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The challenge of the opening sequence to Dreamchild


Coral Browne: A very elegant lady
Billy Williams Film-maker
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The cast were marvellous; Ian Holm played Lewis Carroll and Coral Browne played the old lady. Well, Coral is a very elegant lady who was in her early seventies and for the part she had to be 80. Well, if you'd met Coral Browne in the street, you'd have sworn she wasn't more than 50, she was so beautiful, and beautifully turned out, very elegant lady. Charming, lovely lady to work with full of fun, always good for a laugh. She hated going into makeup; she'd have to go into make up for a couple of hours and come out as the old lady and of course, I had to light it to make her look older, so it was... it was a really interesting picture to do, to be going back and forth between these two periods, and we had all these wonderful puppets.

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: 55 seconds

Date story recorded: September 2003

Date story went live: 24 January 2008