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Preparing to shoot Gandhi


A demonstration of the Louma crane
Billy Williams Film-maker
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We were given a demonstration on the roof of Samuelsons in Cricklewood... Cricklewood, Broadway. Where we were shown that this, you know, if you... providing the ground was level, you could track with this crane and you could go up to about 20, 25 ft, and down... right to a few inches from the ground because the camera was underslung. And it looked quite revolutionary you see and, well this is... this is going to be great. And it all dismantles and packs into a couple of boxes so that it could be flown anywhere. So that it was obviously going to be in some ways more convenient, but of course it was largely unproven. So it was agreed that that is what we should use. In addition we had a dolly and two panaflexes. I think initially two... just two or three Arriflexes and a package of anamorphic lenses because we were shooting anamorphic and still using 100 ASA stock. And so everything was... was shipped off.

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, 9 seconds

Date story recorded: September 2003

Date story went live: 24 January 2008