“Extraordinary, innovative storytelling, both creatively and editorially”
The specialist-factual genre is broaching new and untapped ground and The Interrogation Of Tony Martin has led the charge on innovation. The one-off feature was based purely on transcripts from Martin’s 1999 run-in with the police, when the farmer was tried for killing a burglar in his Norfolk home.
One judge described the “totally new approach” to doc-making as being “executed impressively”, while another referred to “extraordinary, innovative storytelling, both creatively and editorially”.
Creating a drama out of a police transcript came with a huge amount of legwork but producers were up to the challenge.
With Martin’s co-operation, Story Films sent a freedom of information request to obtain a copy of his interrogation by the police. The 350-page transcript was then edited down into a 55-page script that could work as a scripted programme – keeping viewers hooked for 60 minutes, while staying true to the facts.
The decision to shoot the entire film as one continuous scene in one location was challenging but proved to be a masterstroke, as the creators trusted the audience to have the patience to immerse themselves in the story.
After also achieving success with 2018’s innovative Married To A Paedophile, verbatim factual drama could become a staple genre of the future, with C4 leading the way. The Interrogation Of Tony Martin could end up blazing a trail.
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