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Posts from the ‘Cameraman tales’ Category

Cameraman tales: Caught in the draft

The Forth Road Bridge was opened on September 4th, 1964.  For reasons I do not remember, someone requested some aerial shots of the new bridge.  The request was that it should be shot in Eastmancolor and in CinemaScope. Read more

Cameraman tales: Disaster at Tattenham Corner

Newsreel cameras were very sturdy machines.  Remember Clockwork Orange by Stanley Kubrick ?  Here’s a reminder from Wikipedia:

A unique special effect technique was used when Alex jumps out of the window in an attempt to commit suicide and the viewer sees the ground approaching the camera until collision, i.e., as if from Alex’s point of view. This effect was achieved by dropping a Newman Sinclair clockwork camera in a box, lens-first, from the third story of the Corus Hotel. To Kubrick’s surprise, the camera survived six takes. Read more

Cameraman tales: The Downing Street Scoop

Sometimes the occurrence of a news story is known in advance.  These stories include a doorstep statement by the Prime Minister or the appearance of the Chancellor of the Exchequer outside No. 11 on Budget Day.  For such events, the Media turn up in force.

So it was in the late thirties. Read more

Cameraman tales: Rosario Casella – Libya

There once was a cameraman called Rosario Casella, an Italian, resident of Tripoli, Libya during the reign of old King Idris.

I never met him, but he freelanced for UPITN during the sixties until 1970 when, with all other Italians resident in Libya, he was expelled. Read more

Cameraman tales: Poacher turned gamekeeper

After the parting of British Movietone News and United Press in 1963, it became necessary for United Press International Newsfilm, UPIN, to take on some staff cameramen who would operate 16mm film cameras.  Because United Press did not wish to deal with the film union of the day, The Association of Cine, Television and Allied Technicians, ACTT, they asked Movietone to be the de facto employers of the cameramen. Read more

Cameraman tales: George Fleischmann

How often have you heard someone tell you a story which starts with the phrase “you are not going to believe this…” ?

Well, you are not going to believe this:

The period : The Second World War. Read more

Cameraman tales: Ernie Christie

Kenneth Warr’s task was to find freelance cameraman able and willing to work for UPMT in their own countries.

When he reached Johannesburg, he met up with Ernie Christie.  Christie had been a competent still photographer working on news stories. Read more

Cameraman tales: Alec Tozer: Italian prisoner of war

It is possible that all of my Cameraman’s Tales are apocryphal, but they were told to me directly or indirectly by the cameramen themselves.

Be that as it may, Alec Tozer, a Movietone sound cameraman was in “the thick of it” during the Second World War. Read more

Cameraman tales: Paul Wyand

In 1928, Paul Wyand was working as a cameraman for Fox Movietone of New York. He was based in London.  He was cabled with some outrageous demands to obtain pictures that were virtually unobtainable.  He gives one example “Vital we have pix of Prince of Wales wearing kilt with close-up of knees”.

However, he did receive one demand that he thought he might be able to obtain. Read more

Cameraman tales: Anon at Rediffusion

Sir Francis Chichester arrived in Plymouth on May 28th 1967, in his yacht, Gypsy Moth IV, after completing his epic single-handed voyage around the world.

He crossed the finishing line at 8.58 in the evening, nine months and one day after setting off from the historic port. Sir Francis was the first person to race around the world, solo, with only one port of call, and that was Sydney. Read more