Michael Apted, known for his work in the ‘Up’ series, died at his home in Los Angeles on Thursday. He was 79. His death was reported by his agent ,Roy Ashton. Details of his death were kept a secret.
A dream that changed into reality
Apted was just a 22-year-old Cambridge law student from southeast England when he dreamt of becoming a filmmaker. It was in 1963, when apted found a job as a researcher for a TV documentary series called Seven Up. He went on the way where he could turn his dream into his reality. With the rising craze for seven up, apted became more determined and indulging in his work. His audience literally grew up with him. He established himself as a pioneering filmmaker and left behind a body of trailblazer in film directory.
The celebrated series ‘Seven Up’
‘Seven Up’ documentary evolved into a pioneer social experiment with the passage of time. The Idea behind the series was to examine the British Class System at that time. It was to check whether the system is changing with time and reflecting the cultural upheavals that was rising in UK from the Beatles onward. The time was 1963 and it was an interesting idea to start the career with. Apted explained the motive behind the series in 213 at WHYY’s Fresh Air. “The plan was to get seven year-old children from all sorts of backgrounds – rich backgrounds, poor backgrounds, rural and urban backgrounds and to let them openly talk about their lives, ambitions, dreams, difficulties and everything they wish to talk about and to examine their comments to find out whether that informed us about anything or not.” Their were originally 14 subjects of the documentary. And the filmmakers checked the subjects every 7 years to know how they are doing as they are aging. Over nine episodes, the subjects found careers, went through heartbreaks and success, got married and divorced and in some cases, the subjects died. The very first episode of ‘Seven Up’ was directed by Apted ad later went on directing all the episodes of the ‘Up’ series. The most recent Up episode, 63 Up, was released in 2019 and was directed by Apted himself. With the time passing, some of the subjects left the project, while some were unhappy with the way they were portrayed on the national TV. But the series was an extreme success.