This is the 18th year of Landmark Films and the company has amassed a body of work which I'm intensely proud of – more than 100 hours of films. I won’t drone on here but it’s good to see words like “heart-warming/completely fascinating and moving/inspiring/a dazzling series/an exquisite treat/mesmerising/a superb series/life affirming” cropping up so often in the national papers when they write about series like our BBC2  Brain Doctors, ITV1 Married to the Job, Sky Atlantic The Guest Wing.

 

In addition to our blue-chip series for BBC2 and ITV1, we’ve also tended to make more comedic/knockabout single films around characters who exemplify issues people feel strongly about – like Hedge Wars, Fox Wars and Litter Wars for BBC1 10.45pm slots. They too get great press and I hope they afford their audiences and contributors a wry chuckle or two. It’s strange how everything in Telly Land has to be a “war” but I suppose it’s a TV shorthand for something people care deeply about. You can see more press comment on our films here.

 

We’ve always looked for people and places who are extraordinary and whose lives and work will fascinate, delight and inspire a large TV audience. Life’s too short to be miserabilist, dark, cruel or carpy and I’m often puzzled by documentary TV’s thirst for gloom and horror. We continue to be proud of a record of treating the people who we work with as contributors, who allow us to show something of their lives, and, indeed, our audience, with honesty, humanity and respect. Sounds a bit apple pie-ish, I know, but what’s the point in doing otherwise?

 

I've taken time out from broadcast programme-making to do some writing and be a luvvie. I'm doing bespoke execcing work and making the odd film for charities I like. Plus, I enjoy passing on some of the stuff I've learned to others on courses for the NFTS, BBC Academy, Screenskills and various Unis and I've started doing that through Landmark now - have a look at the training section of the website. I don't know if and when I'll go back to programme making - 20 years of the attritional grind of the commissioning process does somewhat take its toll on creativity! Depends on the right offer or the right idea at the right time, I suppose.

 

Onwards and upwards. If you’d like to get in touch then click on the contact button above. I'm always pleased to meet creative folk – especially those living in the Oxford area or people who don’t start emitting a high-pitched distress noise if life takes them beyond Zone 2 of the Tube system. And I'm always interested in tailoring bespoke short courses teaching useful stuff to documentary makers.

 

Nick O’Dwyer

Summer 2019