Michael Apted (1941 - 2021)

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The Post Office
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Michael Apted (1941 - 2021)

Post by The Post Office »

Michael Apted died 7th January 2021 aged 79.
Best known for the Up series of TV documentaries following the lives of 14 people every seven years.
He also directed the films "Coal Miner's Daughter", "Gorillas In The Mist" and Bond movie "The World Is Not Enough".
And one of my favs "The Triple Echo" with Glenda Jackson and Oliver Reed.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-55597263

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Re: Michael Apted (1941 - 2021)

Post by Mark »

The "Up" series was an amazing project, and always fascinating to watch.

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Re: Michael Apted (1941 - 2021)

Post by Brock »

What's amazing is that it was never planned as a series - the original "Seven Up" documentary was intended as a one-off. Remarkable for Michael Apted to have stuck with the project for such a long time.

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Re: Michael Apted (1941 - 2021)

Post by Mark »

A great legacy, I wonder if it will continue.?
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Re: Michael Apted (1941 - 2021)

Post by paul.austin »

a big flaw in the "Up" series is that it needed more girls. And non-whites.

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Re: Michael Apted (1941 - 2021)

Post by Brian F »

paul.austin wrote:
Wed Jan 13, 2021 11:02 am
a big flaw in the "Up" series is that it needed more girls. And non-whites.
I assume the gender/race balance was different when the series started. I have looked at my own primary school group photos There are 28 boys and 11 girls, 31 white 8 non-white in the class and the school was very near Brixton (actually in Railton Road).

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Re: Michael Apted (1941 - 2021)

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Considering Windrush, that is less than I would have expected for non-whites. Obviously not all settled in the area, and Windrush was a major influx so had to be processed in a prepared place, later arrivals were spread out more. When I was at secondary school, there were two black boys and one Chinese girl in my year group - for the entire 5 years, and the two boys were both in 'care', so their families were not local. I think the gender balance was more even, but I can't really remember and don't have photos.

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Re: Michael Apted (1941 - 2021)

Post by Brock »

Brian F wrote:
Thu Jan 14, 2021 10:12 am
paul.austin wrote:
Wed Jan 13, 2021 11:02 am
a big flaw in the "Up" series is that it needed more girls. And non-whites.
I assume the gender/race balance was different when the series started.
No it wasn't. They followed the same fourteen people throughout the entire series (though some of them declined to take part in future programmes, and one has died). Only four of them were female, and there was one mixed-race participant. Apted himself said in 2012 that he thought it was a "horrible error" to have so few girls in the original selection.

As I said above, it was never planned as a long-term series - the aim of the original Seven Up! documentary was to examine class immobility, and issues to do with gender and race presumably weren't considered so significant then.

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Re: Michael Apted (1941 - 2021)

Post by fatcat »

I thought it started as just another episode of World in Action and at the time a series had not even been thought about..although they planned to revisit it once again in the year 2000 when the kids were adults.

I am sure it was not as simple as it looked on screen and they probably did camera tests on many children to see who would react and be comfortable on camera and 'give' something to the viewers. In the context of the time (compared to today) many people were rather suspicious of ..and uneasy in front of cameras as you can see in old home movies Uncle Birt ducking out of shot or staring into the lens with annoyance.
I don't think it was biased against gender or race...TV loves animated characters and I for one think that if they had found
some others ( whatever their gender/race) in the fast weekly turnaround of a World in Action episode
they would have also been included.




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Re: Michael Apted (1941 - 2021)

Post by stearn »

fatcat wrote:
Fri Jan 15, 2021 8:44 pm
I thought it started as just another episode of World in Action and at the time a series had not even been thought about..
You're quite right about the origin, I don't know whether there were any plans immediately to follow it up though.

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