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I only had half the equipment needed for Gandhi


A tricky scene at the magic hour in On Golden Pond
Billy Williams Film-maker
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There's another scene that I had to shoot at the magic hour which is set on the porch of the house with the lights on inside and the interior lighting was… was sort of warm, slightly golden, and out on the porch the young boy is gutting fish and it's at the end of the day so I wanted it to look dark and the light to be cold. So I had to wait until it got towards the end of the day until I got this atmosphere, but I'd… I set up a big white reflector with an… HMI bouncing into it so I could put a little bit of light into the foreground so that it didn't get too underexposed so I'd get a little bit of modelling on the face of the boy and Henry Fonda is also sitting on the porch. And it was a scene with several cuts and I almost lost it because it gets dark so quickly and, you know, I just about got it before it was too dark but… those scenes are always tricky and you can stretch things a little bit too far but it worked, it was okay.

Billy Williams, London-born cinematographer Billy Williams gained his first two Oscar nominations for the acclaimed “Women in Love” and “On Golden Pond”. His third nomination, which was successful, was for the epic “Gandhi”. He was President of the British Society of Cinematographers, and was awarded the Camera Image Festival’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000.

Listeners: Neil Binney

Neil Binney began working as a 'clapper boy' in 1946 on spin-off films from steam radio such as "Dick Barton". Between 1948-1950 he served as a Royal Air Force photographer. From 1950 he was a Technicolor assistant technician working on films such as John Ford's "Mogambo" (photographed by Freddie Young), Hitchcock's "The Man Who Knew Too Much" (Bob Burke), and Visconti's "Senso" (G.R. Aldo/B. Cracker). As a camera assistant he worked on "Mind Benders", "Billy Liar" and "This Sporting Life". Niel Binney became a camera operator in 1963 and worked with, among others, Jack Cardiff, Fred Tammes and Billy Williams. He was elected associate member of the British Society of Cinematographers in 1981 and his most recent credits include "A Fish Called Wanda" and "Fierce Creatures".

Duration: 1 minute, 14 seconds

Date story recorded: September 2003

Date story went live: 24 January 2008