63 UP – the latest installment in the British “Up” documentary series that began in 1964
Director Michael Apted first met the subjects of this long running British documentary “Up” series back in 1964 when each of the 14 selected subjects were seven years old. He titled that initial one-off piece, 7 Up, but based on its popularity and accolades, he decided to revisit each of the individuals in subsequent 7-year intervals after that initial production. The series is now at 63 Up, and continues to update dedicated viewers to the changes that have occurred in their lives during the past seven years since 56 Up aired. For their participation, each individual has been paid a sum for their appearance in each film, as well as equal parts of any prize the film may win. Each subject is filmed in about two days and the interview itself takes more than six hours.
The initial episode aired as part of the current affairs series World In Action produced by Granada Television in Manchester, England. As a researcher and assistant to Canadian director Paul Almond, Apted was involved in selecting the children. Though it began as a one-shot documentary, the series has become an institution, revisiting the subjects every seven years, with Apted directing the later episodes in the series. It follows Apted’s thesis that the British class system remains largely in place, and is premised on the Jesuit motto “Give me a child until he is seven and I will give you the man.”
Apted has aged along with his subjects over the years, and will turn 79 in February, 2020, which would put him at 85 when the next installment, 70 Up, is produced in 2026. His other film industry accolades include the James Bond film The World Is Not Enough (1999), as well as Coal Miner’s Daughter (1980), and Nell (1994).
In this latest installment, we get a peek inside the lives of the remaining individuals who are still alive, and still wanted to participate, which there are now 11 of the original 14.
About the Author
Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.