The following are extracts from an interview with Tony Garnett, co-founder and Chairman of World Productions, in August 2000.
Fiction is the nearest you can get, through the imagination of a writer, to knowing what it is like to be another…
“I’m curious about what it’s like being someone else. That’s one of the things that keeps me going in this business. It’s a very privileged job I have, because I’m allowed to do that. Fiction is the nearest you can get, through the imagination of a writer, to knowing what it is like to be another. And that assuages our loneliness as human beings. I’m also interested in stories, because we need stories in order to make sense of our lives.”
“But there are all sorts of ways to do it, and I’m not imposing one particular style on the company. In fact I’ve experimented with other things…I was involved in the first two series of ‘Ballykissangel’, which is very different from ‘This Life’ or ‘The Cops’ or the new show, ‘Attachments’.
Ballykissangel …is a classic Hollywood form. In Hollywood it’s known as a ‘fish out of water’
“Ballykissangel was thought up by Kieran Prendiville, and it was more or less a one-liner which I just knew was good, because it’s a classic Hollywood form. In Hollywood it’s known as a ‘fish out of water’, and when (Kieran) pitched this idea of a young priest from an urban parish being sent to a small village in Ireland, I knew it had possibilities”.
So there’s a variety of things being done in the shop now…
“Now I’m quite keen that it should be a place where producers can do good work that they believe in, and not just reflect my taste or my sensibility. I don’t want clones of me.
So there’s a variety of stuff being done in the shop now although for many years it pursued what I was interested in. And the furrow I’ve been ploughing most of my life is a sort of distilled naturalism, where we try to find out what life is really like for people in the real world, and dramatise it”.