Jim Goddard – Director of The Black Stuff

Jim Goddard, Director of The Black Stuff

Jim Goddard, Director of The Black Stuff












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(The television and film director, Jim Goddard has died recently aged 77. He worked at Pebble Mill directing episodes of Dangerfield and also directed the Play for Today – The Black Stuff. Here is a link to his obituary in the Guardian: http://m.guardian.co.uk/tv-and-radio/2013/jun/27/jim-goddard-obituary. Head of the English Regions Drama Department at Pebble Mill in the 1970s, David Rose, wrote a letter to the Guardian with memories of Jim Goddard directing The Black Stuff.)

As producer of Alan Bleasdale’s The Black Stuff, I was immensely impressed by Jim Goddard’s direction. Although it was transmitted as a BBC Play for Today, it was in fact a feature-length film. I recall Jim working in west London with the team of actors led by Bernard Hill playing Yosser Hughes, walking back and forth in a rehearsal room, to measure out a long tracking shot which was to be filmed on the roads of the north-east. With the actors in mind, Jim took full advantage by combining old-style television rehearsal with the economic need to keep the film camera turning.

This valuable preparation gave the team of actors the freedom of spirit which subsequently Michael Wearing and Philip Saville inherited when producing and directing, with newly introduced lightweight cameras, Bleasdale’s compelling series The Boys from the Blackstuff.

David Rose