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In Conversation with Ed Bazalgette and Grant Montgomery

Posted on 12 February 2018

Watch the special forum on the production and design of period dramas.

In May 2017, Kings Manor played host to BAFTA Nominated, RTS winning television drama director, Ed Bazalgette, and award winning production designer, Grant Montgomery with Dr Hannah Greig and Dr John Cooper from the Department of History. Alongside their roles as Senior Lecturers, Hannah and John have both worked as historical consultants on period dramas of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Hannah’s credits include Poldark, The Duchess and Death Comes to Pemberley, while John’s project on the St Stephen’s Chapel at the Palace of Westminster has been the source of historical research for the historical thriller, Gunpowder; a BBC programme that both historians recently collaborated on.

Part one of the forum features Dr Hannah Greig and Ed Bazalgette, who met on the first series of Poldark. Ed’s career trajectory is extensive, with credits ranging from Doctor Who to Holby City and Casualty. Exploring topics of historical accuracy, storytelling and the importance of research in informing period pieces, Ed explains how the production nuances of historical dramas differ from contemporary work. Ed also touches on the ‘thirst for content” which is driving the increasing allure and popularity of period dramas, such as The Crown, and references the emergence of new platforms and investment.

In part two, Dr John Cooper speaks to Grant on his route into production design and the advice he would offer to aspiring designers. He also discusses how academic research translate into what is seen on TV and gives his perspective on audience considerations and whether academic writing should use more narrative techniques to make them more accessible.

You can now watch the forum in full on YouTube.


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