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Documentary on the Mealy bug's impact on cassava crop


Mystery at Fire Island: The way cameramen are treated in America
Walter Lassally Film-maker
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I made one other... it wasn't actually a television movie it was a... yes, of course it was. It was a... what do they call it? Pre-school movie, or post-school... pre-school something. It's a movie designed to be shown when people... basically for people at school. It was called Mystery on Fire Island and it was shot quicker than 21 days, that particular one, because it wasn't a 90-minute film, it was something like a 50-minute film. That was directed by a dear man called Bob Fuest who's made some English features, and some English television. At one point during the making of that film, he turned to me and he said, 'Do you know, you and I, we're just hired guns', he said. Which is very true. The American... the attitude of the American producers, in general, is very different. I discovered that on Le Mans, but not only on Le Mans, that the Americans tend to think of you as an employee rather than as a member of team, creative contributor, and you keep hearing things like, so and so and so and so... we want you to do so and so and so and so and so and so, and then they either say, or it's implied, remember you can always be replaced. And sometimes you were. I was replaced on Brenda Starr, for instance, but I won't go into that now.

Born in Germany, cinematographer Walter Lassally (1926-2017) was best known for his Oscar-winning work on 'Zorba the Greek'. He was greatly respected in the film industry for his ability to take the best of his work in one area and apply it to another, from mainstream to international art films to documentary. He was associated with the Free Cinema movement in the 1950s, and the British New Wave in the early 1960s. In 1987 he published his autobiography called 'Itinerant Cameraman'.

Listeners: Peter Bowen

Peter Bowen is a Canadian who came to Europe to study and never got round to heading back home. He did his undergraduate work at Carleton University (in Biology) in Ottawa, and then did graduate work at the University of Western Ontario (in Zoology). After completing his doctorate at Oxford (in the Department of Zoology), followed with a year of postdoc at the University of London, he moved to the University's newly-established Audio-Visual Centre (under the direction of Michael Clarke) where he spent four years in production (of primarily science programs) and began to teach film. In 1974 Bowden became Director of the new Audio-Visual Centre at the University of Warwick, which was then in the process of introducing film studies into the curriculum and where his interest in the academic study of film was promoted and encouraged by scholars such as Victor Perkins, Robin Wood, and Richard Dyer. In 1983, his partner and he moved to Greece, and the following year he began to teach for the University of Maryland (European Division), for which he has taught (and continues to teach) biology and film courses in Crete, Bosnia, and the Middle East.

Tags: Mystery on Fire Island, Le Mans, Brenda Starr, Robert Fuest

Duration: 1 minute, 31 seconds

Date story recorded: June 2004

Date story went live: 24 January 2008