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Podcast – Doc Martin Creator Dominic Minghella

Writer, producer and showrunner Dominic Minghella on the highs and lows of creating TV such as Doc Martin, Robin Hood and US series Knightfall.

Dominic Minghella at Screen Forever

Find this episode of the Screen Australia Podcast on iTunes, Stitcher or Pocket Casts

In this wide-ranging discussion, British writer and producer Dominic Minghella of Island Pictures, looks at some of the challenges and opportunities facing both his home country and Australia.

He reveals what he deems as a golden era for British TV when people like his brother, the late director Anthony Minghella, were making Inspector Morse and (originally made for TV) Truly, Madly, Deeply. It’s a throne he now believes the US has taken, but he discusses some theories for how countries like the UK and Australia can compete with large-budget productions such as HBO’s Game of Thrones, or Netflix’s The Crown.

“We absolutely can compete. Actually The Crown is made, admittedly with Netflix money, (but) it’s made by Brits. So there’s nothing mysterious about how you do it. You just have to spend the money… because then that product is marketable around the world and we have the benefit in Australia and the UK of working in English.”

Minghella also talks about stopping the brain drain to the US – where British and Australian creatives head Stateside in search of opportunities – and the realities of showrunning.

“It’s [showrunning] not for everybody and I don’t think it should be… to the detriment of one’s respect for a writer if they say that’s not my cup of tea,” he says, adding that if you’re a strong writer and you enjoy writing pilots, then do. He also notes that it’s not always as lucrative as it may seem.

Minghella also delves into some key turning points in his career, starting with his first big break working with producer Deirdre Keir, which led to a job as script editor and writer on Hamish Macbeth. From there Minghella was busy creating the hit ITV/Buffalo Pictures series Doc Martin, leaping into showrunning on Robin Hood for BBC and Tiger Aspect, and “flourishing” under the US system through his most recent work on Knightfall for A&E Studios and The History Channel.

This is the third and final episode recorded during the Screen Forever conference in Melbourne in 2018. Also available is the chat with Big Little Lies EP Nathan Ross and GLOW writer and co-executive producer Sascha Rothchild.

Please note this episode contains some strong language.

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