BBC - Mark Kermode's film blog

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Hans Petch & Billy Williams

A day of lectures on Thursday, which turned into one of the most informative of the term.

- We started by watching an episode of Imagine... Love, Loss and Anthony Minghella. Hans highlighted that it gained 2.5 million viewers in 2007 and pointed out that it was the only arts show, and still is, being aired on BBC 1. He mentioned that its all star line up of contributors would be at the top of the show to keep viewers attention.

- We talked about the Audience Appreciation Index

- Discovered there is a 'bible' for Producing an episode of Imagine. They utilise long lens and use natural light.

- We then studied working with talent, looking at Jonathan Ross, as Hans working on his Film series for 7 years. Eg. Lord of the rings special, James Bond Special

- Were assigned the task of becoming a Studio Director for the afternoon, we drafted a script over lunch for an intro and outro of Film 2010, interviewing Brendan Fraser in a mock interview. I was very please with our work and the look of everyone's interview.

Later that day I drove back to UCA Farnham to a lecture by Cinematographer, Billy Williams. It was a fascinating talk where he began by give us some background info.

- Grew up in a filmmaking atmosphere
- Maintained father's camera equipment
- 1st job was on British Transport Films as an assistant cameraman filmed on 16mm black and white film.

- Filmed with his father in Iraq and Mesopotamia.
- Then 50's commercial TV arrived and a new technique evolved opeing new experimental opportunity's.
- Shot with Ken Russell originally and learnt how to handle light.
- At the time,

"Feature [films] were like the Premiere League"

His first major feature was Billion Dollar Brain Directed by Ken Russell featuring Michael Caine.
Harry Saltzman, Producer, said to a 37 year old Williams,

"Let's give the guy a break"

- Williams' next feature would land him with and American Academy nom for Women in Love

- Captured the essence of the locations.
- Billy on the famous fireplace scene

- Next was John Millius, the writer/director of the Wind and the Lion (filmed in Spain) and Williams actually had a small role in the film which he mention was an eye opener making him realise how hard it is to be a performer.

- He was then enrolled on the film On Golden Pond dir: Mark Rydell starring Katerine Hepburn and Henry Fonda

- The Films Opening Williams got up at 3am and shot the sunrise

- Tells the story in moving images: light and shade.
- Cinematographer will set up the scene and light it with their crew.

- Scene in the lake was shot in 'The Magic Hour' the 10 minutes of light before dark.

Dir: Richard Attenburgh
With Ben Kingsley
(Funny anecdote from QI)

Advise he gave to young professionals:
> Experiment with light
> Cinematographer is there to fulfil the vision of the director
> Be organised, quick and efficient.

1 comment:

  1. You've obviously been inspired by these lectures - brilliant!
    The 'style bible' Hans referred to is found on many productions - it gives everyone a sense of the 'look' etc so that the many different directors achieve a similar feel which adds to the synergy of the series. Keep up the good work!