentary: not just the reserve of big broadcasters

Hard-hitting Documentary- not just the reserve of big broadcasters

Our history is part of our shared culture- working to share this with a wide audience is a key objective of so many organisations and Enterprise Screen is helping to create high-quality, engaging and impressive historical video. Creative Director, Jamie Smith is passionate about ensuring that our films not only have a strong and compelling narrative but also bring out the best in experts and interviewees.

It is sometimes very hard not to be completely self-indulgent when we are undertaking interviews for our clients. The people we encounter through our work are invariably some of the most fascinating people you could want to meet. As a self-confessed addict of knowledge and information, it is often an absolute pleasure to be part of the process of helping a project to introduce its story to a wider audience. For me, its not just about covering the key points- its about helping individuals to be as passionate and energetic on film as they are in their work and in their lives.

We all know that being interviewed is not the most natural situation- be that a job interview or on camera. In my mind, I am always trying to engage people in their subject- or at least engage them in conversation. Over the years I have worked hard to be an effective interviewer: enabling my subjects to give their best possible response. I am very aware that most of the time, my questions will remain unheard in the final video but I still want to be asking probing questions which will encourage the subject to provide the most amount of insight for our audience.

In some cases, particularly with sensitive subject matters, it is important to help interviewees feel comfortable and at ease with expressing themselves and I am always conscious that this can be emotional and difficult at times. I always try to take time to make sure we get what our client and the interviewee needs to get their story across and appreciate the influence this approach to interviews has on the final product and the overall impact it makes to the film.


I try hard to get people I interview to give me a strong accountant of themselves, this often leads me to ask questions several times in several different ways until I know that I have it. In some scenarios its even hugely beneficial to challenge opinions or learning, just to get the impassioned response that works so well on film.

In recent weeks I\ve been delighted to be involved in the creation of a wide-ranging series of films for the Panmure House Resoration project with the Edinburgh Business School and Heriot-Watt University. This project is both inspiring and challenging but gives me the chance to interview some great minds.

Interviewing Nobel Laureates and leading figures in history, economics, business and academia is an absolute pleasure. The centralised subject is always the former home of Adam Smith at Panmure House but the surrounding topics and cross-referencing is fascinating: from a 90-year-old former Bletchely Park code-breaker, to a leading world economic figure, a politician at the heart of our countrys leadership and a historian publishing on the Scottish Enlightenment. This is a gift for anyone with an interest in contemporary or historical studies- thats me, without question.

Throughout all of this, I am thinking how we can use these interviews alongside the access to fantastic locations and information to build a compelling narrative that helps to achieve key aims and objectives. This is historical documentary with a modern and commerce-focused agenda, the films have to be stylish, accessible and engaging- thats the key to using video to deliver a compelling story and its essential to delivering our clients objectives and expectations.

You can find out more about our range of products and services by contacting us directly.

The first part of this series is now online:


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