Chris Kelly

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22 Nov 2022
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Speaker 1  0:00  
Chris, thank you very much for taking part in this oral history interview. So there's a lot to talk about, not just with your career, but with your family. Yes. Shall we start with your grandfather? Yes, Ali and Skeeter, the composer. Perhaps you could tell us a little bit about your memories of him and what it was like sort of growing up in a, in a family with such strong cinema connection? Indeed,

Speaker 2  0:28  
well, I knew him for 40 years, so I knew him extremely well. He was an extremely gentle man. That's what I remember most vividly about him, to be honest. And yes, he was a talent there is no doubt and is his career in Germany as a composer of reviews, which are very satirical, very satirical, and made a lot of enemies out there at the time because of the sat at the time when the Weimar period was going through its transition. And being Jewish. He was born in Russia as it so happens and he actually escaped out of Russia with his parents His, his father was a was a baritone singer. And the heat and obviously, travelled then quite a lot as well but decided to emigrate from Russia, which a place called Bialystock, which is where he was born, and ended up in Warsaw. But then fleeing the Bolsheviks and then with Poland as well, that was anti Jewish scholar anti semitism going on there, too. Ended up in Berlin cut long story short, and he was very talented. He came from a very musical background. As you say his father was a was a baritone. His sister was a concert pianist, and his brother is beat Misha being the younger of all three was also was a cellist international acclaim as well. And so the the older siblings left and went to Vienna, and my grandfather, then after and my and my grandfather and great grandfather then joined the other two siblings in Dresden where the grandfather then died there and Misha then went to Berlin afterwards and enjoined and joined a with Max Reinhardt it was, it was Hollander. Do you heard of the whole of the composer Hollander? Anyway, he was a well known composer in in Berlin at the time but went to live in America and made his name there. And they set up a his own. I think I better just stop this some waffling on going on to all sorts of things that are actually irrelevant. So we need to go back somewhere.

Unknown Speaker  2:59  
How so he ended up in Britain.

Speaker 2  3:01  
He ended up Yes. Time 19 in 1933, which is the time when Adolf Hitler became Chancellor. He was advised by a very close friend to say, look, this is not good. I think you should go as did a lot of other immigrants. And they all they all a lot. A lot of them left, some stayed and suffered sadly. But he decided that he didn't want to go to America. Not quite sure why, but ended up coming to England via Paris. And he set up you know, as did a lot of emigres in round the Golders Green area. And they met up with a lot of a lot of associates work associates. And anyway, it was Alexander corder that came to call basically and said he was he was Hungarian and the Jewish. I'd like you to write the music for this particular film. I can't remember the name of the film that film but he did a lot of films for Alexander Calder. And during that period of time from 1933 I mean the influence lead how he had on on the family, if you like was the sort of introduction of all these wonderful artists and actors and technicians and many of whom I had met over the years as a youngster Ando still in touch with funnily enough is a couple couple but he was he was being a composer and suddenly I'm not have no musical talent or what so ever. Right? But I love music and I am particularly naturally very fond of a lot of his stuff, I must admit, very melodic and maybe write music for about certainly 6070 films, if not more, somebody's got credits on it. Some he didn't. Some of the songs that were involved in some of the films he did, he didn't get credit for either. However he is so he was extremely gentle. And his his wife, Eddie, who was Swiss also had, she was a sort of an actress, if you like, in the Berlin days where they were just where they met. And Eddie had a feet, three foot out three sisters and two brothers. And they were all in the film industry as well. They all worked either as actresses for the most part, also, the youngest was a child star. And then when the industry when he got to an age of it, like Shirley Temple, the time came, you know, your time is up pal, actually, and he went to work on you know, became a production manager. And Julius the the other son, he died on location, funnily enough in Africa, as well. And it was the same sort of sad demise if you like, which we'll talk about the my as happened to my father. And, and the sisters, the other sisters were all well known actresses, I have to say at the time, and were great fun, and they would always used to come over at Christmas time. And we would all get together in the family, the family Christmas, which was Christmas Eve, was just an abundance of laughter, hilarity. And, yes, little going over the top and I have to say, I think for me, they were so extrovert so large, that I probably went into a shell if you like, because all I would do was to listen and to laugh. And that was in those days when I was only probably, you know, 789, whatever, you know, and, but great fun. So we always celebrate Christmas Eve, and the kids, my kids and grandchildren love it. I say that because it makes life so much easier for the for the in laws or the outlaws if you like to then have Christmas day together. But, but Misha music had a quite quite an effect. And then when he did die, I then became trustee. My mother actually became trustee when when Musa died. And she did what she possibly could just like I you know, the the music industry, I have to say, has right now become a soulless industry, for me, from my point of view, and dealing with publishers has been no, no fun whatsoever. And we've we've, you know, we've tried to promote, along with the publishers whose really remit is not about promoting, it's actually just about supplying the schools basically. And they let other people, you know, the, the artists of this world to come to them to, you know, ask about a particular piece of music. And they just give out the sheet, you know, the actual sheet music. So this is the relationship we got into relationship with wise Music Group, which was originally called originally music sales, we were advised that if he wanted to promote music, that that was the best course of action to take was to maybe do a deal and share a percentage of the royalties, if you like, for the publisher to go out and promote and market none of which they did. So it's been it's been a this a disappointment, I have to say getting into bed with a publisher for the foot in the first place. Although publishers are required, of course, but they take an awful lot of the of the money and the kudos. They have very little artistic integrity, I have to say, and they wouldn't know a piece of they wouldn't know piece of music of measures if you hit them on the head. So recently a It's come to my mind as a result, probably because of the COVID issues that Martin you know, the the royalties went down quite considerably. And really to try and start to build it up again at the age that I am. And I do have a half brothers, Greg, we're brothers, of course we are. And I said suggest to him, What would he think about maybe selling out the remainder of the piece 70 years before it becomes into public domain, which there's 32 years left. So there's a substantial amount though, that maybe somebody would be interested in and we've contacted a company and publisher in Germany, because that would be the better place because that's where he is still well known. And they do a number of reviews. They still do that as well. I went to probably about four months ago, which is fantastic. And they you know, but they love his music. So this was interesting, a lot of his music is played all over Germany. So to me, it was a worthwhile consideration to go through the process. So we're in the middle of that process at the moment. There's a sort of side to me that says it's a shame, we're getting rid of our heritage. But unless we can do something with it, and to be honest, we get no help, actually, from the publishers and anything when we go and try and promote something to a, you know, Sky Arts, for example, which would be probably quite useful, like the work that I have to do in order to get even a hearing is in producing a synopsis of a review, doing a doing supplying the deck, basically, of the who you see as being in it, the songs and doing, I just don't think we're actually up for it to be honest. So maybe leave that to somebody else who actually will have a better, they would stand to gain much more out of it in the longer term, than we would in the shorter term, to be honest, because being the age I am now 77. You know, I think I know I'm getting a little tired. That's it. But the thing is that the relationships that measure over the years all the artists that came to know Marlena deep bass was one in particular who she was a violinist in one of his reviews. And she then was going to be in a show was asked to be in a show called Schlicht in the loft, which translated in German into English is something in the air. This was in 1928. And she had her role was a singing role in it. And he said to her, her, her singing voice, she needed to tone down the style of the manner in which she sings. And that's really how she sings nowadays or other sort of downbeat, or, you know, sort of way that she does, which is her which has her character, mostly as a result of measures sort of coaching if you like, say, just bring it down a bit more, bring it down a bit more anyway, is lifting the lift was a 1928 was a showpiece that von Sternberg was in the audience. And basically, that the rest of it is history, to be honest, so whilst Misha would always discount that as being the reason that it was down to him, it probably exactly he was contributory. Put it that way.

Speaker 2  12:56  
But they remained loyal friends, right all the way through to the end. And when Misha died, my mother then took up the gambit and visit Marlena in in Paris where she basically was a became a recluse. And I do have a letter somewhere I'll try to find it but I couldn't find her here has a copy of a letter that said Had it not been through this to my mother. moolah, she would call her had it not been for your father. I don't know what my career would have been like I could have been an ordinary housewife which is very nice. And but she was no way she was no angel, I have to say blue or otherwise. You know, and she was a bit like, you know, she was a she was a superstar of those days and she behaved like it she was quite outrageous in them. They had many fallouts Misha and and Marlena over silly things. But, you know, but so when we I knew her a little bit, but she wasn't really into children, to be honest, and that's very well documented as well. So, so to say that I knew her. No, I didn't. But i i Of course I knew her a little bit.

Unknown Speaker  14:16  
But tell us about some of the people that you did meet get to meet through through

Speaker 2  14:21  
the well there was yes. I mean, you know, Misha, you know, wrote music to a number of films that Harold French are well known director Adam and Eve Lin was one that comes right mainly to mind. And he remained a good friend and a very funny man Harold was. He liked his drink, that's for sure, as probably most of us did in those days, you know, there's no doubt about it. And he was he was he was very good fun. I mean, who else My goodness. As I say Nikki rogue was one person that became I think it was a friend of my mother's and Nico used to live in the house. Hampstead area, which is where my mother grew up, obviously. And so I'm not quite say it was. So there was Nikki road then there was Sue Stevens there was another. Crikey there were so many names. It's difficult suddenly to come up with a more. Well, let's instal Yes. Let's the storm was a play right. Okay. And yes, she was. She was a character and a half there's no doubt about that she also enjoyed her alcohol and cigarettes but she, she remained and she had her family her daughter we knew who married she married a guy called Tony Wright, who was a rank star at the time. Didn't really amount to very much to be totally honest. Anyway, then, so surely they would Tony had a very sad demise. That's, that's for sure. alcohol based of course, and. And then she her son was guy called Jim Jim Clark, not the editor, Jim Clark. So he used to write scripts, but and then there was Bill. So we knew them well, too. But they were all involved in always, we're all involved in film or theatre for that matter. And, anyway, so, yeah. Other well known people, I mean, the people he would come by that, you know, Wellington house, which is where we lived. All these leaves my mother lived was a grand, grand place. I mean, it was yeah, he had a wonderful house in Berlin. I've got a couple of photographs of that. I mean, my goodness, talk about affluence, and, you know, it's quite extraordinary. And, and he was very successful in those days as as he was when he came over to England. And it was when Misha came over to England, which was his his chosen path. It was the was the song tell me tonight from the film tell me tonight. That was his passport to the in the United Kingdom. And the other person that was that we knew extremely well was Anton Walbrook. Now, he was a matinee idol, if ever there was and he became migrant Godfather, one of my grandfather's and he was he was gay. He lived in frognal. in Hampstead, lovely, lovely, flat, I remember the flat, extraordinary. I mean, there was wealth. It was gold everywhere. You know, and you thought, Okay, what's this? This is how it is. This is an industry and I always always because I love music and I'm an old timer. There's no doubt about that. In terms of my choice of music and select, so I was always sort of, you know, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Perry Como that sort of era No, and an Anton was he did a song of my grandfather's called dreams of yesterday and he sang it so beautifully was spoken by Rex Harrison as my fair lady but it was the spoken way and he had a very deep I suppose seductive voice you know, and it was a wonderful song but never played any more but it but his rendition of it was absolutely superb. I love it. And I probably put it out it will go on my list for when I when I'm passing up on the way to heaven as to play out music because the lyrics are so apt is wonderful. Anyway So where was I? I mean, mingled a little bit around you know, Misha, and my family connections if you like, although they weren't connections to me personally. Except for Nikki rogue was I finally I never edited for Tony for for Nikki rogue. He never asked me. I never asked him why. But he had his editor cool tech guy called Tony Lawson, who work within bilott

Speaker 1  19:11  
did show me a photo earlier for Noria plush and I know she's not a big name. But she's an interesting character. So maybe

Speaker 2  19:17  
well how Noria Yes. Again that was she did the costumes for idol of Paris night. And the music of idol of Paris I have to say was something that I not It's not I didn't know much about the film. But I did know about the music and now I've seen I've now seen the sections of mute of scenes, if you like with the music, and fantastic. It's absolutely wonderful, I think because there's a lot of idle the Paris theme as is known as but an Oreo did the costumes on this and it was a very extravagant film that particular one, but she He was she was more into theatre than she was in film. And I'm not quite sure whether there was a connection between an Oreo and my grandmother, and my grandmother, though my grandmother on my father's side, because she was into costumes for the for the ballet company, not ballet rousse. Wonderful company. We'll come on to that shortly. But she was into costume as well. And they live not too far away from each other in Kensington. But an Oreo was, I used to go around there. They were very wealthy. I seem to remember that. And their son had a wonderful train set. And we would we would play tutus, all whilst the Norio and my mother is you saw a photograph which I sort of showed you earlier on, was painting dolls or doing things like that, you know, so very artistic in that respect. And so in Oreo, while she didn't play a very big part in my life, to be totally honest, but she was certainly a name that I knew. And you could band around without any problem at all and people would know of her. Certainly. This is when when, in fact, probably jumping the gun a little bit. When my when Nikki rogue introduced Paul Mills, or my mother Smalley to Paul Mills, who was head of department publicity at MGM British. Oui, oui. The house we lived in having moved out of Wellington house was about to get married Tony. We're going to live in a place called Yeomans row, which is just off Knightsbridge. Most people know it because there's a pub they call the bunch of grapes, just quite a well known sort of pub but in the Yeomans row, Harold French also lived. And there was also there was a designer by the name of wells coats. If you had a Wells coats, he was very, very modern, if you like in terms of his architecture of furniture, a bit like the Bauhaus in Germany, all right, very similar, but he became a very good friend to Tony's funnily enough and as it so happened, it transplanted, and I found some documentation that wells Coates was the executor. If you like to Tony's well unwritten it wasn't what His will basically looked after and helped my mother. My grandfather Misha wasn't particularly well versed in British law, or challenging Marcel Hellman, who he'd worked with before. Okay about reparation, if you like or some sort of form of claim on Tony's death, that but also in Yeomans row, there was was it say Wales coats Harold French. Who was there was, it was his painter called Vasco Laszlo, who did a painting of my father, which I have tucked away got got damaged in a fire when we lived in Grosvenor, Crescent muse. And it was, you know, in for an insurance job, it was then sort of renovated and made it look much better. So I haven't I have not actually had the courage not even a question of courage will lead it's tucked away. And there's no need for it to be out in front in some sort of way. But apparently, I did take it down to an auction house, just to sort of get a valuation of it. And they said, Actually, it was a very good, very good painting. So I think okay, got any value.

Unknown Speaker  23:39  
Anyway, and anyway, so I was going off the beaten track again, which is something I tend to do.

Speaker 1  23:50  
We should go back and talk and fill in the story of your father because you've referred to it but we haven't been true that true. So So your mother, Did your mother go into the industry? No,

Speaker 2  24:02  
not really. She She was an actress. She's known in IMDb is Polly Mills, and she did a couple of walk on parts. She was in another film that Harold French directed called Jeannie and she played a shop assistant. I think it was a couple of lines. That was it. But she hit notoriety with that as far as IMDb is concerned. Anyway, but let's just say Nikki Nikki rogue wasn't the key rogue. Tony, I don't know how they met actually thinks Bali was in a show during the war called Hack watch on the Rhine with Anton Walbrook. She was one of the child leads in Leeds anyway, and I think they they met because it was a stage production met up with Tony's mother race. So

Unknown Speaker  25:00  
this is Anthony Kelly.

Speaker 2  25:02  
This is Anthony K. Yes, Anthony Kelly. And Grace was a, like an Oreo plush was a costume designer and that sort of thing. And obviously, the paths crossed somewhere along the line. I'm not quite sure how they met. And it was never a topic of sub subject that I even discuss with with my mother about how did you meet Tony, just simply because it would probably, I don't know, all sorts of other emotions and you think I don't want to go down that sounds awful, really, in some respect that he's gone and never mentioned that ever again. But having said that, he was Tony was a very artistic in his own way, but a wonderful drawer. I had some wonderful drawings that he did. He used to make my mother's clothes for example, he used to he could play the bagpipes, he could play various other instruments. He dance for the ballet Ron bear. That's right. That's where and that's where Bridget my aunt who I kept in touch with all those years off until she died, became she was a ballerina and then had to give up ballet dancing, simply be cause of injury and then became a director of of the ballet Ron bear of the teaching side of belly rumba. And Tony is a he was he was seven when I died. No other way around. I was said There you go. Very good.

Unknown Speaker  26:35  
So he was working in the field they went into so

Speaker 2  26:37  
he went into film studios, the system director basically as a sort of runner and that sort of thing. And very well liked he did about four or five films, and that was all but his his demise, sadly was. He was on this film called jewel in the jungle, which is a film starring Dana Andrews Jeanne crane. Derek fall. Anyway, Tony succumb to an accident that was a that was the camera was mounted on a raft on the Zambezi and was tethered by literally got a photograph by two ropes. Basically, our cameraman was on there and Tony was on there. And the RAF became untethered. Basically in your head they had to events, you know, try and rescue the camera, which they did and Tony was not a strong was not a strong swimmer particularly. In fact, that's why he went to the ballet Romberg because his mother said you need to be in a build you up a little bit, get some get some muscle in you boy. And when he wasn't, wasn't strong enough swimmer and got into the main current, and the unit start shouted, going down. This is Nikki ro told me the story, or I which I will allude to Tony, in a minute was that he got drunk, he got carried away and went round the peninsula was a peninsula and this this, basically never to be seen again, basically. And we have subsequently learned which I'll tell you a little bit more about how he died. But he was he was taken by a crocodile. So we in his body never came back to the United Kingdom. And that was it. Really, it's awful. But anyway, so but the Kelly side of the family was as equally interesting in many ways, probably more so. Because, okay, there was Bridget who was a ballet ballet dancer, Grace Kelly, who was whose maiden name was a Woodley Grace Woodley. And the Woodley family is very well connected to the bank's family of the thick of the I keep on forgetting about the mention they've come back to that too, in a minute for God's sake. I was gonna say Hollywood is not Hollywood. But anyway, the banks family, very wealthy, and suddenly is the house so the mansion is all in trust now with the National Trust. And, but anyway, she came from a very good background, amazing background. And her father. Her father was an architect, based up in Leeds, an architect of Catholic churches. And he did the architecture for probably about 50 of churches all spread around the United Kingdom. It's quite extraordinary. And Grace, that's Tony's Tony's father, Claude Arundel. All right. He also joined the company, and they decided to, you know, upstairs from Leeds and bring down their business down to London. And they set up a firm somewhere in just in the in central London Oxford street somewhere. And there are churches today with his name associated in those in St. Patrick's Church in Soho square, which is where Tommy still got married. And there was a several in Kings one in Kingston one in Brighton and Hove. All over there was one unconsecrated church in ham. Just before the entrance, you get into the golf club, the Richmond golf club. What a sensational building that is. It's quite extraordinary. But it's this is a unconsecrated and was sold as a house basically. But I've got some photographs of that which you think oh, my goodness, that's some building and a half. But as of as a family. They were, you know, massively, you know, artistic in all sorts of ways and Claude Arundel. Not only was he an architect with his father, he was a great he did some wonderful paintings, which I've got to it but had a great mind. But he was also a composer in his own in his own right. And he was a composer of some books, theatrical songbooks. They were so there was one the little white house and it was exquisite. It was the lyrics were also written by his sister. Mary Kelly, Claude Arundel, nope. Yeah, called Errol. Mary Arundel, sorry. Even I get mixed up with all the names. And the song books were very successful at the time, but the little white house being one in particular, there was a song and the lyrics for the sitting room for the kitchen for the toilet even. And things like that, and they were very well received. But Claude Arundel had a rather sad demise to he got some contract or some sort of brain issue. And he had a very sad demise as a which loved over a period of a year where no one can do anything about it. And I've got all sorts of articles about trying to raise money, you know, for for Claude erendorn For four in order to sort of keep him in a home somewhere. But sadly, that didn't happen. But they can't leave very artistic side of the family. And then there was Bridget, who was Tony sister, who was it became her but she was she loved and lived for ballet. And that was her life, forever, all the way through. And then Tony also had a brother called Pat, pat Kelly. And he worked down at ABC in Boreham wood on various shows. Probably. I don't know what the shows were. I wasn't Danger, man. But there was I can't remember the names. But Pat, always there was a bit of a rift in the family. As far as Pat was concerned, in so much as he felt that my mother got married, remarried too soon after Tony's death, which was two years basically GAAP, which, to be honest, I didn't think it was that bad. But hey, there you go. But, Pat, even when I worked at MGM up the road, I never saw him he never got in touch. So not only it wasn't, it wasn't that important to me, funnily enough it's just simply because of the rift and you think well, okay, listen, I'm gonna take my mother's side, whatever so but Bridget Bridget was very down to earth, and was a really good solid citizen. I must say she didn't stand any nonsense either. I have to say and I for that I have to say and Denise, my wife absolutely fell in love with it because a bit chip off the old block there. I think even though there's no sort of family connection, but she adored Bridget, I have to say and she was she was she was wonderful. She was a character and she didn't care what she said. never sat on the fence about anything. Even when talking about her husband and and when he would when he was alive or not.

Speaker 1  34:07  
So you were seven when your father died. Yeah, said so. Do D following on from that, but do you do you think so? You went into the business then yourself? What? How old were you when you

Speaker 2  34:22  
Well, when I had seven? I was I was actually at the French Lee say. That's when I started my schooling. My French has to say hasn't improved that much since. And then when Tony died, well scouts decided that probably thought I was advised I should say that I should go off to boarding school because Somali had to work for a living he couldn't do the two that wasn't there wasn't a possibility. So I went off to boarding school. One in the one in perfect sorry, which I absolutely loved. But unfortunately I contracted a disease called Last Mile itis, which was a form of polio. And actually polio in those days was quite common, to be totally honest. But it took that took me a year, out of school and in, in hospitals and Peter's Hospital, which was in shirtsy, in and out like a Yo yo, to be honest, and Paul, by that time had married into my mother. And when I contracted osteomyelitis, and he said, Look, we got to do something with this boy of yours. He said, because he's lost a year at school, we'll send him to tutorial, I was I was placed to go down to Bryanston, which is where I was going to do my my my end schooling. But that never materialised. And I didn't really catch up enough. And I was never really academic, to be totally honest. And say it was a futile gesture, really, to further any schooling, at the flow from when the age of 16, having gone to a tutorial, went to another school in Finchley actually wrote, which was another story and a half, which I won't bore you with that, however. And he said, right, this is the best place for you. I'll get you a job at MGM and you start off in the editing room as a numbering boy,

Unknown Speaker  36:15  
what what age would you have been there?

Speaker 2  36:18  
I was 16. I was 16. And so because my point is going on to for further education. And actually Paul said at the time, I remember him saying, you know, editing is the best place to be. That way, you'll just you can see for yourself, what side of the films do you tend to lead in preference to? Well, it was directing with with art, whether it was whatever talent there was lurking. And so that's where I started. And I started 962 Probably 6263, Paul used to drive me down to the studio, share the car, his car. But that became a little bit difficult at times because he had to work late, sometimes more often than not, because he'd have to converse with Los Angeles. A lot about you know, various issues that would arise. He was British that was who was English. Yes, very English, indeed. And one of the youngest serving majors in the war at the time. But, but he didn't like he never talked about the war, didn't want to talk about the war. He was injured twice, once in Casino. And then the other time was really in Germany. But I guess most people of that age, to be honest, didn't really want to talk about the war didn't want to glorify it in any way, shape, or form. And so

Unknown Speaker  37:43  
it sounds like a great step.

Speaker 2  37:45  
Does he have to say yes, sorted you out? Sorted? Actually, I think I forget even emotional thinking about it, because had he not been so wise in a treating me differently to any other child and a funny story because he's did he was very well educated. And he understood the human concept and about people from which I learned an awful lot from him to in that respect. I mean, as a head of publicity for MGM, you have to deal with some very, very strange individuals, you know, actors, actresses. And, yes, he was I couldn't have I couldn't have wished for a better guidance, if you like at all. And sadly, you know, when he Fiedler he finished with MGM when, at the time when Krikorian who was head of MGM out in America was building Las Vegas, you know, and it basically he needed more money. And so the decision was to get rid of MGM. And there was a choice, there was a choice between A B PC moving up to MGM at the time, because it was a purpose built studio, which started with just before the war, I believe. Anyway, and I think Brian was Brian Forbes at the time when he was whether, how, whose decision it was at the end of the day? I honestly don't know, but they decided to get rid of MGM which was a crime really, I have to say in many ways. Anyway, so I started at Metro as a numbering boy, and bring boy as a numbering boy number two, every foot every foot of film had to be numbered. So how to you know, 1616 frames to to a foot and 24 frames per second and so on, so forth. But we had this machine called the movie numbering machine, which is very archaic piece of kit. There's no doubt about that. And whenever I got home, I was besotted with all sorts of ink blobs all over this thing and it's But you know what it was a it was a great grounding because there's I was working on all sorts of films and looking at all sorts of pictures and images, which I would do is it was going through many a numbering boy before me, I have to say lost parts of their fingers because they got caught in the block. Why I don't know how they did it, but they did it. And the numbering block was the thing that you would click round numbers from 0000. From each take, so each tape was given a number. So it was somebody for take 30743000 That was the block, okay, and then went on to the end of that end of the take. But anyway, but during that period of time, once the ones the job was done, the rushes as they were known as in those days, probably still are, I think, I don't know. But you know, I would then go and assist some sound editor or an editor or do some schlepping, or donkey work or whatever. And as I say, the industry I was always destined this was destiny, there's no doubt because I always love musicals and things like that. And I found I was doing it emptying a volt. And this is where MGM and many of the studios were very remiss at not keeping stuff that they should have. And I was playing around and I love musicals, as I say tap dancing, Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, and under Powell, I could watch them day on I see them time and time and time again, and never get dull, never get bored. But I found all these optical click tracks. As they were at the time of invitation to the dance, which was not successful film, Gene Kelly wanted to do this, it was a thing. And the MGM in Culver City said, Well, if you want to do that, yes, you can go and do it. And it'll be cheaper, basically, and it was quite it were very innovative, I must admit and told me how it was the head of the special effects department at MGM, and MGM had its own laboratory. So we were very much an in house sort of setup, which was perfect, you know, absolutely wonderful. So I sort of got involved with sort of learning about how these things worked and how they got put together. And it was a it was a great learning curve. Because I was given the had the time to do it once once my daily job of numbering, all the film's rushes were overcome, just after lunch. I wouldn't say I could do as I please. No, because I was a lackey in those days, once a lackey pretty much always a lackey. And, but there was a great education, but I you know, editing was just always going to be for me, used to go on the sets. And I found this, you know, this, the actor going on the set was rather boring, low hanging around, you know, people shouting this and shouting there, and they were changing the arcs and get the 10 K's in a better position. And the DOP looking through his lens and went Oh, no, it didn't really analysis directors who were actually by and large, quite bossy individuals. And, you know, we're It was It wasn't for me, and I wasn't artistic in any way. And I have to say, seems to be my legacy. If you're my destiny, if you like, and I'm a great one for thinking that one day, something will, you know, a latent talent will develop. But I'm not quite sure. In what area. And anyway, so. But anything I decided to stay with. And I stayed at MGM for a number of years. And then went on to assist editors on films.

Speaker 1  43:44  
So what was the progression mean? You'd been that you do? We're doing the numbering? Yes. Well, how did you then sort of progress? Well,

Speaker 2  43:50  
then I progressed, you know, I did my two year stint on the numbering machine, which is probably a year most more than most people, funnily enough. And that's my father, my stepfather saying, you make sure he does it, and he learns it properly. That I'm absolutely convinced, you know, and anyway, so then I would go, you know, my two years was up. And I was then assigned to film as an assistant sound editor, Assistant, let's say, you know, and which was quite interesting, I have to say, although picture I preferred the picture side of it, and I then went to work on a couple of other films that were going around the time the VIPs and yellow Rolls Royce, which I've worked on and then a film that apropos those two films, I have to say when you look at the stars are walking around the studio. You're just in awe, to be honest. I mean, Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor. her dressing room was just beneath my lumbering room. And they went to great extremes of making sure her dressing room was nice. He painted in as opposed to mine which was spotted with all sorts of black markers all over the place. But the first time I saw them which was after they'd come back from Cleopatra. I think was that sort of the time here? I mean the arguing the effing and blinding between these two new thought and they're happily married into the great room is great film romance. This is weird. It's odd, very odd. But, but it was the VIPs was a star studded film with very little Antony Asquith was the director, and really didn't amount of very much to be totally honest.

Speaker 1  45:37  
As an assistant sound editor, what were you just learning

Speaker 2  45:42  
it was learning, it was actually early to go yes, as an assistant sounded, you would actually, you know, assist with, with cataloguing sound effects, ensuring that we had enough copies of that sound effect, getting a transfer made, extending the transfer, so that you were doubling up on it, doing the dubbing sheets, which was when 1000 foot of film for example, going through a synchronizer for every foot had to be a bit of sound, or whether it was a door close, whether it was a light switch, whether it was a car passing in the background, these were all laid up and then had to be marked on what's known as the dubbing cue sheet. So that was my job as Cree this was the effects track this was the effects track the music track, yes, the Foley track, which is footsteps and all that sort of thing. And it was quite challenging was quite interesting. It was good fun. You get involved in doing the Foley, which was always great fun. Probably a good week in the theatre. You know, mucking around and playing silly silly goofy, silly games. With the with the footsteps artists. That step foot footsteps artists, footsteps, artists. Oh, I remember there was one guy called Laddie from the BBC, you know, ladder used to work on the goon shows. Right? And he played the off screen effects. If there was a toilet or so you know, that was Lenny. And, yeah, and barrel barrel motorman. If we get boring more than she was, she was great fun. She was an ex dancer, they

Speaker 1  47:15  
had a man footstep artists and different weights. People, correct?

Speaker 2  47:20  
Absolutely. It was, it was quite extraordinary, the sort of the sort of things one would find to make a sound, you know, and the sort of trial and error approaches what you didn't try was try this, you know, getting somebody to be shot and seeing a bullet entering a body, you know, you'd get a melon, and you'd smack it with a rolling pin. Right? And it was horrendous. So you'd have to sort of those were things that, yes, you made up as you went along, but you had to be a little bit sort of Akshay about how you presented it to the director and we would come in for the mixing studio. In fact, I'll tell you one really silly story in a long, long way. Hence, it was worked with a guy called Rick Scott now we did allude to Rick Scott, whose father was a director. Right? He's doing a promotion film for for this for this movie, doesn't matter the movie, anyway. And we were doing this and I was I was doing helping him doing the sound effects. And the director said it'd be nice if we had a dog bark. But this this, this, this request happened just before lunch, and there was nobody to get a dog bark off. So I had my 40 I live right around the corner from Twickenham film studios at this particular time. says we're gonna get a tape recorder and I'll do a dog work. So I did this replica I did this dog bark actually was actually I thought quite good. Unfortunately, the mixer at the time. Robin played it so loud, that it nearly blew the air drums off. This director said oh, I don't think I think that's probably just a little bit too much. Can we have something a little bit quieter? So it's just a question of bringing down the tone. But how do you realise it was a human making a dog bark? That would have been that would have done his credibility? No good whatsoever. So But Robin then brought him in he said now make this work for you don't do worry and bring a bill build soundtracks around it as well. But when it came, I just died with laughter as did Rick and I we just fell out of the order of the dubbing theatre. And since I couldn't say that was just ridiculous. I hope you know Robin, thank you. But anyway, so don't get me back to MGM. Once that film has finished the film I was the first film I worked on was a film called the gunfighter, the Casa Grande. Alex nickel, if you know if his name was American actor, I think he did quite a lot of films but he was is not a good film. And I work with on VIPs and the Rolls Royce or Rolls Royce was great fun. I have to say I enjoyed that immensely. It was Anatole to Greenville production as well as the VIPs. And just apropos friends again, okay. Going back the Anatel was a friend Tali, as he was known as a friend of my mother's. And, and no of my mother's, because we went to Alexander and Elizabeth, due to Google's children went to the French leasing. So I knew Alex and became very good friends with Alex over the years. And I've done it where Alex, I haven't spoken to him for years.

Unknown Speaker  50:42  
He lives in France. Oh, he

Unknown Speaker  50:44  
lives in France. I

Speaker 1  50:44  
bumped into him a few years ago. Yes. I've been in touch with him about various things.

Speaker 2  50:49  
Have you? Yes, I can put you in. Yeah, that would be because the last I heard he was in India. He's in France. Now. How he and Elizabeth Well, I went to one of my boarding schools, Alex and Elizabeth were there as well, which is probably one of the reasons why I went. And Elizabeth got me into trouble. And I got the three I got the strap. Because I pushed her into a tree. Apparently, I'm walking to church one day. I don't know whether that's true or not. But I remember the strap. And I really how interesting. Well, I did. Alex was involved in Flash Gordon that I worked on, funnily enough. And so I got to know him again then. But he was he was better educated me went to Durham University that I do know, I failed. But anyway, where was I? So you had a Rolls Royce. And Alex came down to the studio a number of occasions, I remember. But it was the first time I actually had courage to go up to Ingrid Bergman, for example, in the commissary and asked for an autograph, and have a picture with her, got the photographs because I adored all these actors and actresses as well. actors as well. I mean, and anyway, I got a number of I got surely Maclean's, I got Rick Rick's Harrison's I got to Joyce Grenfell and a number of others, and lost them. Basically, they all got, which is just tragic. In some respects. I think it was probably I think my ex wife, probably if I truth been, probably been them. But I think I'm align her rather rather badly if that's the case. But anyway. And then after that, I then worked on a couple of other films like Operation crossbow. And they follow the boys thing. Anyway, the editor on this film called The Alphabet murders, which starred Tony Randall, edited by John Victor Smith. And John said, Would you like to come work with me? On help, he went to edit help at Twickenham film studios. I said yes, no, I'd love to have to do that in gracchi it was a challenge. It was something different. And I was I think MGM was still there was never any issues of the time around MGM closing down or being sold or anything like that. But and help was a complete eye opener. Because that was the area Twickenham that a I left home and then went bought a set shared a house there. I then also joined up and met up with some people that was this by Carol, my ex wife at the time introduced me to this guy called Deke Alan read Richard, who became uncle Richard, who played rugby for harlequins. And I played I did start to play football after my osteomyelitis incident which did actually stop me from playing any sport or any interest in sport, but it was only while I was at MGM that I started to play a little bit of football locally and that sort of thing and played a reasonable standard and played into the play the you know, in the SPN league for example, which is quite a sort of reasonably it though in those days was reasonably sort of high semi professional if you like, get a five or a game or eat drink drink. That was a that was being you know, drank that very quickly. And Richard, this friend of Carol's said, Why don't you would you like to come to we're going on rugby tour, would you like to come on rugby tour? And I thought, yeah, long intro pound then Carol was particularly pleased about that, to be honest, but anyway, it was a life changer. You know, sometimes in life, you have these moments that inciting moments that take you from one course to another. And I went on this on this tour. As it were, So he was a life changer. I met some wonderful friends still friends today with them. I played for harlequins for 50 years. Right so it was very, very instrumental in what I am today for whatever that is. But the comradeship and the friendship and the laughs and the tours and the but I took it I took the game very seriously because I really thoroughly enjoyed it. And to the detriment if you like, of my film career because there was a path that if I thought you know, I could make this in rugby, you know, because I played the highest I actually played with second team rugby harlequins, which after a couple of years not having played it at school or anything like that was no mean feat funnily enough, and I thought well, and I would play weekends and of course I would train twice a week because that's what you had to do well of course that didn't fit in with working in the film industry. Not particularly it was a it was a delicate balance that I thought was sort of played if you like, but it wasn't always well received. And so but help getting back to help that was great fun.

Unknown Speaker  56:11  
Were you sound editing though I

Speaker 2  56:13  
was assistant to John Victor Smith right so you moved into picture so I moved into into pictures so yes, I will yellow Rolls Royce I was on picture and VIPs when I was on picture side as well. So doing all the logging and numbering and doing all that sort of things that I thought I got out of the numbering machine there was back in it again but but anyway so help so help and the whole thing about surrounding helping the Beatles Of course were the in thing at that time they'd made Hard Day's Night Richard Lester Richard Lester really nice guy. And got on famously with him met the Beatles few times they would come into the editing room. John Victor Smith was you know, he was a good sound, a good film editor definitely wasn't prone to much mirth that's for sure. Some of the antics we get up to run we're sort of frowned upon. But in those days we had great fun you know, there was absolutely what can I say? I I would like to think that the younger generation today in the film history gain as much out of it as we did in those days, I'm not quite sure. But maybe in a different way they do. But because we worked in the studio, of course, and it was filmed and everything was based in the studio he didn't work from home on a computer, which is one aspect of it. And but anyway, so what did I do I have counted after after help. I can't remember I remember on help on one particular occasion numbering the film before before we before John Victor Smith, edited it and we then run rushes at lunchtime and it was I was in a in a hurry because I thought I'd try and be I try and get down on the guys having a lunch at the Turks head which is a local pub, which was always great fun right? Anyway, a roller rushes sound picture rushes had to be picture not sound. One roll I dropped into the fire bucket of water. whipped it out very as quick as I possibly could. And I thought oh no. And I said to Richard Brian, who was actually doing his doing whatever work he was doing he didn't get down to the the Turks head I said, Richard, I have a terrible accident. I dropped the real film into the into the fire Bucket Water. Oh shit, he said. And anyway, we then pursued, unroll the route, unroll this Ravel of film. unravel this roll of film, I should say. Linking the editing rooms all together in various trim bins with this roll of this film and hope to try and dry it out. And anyway, I had to come clean. John Victor Smith came back from lunch. And was and was the news was broken to him who he then broke the news to Richard Lester, who said well, we're watching David walk in them long been back from being in Switzerland, actually, and from doing the film ticket the song Ticket to Ride I think remember anyway, Davey rockin was not pleased. And Dick Lester, to his credit came up to me and he said, I'd just like to congratulate you, Chris. That was an excellent day rushes for us. Thank you so much. Well, of course they were absolutely right. Right. And I said, Well, I'm really sorry, Richard. So and, and most of the well the news got round quite quickly. Jenny Jenny cooked, you know, Jenny cook. Used to oh, well, okay. Jenica was Malcolm married to Malcolm Cook, who was thickness as pa at that time. I remember quite well to Amphitryon. And we're sort of if you've needed to get her own back on me, she would remember. Remember film the help. Remember the rolly rushes, mate. So just be nice. Everybody makes mistakes, basically was the was the message which is fair enough? Yeah, of course. And but anyway, so then basically, I can't remember the other films I've worked on either. That was before I left. That's before we left. MGM with David Hemmings and Sharon Tate. JD Thompson I Freeman was the director was it JD? Ross Lloyd was certainly the editor. I worked with Ross on that as his second assistant for a period of time. But yes, either devil. Well, that was and that was at the same time just before the Vampire Killers I think. Because Sharon Tate was in there and there was a Marty Ransohoff production. And Sharon Tate was Marty Ranger Hoffs binte if you like all star and in Roman then obviously met up with Sharon Tate on that film because I read as I recall, David live and Deborah Carr were in it so I can't remember when that came whether it came after coming to the year

Speaker 1  1:01:26  
it was either devil was released in 66 Help was released in 65. But it's possible that

Speaker 2  1:01:32  
yes, okay, so I may well have gone back to MGM for a short period of time, which probably will happen

Unknown Speaker  1:01:43  
torture God Grand Prix

Speaker 2  1:01:44  
and then there's Grand Prix was at MGM at that time. That was quite fun. I have to say it as much as it was Big John Frankenheimer film. Yeah, I mean, looking at all these racing cars and they are wonderful love it loved it. You know, but didn't. Dave who was the editor on that can't remember his name Dave, somebody rather nice guy. I worked with quite a fortunately, I worked at MGM with quite a lot of nice editors. And one two editors in particular, that were very instrumental in my decision to stay in editing. One was Margaret booth. Margaret Booth was a present I think of MGM. The time fine Edit Find editor worked with the likes of Thalberg and people like that. And she would not see didn't sit on the fence about anything either. And she would run rushes, for example, in her own project in her own room and on her own projector. And she and Frank Clark was the editor of yet a Rolls Royce and of VIPs I seem to remember in John Grover was his nephew, John Grover, cut all the buttload of the Bond films. But Margaret, after say was a very good friend of Paul ball mills, and often came for dinner and so on so forth, and she would tell me certain things about films that she'd worked on and why certain things were done a certain way. And she always said a bad edit is better than keeping a dull scene in so if cut look bad, you've got on with the story. So just get on with the storytelling and not worry. Just

Speaker 1  1:03:28  
have a look at the editors have gone better. We've got Dave Henry Berman, Stu Linden Franks and

Speaker 2  1:03:34  
Frank bro. Frank Santillo. Dave Brotherton, the president. Okay. Maybe. Okay. Still Linda Amber certainly remember? Yes. Okay. But anyway, so. So Margaret Booth was very influential. In many ways, a because she was very highly thought of, and was a friend of pools and actually spent a little bit of time and explaining the process of everything and Ralph, the other one was Ralph winters. Ralphie winters, who was a lovely man and his wife, Teddy. It did the Pink Panthers. And he did I think it was Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. So he goes back and musicals. I mean, come on. It's me. It was a marriage made and having to go and work for him. And I've worked on Victor Victoria with him. Fine enough. And it was that number to Julian Julian God called Jazz hot. Great number. Very good number. Actually, I have to say it but it's the film isn't the film. Wasn't that great. I don't seem to recall. But I love the number.

Unknown Speaker  1:04:41  
He is Frederick Steinkamp. And Fritz

Speaker 2  1:04:43  
Steinkamp. Yes. Yeah. And so those were very debate but Ralph was Ralph was a very dear. He was a very dear friend. I can I've worked with him on a couple of films. Fair enough. One was called orca killer whale came on as a second. third hit her. In fact, I seem to remember led by Marian Rothman initially when I joined it for the very beginning. I'm probably jumping the gun but

Speaker 1  1:05:10  
that's up to 77 to switch. I mean, sure might be just keep us on track. I'm looking at it. So I mean, I can read out some please do anything that springs to mind. We don't need to talk about all of them. I mean women in love sort of right out, I suppose.

Speaker 2  1:05:27  
Yes, women in love. Yes, that was that was. That was great fun. I had previously worked on Far from the Madding Crowd at Shepperton Studios as a sound assistant. And weirdly enough, I'm not quite sure why, but I did get to know Alan Bates. Okay, and then women in love. We went way to winter, we went on location up there, in fact, and I was working with the technical Mike, Brad Saul.

Speaker 1  1:05:54  
Who I met Yes. Oh, you've met Mike. He came to talk about women in law. Oh,

Speaker 2  1:05:59  
right. Okay. Well, Mike Brown, Mike, was I have lost touch with him. Actually, I don't know. I'm not quite sure how Mike is at the moment, to be honest. But whether you're there or whether he suffered from dementia or whatever, I don't know. Maybe not. Maybe none of that. But he we've not seen him at all. I know, he separated from his wife some while ago, but my breath saw. And I was Mike had asked me and I'm not quite sure the connection how that came about. But it was always word of mouth, you know, when you went to work on the field, you know, so and so and so and so. And generally in the bar, you know, or whatever. So anyway, so I was a bit of a flashy burger in those days, to be honest, because I'd got my I'd loved II type jags. And I had an E type Jag, which is quite poor Ponte ponte. And drove up to Darby, and, and stayed at this hotel can't remember the hotel name. But anyway, the production office only booked one room, which meant I had to sleep with Mike Bretzel. And it was only in it it was in a double bed as well. But I still remember that, but I don't remember. It was it was odd. Put it that way. So I kept that very quiet because it didn't go with Ito Jack, I'm afraid. And, but thoroughly enjoy it. That was great fun actually working on that. And Ken Russell is great. His his ability in terms of photography is you know, stylizing shots and that sort of thing. was very, very well with Billy Williams who also may was the was the DOP. And yes, and then we went, we did the editing as we went along down there I met

Speaker 1  1:07:51  
very involved with Ken Russell want to oversee the editing or

Speaker 2  1:07:55  
not at the not at that stage. No, not at that stage. He he would come in and we'll look at the old seen here and there. To be honest, you know, and I got to know Anna Bates better funnily enough, I just reintroduce myself. And he and so we had a few jobs we've gone out for. And Oliver Reed didn't like him. He played rugby for Rosalyn Park, funnily enough, but I didn't like him because I've only ever heard of a bit of a brute, to be totally honest. And there was nothing very much likeable about him. I didn't think anyway. But not because he played for Rosalind Park. It didn't help. And but anyway, that was we then took the film back to we worked in Soho. On that film. Terry Rawlings was the sound editor who then became an editor and worked on a lot of prestigious good movie big movies. And, yes, and then the next one came after that was the music lovers. That was a weird film to be totally honest. I mean, I love Tchaikovsky. I love the music. I think that Well, if that's the truth, is that this film is that the true story behind Tchaikovsky so be it, but I think his music was lovely. And that brought me on to a little bit of classical music become classical in those days. Not really. And I'm not really now but I do. I do listen to quite a lot of classical music from time to time when it's on but I'm not a lot of why oh connoisseur of, you know, performances. I did meet, of course, Andre Previn, which was somebody because he goes back to the old Hollywood days to have musicals. We were doing the music recording session at Wembley. There was a studio BBC studios there at Wembley, the list I don't know. Anyway.

Speaker 1  1:09:56  
I think it will used to be read a fusion studio. Oh, was it? Yeah, I think I think I might be wrong. So I've got the last run 71

Speaker 2  1:10:05  
Last round sound assist. I was working as a sound assistant to a guy on Saturday called Les Hodgson. I knew and I got to know Liz. In the early days of MGM funnily enough, I can't remember what film. Oh, yes, it was Ross would come back from. He was working on a film called Night of the Iguana. I remember. And that was an MGA. That was the post production was done at MGM. And Lowe's was a sound editor. You know what? Again, it's all about silly games, we all play. I mean, less was always up for prank, naughty pranks. And he would, he was a little bit mischievous, I must admit about it. But I'll never forget, he actually rigged up a system he got in really early, which is unlikely. And he linked his cutting room which was an interview into into, into sort of swinging door type into from his off as face cutting room into Russes. And he linked up this device, a tube that went under the cutting room, under the cutting bench and went into Ross's pride and joy, his own movie Ola. And he was just resting in there. And less, actually, would look through the porthole of the swing door. When Liz when Ross started to play, he always cleaned his machine methodically every day. And less would then light up this cigarette and blow smoke down this. I mean, it's so stupid, isn't it? Right? And it would come out of the movie Allah and and Ross would say, Oh, my God, look at this and the go through and he'd look at everything couldn't couldn't see this very well tapered, bit of pipe work, which is transparent. And anyway, I mean, less. Less thought this was hysterical. And he was beside himself. And he fell through the swing door in the end out of laughing so much. And Ross then realised what had happened. But Ross wasn't but Ross was not amused. He was not amused at all. Because he was taking them for taking the taking the Mickey in front of probably me and Unix was his assistant. And and his love and joy was his movie earlier that he would he would clean over on a regular basis. But anyway, so lays lays was he was very good. He worked with Liz Wiggins on Apocalypse Now. For example, the director of what was his name pocalypse now anyway, took these two sound English Sound Editors out to America to do the sound, you know, which was which was a high achievement. Coppola, was it not? Yeah. And unless I say the lows, the last run the George C. Scott was in it come members have come up with a girl's name. But anyway, that was an MGM film. I seem to have seem to recall. But and then the film after that last run, but that's when I first worked with Liz anyway.

Speaker 1  1:13:15  
So last night. So your credits are sort of in different sections?

Speaker 2  1:13:19  
Yes. Because in those days, you see different credit use you went because you wouldn't ever go from one editing job to another. You always had to have a fill in. And so yes, I was a music editor. I was a sound editor. It was so theatre

Unknown Speaker  1:13:33  
of blogs in 73.

Speaker 2  1:13:37  
That was to guy called Peter Peter Elliott, who was a cell who was a picture editor was an editor. I knew him as an assistant. And he knew me as a second assistant, so he thought we both grew up together. Yes, the theatre blood theatre of blood. Was that Dougie Hickox? No it wasn't no, Freddie Francis.

Unknown Speaker  1:13:58  
No, you're right. Oh, right.

Speaker 2  1:14:00  
No, it wasn't Peter Elliot that was Malcolm cook. was the editor so theatre I was maybe theatre bloods not? Wasn't when I did a Milton Subodh ski film. Okay, maybe it's not listed. These are the some of the films that are not listed on IMDb, I'm afraid. So theatre blood was Dougie Hickox. That's right and Malcolm was the editor. And I can't remember who dubbed that whether that was can't remember. But I did work with Lois Hudson on a number of other films certainly, but certainly knew him. I knew him probably what got me into the film. What got me not into the film street didn't at all, but it got me better known if you like we used to have inter cutting cricket matches. And I was quite a good sportsman at school, but then fell out of sport because of us because of the osteomyelitis was I was quite a good cricketer. And we were so it was it was Shepardson versus Pinewood or something like that. But it was less Hodgson's team versus this guy called Don ran a singIe and Don said it is and I'll take his accent on this and I was the last one to be selected right so you know who's Am I gonna go on and let's and don't really sing He said I don't want to bloody Chris Kelly. So less than because he didn't know me. Whereas the other guy he did know. So that's all that's all that was about. That's how it came across to know anyway, so we lose anyway, Conrad is singly was bowling at me. Right and I hit him six sixes and I actually was my reparation and I'm actually people started to talk about oh, Chris Kelly and then he took Don first 6x is 36 on one over I say so I got a reputation for being in a bit of a wild boy I suppose. But are there other I mean, all I said it is in those days isn't that it is included. Bill Blunden member Bill Butler craggy Keith Palmer they're all editors little you know, but all enjoy playing the sport and less and less in particular was very unless of course was just delighted at my the result of my three sons and I 660s. Anyway, but we've worked with liaison as I say a number of films. But we'll get on to another story about leis limit later on yeah

Unknown Speaker  1:16:45  
carry on England

Speaker 2  1:16:47  
you didn't Yeah, that's a little bit with Peter best was the sound editor on there. Yeah. Nothing much to say those cameras have carry on

Unknown Speaker  1:16:57  
apparently going badly badly.

Speaker 2  1:17:00  
Paul Brannigan was before we're Brannigan well there.

Speaker 1  1:17:05  
I mean, I've been may come up in butley is dated 70.

Speaker 2  1:17:08  
Okay, well, badly. Again, that was autos film, auto flash flash because it was for the American Film theatre. I think they were doing a series of movies and Bartley Luthor was another one but not that was Kai Green was the director of that cup member who edited that anyway, but badly called then, Alan Bates again. And he was cheeky. I have to say, he was always great fun, I have to say I mean, Harold Pinter is first directorial and only probably directorial debut for all I know. Yes, good farm. But Otto Otto. He, yeah, I liked Otto. And he like he really liked me. We just got on, you know, and I think probably a little bit of the Jewish sort of side and plus barley and ski that He then got to know. And I introduced my mother to Otto, and to Paul. And they got on very well. So and actually, it was a it was a very close association. And in fact, when my mother moved from Mrs after Paul had died. To where she went ended up in mud in muddy road now just in the way in anyway, a block of flats. Otto and Louise was in the same block of flats as well funnily enough, and now so very close with Otto and Louise, I have to say, and of course, which then got onto other friendships because I know Angela and I know and I've worked with on several films, theatre blood being one of them, of course, and the numerous other films subsequently Orca, killer whale, which we'll get onto that one as well. And Andrew, I feel very remiss about not having spoken to Angela for the last 18 months to be honest. We tried to get them down here, but this is because of COVID and and Skinner. Skinner. Yeah. And so I feel I need to fight longer. That's an inciting moment is the moment you've gone. ashore, ring them up and say right, we'll come in and we're gonna buy your lunch. Yeah. But anyway, so, Brannigan. So Brannigan. Yes. So running and work with Malcolm cook again. On that, and that was meeting John Wayne, who will have to say if you haven't met John Wayne, you've not met anybody? To be totally honest. I mean, this man was big in stature, big in big and everything and the theatre seven viewing screen or theatre, or Shepparton was big, big door and he opened the door open and he filled this doorway he just looked at me and knew it just amazed actually knew we're looking after this giant of a man in stature and everything else. That probably it was that was actually quite a highlight. In many ways, I'll never forget that. Because those were stars, you know? Yes, there are others admittedly. But if he was somebody that you just looked up to, and you say, anyway, he shook my hand, he said, hi. Grierson shook my hand are small, tiny. Anyway, apropos that, funnily enough, and I've only just decided to do this. But at the, in the end of filming or shooting, most directors if you like, or artists would buy the crew, a gift of some sort. And in John Wayne's case, I got this gold plated mug, coffee cup. Here somewhere it says Chris from Duke All right. And we all got one. And I thought, well, the kids my kids are just not going to this is you know, what has he got a value on the auction world? Yes, it does. Sort of sold it for 2000 pounds for goodness sake. A coffee cup is not just ridiculous. Yeah. Could have got more but there you go. Anyway, so yeah, weird. But that was that was that was fun film that was a very meeting someone like like him for something else. But of course, it probably. As far as Paul was concerned, in his role as bubblehead publicity was concerned that he was he Ava Gardner was became an old friend of Paul's, he, he guided her in so many ways, and she very, she was absolutely dedicated to Paul, funnily enough, hated MGM. You know, there's no doubt about it, if you call them fucking bastards. And that was it, and I'm proud of it. And the reason, one of the reasons behind that was on Showboat. They replaced her voice, singing voice, which she said how she felt her singing voice was actually pretty good. And it actually wasn't bad. Actually, to be totally honest, it was a very, very lovely voice. And so Paul looked after her in all sorts of, you know, with reasons now at the time when she was on Mogambo. And Sinatra went out. And, you know, I think she became pregnant basically. And it was all very hush hush, but I think it's quite common knowledge now. And, but she was very devoted to Paul and Paul and slowly My mother actually became very close friends for the time that she was over here, living in any small gardens. And I attended the the blue plaque ceremony, which was attended by Gregory pecks, daughter, I think, spoke a few words about Ava and Becca Dori passed away that point. And Angela was there Angela and came along. She said I thought you'd be here. And she actually whilst the antics of stars of that era, you know, you have to put up with with quite a lot of rubbish to be honest, I've got a lot of crap. You know, I'm this I'm that I demand this, I demand that. And the egos are massive. And I had little time for that. Although I've after quite a lengthy period of time, though. She she did sort of, I got to actually quite like her actually. And see, when she attended. She came to my first marriage to to Carol. But she she was very aware of the fact that it was our day and she hid in the background. So she was she had some very good qualities of that there is no doubt and, and she's very, very fond of mum and dad. Paul. I always call I actually called Paul lad, because I felt it was dishonourable to call him dead. Stupid, but it's one of those sort of things you know, you do and yeah, it the same way. So, Eva did grow on me, I must admit and we had to do have a lot of laughs You know, when she came to our parties I didn't I went over to her house you know flat you know a number of occasions. Gregory my brother of course his his claim to fame which he boasts about so boringly was a he slept with Ava Gardner. What he actually failed to mention he was two at the time but he's a story that he's sticking to anyway. But no, but she was she was actually she was actually alright in the end. My liner I suppose with age, you know, people you change you just become much more level grounded, much more grounded. And so anyway, so yes, my time with many of the MGM stars, if you like at the time, Dana Andrews after my father His death, very kindly came and took me to Harrods and bought me a bicycle. Which was really nice. So it supported my mother. Of course it was, you know, I was so used to you those little stories that one tends to forget actually, but I didn't know him. I didn't know. So he took me to Hyde Park and I promptly crashed into a tree. I remember wobbling about left. Then definitely stabilisers. But anyway, I felt confident. Okay, now I'm okay bang. But anyway, so yeah, so there's, there's, there's, there's, there's good in everybody to be totally honest. Okay, through these ridiculous moments of I am. You know, hate to think what celebrities are like these days. I don't know. But I don't really want to know.

Speaker 1  1:25:55  
Next on that 77 I got a TV miniseries Jesus of Nazareth.

Speaker 2  1:25:59  
Yes. That was the Franco Zeffirelli thing. Reggie Beck, Reggie Mills was the editor on that. And I did, I did a number of weeks and months actually on that the aircraft was the assistant at one point and then left to go and do something else. Then I took over. And I and Franco was I think Angela Elland, I think was continuity on that. I think Franco at the time. Yes. Somebody said to me, oh, Franco's. He's no, he's noted you. And I said, is that good or bad? I said, probably bad. But he said to reading very nice energy to find him. So I stayed clear as, as best as I possibly could. But that was a good actually, that was a good TV series, actually, to be honest, although it was very well done very nicely, very tasteful,

Speaker 1  1:27:04  
almost television editing pretty much the same as No,

Speaker 2  1:27:08  
I think television editing, I think film people look down on television, people and television people felt, you know, I suppose to che, type of thing. But that's clearly doesn't exist anymore. I have to say. No, I think there was a bit of that, but a snobbery around. I mean, there was quite a lot of snobbery around anyway, I think even though I get it, I remember my first editing break, trying to get even trying to get scenes to cut with editors I'd worked with as a learning curve, was very difficult editor was very reluctant to do that, for fear of actually thinking of seeing a director saying that, well, that was nice, well done on that it was good thing. So there was there was quite a lot of that. And so I think quite, I felt that quite immeasurably in many ways. Whereas I thought, Well, look, how am I gonna learn? You know, I'm not a great fan of media courses, particularly. Because I think you're better off learning the trade on the go. So so to speak. There are rules, of course, about anything in life, but the moment you know, the rules, well, can you only then can you break them, but knowingly, you know, so. And, and I think that I've Yeah, I think I've learned enough, you know, what can I say? Really? I could have done more, I could have done better. I that I that I know, but that's the same. I'm quite I'm quite sort of realistic, but I do believe in enlightened talent, so I'm still waiting for something.

Unknown Speaker  1:28:48  
So you touched on Walker earlier,

Speaker 2  1:28:50  
Walker. Walker was that was again, he was another dealer. I did a lot of work for DiLaurentis films for in life and, and was on Orca. The work with John bloom came on as an editor, Marian Rothman and Ralph winters with all three that was a was a cash in the pocket film that was and I was my role amongst being a father being a first assistant was to go down to Barclays International and Trafalgar Square, and get out the wigs wages in cash. That's what I that was my my major role as far as everyone else was concerned. And we're talking serious cash in those days. I mean, he wasn't badly paid. And I think like it is today. I have to say, I think salaries have gone way up by comparison, as I understood as I understand it to me, but yes, then I've worked on and so I've worked with John bloom on that. Orca. We then worked out and that was another film Angela Allen. We was on that day Michael Anderson was the director. And Angela had a little the fling with Michael syndrome presentable as if she was she would admit to that first but yeah, that was that was that was really good. And we went, came back we then went to first of all the first location on that was out in Newfoundland sets St. John's to the capitol and it was that's where they were doing a lot of the, the bow of the boat thing things anyway. Charlotte Rampling who was I thought rather rather gorgeous. And there's no doubt about that she Richard Harris, I could put up with again because he was a bit of a loose cannon. Right. As was will Samsung, a loose cannon serious loose cannon. But the hairdresser on that films on location certainly was a Paris his name was and he said that he was Jackie and Jackie Kennedy's hairdressers. Now whether he was or not, I don't know. He may well have been but he would all he would do the units here and that sort of thing. You know, and and he said, Chris, why don't you come in his you know, come down, I'll do cut your hair for you. I used to have anytime. And anywhere else to come down, went down. And I had my head down one evening. And I went down to his sort of his his hairdressing salon, which is just opposite the cutting room where we were editing. So it wasn't you know, and well off. You know, I felt a little touchy feely, there's no doubt about that. And then he said you would have fancy drink. So when another drink before I before the glass actually hit my lips. He jumped on me. And I said, Paris. Hey, no, I'm a married man. It was cliche after cliche after cliche. And I said, I'm sorry. I've got a con he's Oh, well. Alright, I'm sorry. It's a bit lonely. No, I'm not. I might have said well, count me out, pal. That's it. Thanks for the drink. And as I was walking down to the cutting room the next day he was coming out of the of the salon with Charlotte Rampling. And I silly silly looks right? And he said to me, as I was passing, he says, No offence about last night. Well, I'm fine. Right now another bright word moment. Sport, whatever pitch there was completely. And she just laughed, she just sort of grin on your face. But it was it was one of those silly moments that you you just don't forget. I've never been jumped on by another bloke in sexual non sexual way. But anyway, but and then we went to Malta. And some funny stories on that Chris Ridsdale was became an editor who's now an editor. He I think he was helping out with me or John bloom out in Malta. We've just opposite the Hilton Hotel, where we had there was a rerecording room. Why I don't know but there was not far from the from the hotel. And Luciano Vinson certainly was the producer. And although Dino was the main was the main man but he was the main on location Luciano? Hysterical typical Italian. And he was waiting we were waiting for a posting session with will Samsung, who had not I don't think been long or out of Cuckoo's Nest very close to the dates anyway anyway. Big Bang big you know visible big Indian type and anyway we knew he had a bit of a red reputation for alcohol during and and he was a bit late and we Luciano was saying Well come on we was going to go and get go and get him so I said to Chris so he as he was the assistant so he went down to this club where they knew it's well known that that's where they resided for a few drinks well absolutely Snazzle this guy was Chris managed to get him out so well done Chris because he's Chris is quite short, and will Sampson his life and I've doubled the size and came for that got in there by taxi said Luciano vinsonii says game and all that sort of thing. And other disability disastrous recording recording sessions because it just didn't happen. So we had to postpone it for a week I think. But anyway, the funny funny moments, but you get these moments all the time. And there was a do sort of you sort of live on really you know, even by going out to have lunch with the the old sprocket tears group at Shepherd labellers Shepperton. very insignificant part. But it's a quiet place where they cater for us extremely well, we get about 25 people guys, which is really nice. We talk about the old days and events and that sort of thing. And it's great. It's great sort of telling stories of yesteryear. Love it.

Speaker 1  1:35:17  
So did you get to go on location very often like that?

Speaker 2  1:35:22  
Well, funnily enough, yes. Did did quite a lot of locations Fine, then. But I'm not quite sure that coexists anymore. Simply because of digital and everything can be telephone through whatever you do, however you do it.

Speaker 1  1:35:35  
Okay, so you did death on the Nile? Not long after we did. Did you have location? Did you do much location? No,

Speaker 2  1:35:42  
we didn't on that one. Day that we stayed here, I don't know, but I, I have to say as a result of devil and I fell in love with Egyptian history. That just might is mind blowing. And I did subsequently go over there. And I've been over there like eight or nine times, done the cruises, done a lot of you know, trying to work out all the various dynasties, but it was it was death on the Nile. That was was the inciting moment. For me. It has just led me to this path of thinking, oh my goodness, okay. I've got my little things I'm going to take with me when I go. And, but prior to that, I think was sky riders.

Unknown Speaker  1:36:38  
It's not on your list. It's not on it's not on IMDb.

Speaker 2  1:36:41  
Oh, no. Okay, well, that's an that's not on that is not on my list. I'm just talking about as we're going through now, but sky Riders was a film with Susanna York was Douglas W Hickox was the Director Malcolm was the editor Angela was the was the was the was the continuity go. And that was on location. We were in Greece stayed in Athens. And the locations were quite fun. And most of Angela was certainly chased by some very wealthy gentleman who gave a party in her honour for the film crew. And it was fantastic do I have to say it was an amazing day. But we had we had a very serious accident on that film, where an explosion was to happen not in the not not near where the Acropolis is, but the adjacent hill where there was this amphitheatre and it was supposed to be a controlled a controlled explosion. This merican special effects guy, the production manager guy called Dimitri Dimitriadis dodgy, they dodgy. He crept in with his family into a no go zone. And the explosion went wrong. And this bag of petrol this sack of petrol exploded like a napalm bomb and went straight to this wall, which hit and then exploded over where this guy Dimitri in his family, Dimitri Demarcus, was. I don't there was one death. And but anyway, that was a major incident. And that puts the production in jeopardy because the Anglo COE relations with with the Greeks, the Italians, the English and the Americans. So that's pretty much the became basically someone that we had to get out of, and Bernie Williams, do you know Bernie Williams at all? Production Manager producer left went to work in LA. He had to remain as in custody until such time as the court hearings if you like, were resolved. So he was the human bargaining chip. That Sandy Howard was the producer and we had to go and shoot reshoot relocate somewhere else. But the film star, is it Charles as never was in it? Who was he was delightful. Really nice. Every time. We were in the bar in the hotel, having a drink or he would walk in the the the in house. The in house pianist would sing and play. And he would say thank you. That's very sweet. I must admit that he did it. He did it himself one day And recently you use it on cloudy for you. But yeah, yeah, we're gonna say but so that was that was another field another location. So I did go on quite a number of locations I must admit. And in fact getting back to DiLaurentis when I worked on a site where there was Orca, then there was Flash Gordon, is that sort of coming up?

Speaker 1  1:40:25  
It must be on here Flash Gordon? Oh, that'd be under special.

Speaker 2  1:40:29  
It'd be under special effects on that, and that was especially on Flash Gordon was being made just around the same time as Star Wars. I think, I think a lot of their special effects were on black screen on black velvet. And as far as Flash Gordon was concerned, we the specialty visual effects we're not we're against blue screen, we tend to did concentrate much more on blue screen, which had its own inherent problems have a lot of foxing around the edges sometimes, but more often than not. In fact, I think we were probably on that film. And I did go over to America on that on special effects. And worked with a guy called Frank Vanderveer, who was a special effects supervisor on that film, as opposed to be not that there's the visual effects as opposed to optical effects, as opposed to George Gibbs, who was a special effects in terms of big motion events, if you like. And six months over there, which is pretty much had six months, actually, it was a long time and it took Carol and the kids which was nice, nice to do. But I have to say whilst it was good fun, a lot of it was very good fun. Most of it was good fun. America and Los Angeles. I felt was just not the place for me. I was asked if I would like to stay. And I said no. I said I couldn't wait to get back to Blighty To be honest, I think different different mood now. Go. And anyway, I turned it down. Because this is the plinth that you know. And Frank Vanderveer was we were very, he was very good to me, Frank, I must have looked after me, and showed me around and introduced me to various other people and various other special effects people, you know, at Columbia and Warner's and that sort of thing. And we it was a little convention type of thing, which is, which is quite challenging ideas. Quite good. But I think we were quite innovative in some of the things that we did. In terms of multi layering and that sort of thing. We were the first ones I think, to do a digital overlay of background or foreground, basically. Which worked extremely well. So you know, Flash Gordon in his in his on his bike, for example, on his sky scooter against a cloud background, which was all manufactured in the little water tank with different coloured paints and all that sort of thing worked extremely well. And you say, in some respects, it was the start of the digital age coming to it's for men, but in a very, very basic way, without any doubt at all. So but anyway, after after Flash Gordon, I was very glad to get back to to England. And then Malcolm said he was going to go and do Malcolm Cook, the editor was going to go into a Zulu dawn. And that meant going on another location. And I think I've basically was my decision not to go, but I think we can all deny we've done enough. And the time to sort of stay put really, and for the children's are quite young. And it would be unfair to take her and for me to go yet again. For Dum Dum a bit. No. So anyway, so I didn't do that. And anyway, well after that.

Unknown Speaker  1:44:22  
So that was 1980

Speaker 2  1:44:26  
and then Ragtime? Yes. 81 That was at one Ragtime similar. I worked as an associate editor on that number DiLaurentis film. And that was something I missed out on fully, foolishly, in as much as the last form of funny, odd man, to be honest, didn't really like him too much. Maybe he did like me, which is very possible, of course. You know, you'd say to him, good morning and you see what's good about it. Is it okay but only further not that sort of communication. But anyway, he had his editor at the time. I think they wanted a change of editor. And then I think they got on a series of different editors and coats being one Jerry Hambling being another. And then Dino said, Would I go over to America to New York with it and work with whoever the other editor another editor was? And I turned it down again. I said, No, I don't think so. Although New York I really liked I have to say the few times I went there, when I was on Flash, Gordon, can see some special effects people over there. And so that was the second time I turned it down. I don't know what you know, it's those sort of moments. Was it a right decision? Was it good? Who knows? But as I say, rugby for me, then getting back to the rugby thing was the core ingredient upon which I said, No, I think probably in the back of my mind. I've got too many friends back here. I've got all my film friends, which is great fun. There's great camaraderie amongst that group. But I also have a group that actually I get on better with because it's not just about film. And my wife at the time, didn't really come to terms with film people. She found us a little odd, and uncontrolled and undisciplined and working too many long hours, and things like that. And she felt that wasn't conducive. And so anyway, got long story short, you know, didn't work out. But then my wife, current wife 28 years now. Done Right? She worked in the film industry, in prosthetics, and animatronics met her on the Keep which we're probably going to keep surely oh well how extraordinary 1983 Well, the keep what was the good to say about the keep not a lot suffice to say the money was great. We earned a fortune on that. I've never had in those days a year salary but when well into the 5050s 50k I thought well that was That was alright you know was okay. And anyway but Michael I go man these reasons least talented, but it was in the days when directors had too much power. I think and they weren't controlled and I can't remember the guys names at Paramount. The one guy in particular but again, very the the Jewish network if you like he gave Michael the carte blanche basically and he could do what he liked and he did he reshot, he re edited and he re edited and edited and he wouldn't show Paramount fine cut because he was wanting to change something and they said finally it'll come to me the name of the producer where he's one of his cohorts he also had a post production supervisor that came that he brought over much later on in post production guy called Nick Brahms he worked with on Miami Vice tick Brahms and I didn't get on very well didn't get on with anybody actually the bronze he knew very little he had little ability to be able to understand or to coordinate or to you know placate if you like the requirements and the reasons as to why things were done a certain way we're always open to change of course and with Michael you had to be there's no doubt he has a mind but I think I think he was the was the powder basically that got in the way I think of that but we weren't a lot of a lot of money in the film was a complete disaster right as far as box office was concerned. Finally I think Dino they had the Paramount had they were going to do a you're going to do 40 prints 70 millimetre prints at one point or near the end and that was the distribution where which when they send saw the film, so I don't think this is going to hold up. I mean, the special effects were horrendous. And what Evers was the was the special effects guy and I'm not quite sure where it went wrong. It was a meanie miscommunication between Michael Mann and what Evers and if you know what Evers Did you ever know he wouldn't have done I don't think was just two people completely on a different wavelength, how things could be done on what Michael wanted and how he explained it and it was it was it was not good news really while he while he suffered very badly on that on that film. I think he did Feeling recall, he actually died on that film. Think of stress just got to too much for him. But anyway, I went out to America on that film for a number of previews and that sort of thing. And then came back and re edited and dove, the American original editor guy called off her neck. I think if he came to tend to the end of his tether, and went back to America, we don't know, it was it was weird why he did, but he did. So I in effect took over, if you like, whether it was good or bad, I don't know. To be honest, I was getting I got a increase in salary, which was still more money, you know. And so, but anyway, the end, the end result was that I think it had a very limited opening, I think they ordered 1035 millimetre prints in the end. Yes, but that's where that's where I met my second wife anyway. And that's, and she's a, she's a bright individual, I have to say, she, she worked then for universal, and paramount in distribution, and foreign versions, and all that sort of thing, because she got involved with a company that I set up, called splice, right? It was a post production hire company. Basically hiring of Steenbeck movie owners equipment, there are a number of is a number of us doing it. And it was it was a way of extra income during the downtime in between films, you know, and I took some time out to build it up. And really stupid. It was a it was another Miss move, if you like, shouldn't have done it, because what it did serve is so very little purpose, in some respects is to give us a bit of money extra money. Of course it did. And it even gave me a salary for a period of time, but I didn't edit it didn't edit at that point. Had a couple of other directors who were editors and that didn't relation relationship didn't work out. Because I was the only one that was using the house as the as the guarantor, if you like for debt. So basically, we then get to a situation where yes, that was there. A number keep. So the keep finished. That was 1984 Was it?

Speaker 1  1:52:40  
Well, I've got I've just got the release dates. Probably so right. It's got 83. Okay. You got two credits, and we were talking about footsteps before. Yeah. So you got nope, I've got Mona Lisa and Cry Freedom here that Yes. So you have the footsteps editor.

Speaker 2  1:52:57  
footstep editor, the Foley editor. Yes. Men are named after George Foley, who's who I guess in America started to have an eye but but it was always known as Foley footsteps anyway. And yes, I did a couple of films. Mona Lisa. Very enjoyable, I have to say great, found it quite innovative in making sound effects and you know, running along the Brighton promenade and all those sorts of things. But more more interesting was probably cry freedom. I probably did. Yeah, I think it was quite creative. I must admit, I did get nominated for a Golden real award on that. And we got a certificate didn't win it. However, but I enjoyed doing that. And again, it was very, it was fun, because you're just playing around, you know, inventing sort of, if you've seen the film, I mean, all the time. It's amazing. Really what we did do we managed to do in a theatre with, you know, all these sort of shacks being bulldozers and you know, how you created these effects and you know, was was awful. Okay. It was challenging, but actually, he won that award. So well, it didn't it didn't win the award. But and that certificate that certificate when we lived in we lived we lived in we had a little smallholding not far from Newbury, and we were robbed. We were robbed and they took my certificate. I mean, please

Unknown Speaker  1:54:27  
record every picture tells a story.

Speaker 2  1:54:28  
Every picture tells a story. James Scott and Christine Ostreicher. Do you know their names at all? I know James Scott, you know James Scott, where his father was an artist. And yeah, he was on shot on 16 millimetre. I was asked to edit it again I don't know how that came about. It could have been it could have been via an agent it could have been Marsh management. With you know Sandra Marcia tool map Okay. Anyway, so it could have been. And so it was an editing job. So over and up and Adam on anger was my assistant on that. We went up to Glasgow, which was actually was ready for, I think, six, six weeks, something like that. Yeah, what can I say?

Unknown Speaker  1:55:23  
I'm super 16

Unknown Speaker  1:55:26  
Okay, here's my ignorance. What's the difference between 16 and super 16? Besides

Speaker 1  1:55:29  
that the frame size? Oh, yeah. And it doesn't really matter pass probably because quite a few features were shot on 16 shot on Super six.

Speaker 2  1:55:40  
I think it was my channel, I think. Oh, no, by mouth, okay. Okay, so it did work on nil by mouth. Okay, funnily enough as but I was only syncing up. What was I doing? ridin in not far from Richard Goodwin's place in East End of London anyway. But yes, I was doing some editing on it initially was to shoot. And then and then they had their editor that couldn't start until later on. So I did some. Yeah, so I didn't put it down as a credit but I did work on it.

Unknown Speaker  1:56:20  
tells a story. Shady, shady,

Speaker 2  1:56:22  
shady, auto plush Gus. Producer. Philip Savile was the director cuz I'm so good at names suddenly I was gonna I was thinking amnesia was setting Yeah, Tony sure. Was the was the actor main actor in it Larry lamb. Billie Whitelaw and pretty girl Patrick money and pretty girl. This there's the ash did something silly with her lips. seem to remember her own tragic, gorgeous, interesting

Unknown Speaker  1:56:56  
film. I don't know.

Speaker 2  1:56:59  
It was. Yeah, it was it was quirky. SNU Wilson was the author wrote it wrote the screenplay. Yes, what do I say about shady? It's not one that actually comes Romany to mind as a blockbuster. I have to say. But yeah, but that was with Dr. Otto again anyway. And was it No, Angela wasn't on that.

Unknown Speaker  1:57:24  
Okay. Let's move on. I'm trying to get more or less Cornwall. Oh, okay. Empire State.

Speaker 2  1:57:35  
Empire State. First time director. name eludes me right now. Norma Heyman was the producer.

Speaker 1  1:57:43  
I think Ron had he had made films. Previous he had had, yes, yes. He made films for the BFI. He died recently.

Speaker 2  1:57:51  
Did he? Okay. Oh, right. Okay. Well, the association between Ron Peck and myself wasn't that great in as much as the material supplied. And Mark Ayers mark is, I think was the producer. They were associated with and writer, Ron Peck. Yes. Normally Hey, man, I think that was it was my agent. I had an agent in that at that time, Sandra Marsh anyway. And yes, so I got that I got that gig. But the material really didn't work terribly well. It's very, very one dimensional, very insular, slow and needed. You've just needed to up the pace. And if you haven't got the material to up the pace, very difficult to do. And, of course, the comments by Margaret booth, who said to me, Look, if you've got a bad scene, cut it out. May if it means having a bad card. Well, there were several situations where there would have been lots of bad cards. And I didn't know how I got in full Tony me was the DOP. And anyway, there was this fight sequence that we had to make and Ron Peck didn't really want to do it. He wasn't quite happy St. He was pretty bloody, pretty nasty. So I directed it. And with returning me, basically. And it has to say yes, we went for the blood and the goal, which is completely contradicting the other material in stuff but a fight to fight for goodness say, you know, you can't say you know, this was actually quite brutal. And we did make it brutal, but we had enough cutaways to do you know, that would get us around problems. I seem to remember the fight sequence being acknowledged if nothing else, but that was about it. For which I don't, I didn't get a credit or anything like that, but at the same time, it was Yeah, it wasn't it wasn't a good film and I did watch it. I did watch it a number of years ago, two or three years ago when I had nothing else better to do just out of interest. And I could see music was by what's what's the name anyway well known group

Unknown Speaker  2:00:28  
and Steve Parsons,

Speaker 2  2:00:30  
Steve Parsons. No, he wasn't. Wasn't he wasn't him and I was thinking about anyway. Anyway, okay. Anyway,

Unknown Speaker  2:00:38  
but he was caught me rebel was that,

Speaker 2  2:00:40  
I think could have been. Right. Okay. But he was, I think, I think the film and that some of the actors in it had close contact with the gang land East End of London. So they were pretty unsavoury individuals to be honest. But anyway, yes, it's not one that again, as you know, we talk about sort of fulfilment when our gods can brings me back to rugby again, because because I was getting a lot of fulfilment out of playing rugby and trying to reach a level and a standard by which, you know, there could take the intercounty level and know that sort of thing. But anyway, so I wouldn't say I didn't have my eye on the job. I did, but at the same time, it probably I should have resigned. I don't know. But it was a job. And we all needed the money. Yeah, and I did see it through. And in fact, I have a funny feeling. You know, Tony Sloman. Tony, was either the sound editor on that, or he was the sound editor on shady.

Speaker 1  2:01:46  
Yeah, I noticed that he'd worked on something. I

Speaker 2  2:01:50  
mean, dear old Tony, I'm gonna name well, okay. I don't know he upsets a lot of people. Right, Tony? Take it out.

Unknown Speaker  2:02:01  
Move on. Getting it right. Getting

Speaker 2  2:02:03  
it Right. Randall Kleiza was the director who did? Oh, quite well known for Saturday Night Fever. I thought I was just good. This is Chris's crack. And, and again, it was very weak story. Very weak story. But a hairdresser. reasonably good cast in it. There is no doubt I seem to seem to remember, you know, and but again, it didn't do anything. Didn't do anything in the box office. It didn't it was, I think, was it Channel Four could have been for Channel Four film could have been had on the bottom. She was lovely. Yes, Jane Horrocks. They were they were very good. But Randal Kleiser I'm not quite sure. Yes. I mean, come on. Yeah, he's a cook. Peter Cook. Yeah. And Jesse was Jesse boots. I don't know what he ever did afterwards. i It's

Speaker 1  2:03:04  
an interesting period, actually, this period, there's quite a lot of films that sort of you just don't see anymore.

Speaker 2  2:03:10  
Well, that's yes. They this is this is going to come into a point about sort of an era for me where the film has been made in this country. We're not they were more for the pseudo intellects, if you like, of which, you know, the film industry was about, you know, as I see it, it's, it's, it's about fun. It's also about it about people. And I don't think these were these were films about individuals that really sustained interest, and you have no empathy and care. And that's very true of a lot of them during the day. Probably more so. You know, anyway, getting onto myself, my favourite subject later on that summer

Unknown Speaker  2:03:56  
of white roses.

Speaker 2  2:03:57  
Yes. Interesting. Yeah, that was that was I went on as a sort of second editor was originally cut by a Yugoslav because he was directed by a Yugoslavian guy called Ryko grillak. Yep. Actually wasn't a bad film. Susan George was in it. And as I say, I knew in terms of all the yes I'd worked with Simon on stealing heaven call Ken Dale and he was producer on on this and, and writer as well. Yeah, I thought it was actually not a bad film, funnily enough, a bit sort of slightly off the wall off the cuff. So yes, the the the Yugoslav editor. He lost it completely. I am not sure what happened to him. I'm not quite sure whether he had a drug problem, or there was a mental illness that succumbed him on that, but he had to go back to a to to Yugoslavia. Anyway, I took over the editing of it and Rocco grillak was a nice enough bloke but my God did he smoke I mean this the editing room was just was just you know, fog. It was just fog It was awful, awful situation to work in, to be honest and I'm actually quite ill after that. When I got a cold you know, you then suffer suffered as a result of all that inhalation smoke, but I was done. We did that a Shepperton Simon Susie had there any international basis that sheperson? So, yes, but I thought that was actually quite a nice on Tom Conti season George Rod Steiger. Yes, I had a reasonably good cast, but didn't really make much. won a few awards. You know, as far as international awards were concerned. That was

Speaker 1  2:05:54  
so on looking at IMDb, your credits kind of jump in there. Yes. 295 that house that Mary bought TV movie? Yes.

Speaker 2  2:06:04  
I'm gonna calm down here is called rumble. Yes. Okay. Well, sounds good. Yes, that was. Again, that was probably around the time of setting up the company. There's, I think I take myself out of the out of the run of films. And there wasn't that much going on. And what there was was pretty a lot of few established editors didn't find problems getting work. It's the people like the the underlings, the younger people coming through, we're finding it hard, some got good break, some didn't, you know, and that's just the way the cookie crumbles. But anyway, I made my choice about the good thing or the company. I think that's what that's what that was about, but didn't which lasted a number of years. Certainly he did. But he also the company was always was certainly up and running at that point. And there was a film, I'm jumping the gun slightly to that period of time, where we supplied a lot of equipment to a Italian film called Genghis Khan, which is being shot out in Kyrgyzstan in Russia. And this was a third of the dates now this was 91, the time of the Russian coup. And the film, Lois Charles was in it, it was going to be directed by kinetic and I think or one other English director, anyway, ran into problems whereby the Italians and the Russians between them decided, because of the coup, they would call a false measure. Which brought us into a bit of a situation whereby we're not we weren't gonna get paid the company the company wasn't gonna get paid. And Andrew Allen was also one that and anyway, because I've written the thing fun live about it, which I'm going to put into the British film editors magazine, as a story, fascinating story, actually, but includes the mafia. Basically, we are talking mafia. And my dear friend, Liz Hodgson. And they owed us this company out is a lot of money back back pay. And they said, We don't owe you any money. It's a force majeure. And a guy I knew from orca guy called Pino booty was, I think a production manager on it had confirmed they owed us this money. But they weren't going to pay it. And so funnily enough, there was a investigative journalist by the name of Nick Hopedale. I'm amazed that my name is coming up, but he's crazy, who actually had been in touch with Angela, and have been in touch with a number of other crew members who hadn't been paid either. And he got to hear of our company, and myself, and then came down for an interview and he told us, what he was involved in, in terms of trying to find out more about the film and its money sources and so on. And he wrote this article, which we, you know, we are quoted in that article quite, you know, condemning the production company, you know, in no uncertain manner. And anyway, this article came out and the article was for a time supplement magazine that went round all the financial institutions around the world, and they were trying to raise more money. And because of our criticism splashed by the company splash, right. We received or Denise received a phone call threatening, very threatening vocal about redacting the article and about the involvement or involvement in about the money they wrote us. And we said no, Oh, we're not going to do that. And she said, Well, you wouldn't be very careful. Because if you don't, you will come to great harm. Basically, that was the inference. Nick Hopedale confirm that because he said, the money and the deal between Russia and Italy was mafia bad money. The producer was a guy called Enzo Rispoli. Minh Naples, no builder, and say no more. So we, they then say, well, look, no, you need to redact the article. And then you need to come over and see us. And we will discuss what we will give you. And bring the piece of paper whereby Pino booty had signed the letter that we owe this money. So I didn't say I don't speak Italian. So who do I know who speaks Italian, there's Hudson, who had worked on a lot of different films, and and with whom he was a great, great friend, I asked him if he would mind coming over to Italy, just to listen to what they had to say. I didn't tell him the whole story until I was on the plane, where he asked to get out. Anyway, we, we, we met this group of individuals, so very suspect looking characters in a very downtrodden part of Rome. And we entered this building the take, even the taxi driver couldn't wait to get out of the place the area. And we were summons dean. And we arrived at the right time until the fourth. And I had obviously copies of everything that we had not the originals. And we were summoned into this room. There were three guys, four guys, in fact, one, one very large fat gentleman, who was brandishing a pair of scissors in his hand like this, you know, and the looking menacing individual. And they proceeded to say, Have you got the piece of paper, let's say they want to see your piece of paper that you've got. So I gave it over. And they went like that. But a talk. And Les was listening intently, and was thinking I was gonna be get out of here, the better type of thing. And I wouldn't disagree with him. But you know, they owed us about 30,000 pounds, which in those days was a lot of money. Not only that, we had we hadn't got the equivalent back from Russia. And anyway. We were then asked to leave and sit outside by the disgust and Alyssa to said, looking alright, and things are looking good. They say that the boot the boot the the signature is authentic, and that we owe that you owe them the money. So you've got them over a barrel. So we went back in they offered us, I think it was 80% of what they owed us. Now I thought that was okay, that for me was a result. Less was then feeling slightly more confident at that point. Because he could see that the turn the table had turned. And he said he didn't think that was good enough. And went for more. And I said actually no hottie I don't think this is unquote. We'd be quite happy with that. He said, Are you absolutely sure. So he made some Italian sort of appeal on my behalf and said that he was very upset about this and so on, so forth. And we needed to get the equipment back to England. And so they agreed and said, Okay, 80% is what we'll pay you. They said okay, and that we had to go, we were happy, they were happy for us to go and get the equipment. Which we did. And Denise and I flew down to Moscow, then took an internal flight on Aeroflot to a place where we thought was called Bishkek was then friends because they changed the names during this period of time of hiatus. And we cut long story short, to be honest, but we loaded up all the equipment onto this truck to go to a truck and they were going to then drive it all the way to 1000 miles to Moscow to Mosfilm. And we said that we needed back in England, it was like God, you put them on a plane at the airport, there's no have to go back to muscle Mosfilm so you don't argue, you know, is a lucid I think we should get in fact my solicitor at the time our solicitor said Get the fuck out of here as quickly as possible. And

Speaker 2  2:14:58  
so we loaded up the truck And we had a wonderful interpretate interpreter, because we couldn't speak any Russian, they clearly were not prepared to speak in English. And we loaded it up and it was, you know, good. Two or three days work Denise actually consign it, because everything in those days had to be consigned to a in terms of inland, inward, outward sort of bond type of thing. So they had to be correct. And, anyway, yeah, so we left. And that is another story altogether, which is actually very funny. But I'm gonna bore you to death on that one. But we got back to England. And the equipment finally arrived back in the UK, like about a month later having been stored. And the reason to get a bag early, or as soon as possible was because winter was setting in. And the cold in the freezing cold weather down in Kyrgyzstan was not good for lenses or anything. And anyway, we got it back. And the equipment was stored upside down, outside. And it was in a terrible state. But we thought we've got it back. You know, we just have to make make do with it. So that was the, the inciting moment again, another moment where I said, you know, what, if this is what business is about, count us out, right? So we suddenly sold the business, basically, not for much, but we sold it in reserve ions. But so then I started concentrating on a form of career if you like, and then probably gets us to the house that Mary bought the house that Mary bought.

Speaker 1  2:16:36  
Yeah. TV, movies and TV series will rumble

Speaker 2  2:16:40  
Rumble. Rumble was Bryan Bryan. Bryan Glover. No Brian Glover. Oh, he's in it. Yeah. Oh, I'm Brian. Brian, how

Speaker 1  2:16:51  
many credits on here. There aren't that many credits listed here. Know Japan for directing Roger Bamford.

Speaker 2  2:16:58  
And Tim Amara, Tim O'Meara, who was a writer as well.

Speaker 1  2:17:03  
I've been Yeah, true. Me was the grind true.

Speaker 2  2:17:06  
That's what I think about. Yes, had lazy Joseph in it. And number of others. Take once again, it was a really poorly constructed script to many characters trying to tell his story. And it just and of course, or hum fiddling with a mic on tonight, sorry. And Lesley, Josie was a very good friend of a very good friend of mine. And she she felt the story wasn't well edited. So I said, I really I said what I say primarily, the, all the things, we're lazy jokes, were all too long. You needed to, you know, if it's a comedy, you need to roll on, roll on roll on. And she wasn't actually very funny in it. I'm not a great, a lot of great fans. Probably not the right thing to say. But hey, it is what it is. But anyway, you know, it wasn't successful. And I've worked Andy Richie is now the assistant to now as an editor, doing well for himself came on as assistant editor and he edited, like, unlike a lot of the editors in my day, wouldn't ask me to do any editing. But I got Andy to do a few episodes for you a few things, which was, which was good, you know, which is fine. And so not a very successful TV series. I don't think after that,

Unknown Speaker  2:18:33  
how's that Mary?

Speaker 2  2:18:34  
Mary Bill was this was summer cold and Susan George. Yeah. Done in Luxembourg, which is when I was we, Andy and myself were thrown into the mire of digital editing for the first time when the producer said have you edited on on Avid? Oh, yeah. Nice. No, not a problem. No problem. Andy, have you do you know, he's a friend. His idea

Speaker 1  2:19:01  
was 95. So this is why early really in this sort of digital, it

Speaker 2  2:19:04  
was it was at the beginning. It was actually at the beginning of it, you know, and so we drove the equipment out with a suite which we hide. Oh, no, that's not true. It belonged to the producer Tom. Tom. Yes, no, we didn't, but we have to set it up. His father was also a producer. Anyway, and anyway, Tom Reeve, and his father was Jeffrey Wright. Yeah. And anyway, so we went out there and we set it up and off we went. And actually we got by. Fortunately, the turnaround from Russia is going back to England and then coming back out, gave us a sort of a good seven or eight day period

Speaker 1  2:19:55  
was it being shot on film being shot, digitally,

Speaker 2  2:19:58  
being being edited? Usually, so the transfer and everything else product. And, again, it's not a great film, what can I say? You know, it's not another one of those.

Unknown Speaker  2:20:12  
Right for reappraisal, possibly. Maybe they need to be seen again? I don't know. I

Unknown Speaker  2:20:17  
don't know.

Speaker 1  2:20:18  
I mean, they're hard to this quite hard to say. I mean, it is a difficult period as well, because I think with that crossover between film and digital, so there wouldn't have been an edited print with there wouldn't have been a cut. Yes. So then you just end up with digital material and things get lost, things

Speaker 2  2:20:36  
do get lost, because they're tucked away on little little CD ROMs, and that sort of thing. So that's that's it. So whether they're worthy of being rejuvenated into the public? Here, I'm not quite so sure. I think probably the one in Yugoslavia probably was worthy, would be worthy on that. Definitely. But sadly, the others every picture tells a story, probably not.

Speaker 1  2:21:05  
So did you carry did you do much more digital, I think we got credit on on here sort of dry. But I see me you're carried,

Speaker 2  2:21:14  
I think I can't remember when I started on family affairs. A family affairs came out of the blue for six weeks work. And they were doing it in the traditional way that they've always done it actually editing in an edit suite. But it was not a digital editing suite. And digital was clearly the that was the way ahead. And the turnaround that they had for a soap on Channel Five, the launch. That's linear system being on video was not quick enough. So we learnt from our avid and I went with it. And they said this is good. This is quick, this is very good. And I edited the shows and then they got re conformed from digital to linear obviously from distribution point of view with the Channel Five. And actually, that six week that six week job turned into nearly 10 years. In know, and whilst it was not ideal material, there is certainly it really wasn't. But I was getting good money. I was getting over 60,000 a year, in those days doing a television soap. Could I do that? Sir? Can I sustain that for a whole year editing films? And the answer was no, I don't think I would,

Speaker 1  2:22:50  
but also the work you have to put into getting a job is it has to be built in doesn't it? Whereas if you've got a regular solid, yes, that's what's

Speaker 2  2:23:01  
regular? Well, he there was holiday credit. And he was sick pay. There was you know, time off for Christmas and all those sorts of things, you know, and and that was it was an all in deal. Okay. They didn't work weekends. No. And that was that. So actually, it was it was very good. But it got to a point where I'd actually got had enough we had a read and I got on with the cast really well. So I know a lot of the cast members and they still do to this day, extremely well and keep in touch with them. And and anyway then pull Marquess I think came in as a producer after a period of time and changed it all around. And here we get into a different whole different ballgame of characterization and and it became rather I thought I don't know, not for me and I said look, you know, what was her name at Channel Five Korean Korean Hollingsworth. I said to be honest, Korean, I think I need to move on. I've been doing this for too long. And she said well, what am I? What about if you were to direct some? So I thought okay, I'll give you the crack. Put it that way. Because it's like, well, it's it's another avenue. latent talent, right. Anyway, and I did about I think I probably did about 40 or 50 episodes, I think I didn't like it at all. I found it very restrictive in all sorts of ways. There's no creativity for a start. Because it was a predetermined, you had your set, you had the three walls, you had your cameras. It was already pre edited, because on the script, you got characters that he could do their character at best if they were any good at doing it. So there was very though it was very limited. I have to say in some of the ones that many of the ones that I did, and you know so without downing the soap as such, it had its good points, but actually creatively it certainly didn't To fit the bill, so I thought, you know, then when? And then at the end of the day, yes, I directed a few went back to editing and then it wasn't recommissioned basically. And I think we'll actually okay. And that was the time when I actually reached was I was about 60, then I suppose I thought early retirement. So. And at that time, the economy wasn't that bad. To be honest, it was in a reasonably good position and thought, right. Okay. So anyway, I Denise, my wife is working in distribution for universal paramount. And she said, Well, look, there's a job here. What about if you were to go into doing being a Production Supervisor Post Production Supervisor? On and this was on I think, King Kong? Michael Jackson thing. Okay, yeah, man, this

Speaker 1  2:25:55  
is Peter Jackson. You said Michael Jackson. Oh, quite different. I was thinking.

Speaker 2  2:26:03  
I don't know. Anyway, and so I thought, yes. Okay. I don't mind doing that slightly out of my depth, in some respects, although I was a sound editor. And I know what the requirements are, and foreign versions, getting various languages put on and putting it together and all that sort of thing and then getting them mixed. Sending them over. Yeah, okay. So I did that. And they said, it's in you have to go to Bangkok. Oh, okay. I didn't mind that I was out in Bangkok for must have been two months. Doing all these various versions. Shit, then check printing out they wanted me to check print as well. Which I found rather boring. How many times can you see a film? I mean, come on. And so that was good and very good money. Oh, that's okay. came back and she said, Look. She says I'm not that I want to get rid of. But we this is a few months later on. We're doing well on Mission Impossible three. We'd like some we need someone to go over and do that. Which meant going over to Los Angeles. Well, I've been to Los Angeles on several occasions before and I thought well, enough time had elapsed. Yeah. Okay. Yeah. Big dinner. And my I'm grateful. Come on. This is good money. And but and I knew the new the mixer, Andy. Because he was he used to work at Shepperton. And we had a good laugh. So it's really a bit of a reunion as well. And in Denise knew Andy Well, and Denise came over, because she knew all the sort of all the translators, as well. So she had a bit of time out there as well. So we had, actually, it was a good time. There is no doubt. But all the reasons as to why I didn't want to La live in LA, came back and I thought when once it was over. And you know, that's lovely for all the people who are very nice, really, but it's a shallow society. It is and, you know, go back to late and not late not late and talent, but rugby, I should say, Oh, my friends are here in the family here and the kids here and the grandchildren so wonderful. And so I just I decided that was going to be it. I had a wonderful time. I stayed at the Beverly Hills Hotel. I mean, come on, off, everything paid for at the Hyatt did a number of weeks and stints there, then I've heard it's fantastic. So in some respects, it's been very fulfilled in terms of fact, yes, I've done a lot. It doesn't amount to a huge amount at the end of the day in terms of credit worthiness if you like. But actually, would I change certain things? No, I don't think I would, actually. And and of course rugby is one thing and everything is where it is supposed to be. And then and so at that at that point, I decided to putting up with a lot of bullshit, actually because there was a bullshit what was rife in in LA, leave me in and I mean that in the nicest possible way. But you know, it's not a great society, not for someone like me, who has a wealth of mates and friends and family back here. There's no, there's no, there's no comparison. So and that was it and a lot of my a lot of associates if you like it also passed away. Margaret Booth who I used to keep in touch with a little bit Ralph winters Fritz Steinkamp people that he'd gone here they passed by. So I retired. That was it. I said, That's it. We're off basically. And we both the needs of she worked from France. We went to live in France for 10 years. And again, it was one of those sorts of things and during that time I was looking after all this time Still, after my mother died, I then looked after and I thought it's a good time, I'll concentrate on Somali and ski music. And, and to that end, I did the best I could. I never spent time learning about spawning and ski from my mother who always wanted me to spend time with her. And I said, I don't have the time I'm busy working to same thing now I have with my brother right now. Because whilst I learned the hard way, I'd read through it all. I listened to it all. I knew a lot of it anyway, of course, because I'm that much older than my brother 11 years older. So and I was the right person to take it, take it over. And I knew Misha and Eddie and the family and Ava and what they've come in to do with it. But Marlena, and you raised me well, I keep in touch with Peter Peter Riva, who is his Molina's daughter's grandson, keep in touch with him, and we share the odd email here and there. And so starting to so promoting, spoiling and skiing the best way that I could in the limited way, dealing with publishers, I felt I found very restricting over a period of time, always we had our meetings with the publishers, and always left the meeting feeling quite buoyant. And I say we my brother and I, because that way, he would learn a little bit as we were going along, but the intricacies of what music and what numbers are in what shows and what film once I was I didn't know. And, and he his music was incredibly diverse. And, and so there was there was a lot to learn. I mean, to say these hundreds of music and musical numbers and scores that I've got is you think crikey is a lot to pick up and learn. As I say, last 20 years, some 17 years I've been doing it. And so we get to the point where we uncovered my mother uncovered a symphony that my grandfather wrote, between the years of 1941 and 1965. And she thought it'd be great to get this played. Now she spent a long time. And she met up with the guy called Davy Kershel who was the in house music guru, if you like at the University of York, who loves Polanski music, how she met him, I'm not quite sure all probably through the JNI Jewish music Institute, possibly. And he worked on it and said, it's a wonderful piece. However, it is not a symphony in the true sense of the word symphony. And so therefore, maybe you will get it recorded possibly, but it could well be chastised as not being a classical piece, in the true sense of the world of Beethoven or Tchaikovsky or whatever. But many, many composers, you know, wrote symphonies of their, you know, many of which probably never been heard of. And so it was a sort of quest after my mother died to try and rekindle that. That recording of being able to sort of do something with it. And it was by chance, actually, that an individual gentleman called Michael Anderson, Michael Emerson, who had his record label called tecarta, classics rang me and he said, That's not the answer. He knew he knew my mother. And she was talking about doing the doing some work on the on the symphony, and maybe we could get to get we could get together on it. So we did we did and with the with the with the so called help of the publisher, who we did a deal with, I know years ago, which I agree, greatly regret, I have to say, has was we did the recording and Latvia, MD last April. And the way of marketing the whole thing about the symphony abouts Polly insky was all they wanted. They wanted to do this by streaming. And I thought, well, that's just ridiculous. To streaming. What you're streaming, you're not streaming a name. You're streaming a piece of music that has no history behind it, that you don't know that you haven't I don't even know whether you've even listened to it. Right. So how can you that's not marketing. That's not promoting fast, just lazy, sloppy. We'll get it out and see what happens. Because there's nearly 25,000 to put this on full full, you know, orchestra massive in Latvia, I didn't go over because it was going to cost too much money. But the good conductor poor man was was very good. And he was very sympathetic to the whole sort of thing. And I thought the piece was very nice. I have to say it lasts about 45 minutes. It's in five movements. There are sections of the music, the wires of slowly ASCII would recognise that come from film. And think, Oh, that's a bit of this. And there's a bit of that and which is interesting, of course, because they would know much better than I, I have to say, I'm by no means an authority on music at all, far from it. But on spending ASCII maybe yes, I can tell you where they all came from. All the songs and so on, so forth. But it was it was nice. And actually, the we also decided we wanted to do my mother also started fishing out my grandfather's, make it do a biography and autobiography.

Speaker 2  2:36:02  
Which has never really hit the hit the the hit the spot yet. We're working on it. And we're still working on it simply because his his biography is more anecdotal than anything else. It doesn't have the background behind why things happened, which actually from a biography, biographical point of view, it's actually it makes it interesting reading, hearing snippets of bits of information about this and about that, and his experience on that. Well, it's interesting and good to have, and we will do something online. We will, there is no doubt about that. And we will do it. Because that's the cheaper way of doing it.

Speaker 1  2:36:38  
I think it's a nice way to do it, because people can stumble across it. Well,

Speaker 2  2:36:44  
well, possibly. And we have the Westfalia ASCII website, and people can can pick it up on that, admittedly they could do and getting a book Getting a publisher. I mean, music sales said we do it. You said it lightly. You know, and as I say, the the end result about about the symphony was it's not it's out, I'll give you a copy. I'm gonna bore you to death. You can have a copy of it on CD, even my grandchildren's at CD, though. And that's part of the thing of the past. But anyway, so, you know, spoiling Lansky still attracts an audience in Germany. I don't know how well I have no way of gauging how the symphony has been received. I have a few reviews, which I'm told are really good. But I've read them. And I think, okay, they're in English by English people, but the ones in Germany, I think they're short pieces. I don't know. But in terms of royalties and results, it's not what it was all about in its entirety. But it'd be nice to see a slight return on our 25 grand outlay, of which music sales contributed probably 10%. That is it. And that's more about the copying. And it's all they do all paper pushers. Sorry, Chris Butler, you are a knob. So we've achieved that, and we will do something with the autobiography because it'd be a shame not to, for those that are interested. But people you know, but as far as publisher concerned, the only way that his name will last in perpetuity is if he's promoted. Trying to get in the BBC or to get people to do a programme on polyenes is quite difficult. It's very hard to get it's really hard. And I saw which I had reason to get in touch with Debbie Wiseman. Only because I've worked on this film with her that she did on Western mccorquodale, only because she's the only person I know that I think we're okay. And I don't even know that worldview. I was very the for years. And I have a voice out of the blue. And I explained to her my situation and predicament. And of course, she did explain the sort of things about publishers. Yes. I'm not surprised. It'll go in the classical archive. And then that's it. They won't do anything with it. She is also she has some works with them. She says I don't have that much. But she says you will find the same thing with Warner Chappell with universal all the big sort of music companies. And they're big corporates and you don't stand a chance. So getting back to where we probably started was thinking, well, we got 32 years left. Greg, what do you think? I said, I have you know, I don't know what I don't have these things have worked out for 32 years. We've done the accounts now for the last six years, saying look, please just disregard the COVID years because they don't represent anything and I So I'm waiting to hear, I'm hoping that the result will be a positive result because I think that his music stands a better chance of living in perpetuity or for dance dance out longer than it is we're living with the, you know, English publishers over here.

Speaker 1  2:40:16  
Well, I think we've come full circle. I think that probably useful place to end. I think it probably is yes, up to where you started. Well, I

Speaker 2  2:40:24  
hope it's an informative one. I think there are some faster, unnecessary I've you know, pictures here. I mean, there's a lovely picture of Ava there, which is, I think it's very rare. You see, pictures relaxed. And she was a great friend of the family, you know, and, and, yes, I did begin to like her in the end.

Unknown Speaker  2:40:48  
Thank you very much.

Speaker 2  2:40:49  
Not at all was a pleasure. Thanks for your time, and I hope it's of interest of your views, as they say, oh, it's all

Transcribed by


Chris has  had a long career in the industry, working as an assistant editor from the early 1960s. His credits include Ken Russell's Women in Love and The Music Lovers and he worked on the special effects for Flash Gordon.
He is also the grandson of film composer Mischa Spoliansky and met many figures from the industry through that connection so he has a lot of interesting stories to tell.