Michael Apted is launching a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo for the third installment of his “Married in America” series.
“Married in America” chronicled the journeys of nine diverse couples wed in 2001 — using a format similar to Apted’s “7 Up” series. A&E aired the first segment in 2002 and Hallmark broadcast the second in 2007.
“I made the films because I’m fascinated by relationships and what makes them work,” Apted said. “I also wanted to look at how marriage is changing in the early 21st century — more women becoming the major breadwinners, both spouses working full-time, bi-racial and interfaith marriages increasing, and same-sex marriages becoming more accepted.”
Apted’s “Up” series, produced by Granada Television, has followed the lives of 14 British children, starting when they were 7 years old. The most recent segment, “56 Up,” aired in 2012 on ITV.
“The ‘Up’ films worked because one company stood by them, but it’s much harder today in the TV business because agendas keep changing,” he said.
The first “Married in America” focused on how the soon-to-be-married couples met and their dreams for the future, and the second explored how they coped with the twists of early-married life. Apted hopes to resume filming the couples in early 2015.
“My goal is to follow the couples for at least 20 years, something no one has done before in documentary filmmaking,” he added.
Apted was an assistant on “7 Up” to director Paul Almond and has directed the subsequent seven films. He also directed “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” “Gorillas in the Mist,” “The World Is Not Enough” and “The Chronicles of Narnia: the Voyage of the Dawn Treader.”
Apted also served as president of the Directors Guild of America between 2003 and 2009.
The top premium in the fundraising campaign is available for $10,000 — an associate producercredit plus attendance at the premiere.