This week, BAFTA-nominated Series Producer, Jo Bishop, discusses her career in television.
What made you want to specialise in making Factual Entertainment television and Observational Documentaries?
I started out in radio, making documentaries and social action campaigns for younger audiences on Radio 1. It wasn’t just the subject matter that needed to capture their attention but the approach. When I moved to TV seven years later, my style of programme making seemed to fit across both camps – entertainment and factual.
Amongst many other accolades, you have received two BAFTA nominations. What are the key skills involved when trying to convey a compelling story?
I don’t think I will ever stop learning from others and trying to improve on my storytelling skills, but I think compelling factual storytelling works in the same way as fiction. You need a unique angle or focus, a story that works on a number of levels, emotional drama and an element of surprise with twists and turns as the story unfolds. In observational docs you should be able to able to peel back your characters to enable the audience to make some emotional connection or at the very least have some understanding so they want to find out more.