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Toning down the effects when shooting Sunday, Bloody Sunday


Agreeing to work with John Schlesinger on Sunday, Bloody Sunday
Billy Williams Film-maker
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We had a crew scree... screening of... of Women In Love before it was released and John Schlesinger, with his producer — Joe Janni — came to the screening and at the end John came up to me, as I'd worked with him before on commercials, and said how much he enjoyed the film, he liked my work and would I be interested in photographing his next film, and I said: ’Yes of course I'd be delighted.’ So I was sent the script and then went up to meet John to discuss it. Well, it was very controversial because it was a story about a Jewish doctor and a professional woman who were both in love with the same man — a young man — a much younger man, and so, obviously, the doctor was homosexual and the two older people both knew of the existence of the younger lover. So, you know, it was an exploration of... of homosexuality and bisexuality and so on, and initially I was a bit wary of this. I wasn't quite sure, you know, how things were going to be handled and it was going to be the first screen... screen kiss between two men. And so I... I went to John and, you know, explained my concerns and he was very understanding and, you know, he explained to me how it was going to be done and so on, and... of course, as it turned out, it... it was a very personal film for him because he's homosexual and his father was a doctor. So that Peter Finch, who was playing the homosexual doctor, was... was sort of very close to John's feelings and family background, and so on. So, you know, he persuaded me that... that it was the right thing to do.

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: 2 minutes, 12 seconds

Date story recorded: September 2003

Date story went live: 24 January 2008