Paul Watson Interviewed
15 April 08
Special Award winner, Paul Watson, talks to James Dagwell about his remarkable career and the future of television.
"I have always thought that real people are far more wonderful than actors - you can't write the lines..."
Throughout his life in television Watson has never shied away from expressing his candid opinion believing that “Filmmaking is the opera of art”. Speaking to us before receiving the Special Award at the British Academy Television Awards, he talked openly about his pioneering role in putting real lives on television.
Watson speaks about finding the inspiration for his seminal documentary, The Family: "Decorating someone's ceiling… I became fascinated looking out of the window at a back row of houses and… the body language of the people coming out. I thought what would happen if I just took a camera in there?"
From giving a voice to working class people, Watson went on to record the 'have it all' lives of Noeline and family in the Sydney suburb of Sylvania Waters: "I didn’t set her up – she was who she was. They had the boat but they had the mortgage, they had the loan from the bank. They were living way out of their means. They were just terrific because they were the sort of families that we inherited in this country ten, twenty years later – and look at the price we're paying for it now."
He goes on to discuss his other key works, including A Wedding in the Family to Rain in My Heart, and last year's controversial Malcolm and Barbara: Love's Farewell.
Ever forthright, Watson finishes by expressing his views on the future of television: "My beef with television these days is we don't have commissioning editors who get out from behind their desks... At the moment we have so many young people out there… they've got to be given a chance, because if we don't television will stagnate."