Dallas Bower

Forename/s: 
Dallas
Family name: 
Bower
Industry: 
Interview Number: 
5
Interview Date(s): 
8 Jun 1987
23 Nov 1987
Production Media: 
Duration (mins): 
315

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Speechmatics Transcript

Dallas Bower Part 1
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SPEAKER: F47
Dallas Bower.  Producer,  television director,  television producer , Sound Recordist ,  Film Editor.
SPEAKER: M1
Drama producer Dallas.
SPEAKER: M2
When when and where were you born. Kensington whole gardens London. Nineteen hundred and seven. Now what kind of schooling do you have. First of all. Bar kindergarten. Which was the Pro Bowl Institute hard by Kensington Gardens. Wellington School partner. Which enjoyed the distinction. Of two very distinguished. Pupils.
SPEAKER: F8
As they came in later life. Little Heart. The. Military historian. And Maurice Bara no less. Warden of Wadham Oxford. And great classical scholar. And. My first Latin mistress was run Ms botting. Who became in due course. Antonia white. Frost in May no less. Than. Linton house. London and some Johns husband like.
SPEAKER: M2
Now. Did you get any special schooling at all. Training for later life. But before you started work.
SPEAKER: F18
No none whatsoever. My interest in radio. Was sparked off at first. By a senior boy. Who was given permission. To. Work. For a small set. Which in those days of course was something very precious. And that rarely sparked off my interest. In radio. Now.
SPEAKER: M2
>From from from school and what did you did you take any exams at school. No I went straight from school straight from first. Into.
SPEAKER: F18
Radio. Having set up. My own amateur station. At. Upper Richmond Road. In partner. And. When the time came for work. I simply wrote the Marconi sound scientific instrument company. And said. Could I be of any value to them.
SPEAKER: F8
And surprise. I was immediately given the job. What was your job. Oh terrific bench testing at that kind of thing or quite straightforward and simple. What did they pay you. They paid me. 60 shillings a week. That's quite a bit of money as it was in fact in those days. Of course it was exceptional.
SPEAKER: M2
Then came from our companies. Where did you go then. Well from there. I went to. Bernadette. Which was a rather. Radio.
SPEAKER: F18
Manufacturer manufacturing concern. One of the found the companies of the old British Broadcasting Company. And then in turn. I went to experimental wireless. Which was one of the first serious. Radio. JOURNALIST By which I mean it became the wireless engineer. Run by Percival Marshall. Howard Marshall's father Percival Marshall and Co. In those days they ran. Percival Marshall ran. The amateur mechanic the model engineer. It was a most interesting concern a small family publishing concern. Finally take note take note of my ideas. And. I was there for. Some little time and indeed.
SPEAKER: F8
It was edited by a man called Paul pass who was extremely. We were all very young. Everybody associated with the hope venture was young. And I had the privilege of editing the journal. For I think for few. And then. It was taken out I say by Eilis and I migrated so to speak to big age. I did the same sort of work as I'd been doing. Down. There which was to. Advise. Customers on technical matters.
SPEAKER: M2
>From VH. You went you went to be IP. Was that with the Beattie BBH sound system. What happened was this RCA had installed. Their equipment. Their. Recording equipment. At the IPL stress. And. The temperate London office the temporary RCA London office was in fact. At all which house. Just in the immediate adjacent to the theatre. And one of the. Senior. Men.
SPEAKER: F8
By name handle Sunday. I happened to meet. And. I found him a man of great interest we seem to have interests in common. He was interested in opera. And indeed it was he who took me to my first break no less. That was way back. Enough. To. Cut. Him down. And he asked me if I'd be interested in becoming. A sound recordist elsewhere. Who and of course nothing could possibly be interested in more because. Way back in as a. Child. There was an uncle. Who. As it were air conditioned my very very very early childish interest in the cinema. He used to take me to the royal to cinema. In Kensington High Street which was the first cinema ever in the Royal Borough. And in fact any cinema for a year as in Kensington. And as a small boy I saw him dance in the birth of a nation. And so you couldn't as it were stop me from getting myself to be I'd be as quick as I can get.
SPEAKER: M2
So I mean I was so in fact you could say you had encouragement from the family. They didn't didn't oppose this rather a foreign medium.
SPEAKER: F8
No. My mother and father parted and I was very young. And there would have been no opposition whatsoever for my mother because on my mother's side. The drama as it were is in the family as much as we are really Kimble's. Zara Siddons is it was my great great great grandmother. So then there were the monopoly thought by associating myself in any way with anything to do with the drama. And.
SPEAKER: F35
My father was interested in commerce. He was a business man and something that would have never entered his head to oppose anyway.
SPEAKER: M2
Where were you. Where were you living and when you're working at BHP and how do you get to and from.
SPEAKER: F8
Work. Well when I went to be a piece I was living at the Mill Hill. And I used to. Get myself. To do extra. By being driven either by David Cunningham. Who was my assistant. Or by John grinders who was then musical director of. The IP and they were doing an enormous mouse scoring of their early silent films. And John used to give me a lift and take me back one evening. Likewise David Cunningham.
SPEAKER: M2
What do you want. What wages are you getting at VIP then. I started at the VIP at fifteen pounds a week. Which in those days were really quite handsome. And. Yes know it was considered to be.
SPEAKER: F8
Not a bad way. In fact a very good one.
SPEAKER: M2
And you were a recordist. Yes. And of course.
SPEAKER: F8
We had no. We were in fact in a bull's on the floor. Yes. There was no question of working for a central recording room at the IP that all came very much later.
SPEAKER: M2
Now there's always been a nagging doubt as to which was the first English talkie. Was it blackmail. Or was it under the Greenwood tree. Well. I suppose you must say it was blackmail because. Hitch started blackmail.
SPEAKER: F9
Has asylum. It was then decided. To reshoot a good deal of it. And make it into a sound film. And. That in fact is what happened. And it was completed and shown. Before we completed under the green tree. I recorded that with the green wooden tree. David was my assistant. And I had the great pleasure and privilege indeed. Of.
SPEAKER: M12
Working with Claude Friis green. But now I'm going to photograph it. Yeah. Tell us a bit about trees.
SPEAKER: F16
Well frieze was an extraordinary man. I mean he was totally unflappable. And. He was quiet. And. Had. Enormous confidence. In himself. It was extremely extremely agreeable in every way. He was pleasant with people he got on with people I mean his own crew loved him. And. Sparks loving. And. What he himself found so frightfully difficult is indeed we all did. Of course. He was working in a booth. More often than not. Previously he had to have a certified arc. In the booths with him. And. We had another form of torture in those days which was a thing called a mock light. And the mock light. Was something that fogged. The edges of Stark. Outside the sprocket holes and outside the track.
SPEAKER: F8
Now this was a must. It was a nightmare devised inasmuch as it certainly kept one in six. There's no question about that your mangled material onto the. Bench. After the fall. But. It also had the hideous effect of fogging both the mood. And the track. If in fact anything remotely went wrong with it it was very spat. And the chap on board became the stop and start operation. That was one of the things that we all had to cope with in those days. Apart from the fact that the track itself. Tended to shift. And getting it right properly aligned. Meant innumerable tests at least three or four a day to make quite certain. That the track wasn't in fact. Running off. Its prescribed area on the edge of.
SPEAKER: M2
The field. Now what worked for working conditions like you know from the point of view of sound recordist in those early days while they were absolute hell no. Because. I mean apart from the fact. That the actual microphone. Itself.
SPEAKER: F16
Was a large box. It consisted of a large box. And. A cable from the box with Mike on the end.
SPEAKER: F18
And Mike had a fairly narrow. Per the curve I mean you know you come off mike very easily. And of course there was absolutely no route system. Before placing it properly. So that Rothman had to do. Was to haul the box. And the mike was cable up on a Gaddafi rail.
SPEAKER: F16
And hang it. That was the only possible way of. Placing the mike properly. Above the cast above the actors. And. It gave it gave rise to the most difficulties in getting. A really good setup. And at the same time working cooperatively and as much as giving director what you wanted in the way did the actual mechanics.
SPEAKER: F21
And of course not interfering with the camera man's work such as casting the most dreadful shadows everywhere booms hadn't come in. Oh yeah but there was no such thing as a boom in those days so. That was good. Quite considerably late today. It's hard to believe. Oh yes. Yes. Now. Were there any concealed mikes on the set. No. The only concealed mikes that I ever used was present extreme long shot.
SPEAKER: F16
In a comedy. David and I recorded from multiple banks. And he liked working with street cameras. And indeed it was a system that had been used long since the salad days. Certainly Hollywood. And. He wasn't prepared to deviate from this. And. I decided that one of the things we might do. For he wanted the done. It. Was see. On this particular set up a long shot which was a circuit certified if not 25. And a long wide. And. There was a. An extra. Standing in front. Of a small boat or in this particular set. Whose name was Estelle Thompson. And a. Very beautiful creature. And I said to David I wonder if it's possible. To stick that Mike. Under. Miss Thompson's gown. Sam Thompson was approached and asked if she'd mind. She said you mind the door. And so that's where the microphone was stuck and indeed across.
SPEAKER: F19
As you know Miss Thompson became Miss Oberon. No let us first. The first conceivable Mike took place no less. I was overruled by Sir I'd be. No.
SPEAKER: M2
You you did talk about some work you did on microphones. Well he wouldn't be happy if you found a means of making them more effective. No I don't I think you're confusing it was something that happened quite fortuitously it wasn't microphones it was.
SPEAKER: F27
The fact that we had great difficulty in it recording music really well. And on one occasion quite by accident I found it almost impossible to line up the government the hill on the scene. On the. Recording machine. And in order to get the image sharp. I stuck a hate there. Under the base of the. Governor itself. There it wasn't gotten off to city and I was called in Gavin to light system. And this had the effect of greatly increasing. The base. Quality of the actual recording. And. I can't give you any technical explanation as to why they should have increased the base but nevertheless. But nevertheless it did because the nature of the mechanism itself had caused this to happen. And. Of course. At that time. The IP in fact were putting music to all silent films previously made. And the John rounders would have no one but myself and David I mean making his tracks for him. And so we rather got stuck with this. Not to be minded particularly I didn't mind at all because it gave me. An. Enormous opportunity to record music. I was always interested in doing.
SPEAKER: M2
Nothing before you talked about rounders. Let's talk about other personalities. But the RPA at the time when you were there. There was not Walter Mycroft out. What was he. What was his job. Well Walter Mycroft. Had previously been. A. Film critic of the evening standardising. And. He was a strange man. Hunchback. Performed. And. He had an immense enthusiasm. Because German cinema. And insofar as he appears concerned he was very much the hymnals grays. He was the managing director was a man or John Cor tackle this sort. And identity was very interested in film making particularly I mean I think if he got himself making it raises he would be equally interested in making raises do not mean it. But my craft was certainly he was technically known as the scenario editor. But of course what it really meant was that he was the artistic director of base and as much as. When. He brought in. People like. Arthur Robeson. Warning said as robust. Robeson. DUPONT. Hitch. Had a Lachman. And camera m en such as. Vernon Brandis. And. A key sort. I think for a short time. Carl tried. And Fritz on of.
SPEAKER: F29
Those. Those were the kind of people working at VIP in those days. In fact they were practically. You might almost as fast as say as a straight import mover. And. Of course. From the point of view of the quality of the work that was done it was the greatest possible interest. So graphically and objectively and subjectively.
SPEAKER: M2
Did he produce any original work.
SPEAKER: F29
No. Not that I know of. But I mean what he did was he was to allocate. Him a lawless set the units in motion. For instance now under the Greenwood tree. You would see. The scenario it was done by Frank launder. And. Frank launder and. Many waters. Off.
SPEAKER: F16
Man officer's name. Better. Let's just skip my memory. MARTIN HOF. MARTIN Hof who wrote is extremely successful play called many waters. And the combination of Frank. Lauda and Martin half could not have been more actionable. And it was a very good script. Not an easy hard is not easy to adapt. And that was. And.
SPEAKER: F9
It was a frustrated by a lack of who come straight from police. Well of course you've been working with boys. Indeed. In.
SPEAKER: M2
That role. Now let's get let's move on then I suppose it's this is when was it Maxwell appeared and he put in Stapleton didn't he.
SPEAKER: F30
Maxwell was the managing director not the Met the tramp. Yes. And. Stapleton was put it was considered I suppose. The view was. That. The whole plot could have been run more economically. Whether that was sell or not here at this. Distance in time it's very hard to say but there's no question about all. That Stapleton was a total disaster. To such an extent that I mean he really had no idea. What he was about. And. The mass murderer. I think what summarizes Stapleton its approach to filmmaking was that. He came to a very quick. Conclusion. About certain aspects of the rushes that he was looking at every day. And that was the clapper boy. Marker lights. Lynn Dunaway it was by then. The cabin boy took far too much time. To leave the set. Having worked Clapp hasn't announced the scene. No. He should leave the set more quickly so Monty backs again being an excellent comedian himself in every conceivable way. Decided that it would be great to have too much of this. They tied a rope wrappe d capitalized waste. On the next occasion. When her scene was marked for him. And the boy was.
SPEAKER: F19
Pulled all flat on his face as quick as possible out of date line. We had no more nonsense about clever boys leading up to Labor Day believe me.
SPEAKER: M2
If you'd left VIP to go and join stall stalls. Yes. Why was that. Was the equipment more attractive was much more attractive. And. I didn't like the set up.
SPEAKER: F30
The working conditions for quite intolerable. I mean. You'll see. Every morning of course call half past eight. Nine o'clock. Of an evening was a relatively early evening. And in the eighteen months I was there for the first two years I was over the first 18 months I had three weekends. They were quite quite in tone. And. I had heard. That still putting in. That. Equipment. And. I simply suggested to two. I think it was not Sinclair Hill but ask Mitchell I think it was the studio.
SPEAKER: M12
He yes. You remember us. Yes yes. The panther. Was equally human and as the pen was. As you move us. Yes. This is where he comes to be. Yes quite right. That's it.
SPEAKER: F30
And before I knew where I was I was invited to go there. So I suppose it is absolutely splendid so what I went and there was round and language as well. You see his two assistants. And. I couldn't have been more pleased to find myself because. The whole atmosphere critical was a totally different. Kind of atmosphere that was pervading it. It wasn't a happy crew at all. I mean everybody was at each other's throats. And and of course the most appalling exploitation was no question. I mean to all intents and purposes it was suspected labor. And there's no way any of us could do about it at the same time it doesn't bear. It doesn't do never to bear in mind that we were doing something good upon your nature.
SPEAKER: M2
Now you know at the stove when when they opened up to the same as you and I've got a very vivid memory of you when Dick was. I think it was on such as the law. He was having microphone. Shadow problems. And you just came in and skied the mike now. That's the first time I'd ever seen a sound recordist kind of not give way but be cooperating with the cameras. Now why was it you could do that and in the past nobody had ever done it. What I think was done probably to say I was. I don't want to seem to scramble about my colleagues in. The. Recording. Divisions. But I don't think they were all interested in cinema per say they were interested in.
SPEAKER: F30
Simply recording good sound. I was interested both in recording good sound and interest and such. And furthermore I'd had this enormous advantage of working with Claude trees green. And it was quite clear. That we weren't going to work amicably. Unless we worked cooperatively. And that's what we managed to do and I mean this question of Mike Sellars was extremely difficult. For cameramen. And I had no hesitation in doing everything I possibly could to to avoid them as much as possible. And that's why when Dick said he was come my shadow I said I don't recollect this occasion. But Judy clearly Adam. I said what I would. I'll just take it ha. And whatever I did I must somehow the gain up in some way. And so it was. Now. I've got of you know I've got a feeling in my. Gut. That. A lot of the early sound recordings should come from being wireless operators either on you know maritime Navy or.
SPEAKER: M2
Or from other areas. Is that fair.
SPEAKER: F21
I don't think. I can't recollect that Alan. I don't know where you were where that may have been one or two who had I think that I think. I think there was someone that Gainsborough.
SPEAKER: F9
Which of course was after VIP here whose name I can't read left. It may have been Adam. I'm not sure. But I mean Adam's I'm not absolutely certain he meant and lot of software sometime but certainly not the early VIP. I mean. Thornton. Thornton. Ross. Murray. Yes. I don't think that they may have been I don't but I don't think so. I mean I've never heard that tape.
SPEAKER: M15
Well I think that was a useful thing to kill.
SPEAKER: F21
Yes I think so. I know I I've never I've never heard that. No.
SPEAKER: M2
No. When you think kind of the cooperation between sound governments and camera department really came about. Was it the better equipment. Was it the new breed of technician coming in that made this possible.
SPEAKER: F9
Yes I think it was a combination of both. I think so. And. I mean fortunately the sound equipment was continuously proved and. It was the I mean. Like really. The I would say is a major step. In the way of improvement from. The point of view. Well from both point of view and that. Camera and sound department. Was the blimp. Yes. And the first film. Was designed. At the IP insofar as this country's concerned by theatrical sparkle. Who became Lubitsch as camera man. And was a fine camera man. And I was happy very happy indeed work with him because I was prepared. You'll see. He he wanted to test out his preference. And he met me. He'd made his own blend. And his own blend. Consisted of the Mottram I suppose would consist of silvers band of wooden case. Covering. A wooden debris an electrically driven wouldn't agree. And it tended to make. Quite a nice way in due course. No in due course I mean or managed to design it to to all intents and purposes. It. Was quite silent. I mean you coul dn't. You couldn't put your mike over somebodies head if you were doing a close up say them. And decide. That you would have it certainly but to advocate for normal work it. Sparkles blimps. The spark who blew it. And that made a difference. It freed the camera I could see it from from. Booth from the booth. And of course Mike them. Yes. Yes I suppose the two things. Now in your years as a sound recordist. Which direction do you remember. Perhaps making the best use of sound you know in an imaginative way. But I suppose you could say that Hitch did in blackmail. By using sound realistically in fact that wild track. In the famous knife scene. Where the repetition of the repetition of the word knife keeps. Occurring to the girl. I think Dave and Cunningham and I actually recorded a wild track. For the purpose of cutting it in. In fact we did. A. Nice. Nice. Nice. Knife. And that was certainly an imaginative use of sound. In those days I mean. Nothing like it has ever been. Done before . I'm talking. Films.
SPEAKER: M11
Here.
SPEAKER: M2
What made you decide to give up some recording and he went over to editing after seven years. Well you know subtle Dickinson. Had an immense influence on it and he was very much concerned. With the film society.
SPEAKER: F9
At that time. And. If you'll recall Sidney Sydney was. In my department of record. And. Sort of. Had to do all the editing for the films. Himself. You might say. And he needed systems. He needed the systems. And. Sidney and myself. Ray Pitt. No. Editor. So it. Came. We did not work for films. In no uncertain terms. And. I became interested in editing. And then. There. Came an opportunity to edit. Because we did some scoring for cruise ships. At. Ford. And. The sound editing was something of. Key. Importance. And I found. I could do this and want to do it. I might say without the assistance of two admirable women and guys doody. And. That. Burton. Nothing would ever have been in sync. But. It was. Really rare that. They really gave me so much assistance. And I don't know what I should have done without them but nevertheless that's high but in those days no one simply worked.
SPEAKER: F30
Together.
SPEAKER: M2
You say you were doing what you were doing mainly sound editing where you were did you actually go on to picture it. Oh yeah I do yes yes indeed the first film editing I ever did was pass I cut comedy. For an excellent Belgium director called John Denver. And made a play.
SPEAKER: F22
And the film was called my sister please. I was after that terrified scared stiff but still it worked all right. So they seemed to be pleased with it and. I believe it did do well. As a commercial. Success collateral film. Came from.
SPEAKER: M2
Then after that you went on to do direction didn't you.
SPEAKER: F30
Well I'm not. What happened was. Do you remember Reginald Smith.
SPEAKER: M12
Yes please. Yes yes. Well. He set up the Riverside Studios. And. I think what he wanted to do. Was to make. Films. At Riverside.
SPEAKER: F15
Of a kind that he had had not previously had been making.
SPEAKER: F33
A at critical mass. In other words they were still quota films but he wanted something. Just a. Shade better. Than. The average quota of those days. And the point about Reggie Smith was that he didn't read. He was a distributor. The producer wanted to be a producer and he didn't really know anybody in production. But he did happen to know some of the people who a would including including Leslie Howard Gordon. Yes. Yes.
SPEAKER: F22
And and myself. And he asked me whether I know whether I had something I would like to direct. Needless to say of course I said it goes without saying. I mean. I'd love to take this on. And I made part of glory. Which was Leslie made the first film that was a sort of the name of which escapes me. But the path of glory. It was rather like vicious. And. We made it dead in 1933.
SPEAKER: M2
Did you how long did you stay with with Smith or did you out and do other pictures as well.
SPEAKER: F22
No. I did this one film about a shot called first of the ad which as its name implies is about turning. The tide on the. Thames. And. The path of glory. It had an interesting career because it was an immensely successful radio play by a man who got Pete. And. I had a very distinguished cast. It was better at Thompson's first film. And Maurice Evans who even at that time I see it was quite a distinguished star. Juvenile lead. Kind of of course the star of the film was tricks Elmer. Yes. And. My sort of claims that the. Fee that he received the path of glory enabled him to buy a steamship ticket take him to United States where of course he can a successful Shakespearean actor in the United States. During that period. And Mars I'd like to say still striving still very much alive he's eighty. Six point. Seven. Right.
SPEAKER: M2
Now. Well now where you really arrived the time when you became associated with Xena. Tippett Tell us about. Tell us a bit about that. Well I'll tell you how that came about it came about in a really rather interesting way because. I met him first and VIP. Way back way accuracy and he had made.
SPEAKER: F35
A film called Piece of lost so I was personally agree. And. It was. Of course. And. He decided. To come. Read. So we decided to. Put the music to it. And the music was. Written. By. Fred. Fred and his long day. Yes. Who was the. Bandleader who immediately to. Succeed The Savoy offer. And he was a Spaniard to figure this out. It was a good visit. And he came VIP. In order to record the tracks because in fact in those days because nowhere else to go. And. I met Paul. During. That. Time I got on extremely well with him. And then. Having made three years afterwards you see having made the path of glory when he was going. To leave Germany for obvious reasons. He. Came here. And. I remember my wife wrote a note to him and said he she wondered if I could be of any value to him. Because his English wasn't all that hot. You know. And. I was immediately softened. And I was asked if I'd like to come as best assistant. That I said or indeed nothing would give me great pleasure. And the first fil m. That we embarked upon was was escape whenever. Which of course Birdman had a tremendous success as. Play. And then subsequently as you like it.
SPEAKER: M2
Now. What was. It. Tell us more about him actually. What was he like. To. Work with. Well he was the. I think the primary point about Paul was that. He came from a family of doctors. And. He his page in fact was in psychiatry. At. The.
SPEAKER: F15
Polls. And. He had this. Quite acceptable best for for handling. Actors. Actresses. And. Here they found him simpatico. And in turn. He found them simpatico to work. And. I don't feel a great deal from him. And. At the same time I think. Both of them working in. This country love difficult. And of course again. They had this. Thing on punctual for everything. And that did cause a good deal of. Dissatisfaction amongst the crews. I mean going through the normal course for instance as you like it. Bernard. Had an appendicitis in the middle of it no more or less had to finish it. Because neither of them are available. And. League arms and how Russian. How awesome both those extreme to help cook. And. How the splendid mind work with. Accuracy see this unbanked humanity. I mean the call had been half past eight and it arrived that I should get rather and set it.
SPEAKER: F33
At noon. Didn't go too well to see and if they did make great difficulties and nothing a minute was just indigenous to them there was nothing one could do. To stop it. That's how they had worked in the past and they couldn't bring themselves to. Think work in other ways. Now.
SPEAKER: M2
Who was it. Who were they. Who else were the leading technicians on those those two films. They say league arms and how rotten. Who else. Well now we see in the case of escape and never escape he never was photographed by petty.
SPEAKER: F35
And Petty he was on. I mean he was a tremendous technician is he having worked with Claire. Yes. I think he took rather a cold view of poorly thought Paul was. No I wouldn't I wouldn't say inclined to go. Outside the axis or something of that kind but he was he. I don't think I think he or he relative to feel that it was a very good thing that Paul had David lead more or less at his elbow. You did. It was safe. And. I was responsible for bringing William Bolton into the music. There was a great deal of discussion as to who was going to do that small band. So I it from their own eyes it was no doubt in my mind you've got two composers here. Either of which. Could do it. Chris. Walton. Clamor for war and I think Walton is your chap and Walton indeed it became. So it was a fairly high powered team you'll see. I mean it was Paul Paul Gertner. David was the editor. Perry was the cameraman. David was the editor. And Walton composed the music. And that was exactly the same set up except for . The fact that the as you like it had two cameramen first Hal Ross. And then he had to go back. To a true expert a previous commitment and only Lagos. For as you like it. And the and the additional or. The additional. Adjective you might say was our Miss. Who of course previously had done all class films. And a most wonderful art directory was. That. His assistant.
SPEAKER: F36
Who was Alexander trauma no less still happen and very with us. And I mean as bright as ever according to reports from Paris and I mean to. Curb.
SPEAKER: M2
Directors. Wonderful. So you're saying that this is where you got to know David Lean was it all had you met him before.
SPEAKER: F30
No we got to know each other because we both worked on an escape. And. David had an enormous his great passion in those days was. Fast motorcars. And I've been faster to this day than I have once taken by David in immense victory had a thing with a bonnet from birth to infinity and we got pretty fed up in the factories. Humming and hiring of one sort or another. And he said let's go for a spin. It's too awful I can't be any more. It was that we got into this last thing. God knows how quickly we went.
SPEAKER: M12
But we went very quickly into his spin up the North Road. Got the. Edge.
SPEAKER: M2
Never move off those pre-war years which perhaps director or technician. Do you think perhaps a lasting impression on you.
SPEAKER: F33
Well I suppose pulled in. Certainly and. As a technician undoubtedly startled you can. No question at all. I mean he was a superb. I mean it was. He was he was extremely good and he had this great quality of. Things that Richard knew very little about. Technically he would always say that he didn't know enough about sound. For example I mean that the intricacies of sound. And. I was extremely fond of him. They got on very well indeed and he was basically a man a young man. No question about oil. Well now we've perhaps arrived I suppose.
SPEAKER: M2
But perhaps I would say it was perhaps the turning point to your professional career when you suddenly opted to go into television and what made you decide to do that.
SPEAKER: F14
I think before we continue we'll have some more coffee. I guess I'm getting a bit hoarse I'm terrified.
SPEAKER: M2
When we now arrive I think perhaps that the turning point of your professional career televisions arrived. You decided to go into it now. What made you decide to try this new new form of entertainment. A two fold thing.
SPEAKER: F22
In the early days of radio. The radio society of Great Britain. Of which I was I think probably one of the youngest members. Used to meet. In Savoy. It was the Institute of Electrical Engineers. And. On one occasion. A lecturer was given by one Campbell Swinton. Now Campbell Swinton. In his head. Invented the cathode ray sort in graph. Which as you know. Is. Absolutely indigenous in fact it's the quintessence of television today. And at this lecture. Which none of us who was there. Have ever gotten. There was this. Wonderful idea. In this man's head. But in fact. How was it to be done. Because in those days it was quite impossible to make vacuum tubes. That high degree of. Chemistry. Put this thing to work. Practically. And. That sparked off an interest in me and in television as such. And then. If we might do so speak still as men used to say could dissolve now. Cricket is over six feet. And. General cock. Who. Became the first director of television. When the service was. Put into the hands of BBC. By the government. That time. Came to work to do some recording. For so obese that he was going to make in those days you see that operation had very few recording facilities of any consequence. And any recording that was. Necessary. For the guy that he wanted.
SPEAKER: F24
What he wanted these recordings for is of no great moment. There were links I think. That had that could be done in this way.
SPEAKER: F22
He decided to do it in this way because he was director of outside broadcasts. He indeed was was responsible for the first broadcast was Mark at that time Josephus. Who liked him very much personally. And. He came to cricket good. And I found him. I liked him very much and apparently liked me. And. I said Well if ever. We'd somehow or another how this happened I can't. Accurately recollect but. He started talking about television and I said I was in television and related the story Camilla's went. And it was quite obvious cock. I think was a bit reluctant to take it on. No. But I felt it. Was something he liked would like to do because he had tremendous faith in it. And when the service was set up. He more or less call his own terms. Insofar as race was concerned because Reith wanted to have nothing whatsoever to do with him. And thought the corporation landed with something. That it really had no business. On the part of the select committee set up by the government to. Do it with.< br> SPEAKER: F24
And he didn't believe in it. Furthermore I thought it wasn't properly developed. And to a certain extent he was right in as much as everyone thought the bad system was going to work and of course it was clearly not going to work it was going to be an electronic system and not a mechanical system. Now I said General Cartwright every. Year. If he thought that. He was going to recruit staff. I'd like him to consider me martyr and to go to them in mind. And he was very he. He was very adamant about taking people professional. Into the service. From. The. Film industry.
SPEAKER: F8
And from theatre. Hence Stephen Thomas George myself. And myself. And indeed backs. Peter Baxter from led people like Peter Banks. Had a Pringle.
SPEAKER: F34
Who had stage manager at one time lugging a coliseum as a musical the hope and empire and the Palladium. These. People are that Canada. He was he. And indeed when the service was finally set up. I was invited to join the circus for nothing good and given the great pleasure of them to say well this is. This is something that. Is a most wonderful opportunity and you know there's nothing I. Really.
SPEAKER: M2
Would like to do more. Did you get any pre transmission kind of training sessions at all.
SPEAKER: F8
No. What happened was I mean. The I think it was six of us. If you exclude the two announcers the two splendid girls Jasmine Ryan. Carl Leslie Mitchell was already announced out of course. Walked away yes then the nine of us were all I think we came into the corporation in those days rather like being made a senior member of the house it was all very grand and we were attached. To various departments. In broadcasting house. So that we could all learn procedures see corporations.
SPEAKER: F21
Have something better though indeed isn't the place I thought this book was reasonable this true. Anyhow what happened was We're attached to. Various. Departments. And I remember the very first task. That I ever performed. For the corporation was. In a show Max testers. At. St. George's Hall which of course was masculine. And. Set and next to the Queens. Half.
SPEAKER: F37
Show. Max is called ice cream to the max. Which was a bad day. One night of love by Spike heels and Max Fassbender Jaffe found me that I was simply sitting around. And he said would you like to take a line for the take line. And so I said I'd do anything that he'd want me to do. And he said Well here's a line. And so the first thing I ever did professionally is the BBC was good impersonate Ernest Newman. Leaving leaving. A performance.
SPEAKER: F8
At Covent Garden. And the memorable line was. I thought the homes were splendid.
SPEAKER: F37
And then of course we finally found our way to Alexandra Palace where we plunged in the deep end. Now.
SPEAKER: M2
Tell us the difference of the working in television studio in those days in the film studio. What was the.
SPEAKER: M3
How different was it. Well it was very different to this extent that. The studios. Had in fact been planned. As a theatre.
SPEAKER: F34
Rather than as a film studio. I'm talking now about a and b. And Alexandra Palace. They were both of course damned. Then they both both a and b studios had tabs. They both had a psycho drama. In fact. The consideration. That had been given to the actors setting up the studios Roger there was no precedent as to how it was all going to operate. But as I say it was quite clear. They. Did it. To myself. I think Steven. That. The primary requirement was going to be that we should operate in the matter of the film studio rather than in the manner of a certain. Nature. Of what in fact we were putting on the screen. It was monochromatic. And it had more or less to the final result what we were doing. At the receiving end had more or less to look as good as possible as it could look. To a film. Rather than a long shot. Of a theatre for the. Moment. And so what we very soon found ourselves doing of course was to. Break up our material in such a way as if we had. Little alcoves. So to speak in which small sets were erected. Around these two very small studios rather than. Shooting continuously one way no versus bear in mind you see one way. Into set in front of a psycho drama.
SPEAKER: M14
Now tell us about some of the early productions you did. Well I think. The. The major point of criticism about this. Is it's something that.
SPEAKER: F22
Again I think is most unfortunate. Good. A fair degree of Syria was set up because there's no question we were overambitious. I don't think there's any question of that. But I mean. There's nothing wrong with that and as much as if we hadn't been as overambitious as we were when the service reopened after the war. We wouldn't have got anything like as far as we had got. And all that. I think we were overambitious to the extent that some of our productions were overambitious certainly mine were. And had defects. Inevitably. At the same time I never regret. Having done let's say the tempest. It was me. Which was an immensely difficult thing to do. What was the budget for that. Oh the budget was minuscule. I mean in terms of present day I mean. I think it cost. Just under five hundred pounds. But one of the interesting things about the course you see. That.
SPEAKER: F38
I decided to do it. Having decided to do it I decided. Well here was this wonderful space score. And. Could we not use it. It had never been used. Gordon Craig commissioned it from space. Production that never came off. And. As Peter said. Put the score into a suite for performance. And one of the problems that of course was the fact that. The storm is actually opening. Doors. The storm takes place. Was called for. A ring sized orchestra. And it had to be restored. Now. The early television service had the most wonderful orchestra and. A musical director. Who if it lived would certainly become. One of the leading international conductors of this century. And. Hungry. And he. He decided to risk the work. As this will Gray who was a close friend of his also a close friend of Sebelius who. Was going to Finland these various. Took this record. Store. To Finland. For some bonuses approval. And the great man said I can't think why I didn't score it in this written. And of course that's wha t we. Used. And I had a very distinguished cast. Largely. By virtue of the fact that. We'd already in those days done. An outside broadcast. From the Phoenix Theatre. Which was. A beautiful production of Rachel's underneath. Of. Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. And. It was just as time went to London Seth's studio. Which was run by sending me. Was running into difficulties. And Peggy Ashcroft. To. Me and said. She understood I was going to do. Tempest. Could I in any way use any of. Some of. These people. And I thought oh my goodness me. What an opportunity. This isn't I invited Peggy who was then I think. I don't. Know. Twenty. Five or. Six. More. She looked eighteen of course. You'd like to play Miranda's antique you did. And. Again we'll see kind of people round. Available. It was. Quite superb. I mean. My Prospero was a man called John Cabot. Who. May. In fact put. The Wharf. I believe in rather unhappy circumstances. I don't know the details. It doesn't matter. But my area of the S tephen Haggard. My curtain man was with today and left. And my. Cat. Again. Was George V.
SPEAKER: F32
So ready. What more could one want. And. Then again you see George Morrow fell dead.
SPEAKER: F38
Which was an immense business thing to do but it came off badly. And he also did a one production of Journey's End. Superb journalism.
SPEAKER: M14
Now you've talked about doing an OBE from the Phoenix. What was it like early OMB working on early only. Oh extremely difficult.
SPEAKER: F38
Extremely difficult. And there was a we had the airwaves and of course. And. The the director of these over 40 television service was Philip daughter. And many just decided they wanted to do this production of Saturdays. Philip. Said I afraid I'm not. Capable of handling this myself I'd like to have a. Dallas. Handle it was I went to the myself and said I'm afraid I'd get. Messed. Up with your duck. He couldn't be more. Confident everywhere I cos naturally to shoot it. I don't know how you're going to do it. And so I said. Well I'm going to close everything up rather. And he came and sat with me at my side. And that was the first OBE from the London house that was ever done and leading out of that we came to. And. We went to Denton. And Pinewood and six obese from each unit working at their respective studios of that time.
SPEAKER: F32
Place. That was very interesting. A.
SPEAKER: M15
Lot of people have seen all kinds of things of go over control room in the operation. What is it really like. War in those days. What was it really like to be the director lead in Britain to be the producer of a. Television production. Well. I think.
SPEAKER: F40
It would be fair to say that the strain was quite frightful. One was never. In a position. Of being able to sit back. At. The premiere of one's work as one should be able to back of fondness directing and you better confront last night. No question there were never. Any directors not the next days being front. And in the same way as. Any director and a film director wants to be it has been. Sitting in the audience not anywhere near as production room let's say. And. The whole point about television life television. Particularly drama was. Because. And. Women a large extent it still holds good. There's never really enough rehearsal time. The result was. That one. Gave to all intents and purposes. A performance oneself. From the control bridge. Largely due to the fact that one might have come up with. Was a cast not quite fit for instance I didn't production of rope better. Hamilton wrote. I think. Probably about the. Best realism of the century. And. Now for the final presentation I o nly had the crew. That the fool could do to sound booms. Before camera. Operators. Oh for the. Day. And therefore what one. Sound. Liable. To happen. Was. That if you didn't in fact in your allocated rehearsal time. Get through all you wanted to get to you was read it shooting off the cast. And giving directions. To your operators.
SPEAKER: F32
As to what they were going to do next. In the way of you were coming on let's say to camera three. And you were telling that camera to being on the air you were telling the camera you were briefing camera three. Now line up on the door. And. As the actor makes his entrance on the door he is going to walk quite quickly. Back to his marks. So you have to a fairly quick bang to lift that sort of instruction going on while transmission was actually taking place. You can see the sort of muscle operation it amounted to. Yes. And that was one of the great problems of course. Was really getting as smooth as. A smooth production. And. You had.
SPEAKER: F36
Poor setups wobbling setups and you know cutting people's heads. As simple as that sort of thing that you would never allow the cinema for a minute I mean shot your stuff like that and just done cutting block. Now.
SPEAKER: M15
Before we leave those early a few days but pretty if you like jumping ahead 50 years. Recently there was a television production called fools on the Hill. Now do you think it gave an accurate impression of what it was like to work up at AP in those days really. The role of various people played. No. I it was a total parody. Of what in fact. I mean to give you a powerful person at his.
SPEAKER: F38
Apartment two personalities all. I can never recollect and I was definitely beginning I directed the opening program. And. I think I was there on the last night with a service close and while I was in fact. Production lines taking place. I can never remember. The event trolley. Ever running into the set which is what happened in this wretched. Part of.
SPEAKER: F41
This thing called falls on the Hill. And the reason it was called falls on the hit list Reith refers to us all as fools on the Hill in his own personal die which was not too long ago. I can never remember there being a camera.
SPEAKER: F40
Accident of that kind. Furthermore. Fools. On the hill. Makes out. That the. The engineering staff and the. Program staff to a certain extent at loggerheads. It was never set in fact precisely the reverse. Was what happened. Kirk was absolutely insistent. On. There being complete and proper cooperation. Between camera. Camera and sound staff and the engineering staff in general and the programme staff. And this was. Done quite admirably very largely due to the fact that in D.H. Munro. We had an absolutely first class production manager. Man it was. Obvious to us to such an extent. That. There was never any question a lot not being totally co-operative. And the thing therefore this wretched programme was. The fools on the Hill. It. Was nothing like what in fact occurred at AP in those days. Not major. I'm glad we've cleared that point out because I know I had the same kind of feeling that you had.
SPEAKER: M14
Now.
SPEAKER: M15
Now again we've now we've reached the kind of war years now. What about what did you do during the war years. Well you see after Munich. There was this. Threat. The muck and the sword as it were. And as did. The television staff. We knew perfectly well it.
SPEAKER: F42
Could. The. Service would shut down. Sink the corporation behave too well. We were told we'd better make arrangements for ourselves. Mind you we were all under six contract. Exactly where.
SPEAKER: F38
Technically the equivalent of civil servants. So what they had in mind to do. I really don't know but I think what they might have had in mind to do was. Simply say well that's it. Thank God we've got rid of the many. I put myself into. For all three services. And the army. Happened to get me first as a result of what they thought to be.
SPEAKER: F43
Good radio qualifications. So I found myself committed to the royal cause support. Almost immediately.
SPEAKER: M2
But you didn't you didn't. Didn't stay long actually with the army as such. No I was. Posted to a training brigade wit. And. The film's divisional administered interface. Was the most extraordinary set up and as much as there was nobody in it who had any experience with.
SPEAKER: F38
Real filmmaking. And they're all very worthy people and that's just where. I'm afraid. Wasn't this was not quite enough. And when Kenneth Clarke was appointed. Director. Of the division. I think created a surprise. I think it helped press to do it. He said Well I'll take it all in but I want to have. I want to have x y and. While say it was myself. Because he wanted somebody at his elbow Who. Really knew something about film making. And so I was hauled out of the. Office. Or at least. Low. And still technically a member of any b c c can't serve as a sort of twofold load. I was led by the Army's minister of information and I was also led by the BBC the ministry Navy to go out and. Sit on as clerks know what actually.
SPEAKER: M2
What was your actual job.
SPEAKER: F38
Well I was the equivalent of an executive producer really. And while bop bop bop bop we were doing was to. Be captivate. All Scripts. That we. Were put into work by the industry. Not all that many I might say. And also we were. But we soon found ourselves. In the position of producers as much as this directive to make three films about careless talk. Was a cabinet drink. And. We had to simply put these film work. And. I.
SPEAKER: F39
Remember those days very very clearly because it was a question of how they were going to be done. They want them done and they want them. The. Government wanted them on the screens. The nation's cinemas just as quickly as they could. They got on to the screens. So anthemic Falconer dealing. It took too long. And. JOHN PATRICK Carstairs. As. I read the. Script. And I think. I thought Patty was the right director because he was extremely quick. Hi. Patty I'm working today people see it read through both his father and kids. And. We made these things. And then it was a question of course it's all we're going to have. To make. How are they going to served. And so I suggested to Clark to. Consult KRS as it was called in those days. Can you get a glossary into society. And they were brought in and as it was a one man who can really. Make. Arrangements for these. Films to be shown. And that's. A man of Metro. Who was born and brought. In. And indeed two. Miracles. I mean we managed to get them into. The whole block just over 4000 cinemas in the country in those days. And we just topped over the 4000. And. Then you see when Kenneth Clark. Left the division was shot upstairs they say. That. The the the. City. Films Division was. Taken over by Geoff. Beddington. And. It became something quite different. He he wanted to. Make. Batman. Bob up in those five minutes. And I had a very difficult task in as much as. I wanted to distribute the work. As equitably as possible. And I tended to use. What. People I knew I mean. Those things. For example. And. Some. Directors I knew in fact. And. We made quite a number of these things and they went into the cinemas in due course. But I didn't see eye to eye with beings. And I think that applies to quite a number of people in fact. Beddington. Didn't see eye to eye with no coloured. It as much as he simply decided to do it which we serve as something that should be made and to all intents and purposes is no card makes very clear in hi s autobiography. The. Card. And his crew were. Catapulted into Manic Street. And have got to move about back and of course really in which we said we'd never been made and betting that I read say so in exactly the same way when we started to set up in the fight. And it was all about the actual distribution. Before tonight Powell had persuaded that. Eddie. MacArthur persuaded. Pittsburgh said it and work.
SPEAKER: F41
He came unstuck on the distribution of it did not fight. It was all arranged and not a word Beddington. Wanted. He. He'd had a very narrow experience of filmmaking. He'd been director of publicity for Shell you see. And there was a shell unit. And I think Beddington could only think really in terms of his own experience of filmmaking which was totally documentary nothing else. And I decided that I'd had enough of it. He he wants to bring in Australia in which he succeeded in doing much too much losses. Great surprise I think. And I said I've had enough of this. And so I went back. Corporations. Kept myself out of the Army. Thank God. And I wasn't very much good. It was. A rather.
SPEAKER: F38
Rather inefficient signals in the structure. I had a splendid experience in that respect because. I was frankly lucky. As a matter that was posted to a brigade. Where. I liked. Spending one pit. Got on with him and my old colonel was an extreme chap and that little note on Mother occasion. Sam would say from Lieutenant bar. Kindly. Make it his business to see. That his crop do not carry. Dusty flags as if they were umbrellas.
SPEAKER: F19
That was myself a shortish sum total of my military career. The umbrella.
SPEAKER: M2
You see when you went back to the big war was still on. Oh yes. Oh did you. What were you. What were you doing then for the Beeb in those days. Well you see it was what had happened was. Drama. Out of the drama department. Downhill goods department. Had developed. Intents and purposes as you might say a documentary.
SPEAKER: F32
Approach. Yes. Well the features part of the drama division on. Let's call it debt. Was run by laws Gilliam. And I was simply posted to. This. Division of the BBC. And.
SPEAKER: F41
I was I was there as it were to do whatever was wanted off me. Amongst other things that official at the Games whom I knew personally like very much very. Close personal friends. He had far too much to do and I became his personal assistant. And. There were then. You know anything that was wanted of me either. In. Drama productions or feature productions I was available to do. And. Two. To.
SPEAKER: M12
Two pieces happened to land on my plate which I was very pleased to do indeed. Well that was the first you see it was. We had to make a gesture.
SPEAKER: F39
To save it. And. So I suggested to do it Makris who was then. President scriptwriter. That we might have a good Alexander Nevsky. As a sound. And doing the most wonderful job. A. Paraphrase couldn't be anything else. And again we did that. At. Bedford. Music. The. Station.
SPEAKER: F44
And the reason it was lost is simply because the music division was there. Furthermore. The Bacardi of score obscure which is where Eisenstein originally commissioner of. Need. An orchestra of the size of the number one orchestra. And so we did it. We did that production. As an open studio. Does it come from the school halls from school. And. It just. Happened.
SPEAKER: F43
That the production took place the night after Pearl Harbor. And. It was interesting to this extent that. I cast it. I was modest given. That I'm not a free hand. Robert don't. Ask. Me up. Skip. Ashcroft was Natasha. But of course conduct to deal.
SPEAKER: F36
Despite the fact that this has been an effort directed to us. I said No I think we all have something rather special. In the way of our opening announcement. So Lou it and I proceeded to Kensington Palace Gardens. And asked myself who was then the Soviet ambassador. If he'd act as a duty announcer. Which he proceeded to do. And when we actually went on the air. The continent was held up for now. Yes because of the events. I mean the fact that Pearl Harbor. Struck. The continuity of events was. Roosevelt. Churchill. And there no good habits say Ladies and gentlemen. His Excellency is a service ambassador and my skip announcing. Alexander Nevsky it was quite in his question McCain's campaign cash.
SPEAKER: M2
What other what other radio production did you do.
SPEAKER: F44
Well we had a big production was there was Columbus see which was a gesture. Again. It was a directive. For. The. Other day instead of four hundred fiftieth anniversary discovery of America. And. Two governors. Two governors. Along Carter. And. Fraser. Said well yes we must do this of course and we must. At least March. And let them. And so. Off I went again and I was in have a position of being able Chris Morgan. To write an original score. And. Dedicate. Last Libya Columbus. And so that again was done from the Bedford School Hall. And the reason we made these these two they were very ambitious pieces. They were largest enterprises really as a corporation. And I was enough that time. From. I mean. In the point of view of numbers. Yeah. Well in. General production. Necessities. And we worked again when we did that in the bed in Bedford Corn Exchange the town hall simply because we needed the space. The. Numbers. No. Now.
SPEAKER: M2
When did you go back into films. Was it still during the war. When you went to do Henry five. Yes. I. Had five coming down this way.
SPEAKER: F42
After Munich. I thought we were going to need. Five. And I've done a. TV script. And I had in mind we might. Ralph Ralph Richardson. And. Doug while and then. I. Thought well why don't I work on this because. God was most anxious to. Governments. Subsidize. Feature production. Didn't come off except in the case was not parallel of small amounts of money that would not otherwise. And. So. I got a script. And Philip O'Dell Judy Chu. Who. At. Having been released. Could be out of man where he was very quickly shot under 18 and be. Made free a way radio which putting. Back asked was. Directed. I got to know. Dale as he was called. By all of us.
SPEAKER: F36
Quite well. And I suggested to Dale that it would be a splendid idea if we. Could try and set this up. And that's how I came in to my association with him. In fact Dale said yes indeed for my script. And then the the process started the awful process after getting Olivier out of beta. And that's how it came out the feet out was to make Demi a paradise first year for. A. Day. Or. Two. And then go from there to Henrik. And I resigned to go break because I didn't particularly want to remain as sound broadcasting. I thought my proper. Job was was filmmaking. And here was an opportunity quite obviously to make a film of some. Stature. And so. After cooperation I went.
SPEAKER: M15
I went. What can you tell us a little bit about the setting up of this. Actual production machinery for its production. Well it was very difficult to do it because I mean quite yet. To to. To have the. Content. Contemplated. As you call anywhere. But. A.
SPEAKER: F36
Suitable terrain. And with the necessary resources. Horses men. And. There was only one obvious place in which to do it and that was of course an era. Where. We managed to find ourselves not at the benefit. For. The fact that again you see we were Jack Bennington wasn't very co-operative but. Adam. Monday was his deputy. And of course John Benjamin. Had been posted from Demo II to Dublin. As press attaché. And if it hadn't been John Benjamin. I don't know what we would have done. He simply led the way open. He was very perceptive grata with the. Irish government. And. We were received more less. But I have not made it was better manager. But that wasn't the primary client. John. Was responsible for are. Set up. To. Secure the facilities that we have. We managed to procure. In Dublin. And. Such as we see that was a local defence volunteers early. He is a record. And they look to a man. Good horseman. And of course the weather. Records of number of horses. Hence. The.
SPEAKER: M14
Calls. Now after after. Henry the Fifth what did you go on to Nick. Well I made one or two. Bits and pieces I went back to. To Riverside. And made. The second Mrs. Tanqueray. And I did that as if it were in fact.
SPEAKER: F44
A TV production shop. The thing was for cameras. Or General Gibson to turn it for me. And the. Magnetic. In.
SPEAKER: F32
It. The only thing that really went wrong was a slight shadow on legitimate Katter's nose in a cross-cut and I didn't think that was good that I didn't get to see her breasts. But. It was interesting to this extent to see that it was made very clear. And. I rehearsed it for. A week in the. Office. Building I. Kind of. Had a lease of it. And then into the old toll theatre rehearsal room on the roof still see things where it was all for camera crews. And those.
SPEAKER: F36
Boom operators. A week there. And went into Riverside. And shot the whole thing in eight days. And. I think it cost went up to twenty five. Thousand. Pounds.
SPEAKER: F32
The day. And of course Pamela Brown gave us to thoughts systemically which she had lots too much to do. You have found the reasons we set it up.
SPEAKER: M2
You also made Alice version of Alice in Wonderland. What. What what was what. What about that. Well. It's.
SPEAKER: F3
It's a long story. I think a bit of just wait for a moment has advice from to horse who weren't able to hear what I'm saying cut for it. Howard.
SPEAKER: M16
Now let's examine this. The Alice in Wonderland Scituate. Yes. I'll be right there. Yes. Good.
SPEAKER: F42
Is this a tank. It goes off to. The. Left. What happened was. I was approached. By. To. My. Agent. By a puppeteer called Lou by. Who had set up. A. Unit. In. France. To make. Money. And. They wanted to follow. Strict. And so. Robin Fox. I. Said well. Indeed we see. We have. The.
SPEAKER: M13
Man. And. I went to Paris. Where I found a. Unit. In Toto. Waiting. To. Get this. Production into work. And. The whole. Script. Which was done by. Excellent. Hollywood. Script writer Henry Meyers. Did a first class job. And it involved. A lot of lies.
SPEAKER: F43
In his matters. What they wanted to do was to tell the story of how as my man came into existence. Yossi. Bush says I think you know it was to. Those cattle. To dodge professor. Of mathematics. Questions. And. It came into existence simply as a result. Of a visit. From the LOC. To Christchurch who is visiting the Christchurch. Victoria's reign she went to. Christchurch. And. The children.
SPEAKER: F45
Of the dead. Dean. Has Liddell the eldest of the daughters. And daughter. Dr. Liddell. Famous. Liddell and Scott great lesson. The children were not allowed good presence at the garden party. And as a result intense disappointment. That. This engendered in the throat. Lewis Carroll who was a very close friend. Of the dean's. Personal friend. And. The. Children. He decided to take. The. Row. On the river. And going of course of this excursion. This was after the queen left. Of course. He tells. Alice to tell story. About his motherland. And that in fact. Is what we made. And. It was done. At. Nis. We reproduced. Great Tom. And. The. The. Dean's. Logging. And the library Christchurch. On a lot of places. And then only interior work. The Apothecary. Was done by uncle. In Paris. And. The. Scoring. Because it was music. Mining. Scoring was done. The free scoring was done here by the NSO. And the Post synchronization. Was done here. In London by the. Philharmonic. And the musical director was Ernest Irving's. And music was written by so Kaplan. And again I had a. Superb cast doubt as Milton. Critics. Say. Pamela Brown. Brought out. All.
SPEAKER: F46
Right. Yeah I thought I heard a noise that a camera jammed a very familiar sound to me. It seems to be a loose connection. It's always running. And then it ran into the most dreadful difficulties you see because. Apparently. The. The. Opening sequence. Patter did Queen Victoria. Well of course the book does see that the. Book is about it's about personalities and die. And. The censor here. As a strange creature called Adam Watkins. And.
SPEAKER: F31
He did something quite unforgivable. In fact. He showed the film to the control of the household. Paolo. Was showing my films control of the household. Man course of tenants and. He showed. Good facts. The Snake Pit. Turner and Ben. And bourbon said in effect. Well of course if this film is released in its present form it may mean. That I shall have every mental institution in the. Country up against me. And control of the household said to. This strange cat. It's no business of course to show either film to either of them. Well you know Jim doesn't like his. Grandmother great grandmother being being parodied as his grandmother. And. Being parodied in this way. And so the cuts were demanded and the Americans.
SPEAKER: F46
And indeed the French bear in mind. Alice was made entirely with public money. They were prepared to. Do this. And we met a French flash. We made a bourbon in the French language to see the French version played in France very satisfactorily. And. The. They by the. Way be front up all that noise picks them up.
SPEAKER: M14
And yes you were saying you you made you made the French version.
SPEAKER: F2
Yes and the French version ran very successfully in France. They like Paris France. They liked the piece you see. And it was very successful and. We had all kinds of frightful complications. One of the things. Was Disney went into work with malice in Wonderland simultaneously with was. And one of the things that he is a he was terminally dot was drawn from. The visual copyright. Safe. And.
SPEAKER: F47
Well we haven't done this. We hadn't seen both the. Original illustrations. The copyright to the copyright. And. We haven't done any kind of artist as well. Nothing like the illustrations. Of. Artist. And the the the the two versions ran red the states in competition might say. And I believe they're successful. But of course the film was never shown here. The second release. But it has been shown once by BBC Easter 52. And. Not the full. IPA had run it yet. Not before IPA granite. In a mutilated version. So really.
SPEAKER: M9
It's had a pretty sucky history is that gives a fool. Is that a genuine full length copy of it anywhere whether in English you see who pays bought a copy. For this shade e assistant to.
SPEAKER: F2
And can copy the sound. No. It can't be. Found. I was looking for right now because quite recently. I've seen it quite recently in fact. It. Was 6 7 weeks ago. There is a version here which was played at the everyman's cinema. Just before the turn this year. And. It's much happier about. It's not quite as I. Got it. I really want to know what it's doing and where it came from. In fact that at the moment is a negotiation that I simply want to know who's got hold of this copy. And how it's moving. How does somebody I am rather afraid. Has got hold of a copy. And indeed is making cassettes. That I don't know at the moment. So a lot has to be done. KATHY BOWLEN making it is a commitment. Of the kind. That. Might be injurious to its future because. In so. Far as the corporation play. During this Easter. That was the version that I made. In other words you see it. It's one of these. It's had a slide who did a better word go you know and.
SPEAKER: M17
Looking at it the other day. Yes it's it's pretty. It's pretty direct in what it has to say but then so is the book. That's what the book is about.
SPEAKER: M14
I believe you did get involved making commercials. Yes I did. In the early days of television commercials. Yes.
SPEAKER: M2
Tell us about those. What was your what were your impressions of them then.
SPEAKER: F21
Well it was quite cool. It was quite fortuitous.
SPEAKER: F2
And it happened in this way. There was a company called TV advertising. At that time. They were the only concern making commercials for nobody else. You never did made it in commercials. And. Down for money. Dennis Chesky. Was a director of this company. And he was going to be the executive producer. But he committed himself. To. Another assignment. And he simply thought he couldn't do both. And so his board set him in effect if you could find somebody. Comfortable setting off yourself to speak. Fired you go off and do what you've committed yourself to do. But we we must proceed with what we are set up to do. And so I was asked if I'd take this on and I thought well why not only to discover. That. The company was essentially red. An advertising agency. And. The cutting room hadn't been all that well organized. And entirely by accident. I happened to. Find Dirk. Campbell. Campbell has been trained by Seattle and. David. He. Was available. And so I shot her into the. Cutting Room. And we managed to deliver the first eighty. Four which. Sees this concern had committed itself to the idea. Contact. God knows how we did it. And. I attribute that to the fact that there was such a wonderful editor. And organized cutting room in such a way that we we could meet our commitments. I directed twelve of these things myself. It killed me. But. I must say I found it to be a taxing experience. Can you remove any of them. Oh. Yes I mean. The most difficult was seen as a cigarette. It was very. I mean optically difficulty tapping into that there was a lot of reason the ship. Coming forward. And. Opening up. That kind of thing. And of course shoestring. So sting operation. I mean I think. No. Fifteen hundred pounds. Two thousand pounds spent two thousand pounds it was bending the earth. You see those days and I must say I found I found that there. Was no precedent and. There was no reason why shouldn't have been as it was. But but what the advertising people have done it see it wa s panics like it. And they brought in. Advisers. And on the whole I must tell you we are alive. I'm not going to pull that punches as the advisers but put a phone there you go and they went the kind of people the advertising industry should have gone to. They should have gone to proper film makers because they didn't see they went to people who were. On the fringe you know. And they got themselves into a mess before Madeleine. They really did. And then TV advertising. Expanded too quickly after I'd done this. Then daddy came back and went on babes successfully it was a concern for a short time. I wanted to have no more to do. I wasn't particularly interested in making. Commercials. And. It went out of business as it should never have gone. Largely to due to overexpansion too quickly. And of course by that time any number of other people had come into operation Ben Knight. You also went back to make television productions for the Beeb. Was not.
SPEAKER: M16
On the stand for on a programme contract. A programme contract. I did six. Weeks a month with three of my own and three of them. Of.
SPEAKER: M17
That choice. Well I did in the fourth period Denis Henry Henrietta's fourth again. Which was not as good as the pre-war production. You remember well it wasn't Milton wonderful decades. And. Not as good. I suppose the most. Outstanding. Piece I did at that time was called setting for ha. Which was a thriller. And. A. Rather. Well written for the bag in Australia called Rex green it. And. This was its rating rating as it start. About my work and. Very highly rated. And. It more or less started it all. In the film industry because. He decided he wanted to make this into a film. D did. I didn't direct the film that I was. Directing TV production. And of course it made it meant money. That was run again. That was a might almost say the first occasion when a successful TV production also became a successful film.
SPEAKER: M2
But you've also done ballet on television and also opera on television haven't you. Oh yes yes a lot. Which was which which did you prefer those half brother. But.
SPEAKER: M17
We did a lot of opera pre-war. Yeah. Yes. And. The thirty two productions in all. And the most ambitious was that I didn't second act Tristan was a double cast. Which was a pretty ambitious thing to attempt in those days. And then Steven Thomas. My colleague. Did a lot of opera. He'd done a lot of opera. In the. Time. And. I did a lot of original. Ballet. With Anthony Tudor Alice who died what. Six seven weeks ago. And he was I think a great choreographer. And when he went to America as he did. He came into his own. And my goodness me he he was an outstanding an outstanding man and he did some outstanding work for me.
SPEAKER: F2
In small small small ballets for review.
SPEAKER: M2
Yes yes yes. Look at the review programs and that's also another medium of work isn't it. Review.
SPEAKER: F2
Yes television review yes. And it's something that's disappeared. Just may unfortunately just as the review in the London theatre games disappeared totally. I mean whilst I cannot imagine it because I mean it was an extremely popular for. Scholars reviewers who remember William Walker. Bally hoo hoo. It was of that kind where they were very popular and. Outstanding people like managing to make badly. Richard. Nelson keys. Now of all the television productions you've done.
SPEAKER: M2
In which which one gave you really the most satisfaction. Do you think I suppose red is the most satisfaction was a you know head of the force mock Empress it's called. I think sir. And which one perhaps gave you the most headaches because that was saying was that coming to the same one.
SPEAKER: F2
Oh yes I'd yes. Yes same one because I tried to I succeeded in doing. The parent with with the reverse as you see the reverse is like I might tell it was really quite think. Yeah I wanted to force I had said naturally compete first. I'd have to shoot two actors you see a masked door. To see and a curtain. The play lent itself to it. I didn't work like that. It's claustrophobic. This takes place in a small. Enclosed space most of it. And I was able to do it in that way. Now.
SPEAKER: M15
Can we. Let's let's just talk about a C T or a C T T as it is now. When did you first get involved and who recruited you was nodded. And. Smiled. And. Said Nikko. And.
SPEAKER: F2
I seem to recollect it. My ticket was number five. I seem to think so. Maybe it may have been seven but I seem to think so the first four. Well settled Sydney go. To newsreel cameramen Redknapp. And Campbell. Monty Redknapp in line to get. And. Our cameraman called Campbell. I can't remember his first name. I come from his first name. Your memory is almost as good as mine. Mine's not as good as it was clearly now. Couldn't possibly be. But. That was my first development and then of course when I became a member of the BBC. I had to resign the union. We weren't allowed to have a union if you joined the corporation.
SPEAKER: M2
Have you any recollections the early days of ACG all.
SPEAKER: F2
The only recollection I had that it was absolutely imperative for it to come into existence.
SPEAKER: M2
So he would be but you know you didn't hold any position in the Oh no.
SPEAKER: F2
I was a very close personal friend. Yes I like that a much. And we got on extremely well together I did. He did some broadcasting together. And I liked George of course very much here until the.
SPEAKER: M15
Yes. What do you think KCET standing was up to the war years. Oh I. A. Vitally important.
SPEAKER: F2
Vitally important. I mean I don't know what on earth was the dumb about it. Because to a certain extent it's not to say. That they. Call it exploitation. Which was taking place I think would have continued if it hadn't been checked. Question. What. Do you think ACTU is play to use for CGT has played a useful role in the shaping of the industry vital aspect of life and. Now. Kind of on kind of final thought kind of looking back over.
SPEAKER: M15
What has been a very varied career. Which part did you enjoy most.
SPEAKER: F2
And why. Oh I think the early days of television. I think so. Because he was he was a combination of the two things one knew quite a lot about radio and. And they were real pioneering days. No question whatever about practically everything in connection with the early days of TV service was new. I mean. And furthermore this country was streets ahead of everybody else in the world. Streets ahead of America.
SPEAKER: M15
Now. Now finally perhaps. If you had a chance to start all over again would you change course. Do you think. Not. That. Oh. Go on God with it. Right.
SPEAKER: F3
Now. So who else I got. Now we change positions fit. How's your time. All right. All right.
SPEAKER: M4
So if we can go back on a few things and maybe expand a few points.
SPEAKER: M5
Yes. Your years at V.I.P. First of all you mentioned so many of the immigrants to the German people. Yes. Did you find that they brought a particularly as you were German or expressionist style with them.
SPEAKER: F4
Yes. For instance Arthur Robeson. Who made morning shadows what. Was a splendid director. I mean I met a wonderful director. And. He had the kind of director. Who had everyone. As it were attention. By what he was doing. No one felt that he had complete control. Over his cast and his crew. He was a very large man. And. Physically. And. He had the most wonderful ideas. And I think. His camera man on. The piece he made VIP. Was that a brand. And again. They had this. Capacity for total concentration of concentration. And. If you went on the floor.
SPEAKER: F5
Were betide you if you made any sort of noise whatsoever. And. That was that was very much this.
SPEAKER: F4
Way. I mean it was a draw. It's a German quality isn't it. They they concentrate. They did they bring to bear an intense concentration on anything they are doing. And that was very very evident for the ribs. And. My own experience is that David Cunningham and I recorded. Throughout. The night of one week. The French version. Of Atlantic. And.
SPEAKER: F5
That was pretty strenuous. But to me it started it what it did nine in the evening went on the following morning until 9:00. So after night. And. I enjoyed working with Dropbox I found him again. This quite incredible. Concentration. Well I think it's best it's simply to say concentration on good performance.
SPEAKER: F7
Which is the greatest possible importance I think he denies it.
SPEAKER: M4
Was there ever a clash of styles. Because there are so many of them brought with them specifically the German expressionist school which I would've thought conflicted immensely with a British realist or naturalist.
SPEAKER: F11
No no I mean no no. Because you see. At that time the IP.
SPEAKER: F7
There was no producer in the modern sense. There was Mycroft. Who was you might say overall artistic director of a company. But there was no producer in the modern. Reading of.
SPEAKER: F10
The work. In other words the the. The. Operation. Was carried by the production managers. Atlantic is usually represented by a clip as the ship goes down which you probably know the well I mean it has John London as the first officer I've forgotten who plays the captain. And it sort of runs for five minutes it's quite excruciating and the games it was I think a deliberate stylistic effort whereas it is represented here as realest acting and this is I think one of the.
SPEAKER: M4
Problems in trying to say the films of those times. Do you remember the scene were speaking.
SPEAKER: F4
There. Oh no I can't I remember the first I remember the second that the second Titanic film right Baker I think made it. Did he not.
SPEAKER: M6
Oh yes. That was considerably later I don't remember at Pinewood and that folks right here. Yes.
SPEAKER: M4
Better quite different just actually that uses a lot of German footage from the wartime German film. Does it help. Yes. It's a long shot. Yeah. The. Other although I suppose towering figure at the IP was was Hitchcock would you like to.
SPEAKER: F4
Lose your memories of him. I didn't know they were you know I mean I don't think anybody did. Any. I remember when tests of John. Which was I think the film he made. No. Yes. He made. This Sean Casey play. Juno Juno and fake rock. That's it. And then enters the job. Which was I think. Was it not. Am I not right in saying it was a play of the. Of. His.
SPEAKER: F12
Days. And then he he very soon disappeared from the IP and he disappeared. So I think from there went through.
SPEAKER: M7
The shutters Shepherd's Bush.
SPEAKER: F4
And I think that was what happened. He went down to Shepherd's Bush and and started to make those films that he made Shepherd's Bush. Yes yes.
SPEAKER: M4
Do you remember any details of blackmail other than those that you've spoken about.
SPEAKER: M6
I think it showed the self-serving myth that it was he who turned it into a song film rather on the quiet without letting anyone else know and I would have thought that really was impractical in the studio.
SPEAKER: F7
You know I mean I think everybody knew it was happening. And do. You see at that time the IP we had we had us. We had an American contingent. The supervising editor Gary Schwartz. He was kind of a good editor too. And. Then. Subsequently. We had an excellent. Will. Fitzgerald. Came from the states Edward Fitzgerald not in Fitzgerald's Frank Frank Fitzgerald I think his name was. Yes. And then still patents. And. There were producers in the American meaning of the word producer. And admirable. They were. In fact in so far as Fitzgerald was concerned it was Fitzgerald who persuaded David Cunningham. To go to France. And join Korda. I would've gone to. I didn't go for the simple reason that my younger daughter was unwell and I couldn't leave London other with other words. Otherwise it would've been a very different. Continuity for me in the future offenses it wasn't for David. Tell us a little more about David Cunningham a name well-known to the business but maybe not too. Many people n owadays. Oh well he was a splendid man in every conceivable way and vastly underestimated vastly underestimated. He was a badass sixteenths. And. He. Started. He wanted to come into the film industry and he started I think because of that. And a very good prop man evolves. And before he became attached himself to the sound department. And the most junior members of the sound department. At that time. Were David Cunningham. And. Parallel with David Cunningham. In the cabinet department was. None other than Jack. Cardiff. Who in fact was a. Local boy. You see. And they were sort of running neck and neck. And. They both.
SPEAKER: F13
David more particularly had been he. He'd also by the time he joined. Up. And. He'd become a. He wasn't a technician at all. I mean he just was learning so far sir on what we all wear to a certain extent. But. He if he'd been an assistant director. And. When he went to France he was still in the same department. But he very soon got out of it. And attached himself to Calder. And David had the most extraordinary capacity for organization. I mean he was very very good. He was a very good organiser. And that's exactly what Calder needed. Of course when he came here I mean they came here. To make wedding rehearsal. David you might say was the emerald green. You know. There he was. He was man and never sought publicity of any kind. In fact he had to be persuaded. To. To. Allow his name to appear in the credits. He's almost got less important important people. Important first. And most important person was the director. The editor in that order. Andy and cost cost. And.
SPEAKER: F4
His work here. I always maintain that. That. If. He. He really did set the whole of Denham in motion. Because we were close personal friends. And I remember on one occasion he rang me up one Sunday. And said was I lunching with anybody which I happened to be in so I'd like it to come out and have lunch with Richard Cross. Want to show you something. So this we proceeded to do. And. After lunch had lunch the. Said no again I'm not afraid of something. Going to a place called fisheries. Because. At. That time London films as it had become. Was operating at Wharton Hall. There was a thought they might come to cripple juicy. And. To Broughton Hall they were. And off we went after this large we had it both. To. The fisheries denim. And we stood in the drive. Of the fisheries. And looking towards the railway station which is south I think. And I said this is we haven't put studios just behind you. I think I think that's the place for the tank. And then I think. We can put aside by the tank of course and behind that I think the laboratories. How do you think this might work. I see what's absolutely wonderful about the trains you meet trains. I said well we make it not too near the railway. Oh no. Oh thinking of Twickenham I said Yes I'm thinking of it. Oh no. That's a thought. Yes indeed.
SPEAKER: F7
What's a sound man. I said No no just a thought. David. And I. Didn't mean anything the conservative spot or they did decide for the studios was. A. Long way off the station read some of the trains but that was the start of them. And it's. An appalling thought. That the whole thing no longer exists. I've never forgotten it to see it because when in fact it did exist when it came into existence. There was. A superbly quick studio. Every point of view. I mean all this what you hear nowadays about denim all to operate in absolute rubbish. I mean it wasn't like it was very large you know your way around but it worked superbly at Stage Five was the biggest stage in Europe. Those days I mean even bigger than the Zeppelin shed in Berlin.
SPEAKER: M4
What about the quality of the various departments.
SPEAKER: F3
They were absolutely wonderful.
SPEAKER: M4
You mentioned your time and store before and others generally very undocumented studio would you like to tell us something about the studio itself the people there. Well Alan knows as much about a design too I think because. Yes it was a tightly knit. Studio you know it was a it operated as a rental studio it was safer independent producers independent. Companies and insofar as total production itself was concerned I don't think anything very distinguished. That it put it like that. But. They set about doing it.
SPEAKER: F7
In the right way. And of course one of the reasons for the violent tone sounds was. That stealth. Hospital style was not prepared to be bullied into. Taking.
SPEAKER: F17
Either RCA or Western Electric largely because it was extremely expensive. He thought as the was in existence. That time. Potentially a British system why on earth shouldn't he use the British system which was the wiser term system. Invented by round. Great radio pioneer. And. There was inevitably. An examination. Played. Back soon. By RCA. And indeed by Western. Bands of Western in those days was on the decline in as much as it was a variable against the system as RCA was bad area. And so was by the time. Well the patent. Investigators were put in by both. Western and RCA and round round the system was absolutely glass. No infringements stop nothing they could find that in fact technically infringed as the RCA system for the Western system. And it's a great pity that. It didn't become something. More than it did become.
SPEAKER: M4
Did it stay the course to the end of optical sound or did it.
SPEAKER: F14
Yes it stayed the course until the end of optical scan. He has indeed it did and one of the things that I think is interesting as I've always thought that round has never been properly recognised. But a great man it really was you know Chris. When Sandra Dickinson became. The first. Professor of film. At the University of London first occupant of the chair. He had two students one of whom was doing a thesis on capital County. And the other was doing a. Thesis on sound. And. Sound asked me if I'd help. The these verses.
SPEAKER: F17
Young men and I said What do you mean by help. I'll talk you into a recorder if that's what you want to do. I can't help the cattle. I knew camel control and sold it for some reason I can't remember exactly what I did and how the point I'm trying to make the moment is that the man who was doing a thesis on sound. I said Well now what you must do. Is. To. Go spend his life breath. And. Have a look round patterns.
SPEAKER: F14
And you'll find it's really quite extraordinary. Because when he was with the Marconi company you see all his patterns. Last patterns. Indeed they were what technology. Was in associate jointly with the Marconi company. And I think he found somewhere within the region about a hundred and twenty master patents. Hence see. What. I mean to give you an example of the kind of.
SPEAKER: F17
Patents around inventions and to be tried for the whole of the other side. Two totally different kinds of low. The water cool transmitting the world apart from such things as dislikes round microphones. Which is the principle of science round Max. Is very similar to store microphones used today. And. Oh. All kinds of. All kinds of other. Patents. The ground had in fact been responsible for very very remarkable man. And there's not much known about him other than the references to him and Franklin who was immediately contemporary with him. Now it was Franklin who designed the aerial. At Alexandra Palace. And I don't think I think it's true to say at least Douglas birth control said this and I'm sure Teddy Bridgewater would like to say still very much with us. Nobody else in the country or indeed anywhere I could could have designed that aerial at that time. Franklin. Absolutely unique a completely unique invention.
SPEAKER: M4
I think the principle directorate still was Morris Nova who is someone who is currently being rediscovered and rehabilitated by the professional film story and I wonder what you would have to say about Morris over here.
SPEAKER: F14
Well I don't know about you. I mean he was a he was a strange man. I got on very well with him. And I like the old boy. He was extremely just a grab. You know he could be dangerous to gravel in some ways and he wasn't very popular. I don't think that he was an awful master. I mean he he he rather drove drove his units a bit not a bit mad but on the other hand he had he had qualities of assault that. Were engaged in life. I found I mean I didn't model things that these grinning at me but I don't know what Alan thinks about this but he he he he was very much he was very much a martinet. He was very much martinet and I mean he had these awful little pastor things these frightful clips you put up in that nobody dreams of burying the wall and we take them all does this. Tragedy where Walker criminal trial. Well my main rabbi made his three assistants and if one or the other wasn't immediately and he had a rogue terrorist script and off stabbed throughout the set or something of God. But I got on reasonably well I never worked with him. Yes I did make one quota I ever recorded one quota quickly for him I think. But I remember on one occasion. I was just after he'd made Henry and I think we were having a drink. I bumped into him or something he said Well dear boy. Well. There it is. There it is. It's a remarkable achievement. Now you see I've made one hundred and twelve films 112 bad but one hundred and twelve.
SPEAKER: F19
That's just the kind of man he was in life.
SPEAKER: M8
You we go back to television the early days that a. Yes.
SPEAKER: M6
We didn't really go into the buried system at all. You had an experience working with the buried system presumably when it was on air. Oh yes. Oh yes. Is there anything to be said about it. No not at all. No. No. I mean frankly. It was the most dreadful mistake. To.
SPEAKER: F20
Have landed the corporation was to assist. I mean it's the. Most appalling example of compromise and it's worse. At its worst. I mean there's no question about it at all. And it cost an additional hundred thousand dollars which in those days was enormous. And it should never have been put into service at all because it was totally inflexible. And it didn't really work. There's no question. It didn't really work.
SPEAKER: M8
It. Well I was gonna say could it not have been that it was an expensive but rather expedient way of disposing of it by having a parallel tests. In other words bad at that time was thought to be. The inventor of television. It wouldn't have been easy I think to dispose of him.
SPEAKER: F11
Had they not given him a chance I suppose what had happened rarely was that he was he was heavily promoted not by Jack Cannon who would never stop giving him money because Jack Gannon indeed was at school with him and liked the man personally. No he. He got himself into the hands of a lot of the exploiters. And they were they were. Come pick him up I dare say quite honestly read but what they failed to take into account that there was an electronic stimulus is targets.
SPEAKER: F20
And so on. That. Was clearly the only possible system. For practical penetration. And the fact that we had to work with this system. At. Alexandra Palace. Was a very depressing business because. Both Stephen and I knew perfectly well. That we were not going to come to in fact it reached a point where. I remember. Both of us we hadn't had a long long long discussion with Gerald and we said we really couldn't see yourself carrying on. If the bad system.
SPEAKER: F11
Was good was to continue in this way. We used to alternate week in and week out. And the thing was it was impossible to see the camera was absolute get locked in a booth. What in fact what had happened was we'd gone straight back to the early days of Sandhill. And the thing was so clumsy it was the I mean as you note a shot a negative.
SPEAKER: F20
Into a bath. It was instantly. Developed. And then they developed negative. Was. Scanned. Wet. And then the phase reversed. So that in fact when the thing went up whatever it was a minute and a half later. It wasn't a negative it was in fact. A marker put in effect that worked. But it was totally impractical. Simply because I mean that in itself was impractical. And. The. CAMERA SYSTEM. Was such. That you were back in the days. Under the Greenwood tree indeed.
SPEAKER: F23
It was a camera locked in the booth. And what you could do you had a tiny cage and literally would swing close for good.
SPEAKER: F14
But I mean that's the only way you could change a setup. You could come from right to left. Smoke through a very small lock. And you could of course swing the tide during performance and lose whatever the gap was in the tire swing. It was the you'd lose what twelve friends which of course you can see. Yes.
SPEAKER: M7
Was it a standard camera. Oh yes yes yes indeed. What Borderlands did you have on the turn. Right. I mean the usual selection 25 to 75.
SPEAKER: F11
Yes I think that's what I'm saying. Yes. The usual selection 75 to 75 35. 40. 50 75 25 25 35 40 50 75. Yes. And.
SPEAKER: M8
That's it. Now once you have the electronic cameras I think it will be interesting to know how you went through mounting a production right from scratch. Did the producer. What was he given a project or did he take the property of the idea for property to.
SPEAKER: M7
The front office to management. No I remember we put up our. Right. Put up our own idea as we were all there. That was one of the great virtues of service. We were totally free to put up our own ideas. We. All wanted of course. What happened then. Did you prepare your own budgets. Yes. I read in budget and scripts and prepared our budgets right.
SPEAKER: M8
And then you've got approval of budget and approval of the project. So yes.
SPEAKER: F11
Then what was the next stage casting casting and then rehearsals outside.
SPEAKER: M8
You cast mostly from the West End theater. Yes.
SPEAKER: M7
Right. Almost exclusively the West and South. Yes.
SPEAKER: M8
Yes. Did you find that suited to the medium as it was.
SPEAKER: F20
Very much so. Because by virtue of the very nature of what I was trying to do or wanted. Experienced actors. And. Not an experienced actors but quick quick and good stuff it was almost as absolutely essential.
SPEAKER: M7
Otherwise you run yourself and difficulties. What sort of outside rehearsal Did you have. Well it depends upon the size of what you were doing. First take one of your large scale production as well having a fourth. I think I had. Two weeks. In a Beaumont mews which was locale. Which was three of three rehearsal rooms immediately behind the BBC publications offices in Mattapan high street lose runs parallel. With. Malvern high street. And these three large rooms. There were quite large do.
SPEAKER: F11
They back as rehearsal. I don't know I'll be done without. And then as the service expanded we were outside to a certain extent was another smaller and smaller room again in the matter of an area which was very handy. There was a small rehearsal room in Paddington Street which needless to say of course as you know is nowhere near Paddington Station. It runs it rises restaurant from Malvern high street to to.
SPEAKER: M6
Baker Street incident and you did the bus service and those days went from various to the bus service was absolutely essential.
SPEAKER: F23
I mean that was that I mean I don't know what on earth we would have done without it. Because I mean it conveyed everybody I mean today staff crews.
SPEAKER: M9
And so on and so forth. So with a very limited budget you go into production. Tell me about designing the production. Well that was something you did. With Becks. And his staff. Which which expanded. And we had a man called Malcolm Baker Smith.
SPEAKER: F23
Who became one of Beck's his assistants who was extremely good. He was an odd character. He he was one of the very few men who had taken a degree at Cambridge in architecture. And. He he came. From theatre. Browsers and films. But he was an excellent designer very imaginative designer. And. He was a tower of strength in the service. And again he's one of these people whom he had very much about. But he did very good work very good work indeed. And Max had come from the theatre. And said Sir Malcolm look Malcolm I think it would not be unfair to say it was rather more imaginative man. Becks was.
SPEAKER: M4
I think there's no question of that whatever scenery you in those days was rather lightweight I presume.
SPEAKER: F23
Oh yes very much so. It was to all intents and purposes a stage scenery. You see it kind of close. Oh yes yes. I mean we couldn't possibly. I mean there's no question. No question of that kind because you see a set had to be struck as you strike it and the theatre indeed and then something else for the evening's. Performances would go up in its place and then the set would be if it was a repeat. Would be directed again and so it went on.
SPEAKER: M4
How soon did you feel the need for two studios up there or you're not on a single production using both NBC studios.
SPEAKER: F23
Oh quite soon. I mean once we got rid of bad. Ones today. Well now this is tantamount red in so far space is concerned of it's tantamount to having an owl state wishes to spend it spend it. I mean for instance for the Tristan production privacy. Which was extremely complicated I had the orchestra in the original bed stage. And we shot it and the visuals in stage. And of course the orchestra played back two to. Two from from me to a. And that worked very well indeed. And then. Then again. Steven I think on two occasions to use both studios. And actually having to say to cameras in a and two cameras in B was quite practical. Do you just have to keep all that all always necessary to do with the cable through monthly see no complication.
SPEAKER: M4
So you're at a maximum of four cameras on any one production yet you couldn't lock or two studios together.
SPEAKER: F25
You know you'd have four cameras. Yes. And you'd use the second. What was the old bed stage you would use as as another stage so that if you wanted to go from one set you in other words you're built on a and you crammed in such a way that you would have another set on B and you could go from a to b.
SPEAKER: M4
In other words gave you greater flexibility but you couldn't utilise these cameras you had to use cameras don't intervene you couldn't lock the two control on the scanner.
SPEAKER: M10
It was under my control room later I'm thinking in post-war years ago one of them two control rooms where there was very bad control room to see when the bird controls when the bird system was scrapped.
SPEAKER: F25
There was only one control room and that was the bird control room. So if you if you took two of them of the EMI cameras out of Studio A you could either take the Martin ground if you say wanted or you could take them into Studio B Studio B being with no control room of its own because the control the bad control room had been scrapped was the bassist I understand it was it was only post-war that B became a fully contained no Motown studio.
SPEAKER: M4
That's right yes. Right.

End of Part 1

Dallas Bower Part 2

SPEAKER: F15
Now this bar side five extra material recorded on the twenty third of November 1988 interviewers Cinco and Alan Lawson Dallas.
SPEAKER: M7
Since our last recording session I know you've had some extra thoughts you want to start again.
SPEAKER: M2
Yes you're going to talk Dallas about a rather historic occasion. Do you have in mind which was when you first met Darryl cock.
SPEAKER: F16
Yes. Well that was a triple what Gerald Kroc was then controller of outside broadcast for the BBC. And he came to cook on wood to make some recordings in connection with one of his outside broadcasts that he was going to do. And I got talking to him during the break. I think it was probably during the lunch break about television only to discover that he was already interested in television the BBC. There was no question of the BBC at that time taking over television because the government committee on subject was still sitting. But what interest did General cock was that I told him that in 23 24 it must have been I had been at a lecture in the Institute of Electrical Engineers under the auspices of the radio society of Great Britain in which Campbell Swinton outlined in theory because there was no question at that time of such a thing being practical a cathode ray tube and I recollect after that lecture having a meal with two colleagues in the early days radio and are both saying Well of course the whole idea of the thing was quite preposterous because it was quite inconceivable that one could ever make a tube of sufficiently high vacuum to do what he had said such a tube could do. Well the answer is to be found nowadays simply sitting in front of practically the whole rather than the cathode ray tube and this clearly interested Joe Alcock to an extent that he kept an eye on me and when I became an editor he had all that tape as I subsequently discovered but I made part of glory which I think as you know it was based on a very successful radio play at Riverside and it was in the same film and made Riverside. I suddenly found myself being summoned to Broadcasting House in 1936 and asked if I'd like to join a television service and so that really account for my being asked to become a TV producer and director. And I want to make the point that General cock was a most interesting man inasmuch as he grandly outside broadcast department extremely efficiently. He was a sophisticated individual extremely intelligent and he's never been given proper credit really for what he did. He set the whole thing in motion largely I think because the hierarchy were only too delighted to have it out at AP as it were on a limb. And they thought they'd appointed a man who conceivably would not what is. Well in point of actual fact of course Gerald succeeded in selecting his own people. And may I venture to say that we did make quite a success.
SPEAKER: F18
I think that was the last thing in the world. BBC thought was ever going to happen.
SPEAKER: M2
They were just trying to sort of push it into a occur into a nice dark corner somewhere. Oh absolutely.
SPEAKER: F16
And race you see on the occasion of our opening on 2nd November 36 he made he wouldn't appear. Wasn't that then postmaster general was the chairman of the Hancock commission. But he was found lurking in the scenery dock by a prop man. And he had been in the palace throughout the entire day of the opening of the service but not officially there. Well that was the ability of measure of faith that the saw face the wreath had in the service he really thought it was a gimmick and wasn't going to work. And we'll see what is rather disappointing is that poor Gerald Read It has never been given proper recognition.
SPEAKER: F6
He was given an embryo large because George the fifth liked him and assumed the Victorian Order is something that concerns services to the monarch or the royal family. He did something about the first royal broadcast he did in the first broadcast of George faith ever made was under General Cox auspices and Joe Cocker liked him personally I thought he was an extremely global man as indeed he was and an efficient manage the whole thing very well.
SPEAKER: F16
And that the fact that three subsequent TV directors controllers were all knighted I mean bonds. Beetle and Weldon and Gerald is just left with.
SPEAKER: F3
You might say nothing and I just wanted to make that point quite clear. It was entirely due to Joe Cocker. One was asked to join the service and he kept an eye on many what he wanted was someone who he thought could well I had. He knew I'd got a certain degree of technical training insofar as radio was concerned a recording went and I had them all already by then made two films.
SPEAKER: M2
You do what you want to continue on from more I'd say more about television and your experiences and theories about it.
SPEAKER: F16
Yes but what I would also like to say see it is that in 1936 when I joined the service simultaneously and my plan for cinema was published by Dennis. I remember now the interest I think where this book is concerned is here. Doubtless you remember a character. Which I think most of us of our vintage remember you've barely named us well. BLACKISTONE indeed. Very well. Now I well breakfast. How he has lacquer in fact what's his real name. He was a he was the camera department of the of the original government set up at Lime Grove and he became the first editor of close up. And. He was called out as well because he didn't invented the name.
SPEAKER: F18
And it he he told me when I first met him that he was only called Oswald because he admired us but the city would say because the first part of us said to us it was a name and he had a great admiration for Welles and he thought he'd cut the airsoft so so we had all as well.
SPEAKER: F12
And Blair custom.
SPEAKER: F3
Now he read the manuscript and he thought it was an impressive piece. He didn't come it clears up of course wasn't something for close up to publish because they were extremely restricted not earning what they could publish by virtue of the size of the paper but also their financial setups as I could make out. But he introduced me to Richard judge of dead and Richard church a much underestimated poet novelist in my view even today. Well I had quite recently retired civil service and become a director of debt. And the idea of such a firm very large for your family organisation for publishing a book on anything so atrociously vulgar as the kind of laugh was unheard of proceeding. Nevertheless Richard had already published one or two at that time quite obscure poet and they had been successful. The yardstick of success in our country everywhere being of course profit and they had been they had been six of the commercially successful.
SPEAKER: F16
And Richard judge read my book liked it very much and persuaded the board of dance to publish it and to publish it was I didn't make great fortune for them. But on the other hand didn't lose a great deal of money.
SPEAKER: F6
Now they do remember quite small.
SPEAKER: M2
I don't know about five hundred I suppose not more would be very rare under court and comparatively valuable art.
SPEAKER: F3
Well now the point about it is this said I'm glad you raised that because not so long ago not to adjust before he finished the long view. Basil right said to me that his own copy had been stolen from his library and he wanted to quote from it which indeed he does in the long view. I'm delighted sir. And he'd been to the cinema bookshop in Great Russell Street. That haven for Sydney assets and indeed a copy of pampas cinema was their price. Fifty pounds.
SPEAKER: F18
And he thought this was somewhat for a book originally published took six shilling. Had I got a copy. I hadn't had a copy here and the monument upstairs and so he borrowed that and quoted body whatever it was he did but to quote quite a lot of it in a footnote.
SPEAKER: M2
Well it's interesting to know apart from the intrinsic value which is the important thing of that book that I in fact have a copy.
SPEAKER: F2
Well your book if you want to raise fifty pounds I'm sure you say supposing you did. You're all going to do is to figure it out go to Great Russell Street kids in the city say your parents and doubtless somebody else might go there and try and buy it for. The seventy five point about it is worth a pound.
SPEAKER: F3
Quite a number of the faculties in America haven't got a copy of the thing and they realise that it has historical interest now because you've seen it all this forecasting and I broke down the dentists into scenes as they might appear in monochrome and as they might appear indeed in a widescreen format in some considerable detail. And I gather that that's why it's extremely difficult to get a copy.
SPEAKER: F4
They're difficult indeed but I'm delighted to hear you've got one and so fish it out of your your trunk put it on your chair in the fashion industry.
SPEAKER: F3
Well that's planned for cinema and its publication coincided with with my entrance into the BBC if so that was quite a year for you.
SPEAKER: M2
Thirty six.
SPEAKER: F3
It was yes it was. It was. And in those days of course the BBC was a very different organization to what it since become I mean you know it really was quite quite a bit much smaller. And insofar as television service is concerned I think I've already said this. We were set totally self-contained. I mean we were given our quarterly allocation to and left to it. You see and there is no doubt whatsoever ever since then and over that period there's been neglect total neglect of the period. And it's something that stems I think from the early days and recent tent cities like the idea of a television service that low whether it was possible or not.
SPEAKER: F6
And the result is we finish up with a total package is a total package of what in fact took place such as the falls on the Hill. And the reason that wretched program was called falls on the Hill was that is how Reith refers to us in his own personal diary.
SPEAKER: F7
And now she paused a moment.
SPEAKER: F4
Yes. And drink coffee. Yes.
SPEAKER: F3
OK. I think I gave you a fair rundown on how Alice came into existence and all the dreadful difficulties it had with censorship and this that and the other thing. Well now I discover that apart from anything to do with the mutilated version that appeared for it here. And as it was and apart from the unexpurgated version that the BBC ran and which they've now lost someone somewhere got hold of a married print quite clearly and presumably ran off fine grain from which they have tried to make a cassette. And indeed they've made a cassette and the result is that the colour battles have gone to pieces. It's part disk cassette practically in monochrome and it gets better admittedly towards the end of the film. But apart from that and the minor two blemishes and so far as the actual sharpness of some sequences is concerned two of the key songs are I would say anything between six and eight frames out of sync which is not very encouraging particularly as on the final credits added practically everyone who might say who had anything to do not only with the French version.
SPEAKER: F2
It's given credit including that mythical figure the number bored by it. And as I was told there was strong support for the direction the music I am referred to as the live action director which I must admit that irritates me. Now I've put out a start in England or America. No.
SPEAKER: F3
This has been done in America. And of course has been out American scatting speed and at 60 cycles round 50 and the cooperation of friend of mine cooperation very kindly transferred is nice. That's why I was able to see the thing. I was sent a copy of this cassette by the producer Lou Barton by name really a puppeteer. Was he a very good puppeteer.
SPEAKER: F16
A Russian refugee. In a sense. And he sent me this copy. Rob pleased with himself that he had access to it. And there is a copy of the film in the archive. In this version now the important thing is the copy in the archive here. It's the same version but it's not out of sync and the kind of values are very much better. But I was wondering when he wrote to me how the archive had achieved where from where they got this this copy. I have since written to David Francis last and I think he himself is trying to find out. I don't think he knows quite how they have in fact acquired or from whom they've acquired the thing but undoubtedly the parroted cassette is made from it and very badly made.
SPEAKER: F3
Now the point I want to make is that there is absolutely no projection of any kind for from this kind of thing happening and now I don't know to what extent it's going on. Insofar as British films as a whole are concerned but I gather that the. Crown film unit films have been made into cassettes and presumably that is the business of the Imperial War Museum. Because my my information for this is Pat Jackson's very about it which he assures me has been made into a cassette and I asked if anybody consulted him in any way whatsoever and he said no any more than I was consulted about my earnest being made into. A cassette. I mean the two things that are very divergent but the fact is that as daft punk used to say I murdered the director and therefore nobody ever consulted me about anything.
SPEAKER: M3
That's true use can be true.
SPEAKER: M4
I remember going into your script to the BBC about the cutting of films without consultation or notably should look you know you wouldn't have to pay me if you really and I understand there might be a reason for reducing length for transmission purposes. Yes. Why don't you get onto the people who know the best qualified to do it and read my show exactly. I could have made a cut in a film of our lives which made nonsense of the whole story.
SPEAKER: F10
Yes that's the kind of thing that is liable to happen and that still happens I gather. And so far you'll see talking of Alice if we met again I mean I'm glad I mentioned above because I know he was picked up very strongly about it because this would have been totally mutilated in this way. Now that the percent issue is one thing the hacking of something to pieces is another. Now when where I can't remember which contractor played the Atlas film but Desmond Davis who was instructed very nice fellow I knew very well liked pretty much rang me up and said look I think it's better for you to have nothing whatsoever to do with this because my orders are to reduce this to 60 minutes whereas the running time the film is a hundred and twenty it simply meant he had to chop it in half or until it made an absolute nonsense course which he at which he did he did as away as he possibly could. But the point the film was trying to make in other words the original satire which is what the thing was from from Tosh Lewis Carroll's point of view was totally lost it was meaningless. It was he and I must say when the corporation ran it it must run in the original version. Now what they've what's happened to that copy I simply haven't the faintest idea. Efforts have been made to find it apply and grow but I gather I'm told there's so much material lying there I really don't know what they have got down there it's stacks of it and probably buried away somewhere it's buried.
SPEAKER: M3
I'm sure it is.
SPEAKER: M4
I mean I remember as long ago remember the film old film society. Yes you did a lot of good work for them and I did some and I remember going through a vault at a church. What was that laboratory in St. We used to go to the studio that's the studio film studio film then I remember going through the board which had a star and I found things which Mr. really didn't know they had a member of film with for a short film really close. Yes. Which apparently had acquired some time and never actually ran. Yes. So your that film you're talking about must be probably somewhere.
SPEAKER: F6
It's somewhat like grow because in fact remember Dore and other years.
SPEAKER: F12
Yes indeed. Well Dawn never joined the BBC late in her career. But she was an excellent woman.
SPEAKER: F6
I mean she really she committed an enormous amount of dubbing in the room and was held in high esteem by the Italian film industry as a whole. And when she joined the BBC she was quite determined to play Alice. And she bought a copy. Now she didn't buy the rank organisation was a rank organisation when they found that we had the censorship problem. They just pulled out of it and cut their losses. They simply didn't want had any more to do with it because I cover that story.
SPEAKER: F10
Do I not. Alan Yes improving it. In my previous recordings I mean and all that again. But I do think that it's important to record that this time of day 20 30 November 1988 conditions still exist in which you know films can be mutilated. That's what it's really about as a result of being transferred to cassette. And of course this thing see this thing of Alice it's on sale in the states and selling very Hansberry I might say whose properties the question is where exactly what to whose profit.
SPEAKER: M5
The pilot who you see there he is with his piece debate and residuals and no no residuals in those days.
SPEAKER: M2
I think he wanted to say something more generally about TV in connection with rent. Frank Sartor to into television.
SPEAKER: F3
Well I don't think anything specifically and so far as rank is concerned because insofar as rank is concerned I mean in the early days of the rank organisation the service was only just restarting see after the war. I mean when the peak period of. Well I mean the senior guild to cities. That was the time when the service was being got underway again still at a P not having moved yet to Lime Grove. And TV Centre was in the process of being built. But I don't think the Rank Organisation had very much interest in TV at that time exempting of course that they did. John Davis took considerable interest in Southern TV. I mean I think they they had they were part of the Southern TV franchise and it was due to Davies that they they took an interest in that was to put money into it. But I don't think I don't think their interest extended much beyond that was the predecessors really was the Austrians.
SPEAKER: M6
You see that was the pre-war situation the Austrians were in on set on Central and these groups supplied machinery.
SPEAKER: F8
Yes it is. That's right. You have a thing about correcting historical impression.
SPEAKER: M2
About subtle murder. I think you wanted to talk about.
SPEAKER: M6
Well I agree this is really about money as it is.
SPEAKER: M11
Are you saying that river arose from your visit to money rose about fair.
SPEAKER: F10
Well it arose from my visit to my grave because I thought it was so unbelievable that the only reference to the early days of television was picture page. And as Alan and I had to well knows we really did rather more certainly than a picture page and there is poorer hospital and one doesn't want to be disagreeable about us.
SPEAKER: F9
And for some extraordinary reason Fantasia says about terrorism nowadays and as much as he's called a senior producer there was no such thing. There were two producers Stephen Thomas was one I was the other and George Moore O'Farrell was our assistant and Cecil was the program planner. He'd certainly conducted some some experiments with musical terms for the Olympia exhibition 36 and he did invent this picture page program which was the equivalent of the radio in town tonight and you had various either visiting celebrities of some sort or another or at all or a tip stuff from from the race courses you know as various as that and they came and did their staff and that was it. That was in town tonight and so was certainly certainly program plan only had a certain department which ran efficiently.
SPEAKER: F11
But he was never the producer director in the sense that Steven and I were and I don't know whether I think had I done my piece for the Royal Television Society's journal or when you were here last year you haven't. I haven't. But I've since done it and you see I've mentioned the fact that apart from George's Hassan Bush was a pretty ambitious piece to do with the original Degas music and a path my own three Shakespeare productions which was including the tempest with the surveillance. And of course it was the first time appeared to have been done with the music which The Beatles had written they originally planned production and hope in Copenhagen. Well apart from three put a major Shakespeare productions there were thirty six operas over those three years.
SPEAKER: F12
And I don't think really however inadequately all these had to be I can't really dismiss them quite so the black players or web pages they headlined with Picture Pages the headline we see it.
SPEAKER: F11
And I mean after all it isn't as if we were doing amateur productions. I mean if I may venture to quote The Tempest.
SPEAKER: F12
You couldn't call Dame Peggy Ashcroft an amateur. She played Miranda in those days. I think she must be a knight in her late twenties I'd bet she looked 18 and was a magnificent magnificent verandah and I had a cast of absolutely outstanding distinct from George V in was my counter bad. You know Richard Richard Daley my and and he will see you Stephen Haggard my aerial I mean you can't dismiss a period like that as if it never existed which is what they're trying to do.
SPEAKER: M3
Well you've written an article about it.
SPEAKER: F13
Yes I Hi. Hi.
SPEAKER: F9
Well I was asked by Bridgeport attorney Bridgewater who became the engineer in charge of the health service and indeed was made large responsible for seeing the IBM contracts as a properly looked after. And I think I'm not sure whether he was. I think it was presence of the Royal Television Society over time. And he goes back to the very early days of TV he asked me to do this and I said I would like to do it and did it. And I make a point of saying that nobody if you say see if it's really effective say not. I've said this to a number of people. Well you know I did. Janice Kiki is 37. I look at you as if you're a lunatic. What do you mean.
SPEAKER: F13
When I did television a simplistic shoot him in line as we did a very successful production of this cake high ratings. That was lacking in those days not six.
SPEAKER: F12
No in fact we had we didn't finish up there with about No. About the new rule. Here it is. You mentioned that in your book. Yes I have. Yes. I mean in so far as it was possible to ask. Yes. How did you feel that way that evening. We reckon we started with the equivalent partner and then came lay down at the garden and then in 39 we reckoned we had about 2000 people watching. And that's not a bad audience. And by the time we close down in a Tilton bed that diseases and the thing we had to do never to be forgotten either. I might tell you. Always had great in my leg. Like hand correcting a hand correcting a print. Yes. You would have a hand printing. Almost like there. Well that'd simply been eliminated.
SPEAKER: M3
And then how did your article appear do know.
SPEAKER: F11
Yes it was in the. It's in the now November of last year's it and all the other four.
SPEAKER: F12
No no last year last year. That's right. The November issue. And how why do you want one to be very interesting to read.
SPEAKER: M2
Yes. I just thought it was useful to mention for the record you know anybody listening to me.
SPEAKER: M3
Yes. Yes. All right.
SPEAKER: M7
Well and Dan can I tell you what besides that I think for the benefits of again people listening to the disease children then they wonder what we're talking about. Yes. I think it might be useful to explain what children bend one's is.
SPEAKER: F11
All right. All right. Well away but it the effect of it was that the blacks either on the bottom or top or side frame lined gave rise to a slight elation.
SPEAKER: F9
And this was a frightful production problem quite clearly because supposing you had say a man in a in a wide two shot a man in a movie in a dinner jacket black trousers and a woman and a a evening gown let's say of light if the trousers would have just this slight relation give rise this slight nation from the from the bottom frame line and it was an annoyance hidden wasn't all that very obvious but it was there you'll see and it was something intrinsically good to do a handstand with music of the actual name times and as days or nights eliminated as it was to do.
SPEAKER: M6
I mean it was it was really you couldn't afford sharp contrast really.
SPEAKER: F12
That was the point that that that was really the point. It was really the point. And yes and so fast can't it. That's exactly it Alan. That's exactly what you can do. You'll see. And anyhow it now goes something that's not even thought of but in those days it was very severe. You really have to be very careful about it.
SPEAKER: M2
I think that went on for quite a while but yes it did you know in the early days of commercial television there were instructions were I think you know you know the contrast range had to be very much rehearsed then you used for film it for film.
SPEAKER: M3
There's no use no film for theatres. Yes right. I remember when we did the demonstration film.
SPEAKER: M8
You know the cameraman. I think it was.
SPEAKER: M6
I think it was I think it was McNamara and probably Douglas both. Yes said you know you must keep the contrast down. You must have it to contrast.
SPEAKER: F12
Well you photographed it. My dad at an extremely well incidentally that reminds me.
SPEAKER: F11
Now I've written to David Francis and I I have asked if the demonstration film is has been transferred much.
SPEAKER: F9
Yes to domesticate to ascertain because if it hasn't been transferred and I think it should have been transferred incidentally as I think I said when we last when you were last here.
SPEAKER: F12
Nothing has madden me more than my false modesty and not taking a proper credit piece. I mean I must be absolutely out of my mind because Gerald was very insistent that I should. I said Oh no no it's going to board a body you know that old title coming up every morning. People will say oh good god really. But you know it's too much and it doesn't matter. Just all the documentation in fact. Of course.
SPEAKER: M4
Don't worry Dallas because it would provide a lesson in this business know we've all better our lives. Yes. One more and more realises unless you do take the opportunity to get legitimate credit nobody else probably is going to bother too much about your getting.
SPEAKER: F12
Well I agree with you said and I agree with you entirely I mean I agree with the. I mean I agree with the necessity for credit it's the only real concrete evidence we have in case the baby this particular film there's plenty of extras that I really made I think there's no two ways about that. But on the other hand although credit I think nowadays in TV do tend to be much too long. I'm still in favour of them I mean it's the only possible way of registering the fact that X or Y has done so it's another way of doing it.
SPEAKER: M3
Otherwise anybody can claim Dick or Harry could claim the credit. I was going through them.
SPEAKER: F10
They are my wigs let's say always got those but not all the costumes but dirty goes boots. Yeah yeah.
SPEAKER: F13
The dolls who drowned dolls. I did both those costumes loosely I forget it does nothing for the girls.
SPEAKER: F11
So I'm mad as hell for not having to take credit that day because if you remember it was put in a to make inasmuch as we had a very tight schedule. And again I see I didn't deal with with with brief I dealt with Graves and I said All right I'll do this I'll make this film with pleasure but I want to have my crew and particularly teddy bear and we brought it in eight hundred times under budget eight hundred pounds under budget to here which of course we thought was going to get back into the program's fund not a bit new knobs on the doors of the ladies room.
SPEAKER: F13
That's what happened at eight hundred pounds but if it hadn't been for Teddy bad if it hadn't been teddy bear. I.
SPEAKER: F9
I very much doubt whether I'd been able to do that. It kept me up to it kept me up to it and it was difficult to do. We had a very tight schedule at driftwood wood and which also included that excursion to south as well as if you were never to be forgotten. I read you write that superbly and there is this one good copy we see in the archive.
SPEAKER: F11
It's an excellent copy but it's on its own nature and the corporations copy was in pieces I went to act and I think I told you this with Ben Monroe and Danny to find that splendid down telephone Passat which he wanted to use for a series of lectures he was giving you know Ben and Mr will go round the country lecturing people lecturing societies of one sort and another and he wanted to use this town to and and we saw it again.
SPEAKER: F10
They'd put it up saying cutting them cutting a branch you see and I said Well don't use this I mean it's no good don't use this for goodness sake take some other part of the thing and I mean didn't want to do a particular budget but it's made attractive places and we shot the thing if you remember Alan interestingly because constant beat was so certain that we turned it while it deregulated we turned it wild at Sadler's Wells strictly 24 I think certainly. And then when constant came to critical wood with the orchestra because bumps wasn't prepared to do this at any cost to do it and constant per synchronised and it's bang in so you might expect it to be. It was he and what mad me when I went to act and I know what happened to that monster corporation I think long since vacate the premises or whatever it is standing there standing Ealing is it everything's well it's all been treated equally.
SPEAKER: F14
You gonna do that. Well when we when to act up to budget to see this copy of the demonstration film that does a condition in which the excerpt Sadler's Wells was in on the copy in the archives all right. I wrote it. And so I would like to see that transferred to our state. Now then.
SPEAKER: M9
Is there anything else that well shall we stop for a moment. Yes.
SPEAKER: M10
Darling I think you wanted to and still further enlarge on these very interesting historical reminiscences you have about the important people at the BBC you procure I think you know to talk about Michael Barry.
SPEAKER: F17
Yes. He was an admirable man in every way. And he joined the corporation as a stage manager. He'd come from Birmingham where he'd been working for the Birmingham Rep. He was highly professional. And I was fortunate enough to find that Michael was attached to me as an S M as we used to call him in those days. And although the other aims were equally professional Michael was outstandingly so let me put it like that.
SPEAKER: F14
And the moment he started working with me I thought to myself Well my goodness me this is the chap to have around you'll know. And in due course he became a producer director in his own right and did some splendid work in the early days and one his outstanding production was called Crier Live cry aloud salvation which as you might suppose was about Salvation Army. And it was a beautifully done piece written extremely well cast and superbly directed it had an enormous press so most person would even in those days we had quite considerable press what sort of time would that rear would that be.
SPEAKER: F10
I suppose this must have been thirty seven thirty eight.
SPEAKER: F17
See. And now what happened to Michael was that he as he makes clear in his book he has a result of this real strange performance on the part of the television service the members of television service were concerned we were told that we had to address ourselves to something quite different after Munich I'd put myself down for all three services I thought probably I could be of some value to perhaps they are in V.S. ah let's say having sailed two little boats off the coast and how the Army got there first I was very quickly ripped out of the army of Michael joined Marines and indeed achieved his majority in the Marines I couldn't imagine any more bizarre for an amateur circus but extremely strict service I gather no gave major barracks with the Marines and then when the service restarted back he went into the service and in due course became head of drama not only for the television service but it was also in an advisory capacity to radio drama when Val Gielgud in fact had retired and knew ordinary course prevent and then Michael when George Barnes became Director of Television control I think Gordon those days Michael decided that the time had come for him to go on and so he went to states where he took charge of the faculty of drama in one of the universities a compliment to which one it was it could conceivably have been Berkeley Berkeley as they call it and he was there for three years I think handsomely paid as most people who went through that experience where at that time and I think there was something in the way of a handshake and when he came back Michael McCarthy had retired from the directorship of lambda. The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art and Michael became its president or its its headmaster the matter in which he ran superbly and then in due course I think in this very night came in he had with him and he retired from NAMBLA but he did a marvelous job at Lambda had a very good reputation he had a 0 5 reputation I mean you know and what he was he succeeded in doing was not only putting his students to the Most Excellent courses for theater but TV and film came into it too and so knowing very well as Michael did that the students of Lambda Lambda couldn't hope to make a living exclusively in the theater but they had to be trained to do television and to do fulfillment in film television.
SPEAKER: F19
And for a very brief time he got involved with the independent frame. And as. The Independent frame was such a rigmarole let the rank organisation in for an immense amount of money building the most enormous kind of transportable grids and lighting rails and rarely was a exercise.
SPEAKER: F4
David drawn to suit displays his skills which were considerable and very considerable. But the whole point of independent trade was that it was just over planning to such an extent that the thing didn't really work for self-defeating. But Michael made a film on that process. On that process and it was called I think either stop press or stop press girl. And he realized pretty quickly that it was something that wasn't very viable.
SPEAKER: M7
Side six.
SPEAKER: M3
Right. Right. It was to him. You were saying about the independent frame. Yes. For example here's what I think of quote about an opinion Kramer sent about over planning which I totally agree with of course. But I think was inhibiting to creativity. Oh yes of course everything was supreme. Yes preplanned platform that there was very little lighting cameraman or the director could do on the spur of the moment which very often is the best way of doing.
SPEAKER: F4
Absolutely said. And I think it all rose very large after the fact that when we started at AP This applied particularly to drama I made it very clear to the edge mad.
SPEAKER: F20
Production manager and an admirable one too I might say that real actions would have to be planned in the sense of the word.
SPEAKER: F19
In other words script rarely had to be properly prepared and furthermore and so fast life TV was concerned it was absolutely essential to plan one's blocking in relation to one's setups so that no one knew particularly ones camera crews exactly where each camera man of the three is.
SPEAKER: F9
Yes indeed we had it in in studio EMI discarding bags. I didn't I don't regard it as being in any way viable at all wasn't serious undertaking.
SPEAKER: F19
Now that was the degree of planning that went very far. I would go so far as to say it wasn't really practical to do. A large scale play unless it was planned in that way. On the other hand.
SPEAKER: F21
It had to be flexible to this extent and when one got into rehearsal you might have an actor who felt he he didn't want to make that particular move on or after or just before a particular line you had to have that degree of flexibility to allow for change. Otherwise you were as soon as just very promptly said you were throttling creativity on the part of your cast actors had excellent ideas insofar as their performance system is up to Upton's director to confirmed it promptly and therefore the independent train went too far and the the sort performances were laughable to get would be just over the top. I mean that rigid and the call short let's say amateur operatic society career.
SPEAKER: F13
Well that's nothing but the truth so I understand.
SPEAKER: M3
Michael Barry wrote a book which you read I believe. Yes I has not. In fact found a publisher. No it hasn't. What does it called. Does it have a title. Yes.
SPEAKER: F13
It's called from the palace to the grove which I think is an eye catching total eye catching title. It's against what is called the Palace to grow. And that's exactly what it's about.
SPEAKER: F14
And of course it's specifically concerned with with drama. I mean he touches upon aspects of the service.
SPEAKER: M3
I mean the BBC is not interested in. Oh no not really. Nobody's interested. It does seem a shame. Have you had any thoughts about her and what could be possibly done about Equus. It's a question of duty with various executive. Yes.
SPEAKER: F14
Well they have battled his it was alive and I think at the moment there is some attempt being made. I tried to introduce. I tried to interest the Oxford University Press too a friend of mine and they've been very admirable in this matter. They said well it's splendid book and they like it but it's not for them what they feel is they can't publicise it properly. And so I can understand that if they feel they can't sell it then goodness sake it's better than that they have no money to do with it. I asked my son David if he would take it on Webern but that is all they've done inside BBC television. And I think in so far as women are concerned that's enough for the time being ever see it. And I think the book has been quite successful but they feel that they've had their dad go as well. And this thing is that this book is about specific aspects of early television and now television BBC wise as a whole but I think I think I shall go on making ever every effort I can to get Michael's book published because now of course but publishing is a bit but like so many other areas for some big monopolistic tendency of ever an ever larger.
SPEAKER: M10
Yes. Yes. And American companies taking over again. No no. I'm not sure. There's less opportunity I suppose except for small publishers to publish books of important but in some of those limited areas of attraction.
SPEAKER: F21
Yes. And I think there's a tendency towards more more specialization. Yes. Well I know we really do. Delia's books say they've been best. What was the pictorial. Well great educational books and I'm delighted to say that they are the books they've published on the whole they've sold extremely well starting of course with the diary of an I in ladies room now. And the thing was quite quite remarkable success incidentally by May just again revert to plan for cinematic. Anyone fortunate enough to be published by dense at that time enjoyed an enormous press for a good reason that don't publish every magazine. And I mean I found this book of mine not only did it have a excellent vehicle by Graham Greene and The Spectator called Wings Over Border Street but it also had very it also had let's say a spread in the Melbourne pie.
SPEAKER: F4
That kind of thing because you see if you published by dense anything they've published including the everyman who went to that there are no more reviewers which have very well all over the world. And so one wonders what having a collection of your notices. Yes I have done this. Yes yes I have.
SPEAKER: F14
Yes yes I have. Yes. And they're very interesting very interesting on the whole. They're favourable. And oh Green's piece was absolutely outstanding.
SPEAKER: M3
I read something else to him because Gary Morgan always could be a little phobic so much.
SPEAKER: F14
Well I read Paul's book see a documentary film was published. We both did our best to persuade our relative publishers not to issue the books on the same day which of course they precisely proceeded to do the books found themselves utterly different in every conceivable way being jointly reviewed. No for instance the statesman revealed that the two books I've forgotten did the statesman and I got noses on her.
SPEAKER: F22
And yes the statesman. That's right. Incidentally talking of reviews my piece in the Statesman justifying the existence of the rank organisation was very interesting because it was lifted very largely by one of the directories British film book that I think quoted me at great length and then dropped it completely. But Kingsley Martin asked me to do this and I did it and I made it clear to Kingsley that I would have to see Greg's permission to publish what I had to say.
SPEAKER: F4
And this was done and I went and saw great man and very sad and he said I'll tell you what I'll read it back to you which he proceeded to do and then some new statesman I said yes New Statesman then he says back it.
SPEAKER: F14
And so bad I went to the Kingsley with the manuscript and I said well there it is. And I'd be grateful if it's possible to publish it exactly as it stands which he proceeded to do. Not one comma admitted.
SPEAKER: F22
Was a marvellous when when when he was that found this must've been I suppose said this must have been an unhappy. Get this right. I think it must've been about forty eight I think. Yes 48 49 the opposite.
SPEAKER: F14
It was the peak period for two cities for the Sydney guild and for the king and Emmerich the archers. And they were really making making films of some consequence very very much so. I mean there's no question whether he liked them or not is neither here nor there. They've put a label audiophile isn't home. And. I I recollect that I was delighted to have pressed this forward because I thought I might conceivably have some opposition you'll see to me no statesman I mean that was a statesman was not on the Hill as a birthmother little point if you are interested in what was what was referred to was vertically integrated combine to see if you could stay at the rank organisation was said that rounding up it was also making extremely good films here and there particular particular guild what about you. Yes.
SPEAKER: M10
That that group will be more accurate very diverse wouldn't really say a lot of very talented people worked under the rank banner.
SPEAKER: F4
Yes. Yes yes yes yes yes it was obviously it was for.
SPEAKER: M10
Me credit for taking on people but you know Joyce's dangerous method of attributing too much to people who just make things possible.
SPEAKER: M5
Yes I agree entirely. Yes I agree. I truly do.
SPEAKER: F14
The figures of what I think I make this clear in the piece you'll see I credit everybody concerned particularly lean and mean and and and to me fairly headlock and cross and Mickey Powell and memory press burka and then people like oh my goodness me. And at the end of Kabul. And of course in so fast Delhi's concerned no puff. I mean freedom radio AM in New Delhi due to cheer. That was one of the one of the things that Dell would never have found himself. Has it better absorbed by the rank organisation if it hadn't been for a book. Dell did originally. He again is one of these people who is totally neglected. Yeah I mean incidentally I had Colin Moffett here I am most impressed by him. Now you told me that he was very much persona grata with you.
SPEAKER: M6
Yes I mean that you know he's that he's been fine is to be if I give him the blessing they do.
SPEAKER: F14
When I was most impressed by his improbable argument I don't know who he wrote to me and said that he had met me when I was doing kind of ad hoc series of pieces for the film producers guild at strange rather over spread documentary organization and he'd met me said in it not Ronnie Riley's office. On one occasion I don't recollect that at all. But he was then training to be an editor under Sadowski county editor and it came late and joined corporation or time. He was now doing a large scale piece for sight and sound on the on him revive. He was he. And so he wanted to know what he said was that he thought it was rather more than anybody it said about the initial preparation for refine. And I was very impressed by him I liked it much. I got on well I mean it wasn't stiff or difficult or any of that sort. No it was quite clear that he'd been asked to do this and sizable I managed to delighted to give you any information you want but you want to ask what you want to know and what you really want. No it was it was the film adequately covered in Larry's autobiography and I said no it wasn't moving quite impossible to have made the film in error without doubt usage of course. And certainly without judgment I mean if we hadn't had Benjamin there who'd left the ministry of information by then came the press officer to our office in Dublin we wouldn't have moved a yard here.
SPEAKER: F10
And it was Dad and John John Bettman and Philip Lowe told you that you aren't here so much as mentioned in his autobiography and I think that's very remiss of Larry if I may say so and not to have made this clear I mean or indeed you can go so far as to say the editors might have taken this a bit more trouble.
SPEAKER: M3
We're obviously having by the way is that kind of historical footnote to Hungary or Hitler the you know that Kenneth Branagh. Who is. Yes very similar age to Olivier here and is almost equal promise. I think judging from the lottery billion from deep performances actually and it is currently making Henry the Fifth at Pinewood it didn't work now is it switching work now. It turns out there's not from the wrong scripts reach but yes he's working on that production. And I thought it was an interesting sort of parallel you know. Yeah not that of course very Olivier was already very famous here. But Brenner's going on those markets and the stylist is a very good actor. He's a very good actor and a good to a good director to a good theater director is a good territory. Yes. This is permanent. He's directing the film himself I gather. So it'll be very interesting. You'll find a particularly interesting I imagine when there was a lot with it as an editor. I don't know. I don't know.
SPEAKER: F4
Brogan Is he is a producer. I gather. John Brabender is the producer. Yes I think that's right. Yes that's right. Well there it is. We'll see. I mean it's come full circle full circle and you could say count not I mean apart from the fact that my oldest daughter said well I suppose it's the same as trying to remake Potemkin but it's going a real that you know because you obviously live one of the original stories.
SPEAKER: M10
Not about the production itself but a reaction to the production Wednesday evening. We had François rosé playing in a film and I think I was monitoring his show which with her when she saw her it appeared and she came out saying how can I make an empty French film at this precise moment of history.
SPEAKER: M11
How do I know that one comes back from the view. But it was a little sort of blinkered thought.
SPEAKER: F4
Yes exactly. But from from us from a propaganda point of view it was simply it will not be an arms invasion nonsense.
SPEAKER: M11
But that's what it was the answer. I mean officially not to jack Beddington but I to say it's been closed it wasn't going to be shown much in France at that time that it was directed very close to schools in Britain and America did well it was no big fancy.
SPEAKER: F4
Goodness me. But I hope he has a success with it because I mean you can say can you not. Well anybody can approach Shakespeare and there really is I mean you show no thing.
SPEAKER: M11
I remember a production of yours. I didn't see it but you did Julius Caesar. What exactly was said.
SPEAKER: F4
The parallel is I did Julius Caesar for the lantern as we used to call it Julius Caesar Mondrian. And it was much publicised. I mean it had it had a suspended press everybody seemed to think it worked as it did as a piece of propaganda. I thought Caesar. At that times there were the parallels. All right my goodness me. That was in the most dreadful way. And so if he's got I have no doubt he has an entirely fresh approach. Dan if I were a mental see what it's like and you can take another example you would see for instance I don't know whether I've read you ever saw to read Guthrie's production of Hamlet with Guinness in at the at the wells. Well for me it's the best Hamlet I've ever seen. Still when he's playing her is playing Hamlet. And he dressed it in a kind of late Edwardian way.
SPEAKER: F14
It was not any specific period but it was perfectly and Guinness was absolutely wonderful at that time. It didn't have a lot to press it that was the kind of people who were interested in such things. But. So I mean you can't say that. Well why are they.
SPEAKER: F4
Why is Ben-Hur trying to overtop the the Olivier Henry fire down there so Lee is trying to do that he's tried to do something quite different. Yes.
SPEAKER: M5
But every generation needs to reinterpret press work shift. Shakespeare alarmism whoever I think. Anything else you want a fat man. Which I think I am neither into lessons but if there's anything you don't think if you've got anything else.
SPEAKER: M6
I do think so. I think I think we've had a very good innings. We can always come back.
SPEAKER: F22
Oh yes indeed if not. Well if we get if we succeed in somehow another putting a studio into shape not as it was originally I think that's quite impossible.
SPEAKER: F4
But having it operating in some way or another. Yes. Then as a museum as a museum but not in touch that actually actually. You didn't talk in that well so far. Well so far you see it's almost impossible situation the corporation have no no lease place. Oh I see. And the palace itself is operated by the local authority which is the heading I. Think in fact Haringey are read the ground landlords of the place. It's been refurbished as you know and what they want to do is to find a tenant for studios a and b and the rest of the desirability of the transmitter hold exactly and everything else adjacent to it. And it's not it's not yet and it's been a month replan hasn't it. But it's going to be difficult. It's going to cost them off and not because they stripped the place absolutely bare. I haven't seen it in an old psycho dramas gone out early. All the damn things off the water. They control bridge of steel has been removed and the ladder going up to it you know. Yes. And there's nothing there at all. Nothing much. You don't have any more interest. They have no interest at all. They're more interested in what they have. The top remains a tower remains with a reduced fare. Yes. The Franklin and Franklin round area no longer exists. The tower is slightly reduced in height and in what used to be. Stephen Thomas's My office is a repeater station so the full signal in your part of London is indeed my signal here in you can be straight and said signal. BERT ELY in fact is the repeater operating from from the from the original site so presumably the corporation have some kind of tenancy of the of the south east tower and. And the air on top of it but nothing else at all. Everything else is completely out of it but the repeater it's automatic. Seeing it. It's just put up in. That particular office. That particular part of the tower because it's immediately under the roof and that's why it's there.
SPEAKER: F14
They're conveniently but otherwise they have no interest in the place. So I think it's worth doing something with it and apparently so far as I can make out from a man called Peter Smith who is the architect who's done this refurbishment today he the the mommy group I think that rather than being in a sense to it would be wrong good extension not the same because they realized that TV is not adequately covered.
SPEAKER: F4
And the same applies very largely to Bradford which of course is an extension because the science museum. So there is some hope. Of doing something about it. I think now they laugh talk yourself silly.
SPEAKER: M5
Interest really referring to me erm here in the train windows and doors making. I think is a marvellous doing it. I think we had a very good one yesterday when I was smoking so I'm just saying I'm simply delighted to hear that you're doing it. How many have you got now. I mean most courageous thing.

End of Part 2

Biographical

Dallas Bower gained  early employment in 1929 as the sound technician on Alfred Hitchcock's first sound movie Blackmail .In 1936  he was appointed as one of the first two senior producers to the BBC Television Service . He made the BBC television demonstration film - a symposium of the first six month's programmes for morning transmission. He  produced the broadcasts of a wide range of  plays, ballets and operas for the BBC before TV trials were terminated with the advent of WW2. During the Second World War, he was commissioned into the Royal Corps of Signals, and was selected to become the executive producer, Films Division at the Ministry of Information from 1940-42. He then  joined BBC Radio where he produced a radio version of the Russian film Alexander Nevsky, starring Laurence Olivier and with music by William Walton .The same group later made the film Henry V, with Bower as executive producer. He rewrote  the  script he and Olivier had broadcast before the war. Returning to British films after the war, Bower made a colour film of Alice in Wonderland in 1949 (restored 50 years later by the US Museum of Modern Art.) He later produced eighty of the first British TV commercials.