Focus TV production is headed by Martin Weitz, a TV and Radio producer-director and writer who makes committed but entertaining programmes on a diverse range of subjects from racism to cancer, archaeology to comedy.
After gaining a BA Honours degree in Psychology and Philosophy (PPP) from University College, Oxford he began his career at Granada TV where he worked on current affairs and features programmes and did programme research for the factually-based courtroom drama series Crown Court. Weitz then worked on many World In Action investigative films and on leaving Granada TV Manchester joined BBC 2’s Horizon series.
Subsequently he worked as a freelance producer and director mainly for the BBC and independent companies, producing such highly-praised films as Domestic Slavery — for BBC-2’s famed Community Programme Unit. This film like Martin Weitz’s Channel 4 expose on skin lightening, produced for Bandung Productions, A Whiter Shade of Pale, also brought about changes in British law. He then directed 10 episodes of the Goldcrest Films best-selling series, filmed across the world, The Living Body.
Weitz has also worked in Boston, New York (freelancing for the BBC) and in Australia for the South Australian Film Corporation and ABC TV and where he produced the Emmy-nominated series Australian Childlife.
Subsequently, whilst at BBC TV’s Natural History Unit, Martin Weitz produced the internationally acclaimed series on human behaviour The Human Animal with Dr Desmond Morris which was winner of the ACE Cable Award.
Now based in Bristol, Weitz is married to a clinical child psychologist and has 3 sons. He is also the author of a classic book on useless medical treatment Health Shock published in both the UK and the USA, has also written widely for the national press.
Since running his own indie company FOCUS, he has split his time between TV and radio production which has been responsible for many well-known and popular productions including the BBC Radio 4’s This Sceptred Isle and Andrew Sach’s acclaimed history of the Jews, The Jewish Journey(“outstanding” The Times, “a triumph” The Spectator) other hit series include The Peacetime Conscripts, Messages to Myself, Melancholy Baby, Dances with the Devil, and several plays including “Dear Gerald” and “The Road Back”
Winner of the Sony Gold Award for his BBC R4 series on the WW2 Evacuation, The Evacuation The true story.
Investigative Film of the Year Award for his Channel 4 film on skin lighteners, A Whiter Shade of pale, which brought about changes in British law and winner
IVCA award for drama-documentary on the homeless.
Religious Broadcasting Award. Saint Making Business
As an Indie Producer running Focus Productions in Bristol, he produced C4’s investigation into Saint Making (The Saint Making Business –Mother Teresa) and the BBC 4 Blues film , John Mayall Godfather of British Blues. His BBC-2 Easter Special on the Dead Sea Scrolls The Pharaoh’s Holy Treasure, was transmitted to record viewing figures and has sold around the world. Most recently he has produced the Bafta nominated and RTS Best Documentary-winning Brainman and The Boy with the Incredible Brain which has been acclaimed by American critics (“a beautiful film about a beautiful mind”)
Martin Weitz also produced a Dispatches investigation for C4 “Bras: the bare facts” , a 2 year investigation into the possibility that bras may cause breast cancer. The film shows the disturbing effects of bra wearing on health in a double blind controlled study carried out specially for the documentary at two British hospitals by two leading cancer specialists.
Martin Weitz’z ground-breaking comedy documentary Pig at The Ritz for C5 has created a cult following. Other notable films have included, Unequal Opportunities, an investigation into the Bristol slave trade which prompted the city to create a special slave trade museum exhibition. Other TV productions include The Trouble with Kids an influential series on parenting for C4 and HTV, repeated on Sky TV.
Focus Productions’ track record as an Independent Producer of distinctive and quality documentaries continues apace under the direction of Martin Weitz and with new expansion into DVD productions as well.