chapter  12
19 Pages

Maxine Baker: Lessons for life – some of the things I have learned about making documentaries

About 10 years ago, when I was chief executive of the Scottish Film Council, the newspaper Scotland on Sunday asked me to write an article about my first memories of going to the cinema. It was an interesting request and made me think back to why and how I came to be the documentary film-maker I am today. I had no clear recollection of the first films I saw at the Grand Cinema in Burnopfield, North West Durham, England. I could only recall that a lot of them seemed to be American films about Cowboys and Indians, and that the films appeared to expect the audience to recognize that the Cowboys had God on their side. We kids in that

Geordie audience always cheered for the underdogs, the Indians – and they always got slaughtered. We came from a poor mining village where we all supported our local football team, Newcastle United, who in those dark days also got regularly slaughtered, at least metaphorically, in the Football League. It seemed natural for us to cheer for the victims in any disaster.