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Working with John Schlesinger


My youthful mistakes with lighting
Billy Williams Film-maker
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Something I was having difficulty with at that point in my career was that although I could, I felt, capture the right mood if I was lighting interiors on location, when I went into the studio it seemed to become much more difficult, and I think it's because in the studio you... you can put a lamp anywhere you want to, which you can't on location, and I was inclined to take advantage of that and put lights from too many different sources, and when I look back on it now I can see where I've gone wrong. And so it was a period when I was perhaps doing a little too much with light, when I should have kept it simpler, and I've learnt since that simplicity is the best way to go and... and not to put in... to go overboard with detailed work, not to become too fussy.

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