New BBC documentaries offer viewers unique opportunities both behind and in front of the camera

As far back as the Video Diaries series in the 1990s, the BBC has been pioneering in giving the Great British public the chance to help shape the documentaries it produces, giving viewers a voice to tell their own stories in the most intimate and authentic way possible."Charlotte Moore, Commissioning Editor, Documentaries
Date: 26.04.2012     Last updated: 18.03.2014 at 17.53
A range of forthcoming BBC documentaries will exploit recent advances in everyday filming technology to bring viewers closer to the reality of life in Britain today.

Footage shot by members of the public will play a central part in programmes as diverse as BBC Three’s I Want To Change My Body (w/t) and We’re Having A Baby (w/t), BBC One’s The War On Britain’s Roads and BBC Two’s Britain In A Day.

I Want To Change My Body aims to get under the skin of body-obsessed Britain by following up to 50 young adults who are unhappy with their appearance and want to make a change. Filming their own physical transformations over a number of months, they will share their most intimate thoughts and fears along the way.

We’re Having A Baby will tell the story of young couples from across the UK at various stages of pregnancy. Each couple will film their own unique experience of what for many is the most significant journey in a person’s life. From delivery rooms and medical emergencies to night feeds and domestic rows, the film will explore up-close the issues surrounding pregnancy and childbirth in 21st century Britain.

Charlotte Moore, Commissioning Editor, Documentaries, says: “Documentary filmmakers are always trying to get inside other people’s lives – to get as close as possible to what people are seeing and feeling.

"As far back as the Video Diaries series in the 1990s, the BBC has been pioneering in giving the Great British public the chance to help shape the documentaries it produces, giving viewers a voice to tell their own stories in the most intimate and authentic way possible.

"One of the wonderful things about the explosion in the number of filming devices over the past decade is that more and more people are filming their own lives, giving filmmakers access to a wealth of quality footage shot by people in almost any situation you can think of.”

Jes Wilkins, Executive Producer at Firecracker Films, says: “We are very excited to be working on such an ambitious and innovative project for BBC Three. By asking people to film and share their own stories we are gaining a degree of intimacy and honesty that feels very different to what it's possible to capture with a crew.”

Meanwhile, in an adrenaline-filled one-off film for BBC One, viewers will be parachuted into the middle of a war that is raging between two-wheeled road users and their four-wheeled counterparts in The War On Britain’s Roads. As more and more people take up cycling as a way of beating the traffic or just keeping fit on their commute, the potential for conflict between cyclists and drivers has increased massively.

Now cameras installed on bikes and in vehicles will use heart-stopping footage of interactions between road users to reveal a shocking picture of life on Britain’s roads. The film will follow current cases as they go through the courts and revisit the tragic stories of some of those who have lost their lives on Britain’s roads.

Todd Austin, Chief Creative Officer, Leopard Films, says: “This timely documentary highlights a growing issue on Britain’s roads, from the viewpoint of both the motorist and the cyclist. BBC One is the perfect home for this insightful and at times shocking film.”

Lastly, BBC Two will broadcast Britain In A Day, a feature-length documentary providing a unique glimpse of contemporary British life. On 12 November last year the BBC invited people from all corners of the country to contribute to the definitive self-portrait of Britain today by turning the camera on themselves.

Award-winning director Morgan Matthews will use the rich trove of material submitted to a dedicated channel on YouTube to craft a film that captures the variety and vibrancy of life in Britain today. He will work alongside executive producer Kevin Macdonald, who directed Life In A Day.

Notes to Editors

I Want To Change My Body (1x90) was commissioned by Zai Bennett, Controller of BBC Three and Charlotte Moore, Commissioning Editor for Documentaries and Knowledge, BBC Three. It will be executive produced by Jes Wilkins at Firecracker Films and Charlotte Moore for BBC Productions.

We’re Having A Baby (1x90) was commissioned by Zai Bennett, Controller of BBC Three and Charlotte Moore, Commissioning Editor for Documentaries and Knowledge, BBC Three. It will be executive produced by Jes Wilkins at Firecracker Films and Charlotte Moore for BBC Productions

The War On Britain’s Roads (1x60) was commissioned by Danny Cohen, Controller of BBC One and Charlotte Moore, Commissioning Editor for Documentaries and Knowledge, BBC Three. It will be executive produced by Todd Austin at Leopard Films and Charlotte Moore for BBC Productions.

Britain In A Day (1x90) was commissioned by Janice Hadlow, Controller of BBC Two and Charlotte Moore, Commissioning Editor for Documentaries and Knowledge, BBC Three. It will be executive produced by Liza Marshall at Scott Free and Charlotte Moore for BBC Productions.

VAA