Peter de Normanville

Family name: 
de Normanville
Awards and Honours: 
Work area/craft/role: 
Interview Number: 
Interview Date(s): 
28 Feb 1991
Production Media: 
Duration (mins): 

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Interview notes



Born in London, 1922, went to Ambleforth, [Ampleforth? DS] left at 17/18, joined the Royal Air Force, became a night bomber pilot; after two crashes was invalided out, became a political agent for a short time. Through a family friend (Earl St John) was offered a job as Assistant Cinema Manager. Met Donald Alexander of DATA who suggested that he went to Shell for an Assistant Cameraman’s job. He did and was taken on as a fully-fledged Assistant Director, £7 a week. Was an assistant to Denis Segaller, then worked with Sarah Erulkar. Transport Film Unit offered him a job as a Junior Director, but Shell made a counter offer of Senior Director, which he took. He talks about his aircraft films. Eventually he left Shell as he wanted to be a ‘film’ man rather than a Shell man. He had by this time become known as a science film maker. He talks about making Calcutta A Living City [actually The Living City. DS] with Sarah Erulkar. Also, about making a film which demonstrated the Schlieren Effect at the Leipzig Film Festival was described as the Picasso of documentary films.


He talks about making films in Morocco for Shell, about a film made for Burmah Oil, 78 Rivers, and also about the film he made for the OECD. He also talks about his membership of ACTT’s General Council and his period of shop stewardship at Shell. He then talks about the film he made for Morgan Crucible Company called Carbon and working with a cameraman, Arthur Wooster,[BEHP interview No 445] for whom he has the very highest regard. He then talks about a film he made for Gilkerson, sponsored by Costains, The Critical Path. (This was dealing with management technique). He then talks about a film which he made for Joseph Lucas, Let There be Light with producer John Armstrong and the cameraman Arthur Wooster. This is followed by an amusing story dealing with filming at Stonehenge, and the night that both he and his wife Sarah Erulkar got BAFTA awards.


Starts off with him talking about a film he made on Islamic Science [Islam and the Sciences], and again Arthur Wooster comes into the story, then Sarah Erulkar comes in and talks about the film she made in Wick with Alan Jeakins (camera) called The Hunch, for The Children’s Film Foundation, with Jack Holmes as Producer. Peter then takes over to talk about a film he made on the British Nobel Prize winners, and his film made about leprosy [Leprosy]; Sarah then talks about her film on the same subject. [A Disease called Leprosy]


Sara reminds Peter about the time he worked for the BBC, when he produced a series of films English by Television; then last year, 1990, on the anniversary year of Whittle’s first jet flight he was asked to make a film, then having started, he exactly six weeks in which to make it and produce the show copy. They both then go on to talk about their other life, selling antiques.


[Alan Lawson writes] Please, purely as a personal note, this was one of the most delightful experiences I have had in some 80 interviews.


Alan Lawson  0:00  
the copyright of this recording is vested in the ACTT History Project. Pieter de Normanville, documentary film director, interviewer, is John Taylor, recorded on the 28th of February 1991. With interjections from his wife, Sarah Erulkar side one.

John Taylor  1:11  
That now, we can do that later, right. We start with you, Peter, whererever you might start page one,

Peter de Normanville  1:25  
we think a bit later than that you choose, and that's sort of fairly typical product of Madras education public school, which was actually a Catholic monastery. Which Ampleforth and was due to go to Oxford in 1940. But in fact, events meant that they went into the Air Force in 1940. And beforethe had one of the first ever air type version of the Officers Training Corps, which was common at that time. And I had done  a set amount of flying in aircraft of the RAF, and was offered immediate Commission, which I turned down and took me ordinary Turner starting off in the ranks and finally ended up with commission ended up very unhappily because I joined up because basically, I hated night bombing and wanted to be a fighter and shoot them down and found myself flying like bombers. I complained bitterly, and had a weekend under open arrest. When my squadron leader said, Well, I'm fine, it's up to you. You either have a gun career as a bomber pilot, destroying those horrible people who want to bomb us at their home bases. Or you go down the mins as a Bevin boy. So in fact, I decided to become a bomber pilot. 18 Yeah, we, we were when were you born? I was born in 1922. And where, where were you brought up? London very much cockney? Yeah.

Alan Lawson  3:10  
Sorry, anyway, sorry,

Unknown Speaker  3:11  
fine. My sort of next event in my RAF career was when in fact. Flying a twin engine bomber I flew into a mountain on this edge of Scotland. Someone funnily enough at the Duke of Kent Kent had flown into about six months earlier. The only peak restricts about 3000 feet. My navigator told me that we were saved at 3000 feet. I pull one of the crew out with a broken spine and the other four were dead. I actually had headlines on the local paper for him was a hero which was a bit sort of pointless because that he was the hero so vaguely tried to save myself that at that slightly shattering to kill three quarters of your crew  about six months in hospital and then they put me under for engine bomas. Which was slightly shattering to me because I was still 18 and I was by seven years the youngest four engined bomber pilot in the world. I say there's a certain amount of confidence because I certainly wasn't the RAF I know. And as best I'm assured the Russians the Germans and the Americans, you had to be a colonel or there abouts before you ever commanded a four engined bomber I was 18. My air RAF career ended finally over Brest when in fact 11 of us went on a daylight raid. Thought is a good idea by ministry because the the sorry, the Americans were doing it successfully and out of the 11 two got back. My wing commander was one armed with the other one. And, again, most of the crew dead This time I had a year in hospital. And it came out being told by carnival Air Commodore Kearney Bell, president of the central medical board, that I would have a wound pension which would keep me and comfort my life, but I couldn't expect to ever work. Actually, I was sort of working as a Political Agent fairly soon after that. And at the end of the war, sort of vaguely felt that a Political Agent wasn't a longtime career, I always have been interested in films had been impressed by the very rudimentary training films that I saw in my RAF career During my training, and decided that would be the kind of thing I'd like to do. My parents had a very good friend who was, in fact, he was the top executive of Ranks production, and said he would sort of start me in the film industry. That was awesome. John was awesome, John. Yeah. Which, in fact, my parents thought was a marvellous idea. And my starting in the film industry was going to be the assistant manager of the Kerr? Odeon, which wasn't exactly the career movie. So doubtless, I would have been a very rich and successful gentleman have I taken this job up. But in fact, I went crawling around the streets of Wardour, and there abouts being totally ignorant of the documentary movement, literally, unbelievably ignorant, but sort of that I knew was where I wanted to be. And I was thrown out of innumerable offices by innumerable, spotty faced office boys or telephone girls, until I walked into Data, and quite extraordinary was shown to introduce the Donald Alexander was very charming, very sympathetic, but simply can't afford the luxury of taking people off the street and training them to make films at nations. But what I would recommend is a very good cap school Shell, and they give a wonderful training. And if you do a year in  Shell, I'll guarantee you a job with data. So

Sarah Erulkar  7:13  
these are on Donald live, and yes, but years

Peter de Normanville  7:19  
later, we got together Don Lobos live with me, commonly in Whipsnade. Anyway, I went down to Shell applied for a job as a camera assistany at three pounds five a week. Believing in fact that it was essential to learn the camera side that I wanted to be a director eventually. And to my great consternation came out of shell as a fully fledged Assistant Director of seven pounds 15 a week.

Sarah Erulkar  7:49  
If I can just interrupt, I can remember stating I've been coming for the interview, because we had a sort of open room there. Charles Sylvester was by the window. And I was sitting at my desk which is near the door. And I can't actually remember Peter coming in. But I can remember him walking out and tall Sylvester saying there goes a hawk eyed young man. That's the first time I ever noticed it.

Peter de Normanville  8:11  
Did you see it? Charles Sylvester interviewed me and no no producer tool in fact, I think Jeffrey Bells had accepted me and have a vague feeling of both ultimate always been the held out against me. Sorry, that's what really run the record. Go Anyway film was a sort of natural home for me because I didn't know it. But actually my forte such that may be is definitely a sort of science and technology. And that of course is what Shell does. And for the rest of my career, I in fact stuck in that rut which I got into at Shell originally. You know, I made films.

John Taylor  9:03  
Sorry, did you work with Shell to start?

Peter de Normanville  9:07  
The first significant one was Sarah. I was her assistant on what was the film it was all about aeroplanes history. The helicopter? Yeah,

Sarah Erulkar  9:15  
no, no, it wasn't it was the one of the Reddit.

Peter de Normanville  9:19  
Yeah. I remember being on vacation with your dad at Yeovil.

Unknown Speaker  9:23  
Yes. But that was that was it was Dennis Egalla? for ages?

Peter de Normanville  9:26  
Yes, that's right. I was a system that Dennis Egala?, who was really ended with a nice person, but in fact, I spent my first year in libraries, finding out the structure of molecules. And it was only when in fact that management found that I spent a year finding the structure molecule, they suddenly realised they ought to do something about making me more filming client. Anyway. I met Sarah worked for her She's told the story in fact, in her narration of how in fact, we got married and

John Taylor  10:07  
more about your time at Shell. As an assistant,

Peter de Normanville  10:15  
I ended and you might know the year better than I do. When transport Commissioner started. Edgar offered me a job as the junior director. And 49 years that really about right. And I actually went in to tell my boss at Shell that I was leaving to be a junior retropart They said, No, you're not. You're a senior director at Shell. John Roman, was it

Sarah Erulkar  10:45  
a charge then?

Peter de Normanville  10:46  
I think this was John Drummond. In fact,

Sarah Erulkar  10:48  
it was still Charles Sylvester, and it was off to Jeff Ebell.

John Taylor  10:54  
So you became the director? Yeah.

Peter de Normanville  11:01  
My memory is not nearly as good as Sarah's the first film I think. I made some quite small films. Certainly, I made a film on highlights of Farnborough falling on one that Sarah have made years before years earlier, you know, an annual series and

Sarah Erulkar  11:21  
forming of metals can quite soon

Peter de Normanville  11:23  
net was later. And that sort of tiny detail about the highlights of Farnborough was that the Daily Express had a cartoon cartoon of me looking from the rear of a bomber aircraft, my camera man, Sydney Beadle detail, both looking very alarmed and a few feet away as a pilot in a hunter aircraft, Geoffrey Duke, looking extremely alarmed. Obviously, air to air photography very close. And the slogan is, and all they say is what bloody wonderful music the film's got, which is an actual one, I've got the cartoon upstairs.

Unknown Speaker  12:07  
But it was also I think, was the first time on this, as Peter says it was a yearly series. And various people did it between the time I stopped and Peter started, but I think was the first time they did air to air shooting on that one. And that series, quite possibly. He got to know all of the pilots.

Peter de Normanville  12:29  
I made these oh for two or three years, I think, as a kind of annual thing. And I got an extremely well because as a one time pilot, I obviously had very good contacts and this sort of RAF mess on the RAF Empire test pilots mess at Farnborough. And it got to the ridiculous situation that in fact, no credits to me, but sort of, because of good drinking relations with pilots. The ministry got on to Shell, and profoundly objected to the fact that they made a film every year. And they wanted international publicity for their aeroplanes. And my last film or film, I had the rather bitter situation of having to make copies on my own budget for 22 different international film organisations. Because in fact, a minister got onto a director of Shell and message came down to me give it to them all. And in fact, I kept two shots, which no one knows, but we're in my film and not in anyone else's. And they were two of the great shots have ever been taken air to air. Well.

There's that Oh, in any days, you know. Anyway, my gossip about these films, they were great fun.

But not terribly serious, important. Roughly, at that sort of same period, I made a film called High Speed Flight, part one approaching the Speed of Sound, which I think in its way, it was a very significant film, because it wasn't even possibly is still a standard work in the Russian Air Force, the American Air Force, and almost every air force in the world on the particular problems of flying in this region across the sound barrier. And it's sort of typical kind of situation where I was very lucky, a personally and b to be at Shell because it was requested by RAF and Shell as they always did, if ministry or that kind of authority asked them would try and make a film to sort of suit the demand. And it was originally given to me as a rather low budget, rather sort of nuts and bolts film on the theory of the sound barrier. An entirely out of the blue I happen to see at a very specialised . Research film made by Let's go Jack North, who was a laboratory assistant to National Physical Laboratory. And it worked out an extraordinary technique for showing shockwaves. In colour in real? Well, when I say in real effect, in real fact, obviously, our models, and I realised this made a sort of totally different situation possible. And I went to my bosses and said, if you're prepared to raise your budget from 5000 to 25,000, I am prepared to make a film which will shatter the world. And they said, Okay. And I don't want to be to sort of thing about myself, but even when I was making the film, Sir William Found who was giving the Wrights brother, the premium lecture at the Warner and auto society of the gotten to me and said, Can I have bits of your film to show at my lecture? It really stepped it up a bit. And it did, step it up  a bit because I was there in the old penguin suit was Shell paid for me to hire. And somewhat embarrassed when Sir William Found the middle of said, I don't know what's going wrong. This seems to be much slower than when de Normanville showed me before. In actual fact, what has happened is that, and I learned a lot from this fact, always check the projection, they had a silent projector, only my film  was being run silent. So he was trying to talk to him and no one had told me anyway, after that, I learned another point about films. Where do we go from here? Now the film, which was very successful I made was called Forming a Metal, basically about the different ways in which you take a raw metal and turn it into some kind of useful object of pipe or toothpaste tube or saucepan, or whatever. And I remember being extremely embarrassed because by and large, budgets are fairly small these days, but in fact, I went down to Margham, South Wales, and I had done this kind of research from book learning. So I hadn't been to most of the look at more to almost any of the locations. And I went into up lots of stairs and looking down on three quarters of a mile of hot rolling mill with breaks or cores and ingots of steel roaring past. And of course, my my production manager said, Peter, this is costing 27 pounds a minute while you goop? Which, in those days was an awful lot of money. But I had an awfully big crew for those days. I had 27 electricians, three on sound, you know, a big crew. Anyway, the film had a quite successful career, including sort of awards of which the one that sort of sticks in my mind as I was invited to the Brussels Budapest Hungarian embassy. And in fact, having a chat with the ambassador. He said the man who wins the award tonight, I don't know I got it. All the shortlist without

will be very lucky. The award has been made. I should please Mr. Ambassador, it won't be the man it will be the company the award goes to Shell. He says you can't be serious the board is for the director of the worker who makes it as we have a capitalist society in this country. That award goes into a big case in the director or president of Shells office. He said my goodness. So he finally made it was speech saying this award be made with golden Sara with loving care of our women and our craftsmen. And it will be extremely pleasant to be on the coffee table of the lucky director who wins this award. And anyway after the presentation, which I got the awards over there.

Charles subasta said all right, Peter, you will perpetual loan. So it's the only actual qward I've know except for daska things only actually wall I physically possess. What other films were interesting. Did you

Unknown Speaker  19:36  
tell the story about Arthur's speech to the science.

Peter de Normanville  19:40  
Oh yes I had rather habit of winning the best science Film the Year Award at the record.

Alan Lawson  19:50  
Start to pick film associates. No.

Sarah Erulkar  19:52  
international scientific.

Peter de Normanville  19:55  
I'll fill that in later. I can't remember. Anyway, I won it quite a few times. It was for the British Association for the Advancement of Science. I won it quite a few times, I had a rather soft habit. And on one occasion, the presentation was made in the Shell theatre. And to the consternation of everyone, I think, after Elvin? got up and sort of quite impromptu from the benches made a sort of speech, which effectively said that really the award wasn't going to Peter. It was actually going to the historic documentary and scientific and technical film movement of this country. And if anyone deserved that it was Edgar Anstey. How often I got to this was rather obscure, stood up and said, I'm sorry, I thought I've never heard of it before this evening. Anyway, another evening, another night, or two or three years later, I think. I make quite a few films of BP. And in fact, BP were invited to the presentation of this award, and quite obviously thought to themselves haha once again, and but utterly convulsed with horror I gather, when in fact the award was given to Esso for a film I'd made, and BP got the second film I've made. Anyway, and that first thought talking big about myself

John Taylor  21:18  
shall must have been a wonderful place for you to work because it fitted your

Peter de Normanville  21:22  
Oh yes absolutely perfectly. Obviously, with these two men talk about BPMs, after I left Shell

I left Shell finally, I was given with no great sort of ceremony, but still quite nicely, a little Shell with a little Emerald in the middle of it, and said you have spent 15 years with us. And I was completely staggered. Because time goes by we all know that. Anyway, I had to think very seriously, quite clearly, I was either becoming a showman, or I could become a film man. And I had a pension, sorry, not a pension a mortgage from Shell 100% mortgage at 1% interest, which was quite attractive. But equally, I realised that to stay with Shell for the rest of my life was rather an attractive. So I went in again to the big boss. And said, I've been extremely happy for 15 years. But you know what I've said that I just think I've got to be a film man, not a Shell, man. So I said, I resign. He beat on the table with both hands and said, You don't resign, you're fired, which I thought was a little bit unkind. But subsequent is your may have worked out this meant that he could actually or that I would actually get the 50% contribution that the company had made to my pension as well as getting my own 50 back if I had left. So that was a gift of 3000 quid typical of Shell in those days, I think probably not as not so kind. And

John Taylor  23:04  
it was an amazing unit. Yeah.

Peter de Normanville  23:09  
I think she'll, you know, when Sarah and I were there, we sort of had the cream. There was a cream before us wasn't there. Before you came that I think there was no cream after I left, I was very lucky to leave when I did, because it sort of was downhill al the way. But I think it was, in many ways, probably the happiest, most successful unit there's ever been. I shouldn't really say this in the sense that, you know, I'm talking to people, know other units, but I thought it was a marvellous place.

Sarah Erulkar  23:42  
I think it was, the downhill thing was, for some reason, they decided they didn't want a full, fully manned film unit anymore. They wanted to keep a skeleton,

John Taylor  23:52  
where they brought in those people who were experts.

Peter de Normanville  24:03  
Know these two men came when they bought in McKinsey associates to do a report and they said the basic business amazing producing oil films. So Well, I think they said farther from it, in fact, show degraded

John Taylor  24:16  
well in practice. But even so, I mean, later on. I mean, I mean, there seemed to always be if you needed money, the money was there. And so it's most unusual pace. And then it started but in 1932.

Peter de Normanville  24:35  
Yes, it's sort of about the earliest birth of the documentary movement. In fact, the GPO was definitely before Shell. But I think Shell was before the Crown Film unit to be formed.

Sarah Erulkar  24:52  
But Peter was telling the story before you arrived that cause it was rather sad was that he won't To make a film about what you say about the square, because

Peter de Normanville  25:04  
it's sort of in a way contradicting your theory that you could almost get away with anything you're showing, certainly to extend your cord that I was extremely sad because Oh, incidentally, when I was invalided out of the Air Force and told I never work again, I was actually working in the Merchant Navy, and got quite involved in the sort of seamens affairs ended up working, in fact, for the Royal Navy, as navigational emergent gunbost of all extraordinary things. All you had to do because, you know, when they were just short of navigators and acquired me, was to follow buoys every five miles down to Mulberry Harbour on the coast of France. What was the point of this? Yeah. Anyway, I got very interested in the CFS, and that show, I investigated. And in exactly the same way as in fact, the high speed flight I mentioned, which Shell made because the Air Force asked for it, the Air Force asked for it because I asked the Air Force to ask for it. Still having sort of kind of contact with the Air Force, which was how one often got from me that show me you get the right person to make the question. You don't say I want to make such a film but you make the top brass in that area. When I got the top brass to make the request for a film on square rig sailing. Got the German government involved, offered me a square rigger absolutely for free as long as I wanted for filming Danish government similar. Shell had in the 20s had a few square riggers in South America as tankers, presumably carrying stuff in ballast and not in big tanks. But everything seemed to be fine. And it would have been a wonderful film because one thing I learned about square riggers that it's not as it's not a science, it's a sort of art form. In other words, no one can actually write down how you sail a square rigger which is a measure of minute balances of force and waves and winds and everything else, which could be beautifully recorded on film. And which would have been all time historic value. My one big disappointment it felt at Shell generally, you know, I things went, well,

John Taylor  27:19  
they turned they turned it down. Yeah.

Peter de Normanville  27:21  
Most unusually. Some. One can say when some obscure politics, I have no doubt whatsoever. You can't really say more than that, because shadow politics was way above the notion of any

John Taylor  27:41  
more committed to sciences you went on?

Peter de Normanville  27:45  
Yes. I found that I made science films comparatively easily, comparatively? Well. It was always basically my interest. I mean, I was a science pupil entirely at school. I was one of four people in the upper six science with them as Basil Hume a contemporary? Yeah. I was better at sounds from him. But he's better other things than I am. Knows, since I'm very happy and and in fact, have always turned down anything which is not something to do directly connected with science. There. In fact, or I say directly, I shouldn't really because I made for example, a film on Calcutta called The Living City, which was about how a city which international organisations like the World Bank feared was going to collapse as a civilization and descend into riot and barbarism. And it was profoundly felt by the World Bank and various similar organisations that this was an unthinkable thing to be allowed to happen. And that end of the year, we'ed done to avoid it. Well, a film was one of a very minor part of this effort that we just had to make film. By and large to show how the city was fighting back against all the horrors it's got to know. And Calcutta has more horrors than almost any other city in the world. Anyway, the nice thing about the film was that I was extremely keen to take Arthur Worcester with me, the camera man I most liked working with an often did work with, but in fact, the sponsors of the film, who were the Calcutta organisation, said no way. I'd already written the script there. They said that, you know, for you've got to have Peter because he's done the script and must direct it, but no other writers. And I didn't want Arthur entirely as a physical camera man. But in India, in fact, a director's kind of God, and can't really talk to anyone at all, you know. You say to an Indian cameraman. Let's have the camera here. Getting might be interesting to find knowing ago, it says Saab, you have to come Hi. You like the camera? Whoa, you told me. You know there's no kind of consultation. And that was a really want a camera man more for kind of chum. Anyway me. Boss who was entering the barrier of entry barrier productions. said why about Sarah? She's not the camera man. But you can check with her. He said one thing she only wears a Sari never appears in Western dress. I said, Okay. So in fact, I started with Sarah as me assistant. But the first time I walked into one, this film was largely set in the slums, one slum school, but 70, up to five year old children, disappears shrieking out of the back door, I was the first white monster they've seen. same happened to Sarah, Sarah  writing this. And in fact, this happens so often also, quite often, I was called away for legal problems. Or one particular example, it was because in fact, the 12th copy of a document needed to get my rushes out of India. The commas have disappeared, because the comma on the typewriter was a bit worn. And my production manager, I had a full time we're getting rushes out, had to come back from Calcutta airport, find me on location, and get me to initial every comma that was missing. And then take it back, they would accept my initials, but not anyone else's on this document. So that would be the kind of situation that Sarah would take over from the anyway. So in fact, it was obvious that she had done half the film there about so she got joint directing.

John Taylor  31:42  
So the interesting things talking to you both did seem to be able to be a director one day and assistant to the next day, you seem to do this, which is amazing thing to do, really.

Sarah Erulkar  31:55  
Only twice and each time Linda, wasn't it? Yeah, that was interesting. He was working. Well, that was his

Peter de Normanville  32:03  
intellicode he just happened to be there.

Sarah Erulkar  32:06  
How was shooting in a disco and, you know, the set of the second cameraman said, Well, you know, but he knew Peter. So they went off to try and find these dogs. So it was just an extra bonus.

John Taylor  32:19  
But you did work occasionally together in various guises.

Peter de Normanville  32:22  
We always worked in particular guise. Sarah, is very especially good with small children. I'm very specially good with complicated scientific instruments. And I will say there's more than once asked me to go down to Aldermaston and whatever, and film some segments for her, I'd more than one star score to go to a primary school shoot a sequence for me, you know, this obviously is only if you know your producer very well, because it sounds very, you know, direct to me meant to be able to do anything. And you said I wouldn't suggest you couldn't repsonse you know, to restrain the producer and I wouldn't do that I couldn't read Jordan was strange, pretty receptive producers we know they've always accepted this quite happily

Sarah Erulkar  33:09  
but particularly at scripting stage you know, we found it so useful to have a sounding board and we shared an office upstairs and it was just you know that that was the best time I think for corporate when I'm when I was in India and I was doing his directing but if he appeared on the on the set or the scene I hated it. It was and I said to him it's like died of a big on your honeymoon with your mother in law next door I sort of sorry

John Taylor  33:44  
to break them in cost of laughing

Sarah Erulkar  33:48  
but you know I don't think he had that feeling but me because he's got to walk through perhaps confidence or whatever you like and what he's doing but it's not compare him Iran.

John Taylor  34:01  
Going back to show no films did you make them? 15 years. Crikey. Isn't it difficult?

Peter de Normanville  34:20  
Yes. One aspect of the high speed flight film is I've mentioned this Schlieren technique which I acquired from Jack North at National Physical. There was so much interest in the technique that in fact, I suggested and Shell said marvellous to make a film to explain the technique. So I made a film called Schlieren which again, was extremely successful, widely used all over the world. And Shell was asked to write a book to explain how the film Schlier was made. If they asked me to do I said, No, I've had enough Schlieren In fact, I've again got copies of the book to Upstairs there was a book on How to Do Schlieren. And this is a strange kind of story, hard to explain. But Jack North had some unbelievably wonderful shots, but terribly inconsistent. He didn't know how he did them. All he knew is that, you know, sometimes they work and sometimes they didn't. So I asked the National Physical Laboratory if I could have their equipment in the laboratory for two weeks. And then one week from a supersonic wind tunnel. And this was agreed when it was explained what it was all about. And in a way, it was their original development. And at the end of two weeks, we thought, in the laboratory, we thought we knew how to do Schlieren. So we moved into the wind tunnel, the end of the week, we hadn't got a single shot. And in fact, the embarrassing thing to go to the director and say, Please, can I have two more weeks? He said, Do you realise that actually, supersonic wind tunnels are really rather rare and much in demand? We gave you a week, I said, I'm sure they'll be pleased. If you give me two weeks. Extraordinarily, I didn't need two more weeks, in about two days of the first of those weeks, we just got it sorted out. And you've got crazy kind of situation that it took us over two weeks, to work out how to do Schlieren. Now, nowadays, people seem to do it, you know, more or less, just probably pick up the booklet. At one time, they used to ring me up an awful lot and get hints that once a thing has been discovered, and this is known in other aspects of life, you know, it's discovered for all time, nobody, I'd never quite worked out why it took me and a very experienced and skilled cameraman Sydney Beadle, so long to do Schlieren. Now, anyone can do it more or less in a couple of days. But yeah, it's it's one of the kind of strange factors which can't easily be explained, but seemed to be true in various aspects of life.

Sarah Erulkar  37:03  
I think was soon after that film was made. We went to Leipzig, PTSA to the film festival. And I remember we were sitting down having coffee with John Grierson. And he said turned on he said to Peter, of course, you're the Picasso that documentary film. Because there were beautiful there, you know, these abstract shapes and things were so exciting. I thought that was rather nice comment. Is that pretty crazy? I

Peter de Normanville  37:36  
wasn't sure 15 years, you know?

Sarah Erulkar  37:40  
Which is ridiculous wizards Do

John Taylor  37:43  
you want to call?

Peter de Normanville  37:44  
I know I looked.

John Taylor  37:47  
I'll say that again, in some way, shape, important that it was the kind of place show was that you were given time to do it to develop and do things which within a commercial unit you would have never have? 

Peter de Normanville  38:00  
You know this is perfectly true. And of course, you'll have an extremely bad reputation which is quite rare in a way and what Sarah was talking about when she looked for jobs after Shell being a kind of feather bedded unit. In fact, she'll had an appalling case of so make some dreadful balls up so films a gone forever and never achieve anything. But on the whole the films I made were very competitive in tempo with any that I made outside. And

John Taylor  38:33  
but the time was there who needed their time was there a few metres Yes, weeks on your window,

which I think this is an important point. I mean, princes Canadian National Film Board, it was the same thing. You know, they there was time and money to to do things which other people couldn't possibly do. Even if it did go a bit wrong occasionally.

Peter de Normanville  39:02  
Yeah. That's quite true.

Sarah Erulkar  39:06  
But also this thing but the resentment outside units, do you want to cut and run getting on Peter's point about the the anti view feeling bad kill lots of the units. And I remember going to a screening of Don Armstrong's some of the clouds, which was a very long term when we had been shot for about a year and then another year sort of getting it all together. And there was a lot of people due to Lindsay Anderson's group. Men getting up to having the film it's a beautiful film a very glossy, but a beautiful film. And very expensive. I mean years of flying over and up to or whatever. But and they were sort of attacking the kind of people made the kind of films. And I don't often get up, but I just had to get up and sort of say that, you know, it's marvellous is when you marvellous when you're you that lot will characterise? and Lindsay and John Krish we're all making documentaries of great merit, but they're also doing all the commercials and the background. And you know, I said that I honestly thought that that was something we all envied, and they couldn't see it. We wanted to make films and we were making films this way. We knew how, and they in fact accepted that to my great surprise, you know, characterise came up afterwards and said, You made a point which we've never really discussed, and it's a there was a great deal of resentment. The other unit

John Taylor  40:53  
was kicking it everything I mean, did they I mean, they're trying to make a name for themselves and not by knocking everything else down but they

Sarah Erulkar  40:59  
carried a lot of people with them

John Taylor  41:03  
but I mean, I you know, I I've been united if there are things may have been things Vista transport as well. But at the same time it did give people time for other subjects to mature and and people time and think and do things which you didn't get in other places. And it's I mean did on shelves record or you know, the films that they're to prove that it were I'm not supposed to be being interviewed a couple of weeks ago films

Peter de Normanville  41:40  
is absolutely crazy. But you must remember it's

Sarah Erulkar  41:43  
award show. Well, these were mainly often no in fact,

Peter de Normanville  41:47  
I got them out of see what films are made of Shell but the two I mentioned are the only two which on that list. And he totally unfair on Shell

Sarah Erulkar  41:54  
be yes. Sorry, feely, forming metals share and USB flight for the three major

Peter de Normanville  42:01  
films. Yeah. Anyway, I'm sorry, I cannot think of any other films Shell I can think of, oh, I made a dreadful thing called Flintcote. Which is a horrible product made by a substance subs, subsidiary, subsidiary of Shell, which I shot in Morocco. It was a funny story about that. I went out on my own, to be met by a Moroccan crew, of which the camera man, the important man was very experienced, well known camera man, Finch, but I knew of his name, his reputation turned up, and he greeted me with a sort of happy news that he had now become the official, photographer and filmmaker for the King. And a really good friend of his was actually going to be my camera, man. So I asked to  see some of his work, which unfortunately, wasn't available at that time. Anyway, we disappeared off into the desert, and stayed in a desert town, I can't remember where. And we were shooting kind of scenic backgrounds to the film, which was against a bitumen emulsion. And we got to first location, about half a day's drive into the desert. I said, Well, we're set up here. And he said, I misled my camera, and I said, we'll find let your camera use them. There's no place to let my camera so I said, Change bag. Something isn't? Well, no, I didn't think of it. So we drove back about two hours to the nearest hut when in fact, he said, All right is dark here. I can load my camera. And he said, which way does the film go in? I said, the film go into your camera. I said, Can I see the camera

meant nothing to me. It was some French camera. And he said, Well, he said I think I can probably load it is it which way the film goes in the front?

And I said, you've not used this one before. He said No, I've never used colour film before. So in fact, this was

Peter de Normanville  0:01  
Normally bill side two sorry, i He was saying, I was saying that. scraping off with a blank pin knife I was trying to find out which side of the film had two layers of coating in which I'd had one because he assured me that the side the two layers went front of the in the gate. And in fact, got it right. So we got some film, all of it was scratched, and most of it was exposed madly over or under. But fortunately, as you're making film about a black product, in peyten, on black walls, it didn't matter too much. And the film was finally finished. But I mean, you know, this is the kind of film everyone makes occasionally.

Sarah Erulkar  0:45  
You made one dreadful film for Shell, giant closed about central heating or something?

Peter de Normanville  0:49  
Oh, yes. Oh, God, I had to make a film. I mean, that showed you made the kind of commercial product occasionally and reluctantly. And this was a film to still the concept of central heating. And I'm talking about a time when this was not very widely familiar to people, to all the population of Europe. The diabolical problem is that, in fact, the population of Europe live in extremely diverse climates, and have extremely diverse sort of habits, which meant that it was almost impossible to make any film that could conceivably satisfy the northern Laplander and the Cornwall farmers. So I tried. Total Access, the film was a catastrophe. I don't think anyone at all of all the countries ever used it. But there again, you do what you're told to. If unfortunately, you're a full time staffer. And in Shells terms, that means that quite often you get a chance to make very much more of the thing you want to make. Anyway, I've mentioned how I finally left Shell after 15 years, with extremely limited amount of films that I can remember. And the first one I made out of that was 79 rivers 78 Rivers, which was a film for Burma oil. And well, in fact, organised by Burma oil, it was for an Indian company, which is partly government a partly Indian private money. And I was purely asked to do this because in fact, India has got a very big film industry, an awful lot of every type of technician, that dire lack, they never actually wants to have anyone who makes highly scientific films. And the point of this was that the pipeline, film crossed 78 rivers because the pipeline crossed 78, and rivers and forests reasonably extremely sophisticated. So we'll let chronicle technical control. And again, I worked with an Indian crew, entirely Indian charming. I learned certain things about some Indian crews that by and large, least with this crew, you could pan you could zoom, you could tilt. You could do several things with the camera, but never ever tried to do two at once. Because it wouldn't happen. That this kind of thing. You can work extremely happily in those terms once you know them. Didn't take me too long to find out. Anyway, the other sort of strange thing about this film is it obviously was the end of I imagine the history which I hadn't been involved in before that Burma Oil who were the kind of organisers from this side. Saw me off to the airport with a chauffeur driven Rolls Royce, having given me a lunch with the Public Relations Manager and the main board director at the Hilton. When I moved off to my first class flight, this was a kind of arrangement I am not generally familiar with on making films, much appreciated.

Sarah Erulkar  4:15  
By going up to shoot the Everest Kanchenjunga

Peter de Normanville  4:19  
Oh yes. With us or madam Tuesday as some of the faraway scriptwriter the script started with Dawn catches this ragged peaks of Everest and catching Jahangir being a clot. I have since learned that you can write things like that in scripts. So if you're directing yourself anyway, my crew and I set off in a Jeep for Everest and Kanchenjunga, and my crew came from Calcutta. We ran into snow, which they had never seen. First they were actually thrilled. latterly they were very umthr[lled and The road got more and more impossible. In fact, we were told it was a road and it turned out there was only a source sort of sheeps or pattern course. And every time they came to a hairpin, we had to lift the Jeep up straighten and turn it round. Anyway, the situation getting so dire that, you know, I was more or less accepting a mutiny. So I said, the boys I'll walk on ahead, I wouldn't be more than half an hour. If it's as bad or gets worse, I'll come back and we'll go home. So 10 minutes or so, and it was getting better. So I came back, the boys would actually physically lift up the jeep and turn it round, pointing back to home so tuned the bloody thing around again. So we went to turn the Jeep round again. And had the happy thought that was a lovely guest house the great fires and lovely bedrooms and beautiful bars and everything else at the end. There was lovely guest as well unfortunately had been on the habited obviously, a very long time. So in fact, we walked half a mile down to where we've seen some lights in the valley, and borrowed a few rags of blankets and things like that. The first was normally post out came back, I took responsibility of lighting the fire and failed. We were limited to cigarette lighters and matches and extremely wet wood. So we all huddled into one bed, pulled everything we had over us. And it was only after a bit that I sort of started thinking you know about six people there on the ship, surely missing one. So I sort of nudge somewhere and said where's the where's the driver? There's also a driver has his own place he's fine. So I saw got out of the heap and found the driver huddling under one sheet all by himself. So I got him back in mixed him in with the pile and we covered ourselves. About 4 am light came down again one slip single wink we were all absolutely frigid. Anyway sort of staggered up and saw where the light dawned we could see a nice little hill which obviously was the kind of place to garden get Everest Kanchenjunga so we spent up the hill and then we came to some white stones about every 100 yards and my production manager said border of Sikkim. They tell us you go over the border you disappear for 20 years before they get you out. I said we go over the border and that's where I want to be so with great fear and trepidation but we have middle absolutely nowhere wasn't likely to be in this the company's customers or whatever around he got to the top of the hill. And there was Everest and there was Kanchenjunga, but like that I said, oh boy, oh, boy. Put the 75 on will have to be a pan. So deathly hush. I said you left bloody thing down in the hut. Deeathly hush. You left it in Calcutta

John Taylor  8:05  
the 75 of the

Peter de Normanville  8:06  
camera 75 We only had 25 All the lens has been left behind the 25 was on the camera. So I said all right, gentlemen, we'll probably in different words. I should if I'm crucified, I'll have to admit what's happened. It's been very bad for them because any, you know, abuse from an English director obviously will be very harmful. If I'm crucified I'll have to apologise but I said if no one crucifies me we've got the shot and in actual fact with a 25 millimetre just get Everest and Kanchenjunga was always going to craft a plan from one of us on hit it to the other son hit it and in fact everyone said How clever you were most people would have used a 75 and a  pan that you know it's much better the two small little knobs the distance with light is in them so

anyway, I've made quite a few films in India since then everything but to make an India error I made a mad film for OECD or the French call it MOCD

organisation of economic cooperation development in which they wanted me to film and two developed countries and two underdeveloped countries. With Arthur Worcester with Arthur Worcester again gave me a month to do it. So we set off and we started in India and from later experience to get in into India within a month is pretty good going but we only had one week to get in shoot and get out. And we did it got to the Philippines where I had it extraordinary experience because we were all in what is pretty common in the Philippines, and numerous hot baths all swimming pool size from the sort of thermal springs. And often I rely on our backs on the norms in 100 foot by 200 foot bath with nearest big, big small rafts with ice lager on them. And sort of baking in the warmth of the spring and enjoying the ice lager then, there was an earthquake. It's rather hard to grab a pillow hot bite of an earthquake is an unusual experience. It didn't fortunately, split the bath because otherwise involved so stupid to another platform. But we survived. Then we shot in Japan. And our last day shooting was at a golf range. Where in fact, Japanese all set up with their plus fours and marvellous bags and wide variety of clubs. And so most of them never actually gone to grass in their life, because in fact, we cost about 100,000 pounds to join in the golf club. So they go to golf ranges. So we filmed very nice family and their plus fours at our going off to a golf range. And Arthur made the sort of gesture be rather nice if we with other end, you know, sort of where the balls are coming to. So he saw some nice idea, typical Arthur. So in fact, we managed to get some wire netting, and there was Arthur me and the two Naval assistants stayed with us behind a bit of sort of chicken wire with three rows, each with 76 Japanese, each with a bucket of golf balls, and each of them belting as hard as they could. That's about 200 Japanese trying to bowl us. Very interesting. Anyway, some quite amusing shots. And then we sort of licked in an aircraft got across the international dateline and arrived in California, and shot the morning we arrived in California, on a beach where we were told to widen there was a very high tide and therefore this was the day we ought to be shooting it shooting justice, squalid, rubble of muck and flotsam of every disgusting kind, you know, on this lovely, otherwise lovely beach. And it was had a great advantage for you because when I got back to Paris, I claim I think it was $10 a day for 29 days. And in fact, the OECD accountant said, but you have only shot 28 days and I said no, we have shot 29 days. There's no no because you've only been away 28 days. And I said Well, you see I shot in Japan on September the first and in. In California September the first that was two different days. And finally, this was purely a matter of principle if you're for fun, but they finally agreed, like got my 29 days at $10. But the other funny thing about that film is shooting off finishing off the shooting in France at quite big French crew entirely. My French for the normal rather shameful is abominable, but seen in practice more convenient to work in French. And in fact, one of the great controversies of the shoot was Arthur had bought in Tokyo, the lens Sara has mentioned the fisheye and all the French school electricians is mainly whenever I sort of mentioned let's have a look at the fisheye we're going to pretend hysterics you know and rush around in circles. Because in fact you probably know you have quite a trouble with the fish eye I have not seen the legs your tripod Never mind anything else. Anyway, it was the very last morning my very charming French production manager said Peter we have had a marvellous shoot. He said Your French is very very good. But he says I think I must tell you that you have been choosing the LOI the poisson or not, as you have said the Loei the poisson so in fact we've been shooting with the fish finger on location

John Taylor  14:33  
you're also involved a site with the scientific Film Society and with the international scientific.

Peter de Normanville  14:44  
I'm not particularly involved. I've never, you know people make the kind of a theory of things. I've been a member and being some of that sort of international conferences, but never done any work for them. I've always been rather lazy in my life except in my political period where I did work for people. But in film, I've done my own work and not particularly anyone elses. I've been on general counsel of ACTT. I think now might mention, also a sort of rare honour. I was the only management shop steward in the whole of the 250,000 employees of the Royal Dutch Shell group, because in fact, the Film Unit had its ACTT shop and over the steward, and Shell obviously have workers everywhere in unions, but not a single management using those tools. So I was unique. The rather nice thing was that ACTT called us out on a one day stoppage. Now, I had two members who had had 27 years and 29 years with Shell had their pensions cropping up. And you know what? Shillman? I mean, they were both animators, brilliant animators, Stanley Rodwell, and Benoit Groan. Oh, sure. Yeah. Anyway, they were very, very worried because there's one in my home that paints from and heaven knows what. And I found on my desk because I went in on the day of stoppage because we all went into stop, you know, it's otherwise no point stopping, saying it might be real. And on my desk was a memo from industrial relations department more like Shell group saying, Dear Peter. We trust all your members, will back. You in the new working day. Because we feel that this will be good for our relations. And so everyone stood up work and everyone was happy. But I thought typical Shell again, a nice part of Shell. Where do we go from here?

Sarah Erulkar  16:50  
What a freelance.

Peter de Normanville  16:55  
I was sort of slightly talking about so Shujits?. Another film I made was called Carbon. One of the nicest ones I've ever made. In other words, ever given completely free hand, that just warm crucible said we just want to kind of dissertation on carbon. And this is the nicest brief you can possibly have. Obviously, I had some industrial uses some shorter term, Morgan, but most of it was other aspects. And the particular one I'm referring to was a lot of books, I've got the statement that in fact, the allotropes of carbon, which is carbon, graphite, blacklead and diamond can all be changed from one to the other. In principle, I thought, fine, we'll change one will change diamond into graphite. And everyone's will say, Yes, Moisson? did it in 1847. But you know, no one can film this the only using diamonds the size of pinheads, you know. And he put them in molten iron and I said, we're gonna film it. So I gave Sue the problem of sitting on a diamond. And De Beers gave me six. This is kind of a funny little side string, because everyone knows they're diamonds, as everyone knows the industrial diamonds. But the thought came to me that must be the very best industrial diamond, which must be extremely similar to the very worst gem diamond. And De Beers said, Yeah, I suppose finally, the six best industrial diamonds, because I wanted quite big ones, you know. In other words, they give me tiny gem diamonds, but they're no good to me. So they found me six very nice diamonds. And we tried to rehearsal and Sue took some measurements. And it's a long time ago, my exact technical facts may not be exactly right, but I think he had a 300 millimetre lens. And he found out that we had to cut down the exposure by a factor of 900 from the black graphite to the white hot diamond, or vice versa, the case would be and in fact, we also found out that someone makes a 99% cut off filter, not for used in photography, but this is for used in scientific purposes, we've managed to get one for the camera. And in fact, the lens stopped down I think to f 32. So we started wide open on a diamond. And as it heated up, we did this once in rehearsal, he stopped down to f 32. And then he put in a 10% cut filter, went back to wide open again and stop down to f 32 that chooses he stops for more. Then he put in a 99% cut off filter and stop down to f 32. And sorry, open wide open and then stop down to f32 that use every 99% cent cut off F 32 stop and it still was a bit too bright on the picture but it was acceptable. It couldn't do more than that. And say you've got this extraordinary shot which in fact Scientific American, had frames from it, and began to do a whole two page spread. But they just found that the frames, which were a bit sort of dodgy anyway, you could imagine where that kind of technical problem didn't blow op well enough. So they sent me as kind of specimen of what it would have been. And it wouldn't be marvellous. But you actually on the film, I can't remember, I think it's about 40 seconds. You see, shining, the diamond suddenly gets brighter and brighter and brighter and redder and redder, and redder and redder. And it's, you know, very bright, but we're obviously cutting down all the time of exposure, and then shatters and gets to about four times the size. And then it cools and cools and cools and cools and this literal lump of black graphite. Now, you know, this will be a splendid shot for anyone in spending for Arthur who, you know, would have taken into this like a duck to water, but its enormous credit to Sue, who I get the highest praise for for almost everything else that kind of technical stuff that you know, when he was faced with this scene, he did a lovely job of it. But strangely enough, the other sort of aspect of diamonds is that and again, this defeated soon it defeated me and we tried every way you possibly can. We couldn't find any way really, of showing how good a diamond is. We had at the insistence of De Beers, an extremely expensive hand model. We had the best diamond they had at hand. I think it was about 60,000 pounds, Solitaire, and Sue and I could not make it look other than justice or a piece of glass and you had about eight security guards. Yeah, so crikey, security guards all over the place of my titles. In fact, I was going to tip out

a sack of diamonds onto a table and then move into carbon. So De Beers provided me with a sack of diamonds, small ones. And we had an animation room at Stewart Hardy. I suppose about eight by eight. There was an animator is a camera equipment table, Director, camera man to security men, the boss of Stewart Hardy Tim Hardy himself. And it got extremely hot. And every time the bag was tipped up, they all had to be counted individually again, back into the bag. And finally I called it quit, go away. So they come to the diamonds once again and went away. And I bought sacks of dummy diamonds. So I could do it in slightly more relaxed circumstances. And they actually came up very nicely, I think better than the real diamonds. Anyway, carbon was nice film.

Sarah Erulkar  22:50  
I think Critical Pathwas one of your more interesting films. 

Peter de Normanville  22:53  
Yes, Critical ath. One critical path was very early when I was a freelance. And in some funny way was possibly one of the most important films I've ever made. Critical Path is a management technique. And when I made the film, it had been used for the development of the Polaris missile, and much talked about that term, no one seemed to know what it was all about. I had a very tiny budget from Costain who had bought rights of it, and were thinking of using it but themselves were pretty unsure what it was all about. And it was the kind of thing I'm quite good at, because it's very complicated. But in fact, it's fundamentally quite simple. If you look at it carefully, and so pick out what is essential in the story, which is fundamentally just that between any a and b in life or technology or anything. There are always various things I have to go through. In life you have, you might well go through marriage, illness, poverty, bankruptcy. But there's always one of them which the most important. In other words, you can't be alive if you're impoverished and bankrupt I'm talking nonsense, but have I made my point. There's always the best way of doing things and everything else peripheral for that. In other words, if you work hard, how long it's going to take to do this critical path. The other ones all must fit in because the critical one is the difficult one. So I made the very simple story of a man who was building a garage and had to complete it for August bank holiday when in fact there's a big traffic popped up and it sort of really moved things because everyone but everyone was buying copies of this like mad things Costain  actually made a lot of money I believe out of it just by selling copies, you know, not the profit but just the sort of handling charge. And it definitely made quite significant change to the way Business and affairs were carried out in government, in big industry, in small industry almost everywhere. In other words, critical path became kind of standard product used, just to get things done Obviously, not entirely because of the fast and the fundamental x and that is very good concept. But the film undoubtedly communicated to kind of a top management who wouldn't understand things easily, you know, people can send them you've got a new critical path with the film they could understand. Who was the company? Which company made it? Gilkerson Yes,

Sarah Erulkar  25:36  
I think it is Gilkerson. Yes. Yes, Gilkerson. Actually, Peter got very involved in a lot of computer films about that time. And he was saying to me 10 years ago now, I suppose he said to me, nobody wants me to make not a standard thing. The new, this whole new kind of generation of computers is in a total sort of mystery. But at one time, you did a lot for Yes, thinking setups. And

Peter de Normanville  26:05  
no, I, you know, roughly where I made that point to Sarah is that roughly every five years on a computer, film, someone or other, and the last one was for Nat West. And about five years before done one for IBM and got very friendly with them. And they very kindly put me free on a very expensive course designed for top management to make them understand computers where you have one lecturer to each two pupils. And you know, I really sort of pressed to actually to do a programme at the end of the week you have this course and to get it right hopefully I didn't the programme was quite simple it was the King John lost his jewels in the Russian section up to date, inflation since then they've been such and such but decade per this century, in some ways that century and working towards you know, a basically for a computer bug of theory is dependent on very few of us got it right. The funny thing is a time of you move in this high site. I offered a fag to the bloke, I was sharing the instructor with American I assume managing director type. He was terribly impressed. He said you British. You always a one up on us. Here we are everyone saying you got to cut on your smoking. And you've been proved that you've invented a mini cigarette and called it a Woodbine.

Sarah Erulkar  27:32  
There's another story in that which I absolutely couldn't believe would be the Peter you don't mind me telling a story gets you as shooting up, as do my film and wick. And we were very concerned because we had this Labrador bitch who's just about to have her puppies. And you know, I taught to keep in touch with Peter on does whatever, you know, well loved animal. And that he would he rang me back that night. He told me this terrible stories breaking the IBM film, they had a meeting with every nation represented, the first thing that happened was that they couldn't do ordered a meal to be brought in. And nobody would accept this.

Peter de Normanville  28:18  
Just buttons that's not accurate. IBM is dry. And it was felt not unreasonably, to offer a meal with not a glass of wine to the Italians and Germans and French who were all joint sponsor. This one was for IBM international would not be popular. So they had to book an outside restaurant have it. Now, Governor,

Sarah Erulkar  28:38  
do you finish that one?

Peter de Normanville  28:40  
Well, the point is, is that the first meeting of this international consortium was running our film. IBM London, Apollo, Joseph, you know, this is a business launch. So we've actually ordered for you and we hope that's agreeable. No, everyone objected to the Frenchman didn't need ruffle. The German wanted English roast beef. The French said that oysters

Sarah Erulkar  29:02  
come up all the time. But anyway, it was a Peter Peter rang me that night. And it turned out that he was due to go to this meeting. And our bitch started giving birth and just having a terrible time and the vet said look you must you just stay with her and help Posey and he turns up late for that had been meeting all these people Anthony Gilkerson Peter apologises to them all and tell them that because this Labradors had had puppies. He blew up but wouldn't you? Obviously the way to treat a film company I mean a sponsor company, you know, but there will seem to sympathise for some reason.

Peter de Normanville  29:51  
No, in fact, I had great rows with IBM because I wrote a script. And somebody personally at IBM went through it. I said, Well, it's a script, there's no single shot of a computer in it. I said, Fine. What do we want computers for is about computers. As computers are boring boxes, the film is called men and computer in perspective. And I don't want the computers in it. In fact, the key film The key shot in the film, which Sarah shot for me kindly at a nursery school, was a charming little lady, writing two plus two equals, and then drawing an elephant which I showed her how to draw rather carefully. So its from its arse looking over his head. And the commentary says, Now, could a computer do this? Which of course says a lot about computers. Anyway, the more important facts about the story is I was rung up, oh, five, seven years later, by the Edit Column, public regulatory information manager, he was in England from the States. He said that just thought I'd have to tell you that we're still showing your film after seven years. He said, We never had another film, which is done the year because things change so rapidly in our business. He says, You were clever werern't you I didn't say I wasn't clever for that reason. I hadn't thought of it, you know, but obviously, it's, you know, practical facts. It's now in computer and presented but no computers last forever, more or less. Computers No. is the kind of film you know, I've sort of done one every five years since I've been a freelance. And in fact, enjoyed my IBM one in many ways. Other ones, I haven't enjoyed that being really a struggle. Whereas most of my films I enjoy, but there's no question whatsoever. When I've sort of mentioned carbon, which I've just asked us all kind of essay on the subject. Other one was something called Let there be light. Sponsored Joseph Lucas brief. Essay on light. Must mention one industrial product.

Sarah Erulkar  32:09  
Producers, John Armstrong and producer John Armstrong,

Peter de Normanville  32:13  
cameraman Arthur Worcester. Can you believe it? The one industrial product was a Lucas headlamp, which was a very good choice anyway, you know, I've given no brief at all, I've obviously had an industrial thing. But it's absolutely marvellous to you know, make a film entirely just as you like, no one gives a damn. I mean, also very nice. Sorry. John Armstrong is a very nice producer. And Lucas just waited till he saw the film and that was fine. It's a bit sort of shattering because we had to rush it's ending because the premiere was very vital to Lucas and was to be at the motor show John were invited to the premiere. And in fact, John hadn't as he normally is extremely efficient, found out sort of details of exactly how things were happening, but we just turned up on musseld in shown in big lunch. And all the management has always got highly pissed, probably John and I including and it was very noisy and then one vaguely saw something coming down from the ceiling, which was actually rather big screen and the lights went a bit dim. And some people vaguely looked over their shoulder because half of them had their back to it anyway. And Let there Be Light was seen. And I think someone did this at the end, but everyone was much more interested in drinking and whatever. And this we had a panic rush to finish the film for I'll tell one little story a bit against John, which I think is forgivable. The film starts and this is another example of when really, people shouldn't write their own scripts. The sunrise us with vivid flames behind the looming blackness of Stonehenge. I probably paraphrase myself and it became the day and I started working things out. And how would you decide whether something to release without waiting I had one day to shoot it that was all my schedule would allow me. One day One Night in Stonehenge spend the night there and be there next morning. And I taken 2000 2 by 1000 inch lenses, which I will probably be needed. That was good judgement that was just about right. Because if you're not far enough to get the Sun a decent size, or whatever, okay. Anyway, much discussion with Arthur, we decided the best thing to do was to shoot the sunset and reverse it. So we had our 2000 mils up and watch the sun coming down and it was a lovely clear day, and then about 20 minutes for sunset. think probably it was there all the time, but you hadn't really seen it. But the big band of cloud appeared on the horizon. Oh, because we had inquired if anyone had done it. No, they hadn't. There was no chance of library. Anyway, site manager said, Okay, let's call it quits go home. I said, let's wait till the sun has actually gone. And I was right. It went through the cloud and just appeared below it. And we got this splendid shot of enormous sun in the 1000 mill behind magnificent Stonehenge. Then I saw the rushes. What did we see? The first third of the roll that we shot on the thing was of keepers of rushing backwards, putting fornicating lovers behind all kinds of hammocks and stones. The next was entirely giant lorries go through which we hadn't seen on the 1000 mill, but there was a road in between the you never saw them, they whip through and but in fact, by surreptitious jump cutting, you actually got the shot, and it unites us all the time winner, but it teaches one not to scripts or exotic things like

Sarah Erulkar  36:09  
I tend to do, but that was the film that won the BAFTA at the same time as I got that would have been the way BAFTA

Peter de Normanville  36:13  
Yeah. Let there be light still on that one. The one that I was ending with, starting with the end of his story against John Armstrong. It was very difficult to end. But we had a very splendid moon shot. I think against the pyramids, something I hadn't shot I think John was shot himself and it was library material, a slendid moon shot, I didn't feel it was kind of completion. So in fact, I thought I'd have a naked lady running down the beach into the sea as moonlit sea. So in fact shot this day for nice and my daughter of the naked nymph, except she was wearing a bodystocking and in fact, we did a Brighton which to the nearest beach of course, pebbles, so it's just a bit so clumsy. Well, if you don't if the moon lit sea. Anyway, John didn't like the shot. And so he should know. I said, John, we cannot end on the moon, we must end on humanity. Light is only there. when man sees that other pompous and prolific remarks. Anyway, John was producer, John was also the editor in chief, John also actually owned the bloody stuff at the cutting room. So effect me daughter was left out. And I was on some other film, John was she was filming I was dubbing at Beaconsfield. Anvil. Yeah. And I said to the editor, I have a feeling this isn't complete. I think we'll have this. We have that shot indeed taken up at my cutting room. John said  well get back quick. So they waited two hours at dubbing theatre. hire, while he went back to London collected the shot of me` daughter. And now honours the end of the film.

John Taylor  38:10  
Give me actually get that piece of film got you both going up for water better or what you did? Was it you can get there without?I don't know. Tell us about the night you both got awards after because it must have been unique occasion.

Peter de Normanville  38:18  
 Well, it was a sort of strange situation because I have a feeling at first we knew we'd got award, but didn't particularly know which categories we had the horrible feeling that you know, we had sort of crossed each other's throats or we're getting a joint award or heaven knows what. But as it turned out, Sarah got best short film, and I got the best what was then called a specialised film. Hers was forced something not to eat no, no

Sarah Erulkar  38:49  
the post offfice film.

Peter de Normanville  38:50  
 Oh, Picture to Post Yes. Mine was the one I've talked about. Let the be Light. And what are we really saying is that there was the two of us the representative of the short film industry, the poor relations with everyone else being international stars of various types and sizes, all having a cocktail and we obviously in the quietest quarter we could hide ourselves away. And with what I thought was incredible kindness. Vanessa Redgrave came out to us and said who are you? What in the world are you doing here? And be saved with the short films a bit the award winners and she sort of mothered us, you know, introduced us to people made sure we were getting drinks and it's all very nice and charming.

Sarah Erulkar  39:33  
But I think one of the nice things actually but our life was that the kept up with each other award wise. I mean, you know, it is extraordinary really for us to have got that award on the same night. Incredible. Two different films. Yeah. I mean, we also got the award for the the next one city? and Peter's certainly been shortlisted several times which I have doing searches

John Taylor  40:00  
You better on that one? Yes, yes.

Sarah Erulkar  40:03  
Yes, yes.

Peter de Normanville  40:04  
That was the one that Sarah went out on basically being assisted by joint.

Sarah Erulkar  40:09  
But it was also, you know, every other field, we've basically sort of kept Tech Tech Tech which is, which is quite good. A lot of new

Peter de Normanville  40:19  
cover. Let there be light. It wasn't millionaires, an extraordinary film. You know, the slums of Calcutta. They're marvellous people already problems that everyone wants to to have cup of tea and biscuits and whatever. And we've been strongly strongly advised not to drink or eat, you know, for tummy reasons. We often just did, but slightly sort of scared, you know, but

Sarah Erulkar  40:47  
they're so lovely. Jaundice. Remember,

Peter de Normanville  40:49  
you got jaundice.

Sarah Erulkar  40:50  
without telling  anybody kept quiet, because we needed what he needed me just did have certain ways and it was just important not to tell anybody otherwise I would have been.

Peter de Normanville  41:03  
Anyway, we had a great old sync camera. Which these needed about six people and move it anywhere. And Sarah and I had all been used to you know, modern cameras, which are no hassle at all. So the whole the logistics were quite complex and enormous crew. One of the funniest moments was there was a little problem of keeping this width that you're then we're seeing, you know, out of people as a director, my main duty was to lean against the crowd behind the camera man so they didn't nudge him and on one particular occasion trying to clear this wodgh I picked up because I quite often did you know when things got rather desperate Bengali because they're all tiny people and got him back to threw him up as I had been doing swinging over the country you couldn't get them in your say so it was a thing of like just got to the ready for a big swing to

Sarah Erulkar  42:00  
be beaten sometimes came over the great fight song you know, it just upset the risk go to restaurants never there was a good restaurant was very popular. We went with one of our cameramen. The first one we had who was a bit taller, there was a television camera man. And there was this queue waiting for a table and all Peter did was put up his head click his fingers he got a table for camera man was so embarrassed to do editable but tell you get away with it a few feet of some reason.

Peter de Normanville  42:32  
The other funny thing about that film is that I've made the point that Sarah was told, and the bed that she had to wear a sari at all times, you know, to justify another x Indian, English or habitation people. But an extra fact. Sarah's not tall as you observe. But among Bengali woman she's a sort of tower. All the Bengali is very small and the women particularly you know

Sarah Erulkar  42:57  
I'm still you know, it's a wider

Peter de Normanville  42:59  
so in other words, being invisible because she wore a sari didn't works. He was kind of John Tez

Unknown Speaker  43:05  
I know stop. Button

Alan Lawson  0:00  
Peter Normaville side three. Most of this side is a dialogue between Peter and Sarah, his wife.

John Taylor  0:12  
He said that the worst is given photographing. Oh, yes. In fact, if any, any other things about people like so.

Peter de Normanville  0:24  
Yeah. Yeah, well, in fact I was asked by Balfour to do a film on Islamic science. It was some anniversary, I can't quite remember what of Islamic science and there was a special exhibition of the Science Museum. And anyway, no insult to Balfour, but it's slightly complicated sort of film to make. And I asked him if I could have an outside producer, which they agree to.I suggested Duggie Gordon would produce it. And we went to the first meeting with big blue, what's his name produce about? Brian? Brian. And sort of discussing film generally Brian told us we could have one week location shooting.

Unknown Speaker  1:22  
And I think one week in a kind of studio situation. And Doug and I went out have beer on sandwich together for lunch. We both decided, in fact, this was no way we knew what the budget was. It just seemed to be completely unrealistic to offer this so little shooting time. When we got back we told Brian, this and he said, I'm extremely sorry, you shouldn't have known the figure without knowing more about it. He said in actual fact, the 7500 has gone to Arabic sources for getting the film. He said that in fact, the technical adviser said he will be honoured and proud to be technival advisor on such a film of course, you wouldn't dream of asking a figure. But according to three litre with special greenroom wheels, would not be adept to to. So so if you see we, the budget sounded very nice, but it is not quite so nice in reality, so if I miss a door out, we would struggle. Yes, really shouldn't ever be publicised by shall tell you one diabolical story. The science museum gave us a little kind of area to work using the studio and would provide us by and large with the Islamic objects we wanted any particular time. There was one bunch of objects which I very particularly wanted, because they're very characteristic and very wonderful, which is the sort of family of astrolabes and similar devices. And they had the biggest assembly the world had ever known of these objects from all over the place. One of them in fact, from a German Museum, I'm not sure which one had to have a German security man standing by it all day. But at night when we had it, of course, he had gone off home. Anyway, absolutely strict instructions that these were to be kept in their case and not touched at all. So immediately, I picked up a scaffolding hung all from the sky on thin nylon cord. And we're going to do a great sort of tracking shot, which is going to be my opening shot of the film. And I was on the platform, adjusting them delicately and final bits before shooting. And with a rather horrible noise. Three quarters of the world's finest astrolabes crushed down all around me. Some of the more weighed about 40 pounds that were slightly scaring. Some of them were unbelievably priceless. That was even more slightly scary. Anyway, when the dust settled, settled, nothing had been damaged by incredible miracle. So we stuck them all up again and film them. This information has never got out of me before. But now this is two or three years ago, and I'm sure they're all back in Arabic countries more loved and cherished and okay, and it was a marvellous shot. Another sort of extraordinary thing about this shoot, was that because of these awful budgetary considerations about half or even more than half of the film had to be recreated from stills and such material, basically stills. And Arthur Worcester has a large double garage, which in fact, I've often used as a very practical studio. It's got a camera room and office telephones heating everything. And Arthur I have many times done this use of this technique of recreating movement from stills. And I think Arthur's completely unique because within the bounds of our 35 mil frame, one can track Pan Zoom. All some of it for example, with an extremely ancient lens with which you can get down to a minute frame on the on the minute new frame on the 35 mil frame and

John Taylor  5:20  
add more transparency.

Peter de Normanville  5:22  
Yes, there's far more transparency. And in fact, anyone seeing the film I think would make it quite clear distinction because if the Arthur didn't shoot the kind of studio stuff we did, and science museum and quite extraordinary Arthur's shooting of stills really is more beautiful and inspirational than another camera man shooting in Alright, a little but quite practical studio in the Science Museum, which only goes to show something rather,

John Taylor  5:53  
it seems inconceivable to me that you would face the detail on camera movements. And he was done. He was done on a Moyer head. But

Peter de Normanville  6:06  
the more he hated the basic kind of object for the camera, but then also has got all kinds of mini tracking devices. You know, down to small Meccano truck,

Sarah Erulkar  6:17  
he has a garage, who makes them up anything he wants to make up for him. I mean,

Alan Lawson  6:23  
this bench really, it's an animation and animation

Peter de Normanville  6:26  
bench. Yes, I mean, you're effectively. Well, you're doing the point is that with animation, you've got to plan it all out not an awful lot of animation over the years. But when you're with a cameraman like Arthur, and something you can actually look at, you can think of all kinds of things, which never ever would you think of if you were planning an animation sequence, much more vivid and alive.

Alan Lawson  6:52  
I didn't mean animation bench in the sense of us writing, but an animation bench to use for its mobility.

Peter de Normanville  6:58  
That's right. Yeah. Yeah. Basically,

John Taylor  7:00  
it seems to me that if anyone could pan on the on the frame and get your take that case up to people's faces?

Peter de Normanville  7:11  
Yes. Actually, I'm trying to think of which were actually certified more friends in which, because some of them we got, you know, larger stills to work on. And obviously, that's much easier. I think so yes, I think we could come down to, you know, in a sort of a half length portrait, we could go through a close up face and back to the full portrait. Now, I've erm I've done a lot of exciting things in Arthur's mini studio. And I think nice thing about Arthur``, but I think he could work fairly, regularly and completely on his kind of second unit Bond film kind of job, which obviously is extremely well paid, I imagine. But in actual fact. I know he is actually likes to work with Sarah, myself, you know, because it's such a different kind of thing, you know,

Sarah Erulkar  8:13  
but he enjoys his I mean, he's this mind that he has is so good for the stunt shooting on the James Bond he used to show us his, you know, his sketches and diagrams and plans to make. And it was just that was just absolutely just what Arthur should do. No, he had that in mind. But he anything you asked him to do. He would spend most evening apparently working it all out. And then going to his little garage by the corner or doing what he thinks work, discussing it with them, and then coming back with whatever it is, you know, that be needed. He's good. He's a splendid you know. It's very inspiring. When you work with somebody like that you feel right, I would try something really even, you know, let's see how far we could stretch poor old. Arthur.

Peter de Normanville  9:05  
I've said and so about Sarah. And you might, in a way be a criticism. She's not technically well informed in almost any aspect, including not really in what's possible in films. But the point is the kind of camera mentor works with, she can script you know, from a closeup of fries. I we pan gently off and see the rising sun. Now, in fact, the camera word lower is actually like it but would it be nice if we did this and we'll have some kind of inspiration, which will convey the concept that Sarah has, with her perhaps impossible requirement. Is that a fair kind of

Sarah Erulkar  9:49  
fair, I mean, it is applied for instance to Geeks, you know, and I went to my smoking machine film with him and then I made a children's feature up and up in Wick. And with ge, ge, and you know, it was, again, a marvellous sort of so much. I didn't know so much as mine, a lot of mine there, you know, and he would work out ways of doing these 2d entirely or almost entirely on boats of various kinds. And he was just in the tiny spaces he sort of would somehow get lit and, you know, managed to, it's, it's  such a good feeling when you're with someone like that.

John Taylor  10:35  
I mean, it's one of the better the best things about working in documentary were the people you worked with.

Sarah Erulkar  10:40  
Yes, absolutely.

Peter de Normanville  10:42  
Actually, the story about work, which I think is quite a comic one. Is that being a children's feature, Sara had a comparatively large crew, what sort of 30 40 actors and

Sarah Erulkar  10:53  
things Yes, about 35 Just a hunch,

Peter de Normanville  10:58  
none of the

Sarah Erulkar  11:01  
oh, it was a one off really.

Peter de Normanville  11:04  
None of the inhabitants of Wick with which Sarah work could believe when they saw this gigantic mob of film people with all their big lights and generators, and Heaven knows what could actually be bossed by this rather small lady in the sari, be wearing a foreignn lady. But apparently at the end of the location, Sarah would commonly find herself with them. Eight, double malt whiskys lined up in a row in front of wherever you happen to be sitting in the evening.

Sarah Erulkar  11:33  
Just as what sorry, if you don't mind by just pressing on this. This particular thing of Peters talking about the last on this last day with all these malts lying around. We were having a party, we have the lifeboat man on the mic, the Gulf Coast Guard people and all the rest of it. And what are the Coast Guard people said? How, how is it that they will call you Sarah? Why not? You know, he said, Well, how can you keep order? So that's what I don't keep order of it. I wouldn't really think I should be called. And they literally said marm. You know, it's a new world to people they don't realise how, how closely interwoven the crew is. And what was this children's film foundation? Yes, yes. Which company? That was that was with Anvil Jack Holmes was producing on that Jack was

John Taylor  12:31  
producing Yes.

Sarah Erulkar  12:35  
Yes, he did did the smoke machine which was also for that was for erm. Oh, what was the film units that Jack was? And GK was a route before the Ravens? Yes, yes.

Peter de Normanville  12:48  
That reminds me of them. To me a very nice story. I was asked in a rather peculiar manner, apparently, some part of the government which has some sort of money for very broad public relations right outside the realms of the COI or anything like that was a bit depressed that England, in fact did extremely well out of Nobel Prizes, and no one seemed to know, or didn't know well enough. So I was asked to make film just for this purpose. And came to the, I think, fairly obvious conclusion that the Choose a field which England had done exceptionally well in, and then just deal with that field was one way of doing this. And I chose, in fact, molecular biology, and managed to get seven Nobel Prize winners, of whom six were British. And one Jim Watson was American, which was fair enough, you know, six out of seven seems pretty fair for Britain compared to America. Anyway, had quite a problem. Nobbling, all my winners, all all my prize winners, all of whom had to appear quite briefly, but just sort of  establish a personality and say a few words. Max Perutz, in fact, Institute of Molecular Biology in Cambridge as just having the middle of a gigantic sort of Bohr model of a molecule putting a ball on and saying, thank goodness, they gave me the Nobel Prize, because I still have to find a place for 79 more balls some crack I know exactly. That was roughly that. Anyway, they were all difficult. Watson said I'm a great believer in publicity for science but not for scientists. No way What I appear on the screen but I had got them the other six and got all six to write to Watson saying, really, truly you're ripping a very nice idea for a film. And he said okay, and having been the most difficult persuade, he in fact was probably the best. I had to stop him talking about There's reasons at all. But the one that sticks in my mind as Lawrence Bragg, who started the whole thing, in a sense by the invention of X ray crystallography, we got the Nobel Prize in 1922. I think no he didn't earlier because he was actually in the 14-18 War at the war when he heard he got the prize as a very young man. I hope my history is correct. I think it is. No matter. He was very old man. By the time I was making my film, I had a date for him and my utter depression, or about a few days before I saw notice Bragg taking to hospital heart attack. Condition extremely serious. I thought well that bitches up right nice to go septet are now which was not nice, sort of format for the film. But I thought well, I'm probably get some library material of him somehow or do something rather. Anyway, the fulfilment on our doing the other ones. And they got a very little note in his own hand, saying, Dear de Normanville, my doctor tells me that I can give you 20 minutes of not, which not more than five minutes can be standing up. Is this acceptable? Now wasn't it marvellous man, you know, it's kind of it's the great thing of the Victorians or that generation. No, one of our generation would think of some full bloody film director should be nagging him months before. Marvellous,

Sarah Erulkar  16:28  
there's also Dorothy Hodgkin. Oh, yes, she was also another

Peter de Normanville  16:35  
day I turned up to film her, she seemed to be very anxious And I sort of said in the nice kind of way, you know, sort of if this is a bad day, or you know, we'll go away come back some other time. She said, I can't remember in detail. So don't take these as actual facts. But one of my sons has been arrested, and is in prison. The other of my son's is broken his leg, and my husband's just gone down with lumbago or whatever. Three. She'd had a car crash. Oh,  she had a car crash. That's right. Anyway, don't these these all as literal because I don't mean to be rude. But that kind of the whole family I'd had these kinds of catastrophes anyway. She said, No, you know, you're here. I'll do my best. In fact, she did really well really very nicely. But unfortunately, the organisation which had paid for the film, were extremely unsuccessful in pushing it. I nursed quite a nice film because one of the Nobel Prize winners, Sangster, Fred Fred Sangster wrote to me and said that it's one of the best things I ever did being in your film, is that I've always been trying to explain. rather exotic scientific technology was a sequence study of proteins. And he says, Your idea of having lots of different types of trucks in a marshalling yard and getting the train put together as you want to. He says, I've got a little bit of film, I take around wherever I go. And he said that, you know, your bit of film in two minutes does what it took me 20 minutes to fail to do. From Nobel Prize winners. I thought that was nice.

Sarah Erulkar  18:27  
Generous to guys when people

John Taylor  18:29  
show are extremely good at that kind of using picking an example to illustrate some complicated yes it all seems yeah

Peter de Normanville  18:40  
 No, it's a sort of you know as a very small kind of characteristic Shell thing of course, this was made for can't remember the production company. They went bust anyway didn't do system or

John Taylor  18:53  
Shell still. I mean, they still seem to be returning good stuff.

Peter de Normanville  18:57  
They're mainly remaking the pre made certainly

Sarah Erulkar  19:06  
Forming Metals they remade I know that yes, because it was being done with Douglas Gordon was telling us that

John Taylor  19:14  
he's making a definitive film about the environment at the moment.

Sarah Erulkar  19:17  
Yes, he hadn't seen him sometime. Oh, good. Well, that's so we saw him last. John Armstrong's premiere, didn't we filming the weather?

Can I just tell a small story just because it's long ago, and I just 24 of my first film being greeted and I'd had lovely people like Basil saying, how nice was that? I was so thrilled it was the Lord Shiva dance. And then the academy decided to put it on. As with Do you remember when I've done the drops are being sued and lost? Case for GT she'd written about the the distribution companies and they come down heavily. It wasn't even at once and I think so. Anyway, she was being sued and they were giving this sort of benefit. And they were going to show a film with Manya Nani Amya Manyani and writer as the as the main feature and then my film is going to be supporting programme. Oh, God, I was thrilled. Shell gave me a couple of seats and they paid for a meal and Peter bought me an orchid. We were just beginning to go out there and he you know, the fact he took me out to dinner. Charlotte said, just have a nice dinner. And we went along we were up there in the dress circle everybody was there as Michael Redgrave T.S. Elliot he was still alive. He was there, you know, it was just as good. I thought. Anyway, they started and they started talking and they all came on and then Amya Manyani came on and then Moraga Manyana had said had to be translated. And then they came on and said, We're sorry, we will not be showing bought in programme 24 and I couldn't bear it. I said, you know, that's that's about unchain road was just, you know, oh, goodness, 24 or 44. Yes, anytime, but it was just like, felt, but it was a,

Peter de Normanville  21:31  
the whole thing was a bit of a sort of catastrophe, actually, because the star of Sara's film Rom de Parr, sued Shell, because, in fact, the contract to get him to do his job, and his dancers, apparently specify for non theatrical use. And Shell offered him a very generous sort of sum sort sorted out, but he was greedy, and got 5000 pounds damages. And I think probably his costs were about 5000 pounds. He did get the costs. He went to court went to court down. But it was crazy, because in fact, I think it was quite a bit Shell probably have, obviously, the effects show, I think, probably offered   10,000 Maybe, but he thought he'd get a piece

Sarah Erulkar  22:12  
for himself, because he came over to London later and you know, just these people would have known.

Peter de Normanville  22:20  
The final thing was that years later, did you write or bring you up he asked Sarah to make another film because dancing? And she said, lighted, and he said, Fine, you read the money. And here I am.

John Taylor  22:40  
How are we doing? Fine. Bacon awards.

Peter de Normanville  22:48  
Sarah just list of awards mine is just List of films and the awards they've got. But they're both, in fact, quite old. When do you think that was?

John Taylor  23:00  
Just that stir any memories? Yes.

Sarah Erulkar  23:07  
I think for me, it was. Yeah, I loved it. I loved it, I guess. I don't know. It's a sort of feeling of love, you know, Pisco when we used to go to Brighton, for the festivals, and we used to get a gold or a silver each, you know, it was it was really nice, but I think perhaps being a couple, double, I'm quadrupled the effects, you know, because if we both got an award, it was just I mean, other people liked that in the actual. But those days, you know, which is not, not in the more recent years. I mean, people didn't know us  something that industry changed so rapidly, didn't it and having known everybody was undefined. Really you only know about a 10th of the people and more. But oh, it was it was incredibly good life. I mean, I was I really feel so privileged, you know, because, yes, I mean, does, you know, as I say, I wanted to do it from the age of 14 and the chances of doing a really so remote. And when I came back from Korea, we had to go to the hospital, tropical diseases to be checked out. And I remember the consultant who saw me in, he said, Would you kindly tell me what a middle aged Indian woman is doing going around Korea. And I said that I don't know. You know, but I did. And that's it. I still don't know why I was ever employed. It was just just luck and

John Taylor  24:45  
Indian woman doing down a coal mine. Absolutely. Were you doing?

Sarah Erulkar  24:52  
Well, I went up. Rafe was actually directing that particular film and He said, you know, we go up together and you can see what you're going to be editing. And we went up together and one of those, you know, he was a lovely man and of petrified me because every stop, he jumped out and disappeared and then roll back with two little miniature with gin or whiskey, whatever it was, and did that every stop. Each time I thought he was good to visit the haven't clue where I was going or anything. But anyway, we he said, you know, you've got to come down and and see what you're going to be working on. And that it was a lovely couple of days I spent there was a Yorkshire in Wales. No. Yes.

John Taylor  25:44  
I didn't think they would let women down coal mines. Do they have to get special permission?

Sarah Erulkar  25:49  
I don't know. I? I don't know. Yes,

John Taylor  25:55  
I think it just stuck with me.

Sarah Erulkar  26:00  
Oh, yes, yes. But I was an employee. So maybe, you know, they sort of somehow

John Taylor  26:09  
do anymore. Do the reading. Any thoughts?

Peter de Normanville  26:16  
Thoughts on a couple of films, yes.

John Taylor  26:20  
By losers thinking.

Peter de Normanville  26:23  
The first one is Living a City which is, you know, returning us down, I joined an amazing Calcutta. We have agreed to do at 3am in the morning at London Airport, by our producer and our editor. But the longest faces I've ever seen in my life. We thought it was very nice for them to come and meet us in the morning. We wish they left their faces behind anyway, the editor told the producer that two thirds of material was unusable. During the results of the complex, I've mentioned some problems getting rushes out. The thing was in practical fact though, I had a full time producer to get the rushes out. In principle, we had the government permission to get them out in practice we physically couldn't. So the rushes weren't seen until in fact, we'd finished shooting. Anyway, the it was said that two thirds of it was unusable.

Unknown Speaker  27:15  
Kai Keller,

John Taylor  27:17  
who was the producer needed

Peter de Normanville  27:19  
us to run through the barrier the editor was

Sarah Erulkar  27:25  
I could see him

Peter de Normanville  27:29  
Think of his name in a moment. Yeah. First class, you know, and of course, first class is highly critical. I saw the rushes. In actual fact 1/3 of it was okay. 1/3. Billowed backwards and forwards like that, or the film had obviously, fingers came in and out. And the other gathered like that. 1/3. Anyway, I should be added up. Don't worry. It's all okay. He said, How can we use it? I said, all that matters really, is that you are showing people something interesting. They don't give a damn about critical facts. It obviously makes your work much worse. You've got to be desperately careful and use bits and muck around and fiddle and faddle that I said that we've got to film and don't worry that this is going to be okay. I was right. It all came together. We came to the premiere which was at the Academy. And I was at the bar first to buy drinks. John's been the first person to join me be offered a drink was Financial Times correspondent what's his name?

Sarah Erulkar  28:41  
John. John.

Peter de Normanville  28:42  
John. ??, John said. I think it's fantastic Peter marvellous film. But you really ought to have a word with a bloody projector setup and projection was appaling this perfect job shake his head protection appalling

John Taylor  29:02  
Typical John yeah. The second thing you're at your sacred you've had to but

Peter de Normanville  29:11  
I was thinking of the leprosy film.

John Taylor  29:13  
But tell us about the leprosy film. What was that? Oh,

Sarah Erulkar  29:17  
well, there were two wasn't that was your first one which was the 

Peter de Normanville  29:20  
I was asked to make. The only and ever probably ever will be kind of definitive film about leprosy. Technically scientific, with a point not as all the other films that make quite a lot of films of various organisations but all to wring our hearts and get us to pay out  our knowledge. Mine was to recruit 300 people who could be doctors, nurses, drug researchers, information manipulators, technical people, almost any kind who could devote their skills to The problem, because if had leprosy said that, by and large, we've always been in the hands of the churches, marvellous, lovely people, but they're all getting older. We aren't getting the young blood, the young brains coming in who care and who can contribute something. So my film was reserved to recruit. It was much too long. I was told by a lot of people, I would have won every award there was, if they're going to be in 25 minutes. In fact, it was about 40 minutes. But it had everything in it. I consider it was vital to talk to this particular specialised audience, so they would really understand the disease and all about it. And, you know, it's marvellous film  to make Arthur Worcester camera man again, where did you make the sort of story about it that I was like, as we were in Addis Ababa, we shot mainly in a leperstorium there and had various or happenings. Arthur, I didn't if you work with him, but he's always he's like as a monkey jumping and shooting in every place it could be to get angles. And in this, we were by the bedside of a leprosy patient. And he sat down by the Yelp, on top of a cupboard and got up with blood appearing, and he had sat down on the scaffold that had just been filmed taking us blood smear from this leprosy patient. We had a rather big sort of leprosy medical authority. Who's an Arthur Do keep in touch. I've known leprosy in almost every organ and part of the body. But I haven't known any on the arse.

Sarah Erulkar  31:42  
But you  cut too when you were sending crazy

John Taylor  31:46  
you can catch that procedure. From from

Peter de Normanville  31:49  
from from the blood Yes, like that. I mean, you can't catch it easily. In other words, it damages very little to a healthy Western. I was actually filming a up there doing very complicated shot of track up to him. Okay, and once again, this taking the little smear off slipped to take some of the soldiers under the skin liquid on the bloke  was getting so sort of worn and tired that I said, Come on, get out there, go and sit down. I got in the bed, and I said, you can rehearse on me. And fine and dandy has two or three times they finally came in actually be the action. And I said to the technician, I said now you understand that I'm pretending that you pretend also you must go as if you're to cut but don't cut. Understand that Okay, stop. Okay. So Arthur makes a ball up with the camera boom said oh cut it

Sarah Erulkar  32:49  
there's another lovely story, if I may tell it of the day turned up. And Abyssinia with all their sorry, it's not called me silly anymore. But anyway, with all the their duty free use. And they were going on off to this other services`, which is run by Abbess. And this wasn't it and her her nuns. And so Peter said, Look, you know, you're told we've got to be pretty careful about the drink thing. So they all drank their duty free rather rapidly. And then they had to go across to this monastery of which went quite a long way in a jeep. And they got lost, you know, it was on a sort of desert, but they then she saw a little light in the distance. And so they headed for this little light. And sure enough, it was this, the centre and the Abbess that obviously heard the jeep. So the others came to the door. And as she as they got out, she said, Oh, welcome, welcome. And I'm sure you'd like a vodka ` came out vodka martini. was absolutely judging.

Peter de Normanville  33:53  
They've had their 100th anniversary a few weeks before, and being sent all kinds of goodies from all over the world because people from all over the world came to the celebration, normally obviously wouldn't have but they have some vodka martini surviving. And you may just think

Sarah Erulkar  34:07  
that was the one I did in my last film I ever made in India. But first

Peter de Normanville  34:12  
let me sort of finish up this place. They're quite unbelievable. You know, absolutely lovely people, the nuns. We all fell in love with them. I think they fell in love with us as well. But all kinds of strange things the first night they have a little generator there, but it cut of at 10 And in fact, we stayed with the nuns by the fire so talking off Tim went to bed and I was in bed and suddenly thought funny was generated going again. didn't think much about it, but just sort of mentioned to one of the sisters that I've heard the generator go in the middle of the night. You thought they'd maybe had a hospital operation or something like that. They didn't know that that's what the generator that's the witch doctor. And they've got a very genuine, authentic Witch Doctor Who sends all his patients to them, sorry, sent all his family to them for medicine. But his patients all go to him. And quite a few are actually leprosy patients and go to the leprosy hospital for outpatient treatment, but go for the witch doctor for all other treatment. But you know to actually hear witch doctor, his drums thumping in the middle, the darkest. We have a simian desert is quite strange. And all that kind of things, Arthur's a great horseman and we went out by jeep, but the boys will go by pony, because in fact, this particular trip they don't like using the Jeep normally. Because of that the roads are extremely bad it's over even savages the Jeep tires and suspension Anyway, do not carry our equipment. And on the way back. Arthur. I would like a ride. And I think with great trepidation because in fact these were unsaddled so pretty wild looking. Well. Small horse Yes, yes. But Arthur went off with them. And, you know, his fame was enormous. Find his mother's horseman. He is actually ice skated with the Russian World Champion figure skater and filmed her while He is dancing with her sort of this kind of lark. He's an extremely good clever credit camera man skier

Sarah Erulkar  36:31  

Peter de Normanville  36:34  
Oh, yes he's an abosolutely top skier. He's done a lot of skiing, filming. On one particular occasion, he was during the Winter Olympics. And surprising for Arthur, there had to be someone go down. Very bad slope, with no ski sticks. They have a camera and do some movements with it. So in fact, he trained one of the champions

Sarah Erulkar  36:56  
and said never again.

Peter de Normanville  36:59  
Never again. You're there. Yeah. No, tyical of Arthur you know.

Sarah Erulkar  37:09  
Oh, yes, indeed. Yeah. No,

Peter de Normanville  37:11  
I have a horrible feeling. You're doing much better on Arthur Worcester with us. And you will with Arthur Worcester

Sarah Erulkar  37:16  
very modest in this. Yes. She All right. You can see it. Just another story about leprosy, which is my leprosy. Yes, yes, mine was more what Peter would call a tear jerker. It was, you know, I did a fairly straight film was in this centre, again, run by nuns and very lovely people again, I mean, they really, you know, wonderful people, in Kumbakonam, is about 80 miles south of Madras. Again, a lovely area to do tourists, you know, it was fantastic that this particular centre, a lot of students would turn up, you know, European students in sort of work for their living there. They were, it was a lovely thing. But I had one problem, that was the 90 I made the film shot at 84. Because it took four years for us to get the Go ahead. Government people kept on saying there is no leprosy in India. In fact, it was the Attenborough's, in fact, Sheila Attenborough, who went and saw Mrs. Gandhi, and got it, you know, worked out for us. She knew the leper lady who was with me, and you know, she did everything to do this. It was just great, you know, but the thing was that in 80, I was going over there to research it, and to write my script actually, on the spot. Treatment really. And there's one problem is that I have absolutely or had a pathological fear spiders, I've been using a drawing of a spider that would make me shake, you know, if I suddenly saw one, I mean, I needed to go run down the road to get away from it. And I thought, I'm going to the centre I'm gonna have a little cell of my own, suddenly no way of pressing a button and asking someone to come and rescue you, what am I going to do? I either have to turn the film down, or I got to get rid of this phobia. So I actually took a third therapy on them, which was like 15 hours, concentrated therapy and started with drawings you know, just a simple kind of little spider thing. And this this therapist took me to this was Maudsley Maudsley hospital and he took me right through to the end where I was actually handling enormous high spiders. And I still did I can't pick up a spider but I can look on in the face and I don't want to kill them and I I was able to go to and thank goodness I did because the first night I was in my little cell, all alone. The generator I failed, and I was in the dark. I haven't. I haven't been on the screen, do it live. But you know, I'd have been in such a state, I don't think I could have stayed. So that was, I wish I'd done it years ago, we should have had that therapy long time ago. But it was a it was, it was a happy film, wasn't it? It was really was a fundraiser. And we used two talking heads, one as a very attractive researcher. She's head of the department in Delhi, the All India Research Institute. And we are also doing her side side of it, but the problems of leprosy and the research on leprosy. And then we went to the Kumbakonam, where we had the consultant, who's also really head of the medical side of the optical? centre. And he took us through the other side. And they were both very, they spoke very graphically, you know, and it was very convincing them in very movingly as well, where it was needed. Very relaxed within the Indian technician. No, this was the time and Arthur and Dan and Peter and I snuck off. And did it. Did it just the four of us with sound from Madras local? sound crew, and it's not to say it was. So it was a it was a pretty good photo. Here around India, it was they did a lot of translation. Also in Germany in places, you know, the International led leprosy organisation sends these films around with translations, they almost know they have in the place Peter was shooting and Malawi, one of the places you're in, they have nearly got rid of leprosy. And it's been a great triumph, you know, it's like smallpox, but in India, the people who just hide the thoughts still thought of as lepers, you know? And it's, it's, it's a growing situation still, at least it was but they've now discovered a vaccine, haven't they? Which is this recent thing

Peter de Normanville  42:28  
Not sort of proven, so to speak yet, but it's quite long, the way that undoubtedly isn't a disease which could be eradicated smallpox has been accepted to be very much more expensive and difficult, because smallpox you know so to speak, is an easy disease to treat. Whereas leprosy always a difficult disease to treat and slow but can be very effectively done. And also the great problem is that this I filmed in fact the really good drugs are extremely expensive, but quite out of the question for the millions of people were nervous during the third world but they are increasingly using them you know, where the cheaper drugs just don't work?

Sarah Erulkar  43:09  
Well, they use a sort of cocktail, you know, some some cheap and some expensive but it wouldn't have mattered you know if any of us had got leprosy because it's a very simple thing to cure as long as it's caught up at the beginning

good. Are there any other medicl films made or

I'd made films on the cross infection cross infection

Peter de Normanville  43:37  
What is this medicine?

Sarah Erulkar  43:39  
Oh, I guess I made a film with arthritis as part of terminos till I got arthritis sort of bones but the the arthritis films I didn't get on with the medicine group very well, you know, and Teddy, what was his name? My editor. He didn't either so it was a bit of a problem but I didn't quite know what happened to it. They said they did let me know but I rang they kept on saying oh yes, it's been seen by another a lot of committee. But just someone depressing which I did with Alpha films and the cross infection which I did with Baba films. That was a long time ago. And things

Peter Taylor  0:01  
Side four Peter de Normanville and Sarah Erulkar continuing.

Sarah Erulkar  0:12  
For the first time in your life, this has suddenly started working for the BBC at the final stage of 60 plus two different

Peter de Normanville  0:23  
Yes, it was so slightly caused me consternation because of growing up my Anvil.

Sarah Erulkar  0:32  
It was a

Peter de Normanville  0:34  
yes. Skin cat No, rich rich. said you'd like to do a series for BBC? I said probably not Rich. What's it all about? He said, Well, the point is that it's a drama series, but on the science base and entirely on realistic science, you know, environments. And he said that we got a very good drama director. I think we need very good scientific producer. And you seem to be the one as far as well go and talk to them then. So I went to the head of this, it was a small department of BBC very independent or totally independent, really of the organisation, they actually make money, believe it or not. And they basically make films for sharing to foreigners who will speak English, but this particular one was to orientate them to scientific English. In other words, you know, different environments be filmed in all kinds of laser places, biology, molecular biology, places, telescope, places, space places. And so they will get used to the kind of dialogue and talking that goes on in these places, all built on a kind of fictional story. Anyway, this is BBC, BBC Enterprises and television empires. thats's the chap. Yes. Anyway, I went on to  see the boss. He talked to me about an hour And said, said then Peter. And I said, Yes, yes. It's a way to start then on Monday. Well, I hadn't understood at all what he's talking about for about and hour apparently is well known of him. He's a great speaker, you know, and convoluted mind a great genius, who had been head this organisation for years. That was now retiring. And I thought, well, at least I'll turn up Monday, presumably, Oh, tell me what a producer does and how to go about it turned up a Monday and found he was off to America on Tuesday. And here I was producing a very expensive 13 part series. Never having one I've actually I've made programmes with BBC previously. But you know, in a very kind of off odd way on the side if I just hadn't been doing nothing, and they happen to ask me, but certainly never produced anything. I mean, I produce things again, small way in films. Anyway, I got a very nice note from him, saying that he was absolutely staggered, he hadn't really thought the series could be better than the last one. But it was outstandingly better, and bla bla bla bla bla, bla, good. BBC producer, I didn't quite know what I did. While I was in the job, that the only snag was, it was quite a big snag to me. In all my time as a freelance, I've never ever had a nine to five job, which this was, I mean, as the boss, I could turn up 10 and leave at four whatever. But in principle, I felt that I ought to be there well, before anyone else then to leave after anyone else, which had my rather naive belief is what bosses ought to do. And so I did that travelling on the tube for months on end, it just about destroyed me you know..

Sarah Erulkar  3:39  
But there was also the problem that because his bombers experience, he was told that this was the original cause of his deafness, but he went quite suddenly. And, you know, that is not helpful. There's just a totally new kind of job in a new world.

Peter de Normanville  3:57  
Now, I don't know whether I got it. But in fact, I had a national health aide, which I'm wearing a moment. And I suddenly saw thought, my contract I'm coming up to what I think seven days dubbing it down at Anvil  and then four days in, whatever they have those videos sort of I don't even know what they're called, I can't remember. You know what I'm talking about offline or online, or Highline or low line or whatever. And I was totally responsible for every aspect of the picture and sound quality of everything. So I went on to Siemens, who were oddly enough partners sponsoring this series. And they've got a hearing aid people and got the two most expensive hearing aid businesses bits in the business. So I thought that no one could really complain. I've had the tears of this. Ask my accountants charge them up for the National Health and send him a copy of the contract, you know, with this paragraph of my responsibilities, and I presume he actually got the off. I don't know my tax either. I never checked up here a second time. Should my insurance No no, because I lost one of them and sent them in a bill for what was it? 480 pounds or something for one hearing aid? Yes. Don't be serious. That's dead serious. I've got an insurance of my personal goods and property when travelling. And that was a personal good and property.

John Taylor  5:17  
A series of directors on the script

Peter de Normanville  5:19  
no just one director throughout one script writer throughout and one cast throughout the obviously went all in all the series. And about halfway shot in Germany half over here. I only went to location that which I considered to be so particularly scientifically, Foxy or finicky. You know, mainly, I left a sort of director to direct. And he did a beautiful job, you know? And who's the Director do you remember? No, rather naughty, but my memory is bad. You know? Davidson? I wouldn't get any script, right was Tully, Tully, Tully didn't. So

John Taylor  6:04  
now we come to an important part, you decided to pick up work? And what did you do?

Peter de Normanville  6:11  
Well, I'll say that I haven't packed up. I'm still a member of the AC T, they're unemployed funnily enough, completely out of the blue. When about a year ago, I got a call would I make from Rolls Royce? Would I do a film for them? And I say delighted. I made one for them two or three years ago, on a rather funny basis, because in fact, they've got a very good unit of their own or had then it's actually stopped now. And they just wanted to writer/director come in, but to use their crew on all facilities. And presumably they were quite happy with it anyway said yes. Delighted. So I went to the bloke, and came back home finally myself committed to doing a film for the 50th anniversary of Whittles first jet flight, first fight of his jet to be shown at the Smithsonian in Washington with Whittle and everyone who was anyone you know, and Rolls Royse for during the sound of celebration films, they thought that ought to be some kind of visual aid at the exhibition. And started thinking I thought, well, crikey, they want oh, they're mad. They've given me over a year to do it. And then I thought, I wonder, Oh, dear, and I immediately rang up around find out when little celebration was and it was six weeks ahead. And they wanted the film. Anyways, to be library, basically, because it was a question of go to America for filming in particular. But you know, to really get a library materials together in six weeks and a show copy out to out to Washington. But the only good thing about it is I could get a figure to cover what I thought was a generous period of time in which I would do careful research and brilliant analysis, etc, Cetera cetera. And I got the same fee, because I asked for a fee. And they had agreed for that gigantic stem, which are for running around like a mad thing for six weeks. And in fact, five weeks, in fact, everything had to be in about five weeks. And the nice thing is I got an extremely nice letter from Rolls Royce saying that their major board director thought it shows incredible research, which in fact, I had done in AI just out of my mind, the whole of it, you know, vaguely keep up with aviation, and Whittle requests a personal copy of the film. So he also was quoted as saying that there were many things in the film that he didn't know was that it was not bad. In fact, this was basically because I know Shall library. And you know, I've sort of made these films year after year of Farnborough. And, of course, there are many aircraft which appeared and disappeared. Some of them great interest and significance, but they just failed. Which probably I'm the only person in the world who knows about them in the sense that I know what's in the Shell library. And I got all this material library for stuff that obviously took Whittle because he he must have known at that time, but certainly wouldn't have thought of it for 20 years. So my last two were the most peculiar ones. One very well, well, they're both very well paid. But in fact, the Rolls Royce one i enormously enjoy because I thought was a nice thing to have to work on. So really good.

John Taylor  9:25  
But you're on the career in the antique world, I think you've always been interested in TV. Yeah. So we

Sarah Erulkar  9:35  
had, we had sort of off and on done sort of, you know, just taken the occasional table somewhere and that a farmer market and you know, it'd be divided up this house we had a half a house to get ripped off so to speak. So I had dinner when I wasn't busy. I do the  odd fair or the as I say the market, but you know, you thought you had I've been working for 45 years or more. You can't stop at these I couldn't. And it's been so big a part of my life. I mean, it's awful and I have children. That is what they resent. But it, it has been important to me. And I think that we both decided that you can't just give up and also you can't cut yourself off. People wish they could just go to BAFTA for screening, you know, meeting fewer friends, you want to meet new people and interesting people. And this was a good way selling antiques, it's actually quite a good way of doing it. I have met interesting people and found well not friends. But you know, I've been doing well i solidly for about five years now. 84 I stopped and more than that I've been doing but six years.

John Taylor  10:53  
I mean, do you take an active part in it

Peter de Normanville  10:55  
Oh, very much so I do the antique restoration. Join Sarah equally in the buying really? And I'm the transport and heaver and  humper In other words, on Portabello I load the car drive Sarah there unload everything helped her set up the stall open air stall which I can tell you about three weeks ago was a bit unpleasant.

Sarah Erulkar  11:20  
You're only there for a couple of hours Yes.

Peter de Normanville  11:23  
A couple of hours in the morning and then I come back and bring us some lunch

Sarah Erulkar  11:27  
it's always a very again you know we get the old couple in in this this sort of strange antique world I mean, there are a lot of odd people around but because we are so you know so different from each other and looks and then character that we are people recognise us you know people come up and say hello a little glue they are right there but seven about seven

Peter de Normanville  11:53  

John Taylor  11:54  
It must be challenging these winter

Peter de Normanville  11:58  
is a Sarah says you know she says there the whole day I just spent a couple of hours there and then come back at lunchtime for another couple of hours

Sarah Erulkar  12:04  
coffee in his papers and his ZIZ after lunch. I haven't worked it out yet. I've decided that I that if I do a job. I got to do it properly. That's the only way I survive.

Peter de Normanville  12:19  
But in fact, once every six weeks we have to be down at`. Edgware Road

Sarah Erulkar  12:24  
five 535 In the morning

Peter de Normanville  12:27  
five o'clock in the morning to catch a bus which takes us to Birmingham first began to dealers are no

Sarah Erulkar  12:37  
parks nearby it's only in Mill lane so they could stop just the bottom lane so it's not too bad.

John Taylor  12:45  
I know you exit small things

Sarah Erulkar  12:50  
he just fell for them but who was the coach put them above monitors they put

John Taylor  12:57  
deals on the coach?

Sarah Erulkar  12:58  
Yes. Literally, I'm surprised nobody's held up the coach because there's money on the way out anyway.

John Taylor  13:11  
Look at what you specialise to specialise

Sarah Erulkar  13:13  
in but in glass I think because we've always collected the glass but no we try we try very hard to build up a reputation for strange things and we do look out for them when we do find them and that that's you know, unusual pieces. I'm like a mom this region C T mixer, which was returned by Hans agreed rules would drum with bras, not full delish ones. I mean, I've never seen one before. I mean that. So lovely sort of feel about it.

John Taylor  13:46  
Business during the recession. Good. Very badly.

Sarah Erulkar  13:55  
Old Middle East you see, these be big buyers of Lalique and things like that.

Peter de Normanville  14:01  
The Japanese are also big buyers in there again, not coming. I find it very depressing, you know, sort of Americans not coming to England, because there's a threat of terrorism but

John Taylor  14:15  
that was a scare that propaganda scare was put out that went badly wrong because it was a purely anti Iraqi scare saying they're going to come and blow us out. And I mean, it had terrible repercussions on all the airlines and everyone else who's crazy. I thought I mean, I thought at the time I stood back be mad. And then you know, the chances of being blown up are so infinitesimal but it was obvious the government you know that some are fed out as an anti Iraqi. ploy to make them look worse than

Sarah Erulkar  14:54  
the villains. I mean, it did some extraordinary gossip too. I mean, split last Sunday, I was at the fair and Park Lane hotel, you know, just off Green Park and sudden whisper went round that 5000 Americans being captured and this federal said oh my god, you know,

Peter de Normanville  15:16  
given them up the rest of the world from that sort of window

Sarah Erulkar  15:18  
kind of show that's, surrendered . And then Peter came to lunch Have you heard the news these told them what I'd heard and he said there's nothing like that. So they went on we were told to you know, the embassy had been the last thing as you leaving somebody shouted out the Americans have taken over the MC in Kuwait City, which course didn't happen for another two days, but

John Taylor  15:42  
misinformation and all that stuff about but the ferociousness of the Iraqi army which was the fourth ylargest in the world it was obviously yes the the military on this side putting up saying you know look up against

Sarah Erulkar  15:57  
me there's poor sad people to die it's been a crazy war certainly

John Taylor  16:11  
Mr. And Mrs. To beat it

Sarah Erulkar  16:13  
to me while the sad things is I'm Sarah rule because dead I mean, you know that I do object Yes, but apart from my ACT  thing you know, I don't I'm not even there. My friends sort of think of me as Sarah Normanville with the never, never told me to go

John Taylor  16:39  
understand why women should have to change their names on marriage. And whatever you do, you know, that's it.

Peter de Normanville  16:48  
The funny thing is, John, I'd always assumed this was universal and automatic. If that is not we're very rare in this country. And in doing this automatically change your name and marriage. Almost every other countries has a different system

John Taylor  16:59  
and in larger systems, it's the y x the woman whose name is is the continuous

Peter de Normanville  17:03  
the family name. Yes. And others who joined the two together

John Taylor  17:09  
I don't know where it comes from. You could have a triple hyphenated name

Peter de Normanville  17:19  
looking back in sort of retrospect, I nowadays for simplicity, I just don't hyphenate it and I say Denormanville the Denorman I used to say small de you know

John Taylor  17:38  
thanks. Thanks very much. Like anything else that are there any that no other people


Married to Sarah Erulkar