25 November 2009
ITN Source is the leading supplier of archive footage to Blast Film’s series, The Queen, due to air on Channel 4 and US network ABC later this year. The five part doco-drama features 45 minutes worth of archive footage, the majority licensed from ITN Source which holds one of the largest collections of royal footage in the world.
The five hour series explores pivotal years in the Monarch’s life covering everything from Princess Margaret’s relationship with Peter Townsend, the kidnap attempt on Princes Anne and the tension between Crown and government over sanctions against South Africa. It also delves into the marriage break downs of her two eldest sons and Prince Charles’ eventual marriage to Camilla Parker-Bowles.
ITN Source footage is interspersed throughout the programmes to set the scene and social context of the country. The South Africa episode includes an interview between former ITN reporter Michael Bunson and Margaret Thatcher when she arrived in the Bahamas for the Commonwealth conference in 1983. The archive footage is skilfully cut and intertwined with the programme footage to show Lesley Manville, playing Margaret Thatcher, responds to Bunson’s questions.
Other clever use of archive includes footage of Charles and Camilla leaving the Ritz hotel in London - the first time they were seen together in public - and getting into a limo, which cuts to actors Martin Turner (Prince Charles) and Joanna Van Gyseghem (Camilla Parker-Bowles) inside the car.
Marion Milne, Series Producer of The Queen, said: “Archive played a really useful part in this production. Working with ITN Source we found footage in the archive which helped enhance the drama and also helped us through shooting some difficult scenes. The team at ITN Source dug deep into the archive to find the footage we needed to make this into a compelling series.”
Neil Meadows, Sales Director of ITN Source, added: “This fantastic series showcases not just our large and unique collection of royal and political footage but through the use of archive gives a comprehensive social history of the UK throughout the Queen’s reign. The extensive use of our film cements our position as the world's leading editorial footage archive.”
The Queen will be broadcast on Channel 4 from Sunday 29th November at 9pm.