Craig Gilbert, a documentary filmmaker whose candid and controversial 1973 PBS series, “An American Family,” would later be credited as a forerunner of reality TV (to his chagrin), died April 10 in New York City following a brief illness. He was 94.
Gilbert was a producer at New York public television station WNET when he pitched the idea of a cinéma vérité-style documentary on a typical American family. WNET liked the idea, and Gilbert received more than $1 million in financing.
And in the Louds of Santa Barbara, Gilbert found a family that might have been typical but certainly not in the ways to which TV audiences had become accustomed.
During months of fly-on-the-wall filming in 1971, Gilbert and his camera crew Alan and Susan Raymond caught Bill and Pat Loud, along with their five children Lance, Kevin, Grant, Delilah, and Michele in moments both mundane and, for TV, groundbreaking.
Read the story at Deadline.
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