BAFTA Winner for Best Factual Series 2012
The second film in a three part 60-minute award winning series that captured the camaraderie and dangers faced by a British army platoon in Afghanistan during which Guardsman Jamie Janes was killed. His death soon became a turning point in the British public's awareness of the human cost of IEDs and sparked a political storm following a misspelled letter of condolence from the then Prime Minister, Gordon Brown.
Three years ago I met Alex Rawlins, an enigmatic guitar playing platoon commander from the 1st Battalion of the Grenadier Guards off to fight in Afghanistan. Inspired I pitch the idea to the BBC of telling the story of the conflict using videos shot by soldiers themselves. It was turned down but it was too good an opportunity to miss, so I bought Alex a camera, taught him to use it and off he went. I wanted the platoon to tell their own story but to help them I sellotaped a mass of tiny post-it-notes all over the camera to prompt who ever was holding it to ask good questions and then for the next few months I sent them a number of encouraging and pestering emails ("quit using the night vision in the daytime", "stop tromboning the zoom"...."tell me what an earth you are doing..."). It paid off as every week they sent me a new tape and now after two years of toing and froing with the BBC and MOD I am pleased to say the footage makes up the majority of the second documentary in the award winning BBC series 'Our War' - The Invisible Enemy’.
The men did amazingly well and I am pleased to have played a small role in helping them to tell their story.
Sam Farmar: Development Producer / Remote Director