Interview with Bob Baker
The Clapper Bored recently had the opportunity to speak to Bob Baker, the British television writer, most famous for authoring all the Wallace and Gromit films with the exception of A Grand Day Out. His work on the series even earned him the ultimate honour of having a character (Baker Bob) named after him in the latest film, A Matter of Loaf and Deaf. His work in British TV also took him to the heart of the Doctor Who operation where he collaborated with writer Dave Martin on a number of episodes. Here he talks about breaking into the industry and the effect it had on his career.
How did you get your break in writing for film and TV?
I met Dave Martin and we decided to write together. After nearly two years of sending off original stuff we were finally commissioned to write a half hour play for the regional station HTV. There was no stopping after that.
What’s the project that you’re most proud to have been a part of?
Difficult this, but I think the TV thriller ‘Thick As Thieves’ which was pretty well critically acclaimed and won the PYE ‘Oscar’ at the British TV Society awards. One critic in the Mail wrote that it was “Absolutely specific, and therefore universal”.
Which other writers have had the biggest effect on your career?
Mainly the British playwrights Pinter, Osborne, Wesker… etc. It’s hard for me to pin down an influence in TV, but my boss on several series, Robert Banks Stewart, taught me a lot.
What advice would you offer to people who are writing with the
intention of having their work filmed or animated?
Just keep at it. Keep getting the rejection slips and don’t weaken.
How does the legacy of shows with huge followings, like Wallace and
Gromit and Doctor Who, affect the way you write them?
Sounds strange, but it doesn’t affect it at all. I approach each story with the humble hope and wish that I can create a good story. The ‘legacy’ as you call it means nothing when the first empty page of a new one is started.
If you could only watch one more film which would you choose?
’On The Waterfront’ I guess. To me it was a completely new style with dialogue and acting far above anything that had gone before it. This only just wins from ‘The Third Man’.
To find out more about Bob’s work as well as his current projects, visit his website www.bobbaker.tv