Thurrock director Matt Harris tells the story of the creation of the iconic Lancaster bomber


THURROCK-based director Matt Harris was one of the protagonists of a documentary aired this weekend telling the story of the development of the Lancaster Bomber.

“The Lancaster at 80,” narrated by Sir David Jason, examines the incredible speed with which the iconic aircraft was designed and deployed, as well as its legacy and key role in winning WWII.

It aired on Channel Four and can still be caught catch-up via this link.

The documentary features contributions from historians James Holland and Alexandra Churchill, authors Leo McKinstry and Mark Johnson, and aviation enthusiast and television presenter Arthur Williams.

It provides insight into the history of the Lancaster’s birth, plus some fun ideas along the way.

Matt says: “Producer Tom Scott Evans and I spent the summer traveling the country traveling to the AVRO Museum near Manchester in the heart of Bomber County in Lincolnshire.

“It was a whirlwind of filming with hours and hours of interviews that were almost impossible to narrow down to just one TV show – the stories were amazing and I walked away with the utmost respect for everyone who had the courage to board one of these incredible planes.

“It’s just amazing the courage they showed when they knew they had a 50/50 chance of coming back alive. “

“A real highlight for me was meeting and interviewing veterans, especially John Henry Meller, a 96 year old former radio officer who was incredibly humble – and funny, he later became a detective in Scotland. Yard working on cases like the Krays and the Great Train Robbery so he’s had an absolutely amazing life.

“With literally only a handful of these veterans still alive, it is so important to tell their stories like this while we can. They were truly an amazing generation and I hope the movie we made really shows that.

You can see more of Matt Harris’ work through this link.

Matt, from Grays, started out as an underwater photographer living in the Marshall Islands and was invited to shoot his first underwater images for a Brazilian TV station in 1997.

He says, “I’ve been shooting a lot of branded content and corporate promotions over the past few years and love working on real high quality documentaries and have dipped my toe into storytelling and music video for the last few years. years.

Matt’s first feature-length documentary was the famous Rom Boys: 40 Years of Rad which he produced, directed and shot (and edited). It won the award for best feature documentary at the Paris Surf and Skate Film Festival 2020. And it is also a semi-finalist for best cinematography in the documentary category at the NY Cinematographers Awards due later in 2021.

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