Croucher, Michael 1930-2006

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Croucher, Michael 1930-2006


See index for CA sketch: Born January 17, 1930, in Maidstone, Kent, England; died May 26, 2006. Filmmaker and author. Crouch was an acclaimed documentary filmmaker formerly with the British Broadcasting Corp. After service in the Royal Air Force, where he was a radio operator for a year, he attended the Royal College of Music from 1950 to 1953. Instead of pursuing a career in music, however, he joined the BBC's Plymouth branch in 1954. Working in both television and radio, he moved to BBC Bristol in 1958, where he was an editor, and made his first documentary in 1962. Teaming up with John Boorman, the pair revolutionized documentary techniques in the 1960s. They did this by approaching filmmaking backwards: instead of beginning with a script and then filming what was on paper, Crouch and Boorman went out onto the streets and interviewed people with improvised questions. In this way, they were able to capture interesting stories about ordinary people in Britain. Among Crouch's documentary productions are Citizen 63, The Curious Character of Britain, Leap in the Dark, and The Diary of Anne Hughes. He turned his martial arts film into a book, The Way of the Warrior (1983), written with Howard Reid. Similarly, his The Healing Arts (1987), with Ted Kaptchuk, was a book version of an earlier documentary. His most popular series in the 1970s was The French Way. Known for his immeasurable patience and his ability to extract responses from even the most reluctant interviewee, Crouch left the BBC in 1988 to become an independent director and producer; in his later career, he was also a visiting instructor at the University of Bristol.



Times (London, England), June 10, 2006, p. 64.