65 – The Other Side of the Doc Camera with Up Series’, Nick Hitchon

In our first 64 episodes of this podcast we have touched upon a host of documentary-related topics and spoken with a variety of guests. However, until now, we’d never spoken with someone who has been on the other side of the documentary camera. And what better documentary subject to have this conversation with than an Up Series alum, who has been on all eight installments of the documentary film series.


William Nicholas Hitchon, or Nick, as he’s known in the Up Series, comes on the show to talk directly to the very people – us #doclifers! – who are making the films about documentary subjects.


Topics Discussed:

  • the responsibility of the doc filmmaker in portraying their subject
  • reality tv vs documentary series
  • awareness of culture you’re shooting in as well as culture where it will be presented
  • importance of sensitivity to how a film can impact the subject’s lives, often in ways neer anticipated
  • how Nick was first cast in the landmark Up Series


5 Ways to Shoot Verite

So many documentary films have been shot employing a verite style. But there can be a misconception that verite might be an easy or worse, lazy, way of shooting.


On the contrary, verite must be given the proper thought and attention as any other way of shooting a film. And the following list of ways in which to do so will be helpful to you as you move forward with your verite doc:

  • Have a plan
  • Roll on everything
  • Be ready to go
  • Anticipate conversations
  • Use a deep depth of field


Supporting TDL Blog Post:

Documentary Filmmakers & Films of Verite


Related Resources

View the first installment of the Up Series in its entirety:


You can read this great IDA article about the Up Series 

Read more about Nick Hitchon’s experience with the series, check out an article run in Independent



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Host and TDL Founder, Chris G Parkhurst

Chris is a documentary filmmaker and the founder and host of The Documentary Life, a platform which aims to inform and inspire documentary filmmakers from around the globe.

1 Comment

  1. Scott Lieberman on 12/03/2019 at 3:40 PM

    I don’t make documentaries. I was just looking for interviews with cast members from the Up series.

    Mr. Parkhurst asks some fascinating questions of Prof. Hitchon, and Hitchon is a great guest.

    I have a suggestion for Mr. Hitchon – I assume it is possible that he will lose his voice due to his laryngeal cancer. If you still have his contact info, you can suggest to him that he get in touch with a few companies that do artificial speech work, and see if he can record the 3000 or 5000 words or whatever it takes to get fluent artificial speech. Then, if he loses his voice in the next few years, he can have a voice synthesizer with his own voice.

    If 70 Up gets filmed, I hope you can re-visit Mr. Hitchon and do another interview with him.

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