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A furore over my permit to shoot Going in Style


The British Society of Cinematographers
Billy Williams Film-maker
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I'd been a member of the... the BSC [The British Society of Cinematographers] since 1967 and in 1975 I was... I became president for two years which, you know, was a great honour but also quite a responsibility and... You know, the BSC was fashioned very much on the lines of the American Society of Cinematographers and we've kind of, based ourselves very much on their beliefs of, you know, enhancing the artistry and integrity of... of cinematography and trying to retain its role in filmmaking and I think it's important that, you know, future cinematographers do continue to make their presence known in moviemaking, and for us not to get overwhelmed by any new technology which involves electronics, because the, you know, the work has to originate... it has to originate I think through the vision of the director and cinematographer. I think we've got to be very careful that we... we retain a degree of control during these postproduction processes which are becoming so... so... well, so advanced and, you know, so... offering so many choices now to alter the image completely. I think that... that, you know, the BSC plays a very important role in... in doing that. Also I've made many friendships. We have a kind of camaraderie amongst ourselves, we... we don't mind sharing secrets. I remember when I first started, cameramen used to have secrets, they didn't... they didn’t used to like to talk about how they got a certain effect. All the while I've been working I've always found my colleagues to be very open in talking about how things were done and sharing their knowledge and kind of furthering the whole creation of moving images. What's the point in keeping something to yourself? If progress is going to be made it should be available to everybody.

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, 18 seconds

Date story recorded: September 2003

Date story went live: 24 January 2008