Four Corners, ABC TV




Television/Video: Current Affairs Long

The story of 12 Thai children and their soccer coach trapped in a cave enthralled the world. Competing with the global media, Four Corners gave a comprehensive take on a complicated story, with a very fast turnaround. “Out of the Dark” reported meticulously on the search and rescue and secured key interviews. The report revealed that the risks borne by Australians Craig Challen and Richard Harris were so great that diplomatic immunity was arranged in case something went wrong with the sedation of the team. Four Corners’ interviews and documentary were picked up by the world’s media and shared by the US military and Thai Navy Seals as the definitive account of the Thai cave rescue.

The Four Corners team had less than a week to film, script and edit what would become the world exclusive “Out of the Dark”. On the ground in northern Thailand reporter Mark Willacy, producer Lucy Carter, camera operator Mathew Marsic and sound operator Rob Mackay worked around the clock, filming sequences and securing exclusive interviews with the Australian, British and US divers. In Sydney producer Jeanavive McGregor, editors Guy Bowden and Simon Brynjolffssen, and assistant editor James Braye worked with executive producer Sally Neighbour and supervising producer Sharon O’Neill to support the team in Thailand. The result was one of the great team efforts in Four Corners’ 57-year history.

Judges’ comments:

““Out of the Dark” stood out from a strong field of entries for two reasons: Four Corners secured exclusive interviews in the midst of a massive international media pack, then turned around a compelling long-form narrative in just six days. The willingness of the team to let the divers tell their own story, plus their ability to draw out fresh details about the remarkable rescue, made compelling viewing and international headlines. The special felt like it was months in the making – a tribute to the team that worked around the clock in Thailand and Sydney to get it on air.”