Watch > Episode > Brett Morgen - JANE

Brett Morgen - JANE


Brett Morgen is a successful filmmaker whose work includes documentaries on The Rolling Stones, Kurt Cobain and now the pioneering primatologist – Jane Goodall. The new film “JANE” draws from over 100 hours of never before seen footage that has been in National Geographic’s archive for over 50 years. Critics are calling it “one of the best documentaries of 2017”. When the National Geographic Society decided to make a movie from their most precious footage they went straight to Oscar-nominated director Brett Morgen. The brief seemed simple. National Geographic wanted to use never-before-seen colour film of legendary primatologist Jane Goodall in the field during her groundbreaking 1960s chimpanzee study. This lost archive captured Goodall, herself a past London Real guest, doing the work which would radically alter human understanding not just of ape society, but our own. National Geographic wanted to make a movie that paid homage to a pioneer in her field. But how did he do it? Brett joins us to explain the story of how a project he thought would never get anywhere became a surprise hit and powerful testament to arguably the most influential Englishwoman of our times.


00:00 | Trailer
02:43 Brian’s thoughts on the episode
05:49 Brian’s introduction
06:16 Making documentaries about the lives of two totally different people
11:31 Effect of combination of Hugo van Lawick’s filming whilst falling in love with Jane and her stunning looks
14:27 Historical and cultural significance of Jane’s work was as profound as landing a ship on the moon
19:22 Jane’s story is significant for children and parents in what it teaches and particularly to woman’s role today
23:07 Why Brett thinks a man could not have done the work Jane did
25:30 Brett shares his passion for the art of making documentaries when describing how he develops his ideas
37:06 His totally intense immersive style of documentary
40:29 Brett’s personality traits, a tsunami of emotions and abrasiveness, have underpinned his documentaries
46:33 Success secrets
47:06 Brett’s working relationship with the iconic National Geographic and why he wanted a different film title
50:46 Gender and cultural reasons why Americans more than British seem always to have embraced Jane Goodall
53:01 Jane Goodall continues to travel 300 days a year, dedicating her life to making this world a better place
55:34 Dealing with being in the spotlight56:30 Reflections on Kurt Cobain Montage of Heck and why it focussed a lot on Kurt’s childhood
57:34 Incomparably harder to do documentary than fiction but a genre Brett loves and finds most satisfying to do
1:01:53 The importance of a film score
1:06:11 Advice to the young aspiring documentary film maker
1:06:34 Brian’s summing up.


"Of the People, By the People, For the People"


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