The Last King of Scotland filmmaker is an avid documentary-maker, and has worked on a series of acclaimed projects including the Oscar-winning One Day In September, an insight into Sir Mick Jagger’s daily routine in 2001’s Being Mick and last year’s (11) innovative Life In A Day project with Sir Ridley Scott.
However, despite his success in the field, MacDonald is adamant many documentary-makers are struggling due to slashed budgets in British TV.
He tells Britain’s The Independent newspaper, “The loss in craft is enormous… When I started doing documentaries in the early 1990s the budget for a Channel 4 documentary was £120,000 on average. These days if you had £120,000 for a documentary you would say that’s unbelievable. Today, 18 years later, you are expected to make something for BBC4 on the same subject for £40,000, which is the equivalent of £20,000 back then.”
MacDonald is also convinced the decline of documentaries will have a wider negative impact, adding, “Nobody is spending the money to actually send journalists out to find the facts anymore and it means that those who want to can get away with murder.”