50 minutes, 2003.
Producer-Director: Amir Amirani
Exec Producer: Richard Sattin
Production Company: Principal Films
Film Editor: Allen Charlton
Camera: Chris Morphet, Mike Robinson
Series Editor for Timewatch: John Farren
In 2003, I was asked by the editor of the BBC’s flagship history series, Timewatch, to make a documentary about the history of the supersonic airplane, Concorde. I made the film through Principal Films.
The story is told from the plane’s inception to its retirement, through the eyes of those involved in its design and production as well the political and economic wrangles that plagued it throughout its life, and of course many of its fans.
It was filmed in NY, London, Washington, Toulouse (the French home of Concorde), and Bristol, (its UK home).
The film features interviews with key figures in the story, including Andre Turcat, the first man to lift off the first prototype of Concorde, Dudley Collard, one of the British designers, Brian Calvert and Jock Lowe and Edouard Chemel, three former British and French Concorde pilots, Robert McNamara, former US Secretary of Defence, Henry Kissinger, former US Secretary of State, William Coleman, US Transportation Secretary, Lord Heseltine, British Aerospace Minister at the time responsible for Concorde, as well as frequent flyers like Sir David Frost, the Stranglers musician, JJ Burnel – and many devoted fans.
The film reveals that the plane was retired principally because of the impact of 9/11, in which many of the regular fliers on Concorde perished in the twin towers.
The documentary was acquired by the long running science series Nova, which airs on WGBH Boston. It is available to buy on Amazon and you can read more about my experience of making the film here.
I was fortunate enough to fly on Concorde, from London to NY, in 3 hours!