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My favourite lenses


Love at first sight
Billy Williams Film-maker
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Before… just before I became a cameraman I met Anne at a dance in Richmond and it was love at first sight, and we were to… we were courting in those days and I was going off quite a lot — away  — and I remember I was in Iraq on… for her 21st birthday. And then we married in 1957 and we have four daughters and four granddaughters, and three years ago we… we got a grandson. So, you know, I've been happily… very happily married during that period and that stability, my family life, I think has played a… a very important part in my career. As you know in our business it's… there have been very… there have been a lot of, you know, matrimonial break-ups, it's been… I think working in the film industry is… is a very testing… You're a long way from home. It's a very testing occupation because you… you're travelling a lot, it's very insecure; you don't know whether you're going to be working next month or not, and then if you are working you might be the other side of the world. So I think for our wives it's… it’s very difficult and I've… I’ve been really lucky that I met Anne.

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, 35 seconds

Date story recorded: September 2003

Date story went live: 24 January 2008