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My debut as an actor


Shooting The Wind and the Lion in Madrid
Billy Williams Film-maker
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We started the picture off in Madrid as we had a lot of scenes that were supposed to be in Washington with Brian Keith playing President Teddy Roosevelt with John Houston as his Secretary of State John Hayes, so it was a marvellous cast, and we used this hotel in Madrid called the Palace Hotel, which had a huge sort of art nouveau glassed glazed dome with lots of space around it and some lovely big rooms and corridors, and... and we used this as a location shooting at night for Washington, and it worked beautifully; had some marvellous... marvellous scenes there. Well it was right opposite the Prado Museum and we were in preparation and I had a bit of time and I would go over to the Prado and spend quite... you know, some... some several days there looking around and I was really taken with... with the Goyas. I thought Goya was just, you know, the best, and I thought wouldn't it be nice if I could try and get something of the Goya look, if you like, into this movie. So it was a kind of an ideal that I had that if I could capture something of the... the colour and the light and shade of the Goya it would be some sort of inspiration.

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, 31 seconds

Date story recorded: September 2003

Date story went live: 24 January 2008