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Receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Camerimage festival


My decision to make Driftwood my last film
Billy Williams Film-maker
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The last film that I photographed was Driftwood, which we shot in Ireland. Directed by Ronan O'Leary with a lovely French actress ­– Ann Brochet – and James Spader. And it's the story of a man who’s washed up on a beach who’s... and lost his memory, he can't remember anything about his past and she tries to keep him captive. She brings him back to health and then wants to hang on to him, not let him go, and it was a charming little story and it was nice working in Ireland again because Irish crews are such a delight, they have a wonderful sense of humour and they really enjoy their work, and... but I felt after that well, perhaps it would be time to stop shooting and it... I think it was the 1st... it was the 1st January 1996, that’s right, 1996. I said: well now I'm going to stop shooting. And although I had some offers after that, I thought no, I'd made the decision. But when I made the decision I thought to myself, well, I would still like to carry on being involved with students and young people and doing workshops and seminars and things.

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, 21 seconds

Date story recorded: September 2003

Date story went live: 24 January 2008