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Filming in Africa


Making a few extra bob
Billy Williams Film-maker
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My father was always sort of trying to make an extra few bob when he wasn't working and we were always shooting in black and white in those days, and he would never throw away the short ends because, you know, 15ft or 20ft would make up several cassettes for still photographers, and so he'd keep all his short ends and then go into the changing bag and he'd wind on these 5ft lengths of cassettes and feed them into the... into the cassette, and then take them up to a shop in High Holborn called Brunnings, which was... was a shop that sold still cameras and movie camera accessories, and lenses and so on, and, of course, he made quite a bit of money out of this because the film was so scarce, the only disadvantage was it didn't have the edge numbers that a... a proper cassette would have, but that was a little sideline that sort of kept things going when he wasn't working.

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, 2 seconds

Date story recorded: September 2003

Date story went live: 24 January 2008