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His first film was called Who cares? (1971) and was made using a borrowed wind up Bolex camera when he was a student at university. His filming style back then, was conventional Cinéma vérité, which means the juxtaposition of observed scenes , with little use of voice over or text.
It is for this reflexive film-making style, (which is a film being about the making of itself as much as about its subject), that Broomfield is best known for.
As well as film making, Broomfield also did other work such as a series of five different Volkswagen Commercials in 1999.
Broomfield first studied Law at Cardiff University and political science at the University of Essex.
He then went on to study film at the National Film and Television School which is located in Buckinghamshire close to Pinewood studios.
He first got his interest in filming and camera work, aged 15 by discovering his love for photography on a foreign exchange visit in France.
1971- Who Cares?
1973- Proud to be British
1974- Behind the rent strike
1975- Juvenile Liaison
1981- Fort Augustus, Soldier Girls
1982- Tattooed Tears
1983- Chicken Ranch
1986- Lily Tomlin
1988- Driving me crazy
1989- Diamond Skulls
1990- Juvenile Liaison ||
1991- The Leader, His Driver and the Driver’s wife.
1992- Too white for me, Aileen Wuornos: The selling of a serial killer, Monster in a box.
1994- Tracking down Maggie
1995- Heidi Fleiss: Hollywood Madam
1998- Kurt and Courtney
2002- Biggie and Tupac
2003- Aileen: Life and Death of serial a killer.
2006- His big white self., Ghosts
2007- Battle for Haditha
2009- A time comes
Proud to be British, 1973.
Proud to be British, was Broomfields first proper film made when he was at The National Film school.
It started as a student exercise and turned into a film a year later lasting only 30 minutes and in black and white but was still very successful at the time as it was created in 1973 which was 37 years ago and when technology wasn’t quite updated..
His first on-screen appearance was when Drive me Crazy (1988) was produced. This was his 11 th documentary.
After several arguments regarding the budget and nature of the film, Broomfield decided that he would only make the documentary if he was able to conduct a sort of experiment by filming the process of the making of the film, which included the arguments, the failed interviews and the dead ends. Which is also known as a Reflexive type of documentary.
Biggie and Tupac
Biggie Smalls also known as Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac were both well known American rappers which were both shot and died in 1996 (which occurred within six months of each other).
Nick Broomfield made this Documentary as an investigation of the deaths of the two which some people claim were orchestrated by Suge Knight, head of Death Row Records.
Biggie and Tupac Trailer
‘ Direct Cinema’
In 2006, he changed his style again to what he likes to call ‘Direct Cinema’ which means using non actors to play themselves.
Some examples of a ‘Direct Cinema’ Film/Documentary are:
Ghosts , which was a drama for channel 4 about 23 Chinese immigrant cockle pickers drowned after being cut off by the tides.
Battle for Haditha (2007), worked with ex-Marines and Iraqi refugees, as well as known actors. The film was shot sequentially, enabling the cast to build their characters as the story progressed. It also used real locations, and a very small documentary-style film crew. Although they worked from a detailed script the actors also improvised and added dialogue
His Influences are Documentary Film makers such as:
Of whom have all adopted a similar style for their recent box office hits of
which are a mixture of reflexive, observational and expository
Broomfield earned a total of 20 Awards for his work including a BAFTA.