Screening – Taking the Flak

Screening Friday 24th July, 2009

The adventures of filming a tale of badly behaving journalists in an African civil war – a comedy about journalism & journalists and how creating a fictional civil war can involve more complicated logistics than covering a real one. 

Following Health & Safety rules in Africa is a lot more difficult for a large cast & crew than a small news team who have no expectations about catering or costume continuity. Which is why we had to abandon our location in Kenya after the first episode as the country was reeling from post-election violence. Ironically for a series about journalists in a conflict. Our news colleagues in real flak jackets (the ones the cast used had no Kevlar plates) were the only BBC teams working in Kenya.

Taking the Flak has brought together the world of news and comedy in terms of scripts and the joint DOP–Directors of Photography–as they are called in drama & entertainment–did the same visually.  Darren Conway – or DC as he is always known, has covered dozens of conflicts worldwide and won the RTS News Camera Operator award four times. Pete Rowe has an equally impressive CV in drama. Together they created the style of Taking the Flak— a fusion of news and entertainment style shooting.
And a discussion of satire in journalism from Evelyn Waugh’s classic novel "Scoop" to the latest offering from the BBC of "Taking the Flak" with Tira Shubart who created co-wrote and co-produced Taking the Flak including a preview of an upcoming episode plus behind the scenes material of how actors view the role of journalists. And some cast & crew members tbc