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Another Sky: distribution problems and a good review

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Another Sky: bad weather and doing my own operating
Walter Lassally Film-maker
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We eventually got back to Marrakesh and, we'd shot 90% of the film. There were really only some pick-ups to do in a couple of scenes, and the weather turned bad. And during this whole- during the whole filming I had an operator with me because I was still, at that point, I was still reluctant to operate myself, because I considered myself perfectly competent at lighting, but operating is a completely different job. Operating is a physical job which requires finesse in- in the physical sense, and I didn't trust myself to be good enough, so I took a friend, Gerry Turpin who'd already helped us on the "Saturday Night" film, and other films, some other documentaries, he was there. And- so he was with us during that whole time. Now, the final month of the filming, which was January of- 54. No it wasn't January, it was April- it must have been April, yes, April of 54, the weather turned bad. And I decided, well we have to wait. There are certain things which we do need sunshine for, and there were, like, two weeks of rain. Clouds, rain, no sunshine. And so I decided to send Gerry back, to send the- by that time we'd acquired a Mitchell. Yes, after the problem with the camera we, at great expense, we ordered a Mitchell to come from England, and we finished the film on a Mitchell. And- but by that time I felt quite competent for operating, and in any case, we hadn't got left- much left to do, so both the Mitchell and Gerry were sent back. And I finished the film myself, without an operator, operating myself on a- on a- another Cameflex, I think it must've been. And we- we waited for sun, and we got the- the rest of the film- scenes done that we needed. But by that- by that time I felt, sort of, quite competent to operate myself, provided it wasn't a huge camera.

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.

Duration: 2 minutes, 8 seconds

Date story recorded: June 2004

Date story went live: 24 January 2008