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Choosing to be my father's assistant

RELATED STORIES

My school life in Morden
Billy Williams Film-maker
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When I was a few months old, just... it'd be just after my father came back from this Chevrolet expedition, I think he must have had a bit of money because they moved and we went to live in Morden in Surrey, about a mile from the tube station at the end of the Northern line, and we lived in a... in a semi-detached, a small semi-detached house; two down and three bedrooms upstairs and a small garden, and there were a number of houses in the road but just after we moved there, about four or five years afterwards, they started to build the St Helier Estate, a council estate, and they brought a lot of people from east London I think to relieve the housing problem there. So they built this huge estate and I think three schools, and they all had different numbers; number one, number two and number three school, and I went to number three school, which was, oh, less than half a mile up the road, so I could walk to school and back and we used to come home for lunch and walk back again. It was just up the road and I started off in... in the junior school there when I was about five I think, until I was, I think, 10 or 11 when I moved to the senior school, and in those days we had an examination at 11 called the 11-plus. So we all... everyone took the 11-plus and I, unfortunately, didn't pass the 11-plus. So that meant that when I was 14 I'd reached the school-leaving age.

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, 46 seconds

Date story recorded: September 2003

Date story went live: 24 January 2008