It seems strange that I haven’t mentioned what has been pre-occupying a huge amount of my time for the last year and a half. I’m right in the middle of producing another series of ‘Locked Up Abroad’ for the National Geographic Channel, (it’s called ‘Banged Up Abroad’ in the UK). You can watch the trailer here.
Last season I produced thirteen shows from around the world and this year I’m doing the same. They are action-packed drama/documentaries that recreate the true life testimonies of people who have found themselves imprisoned in far-off places. In some cases the contributor has made a stupid attempt to get rich quick, while in others they’ve have been in the wrong place at the wrong time. But either way, most of the films attest to people’s inner strength and resilience in extreme situations. The shows are a bit like ‘Midnight Express‘ on speed except as a rule we make more of the dilemmas and decisions that lead to the subject’s capture and less of their incarceration.
The series gets great reviews and a really good audience (“One of the most compelling and riveting series TV has ever provided” – New York Post). This season we’ve found a new range of incredible stories in Iraq, Cuba, Sierra Leone and as many other far flung locations we dig up to test our tight schedules and preposterous ambitions.
Producing this series with all the possible permutations for problems is a rock n roll journey but it’s one I make behind a desk in the East End of London. My home is a five minute cycle ride from Raw Television who makes the series, and the edit suites at Envy (where they are being cut) are a fifteen minute cycle ride from Raw. I love my job and living in London, but having been the director sent off to the far-flung place many times before, I do get a touch of adventure-envy when I hear the experiences of my teams when they return from filming.
The new series is broadacsting just now in the US on Wednesday evenings at 10pm EST, but its also available on Video on demand from NGC’s site (and the last series is on Hulu – watchable only in the US).