Articles by TG

Barry Hines 1939 – 2016

I worked on four films with Barry. We began our friendship in the mid-sixties. It survived intact through his last long illness.

His character and his writing were all of a piece. Direct, simple and honest. HIs simplicity was hewn out of a close analysis of others and their place in a society riven by class interests.

To the end, he knew which side he was on. He had been born to the sound of clogs,

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Drowning By Numbers – New Statesman

27th October 1989
The British film industry is a colony of Hollywood. If it is ever to have a life of its own, film-maker Tony Garnett argues, Britain has to subsidise it, as every comparable country does.

Batman and Indiana Jones are smash-hit boffo biz movies. In their first weekend, in North America alone, the box office gross was $70 million. Over the years, these movies will return hundreds of millions of dollars to their distributors,

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Jim Allen Obituary

The man who first came into my office was not friendly. He was guarded, suspicious and aggressive. For three hours we sparred and danced around each other: he trying to convince me that he wanted to write entertainment and blanking all talk of politics, and me telling him that all I wanted was drama about class conflict and socialist ideas.

He had been writing for Coronation Street, was looking for work and was wary of revealing his true self in a meeting at the heart of the establishment,

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Off-Cut: The Ones That Got Away

This glancing look at some of the productions over the decades gives the impression that every idea was easily green lit. If only. I still mourn the ones that were shot down at the last moment. It would be too painful to rehearse more than a few examples.

Neville Smith wrote a sharp, warm comedy set in Liverpool about the take over of a local firm by the Japanese. The Scouse workers were obliged to do keep fit and sing the company song each morning.

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Off-Cut: The Producing MA

I had known Susanna Capon for decades and had been the main speaker at her wedding to Barry Hanson, called upon at the last minute because the appointed speaker, David Mercer, was dead drunk on the floor. After a lifetime in television she had become an academic in the Media Arts Department at Royal Holloway College, London University. All her life she had been a highly organised, competent doer, full of energy and optimism with an admirable capacity to cut to the core of a problem.

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BBC Attachments

Off-Cut: Attachments

As the internet gained momentum I made plans to work on it, thinking everyone would be as excited as I was. The only way to learn to do it, is to do it.

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Remembering Barry Hines

This is what I read at Barry Hines’ funeral. I suppose each of us has a different Barry in our heads, in our memories.

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How to kill creativity while claiming to help it grow.

If you want to make dramatic fiction for the screen you must first strangle your creative impulses. The alternative is even more painful. It is to put your creativity at the service of the formula and take instructions from the executive apparatchiki. They need to feed off your creativity because they have none, and to control it because they are told to.