Brook Lapping Productions
Brook Lapping director Brian Lapping describes what he does as an obsession. An ex-newspaper man working for outlets like The Guardian or The Financial Times, Lapping says print frustrated him because there was never enough time to get the story straight. ‘I knew that I never really knew,’ he observes. ‘I became obsessed with the idea that daily, and even weekly, journalism actually didn’t tell you what you wanted to know about the important decisions that affected all of us.’
Fortuitously, that disaffection caused him to jump to television. It’s a medium his subjects understand can guarantee them a chance at a legacy and an opportunity to set the record straight, so the prodco has had enormous success in rounding up interviews with the biggest political figures in recent history – from Bill Clinton to Tony Blair and Ariel Sharon. And, notes Lapping, that kind of success breed success, as the company’s track record is often the best entrée into the halls of power.
As a specialist, however, nets shouldn’t expect huge numbers – that isn’t the point. ‘Our audience,’ observes Lapping, ‘though a minority, is a rather powerful and distinguished minority. So, if you are looking for ratings – if you are looking for large numbers to sell advertisements – don’t play our programs. But, if you are looking for influence…’
Employees: 21, plus 45 freelancers
Hours this year: about 20 hours, plus 60 more for Teachers TV, a dedicated channel for educators in the UK
Upcoming includes: The Case for War, Madrid’s 9/11, Katrina, Bali, Phantom of the Opera