The Privileged: A case study of regional television documentary production in the 1960s

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This article is about The Privileged, a documentary series filmed by Westward Television in 1967 and broadcast in 1968 and 1969. This article offers the series as a case study of regional documentary production in a geographically peripheral ITV franchise area. It examines how documentaries were made by Westward despite the absence of a formalised documentary unit. This article shows how producers, editors and camera operators used their skills and experience to create an ambitious and innovative documentary television series within the more constrained budgets of regional independent television. Drawing on original production papers and preserved episodes of the series, this case study reveals how The Privileged took advantage of new production technologies and novel ways of filming and editing. It also considers the archival afterlife of the series, which has been largely been forgotten since its original transmission. The article concludes by drawing attention to some of the problems with the series’ partial re-presentation on the BFI Player website, and highlights the potential social and cultural benefits which could be obtained by enhancing access to archival documentaries such as The Privileged.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-167
Number of pages21
JournalHistorical Journal of Film, Radio and Television
Issue number1
Early online date5 Feb 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 5 Feb 2019

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