In this new series, Dr David Starkey tells the story of the two greatest war leaders in British history, both of whom were called Churchill.
Winston Churchill led Britain and her Allies in their struggle against Hitler; less well-known is John Churchill, Duke of Marlborough, who led Britain and her Allies against an earlier would-be dictator of Europe, the Sun King, Louis XIV of France.
John Churchill was Winston's ancestor, but he was more than that: he was his inspiration and he was his subject. Winston was a writer and historian before he was Prime Minister, and perhaps his greatest work is his massive, million-word biography of John Churchill, Marlborough: His Life and Times, published in four volumes between 1933 and 1938.
David Starkey argues, it was the ten years he spent working on Marlborough that turned Winston from a politician into a statesman-prophet, and prepared him for the immense task of leading the nation against Nazi Germany.
Marlborough is a work of history that changed history, a book about a great war-leader which helped to make an even greater war-leader in a bigger, bloodier war.
3 x 60 mins – Shot on Panasonic P2 Varicam in the UK, USA, Germany, Belgium and France.
TX - July/August 2012
'Living with a Star'
What you thought was a steady, life-giving presence in the heavens can be quite the contrary - our Sun has violent, tempestuous mood swings which can result in potential catastrophe on Earth.
Because of a new generation of satellites we can now see the sun as never before, and, perhaps just in time. They are giving us critical data to potentially predict solar outbursts, to plan for them, and ultimately to help us figure out how best to live with a star.
This 1hr documentary, produced by Duncan Copp Ltd., for The National Geographic Channel and Nova presents the story as an urgent quest to understand the sun.
It tantalizes with a range of images: of the sun in roiling action as giant tendrils of flame leap from its heaving surface, of moments in laboratories where the sun is recreated and simulates what might happen in the event of a solar storm-driven total electrical grid crash.
Shot in the US on HDCam
‘Christ's Fireball’ is a 1hr documentary for The National Geographic Channel – directed by Martin O’Collins and produced by Tunbridge-Wells production company TV6.
In 312 AD an event occurred which changed the history of the world. The evening before a battle to determine who would rule the Roman Empire, Constantine, still a pagan, saw a light in the sky which he interpreted as a sign from God. He went into battle with the sign of Christ on the shields of his troops – and was victorious.
Until now no one has been able to identify what it was that Constantine might have seen in the sky that day. It may be that it was a meteor – and that meteor may have crashed into a mountain valley in Italy.
This film documents the scientific work going into deciphering this puzzle and looks at the local folklore which records ‘a blinding light in the sky’.
Shot in Italy & the UK on HDCam
'THE FLAW' is an independent feature length documentary directed by David Sington for Studio Lambert and tells the untold story of the credit bubble which caused the financial crash. With testimony from bankers, borrowers, brokers and some of the best economics brains in the world, the film is the definitive account of the roots, in the USA and the UK, of the biggest economic crisis to hit the world since the 1930s.
The film received its world premiere at the Sheffield Doc/Fest (www.sheffdocfest.com) in November 2010 and has been accepted for the Sundance Film Festival in Jan 2011 before being broadcast and released on DVD.
Shot in the US on HDCam
'Inside the Milky Way' is a two hour documentary special for the National Geographic Channel directed by Duncan Copp for Dox TV. First broadcast scheduled in the US on 24th Oct 2010.
Telling the story of the Milky Way the film tracks the evolution of our galaxy from the 'Big Bang', through the present day and into the distant future. Using amazing high definition pictures from NASA and the Hubble Space Telescope the documentary visits the scientists and astronomers across the US who are pushing the boundaries of our knowledge of our 'home' galaxy.
Shot in the US on HDCam
Henry VIII: Mind of a Tyrant (Red House Dox TV for Channel 4)
4 x 60mins
It is primarily in the written record that the clues to Henry VIII's character are to be found, in his many surviving letters, and those of his wives, lovers, victims and rivals. We follow David Starkey across Europe as he traces these clues from Lambeth Palace to the Vatican Archives. No one is better at the televisual exegesis of a manuscript than David , and the interaction with real historical material will allow us to vary the texture of his on-screen presence, breaking the stranglehold of the formal piece to camera, and allowing him more often to “be himself”.
Director: David Sington
'Moon Machines' (Dox TV/Discovery Science HD)
Following the success of the documentary feature 'In the Shadow of the Moon' Dox Productions were commissioned by Discovery Science to produce a series reflecting the unsung heroes of the American space programme – the designers and engineers.
Sixty-five interviews were shot on HDCam high-definition, in seven US states to tell the story behind the Saturn V rocket, the Lunar Module, the Lunar Rover, the spacesuits and the computers which made the moon landings possible. As in ‘Shadow’, previously unseen archive footage help tell the story of these pioneering men and women.
Directors: Nick Davidson & Duncan Copp.
In the Shadow of the Moon(DoxTV/ThinkFilm/Channel4)
(110mins, Channel 4, Dir: David Sington)
In-depth interviews with the now-septuagenarian astronauts of the Apollo programme coupled with NASA's archive from the period
Shot in USA
16:9 HDCam Audience World Cinema Award at Sundance Film Festival January 2007
Grand Prize Boulder International Film Festival February 2007
Audience Award for Best Documentary at the Indianapolis International Film Festival 2007
Best Documentary Award and award for Outstanding Achievement in Filmmaking at Sedona International Film Festival, Arizona June 2007
Audience Award, Maui International Film Festival 2007
Best Documentary, AARP Movies for Grownups Awards February 2008 (date of award ceremony)
Winner, Gold Hugo, Chicago International Television Awards, 2008.
Best Documentary Film, Vedere la Scienza Film Festival, Madrid, 2008.
Winner, Best Film, Arthur C. Clarke Awards, 2008.
Platinum Award, Worldfest, Houston, 2008.
View the trailer at:
Horizon - The Nuclear Nightmare(DoxTV)
(50 mins, BBC Factual & Learning, Dir. Nick Davidson)
Highlighting the debate about whether a return to nuclear power could, after all, be a relatively safe way to reduce global warming and beat the looming 'energy crisis' in the UK. Including personal memories of a family evacuated after the Chernobyl disaster
Shot in the Ukraine, Poland, USA and UK
Hitler's Hidden Secret (Dox TV)
(60 mins, Nova/ZDF, Dir: Duncan Copp)
How close was Hitler to having his own atomic bomb? An expedition to raise a barrel of heavy water from 1500ft down in Lake Tinn, Norway.
Shot in Norway and UK
Horizon - Global Dimming (Dox TV) 16:9 DigiBeta
(50 mins, BBC Science, Dir. Duncan Copp/David Sington)
Increasing air travel leads to upper atmosphere pollution blocking the light from the sun. (2nd Unit)
20th Century Battlefields (BBC)
(50mins. BBC F & L. Dirs. Danielle Peck; Renulka Chapman; Paul McGuigan; Johanna Gibbon; Ben Lawrie; Stephen Doud)
Peter and Dan Snow in a new series about the decisive battles of the 20th century. 16:9 DigiBeta (2nd Unit)
Time Team (Videotext Communications) 60 Minute. Channel 4. Dirs. Many(!) Tony Robinson oversees a team of archaeologists as they have just three days to unravel the secrets of ancient sites. Regular involvement since the original pilot (15 series ago!) 16:9 DigiBeta
Battle Plan - El Alamein (BBC White City)
(1 x 60mins, BBC Specialist Factual, Dir: Danielle Peck)
Peter Snow and son Dan explore Montgomery and Rommel's tactics in the Egyptian desert.
Shot in Egypt
The Golden Hour (BBC Bristol)
(1 x 60mins, Documentaries & Investigations, Dir: Mike Kleinsteuber)
Drama/doc. reconstruction of air ambulance rescue of car crash victim with a fence post impaled through his chest.
16:9 DigiBeta Extreme Archaeology - Parys Mountain (Mentorn TV)
(60 mins, Channel 4, Dir: Nick Powell)
A team of archaeologists and local cavers enter long lost Bronze Age workings in a disused coppe r mine on Anglesey, North Wales
The Guild of Television Cameramen Award 2004
The Trench (BBC Bristol)
(4 x 60mins, BBC Documentaries & Investigations, Dirs: Stephen Trombley; Mike Kleinsteuber; Dominic Ozanne)
Drama/doc. reconstructions of two weeks in the trenches of the Somme in 1916 recorded in the diary of a volunteer regiment from Hull. Filmed in reconstructed trench in France.
16:9 DigiBeta (One of five cameramen)
Rocket Men of Mission 105 (Dox Productions)
(60 min, National Geographic Channel, Dir: Duncan Copp)
Following four astronauts through their NASA training leading up to their Shuttle launch to the International Space Station. Shot in Houston, USA.
Peabody Award 2002 Nomination
Ancient Apocalypse - Santorini (BBC Science)
(50 min, BBC Science/The Learning Channel, Dir: Danielle Peck)
How the eruption of the volcano on Santorini destroyed the Minoan civilisation on the island and also on nearby Crete. Shot in the Greek Islands and the UK.
RoboCritters (BBC Wildvision)
(50 min, BBC/The Learning Channel, Dir: Derek Hall)
Recent developments in robotics utilising animal characteristics. Shot in the UK and USA.
16:9 Beta Sp Earth Story (BBC Science)
(50 minute programmes, BBC, Dirs: Danielle Peck; Cynthia Page; David Sington)
A series devoted to the dynamic geological forces which shaped the world. Filming in Barbados, Greece, Switzerland and the UK.
The Story of the Teddy Bear (BBC Wildvision)
(50 min, Discovery Channel, Dir: Derek Hall)
The history of the Teddy Bear, drawing comparisons with animals in the wild. Shot in the UK and Germany.
16:9 Beta Sp
Living Proof -A Cruel Inheritance (BBC Science)
(50mins, BBC, Dir: Jane McWilliams)
Following a group of Huntingdon's Chorea sufferers through a controversial new treatment. Shot in the UK.
Living Proof - Islands of Genius (BBC Science)
(50 min, BBC/The Learning Channel, Dir: Emma Walker)
The story of several autistic "savants" - genius' in their own fields. Shot in the USA and UK.
16:9 Digi Beta.
Horizon - Sudden Death (BBC Science)
(50 min, BBC, Dir: Liz Tucker)
An investigation into how bad science misled experts investigating S.I.D.S. - Sudden Infant Death Sydrome and hid a series of child murders. Shot in the USA & UK.
Molly's Zoo (BBC Science)
(5 x 30mins, BBC, Dir: John Hayes-Fisher)
Series documenting the life and times of 80yr old Molly Badham - founder of Twycross Zoo - and her extraordinary life with chimps, gorillas and orang-utans.
16:9 Beta Sp
999 - Harrier (BBC General Features)
(50 min, BBC, Dir: Mike Kleinsteuber)
A 999 special reconstructing the rescue and rehabilitation of an RAF Harrier pilot after his aircraft crashed whilst in the hover at RAF Wittering.
999 - Lost in Paradise (BBC General Features)
(50 min, BBC/Discovery Channel, Dir: Mike Kleinsteuber)
A 999 special reconstructing the 3 day rescue of a pilot and two film cameramen, after their helicopter crashed in the active vent of the Kilauea volcano on Hawaii. Shot on Hawaii and on mainland USA.
999 (BBC General Features)
(BBC, Dirs Inc: Mike Kleinsteuber; Robbie del Maestro; Tony Salmon)
Nearly 100 complete rescue reconstructions of up to 20 minutes in duration.
Q.E.D. - The Elephant Man (BBC Science)
(50 min, BBC/Discovery Channel, Dirs: Emma Walker; John Hayes-Fisher)
2nd unit on this documentary about the attempt to extract DNA from the skeleton of the Elephant Man and to learn more about this strange condition, which still occurs even today.
Q.E.D. - The Quest for the Quaggar (BBC Science)
(40 min, BBC, Dirs: Emma Walker; John Hayes-Fisher)
The story of an attempt to reintroduce, through selective breeding, the extinct, zebra-like Quaggar to the Karoo National Park, South Africa. Shot in South Africa and the UK.
16:9 Beta Sp
Emmy Award Nomination.
Q.E.D. - Prisoners of the Forgotten Plague (BBC Science)
(30 mins, BBC/The Learning Channel, Dir:Emma Walker)
The story of encephalitis lethargica , a virus linked to the flu virus, which killed a million people between 1914-28 and is feared may return.
Short-Listed for the Glaxo Welcome Award for the Best Science/Medical Documentary
Q.E.D. - Bravehearts (BBC Science)
(40 mins, BBC, Dirs: Emma Walker; John Hayes-Fisher)
A flamboyant Brazilian surgeon comes to the UK to demonstrate a radical surgical procedure to combat enlarged hearts. Four patients with weeks to live undergo the procedure which involves cutting away sections of the heart's muscle wall.
Awarded Silver Award at the Prix Leonardo '97 Science Film Festival.
Q.E.D. - A Hole in Fred's Head (BBC Science)
(40 mins, BBC, Dirs: Emma Walker; John Hayes-Fisher)
A Parkinsons Disease sufferer has a hole cut in his skull and is fully awake as a probe is inserted into his brain. The heating of a small spot in the centre of the brain dramatically and instantly reduces the characteristic shaking symptoms of the disease.
Awarded Best Medical Documentary of the Year (1997) by the British Medical Association plus the Gold Award for Educational Merit.
Winner of the Pratt & Witney Award at the Quebec Television Festival.