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John Taylor 0:03
Today is the 17th of January 1990. This is the actt History Project who holds the copyright as of this recording, and we are interviewing, sadly level an interview with jack Taylor many Yes. Okay,
Unknown Speaker 0:26
Let's begin at the beginning that life barely born and when
Dudley Lovell 0:30
I was born in Dulwich the 11th of June 1915 in Trossachs row locally, which I found because my wife had her third baby there, and I parked in it and I was amazed to find it was suddenly just next row where I had the wrong. I actually saw the house. I didn't remember it, of course, and and from then, I think we were living in Brixton in those days. From Brixton, we went to Clapham and moved around Catan my word where'd you go to school? I went to school all over the place. I went to school, first of all in Clapham and Aristotle road. And later I went to school in Babylon and Bonneville road. From biovar Road, I went to a place called strand School, which is on Brixton Hill, right opposite the
Unknown Speaker 1:21
Dudley Lovell 1:22
And that's a good school acts as a secondary school. It is a branch of King's College. when when when did you lose school? I left school at 16. I've taken I'd taken in those days. We used to have matriculation of general School Certificate. And I didn't get matriculation I got general School Certificate, I got a distinction in French and I got a distinction in English, but I didn't do too well on all the other subjects. But by that time, we've moved over to stress, stress and being a level of more high class and rixton and clap. And from then, at abstract, it was abstract on that my uncle died and left me a lot of photographic equipment. Also at Stratton school I came in contact with a man called Frank basil. Now that was the Frank Brown, the Frank bevel on the lawn remember, I think of ICT he was the newsreel cameraman, and this was his son. And at Frank Basil's PLOS, we had old padley wooden pathi cameras, and a mass of memorabilia from the war. And from his newsreel days from Frank and I are diagnosed with your son for both friends. He was Frank a bears on my my friend was Henry bezel, ah bezel. And after we've I received the photographic equipment from my uncle. I got very interested in photography. I had two lovely Kodak cameras. I wish I had them now. And also, we used to convert the old Kathy, wooden box camera into a projector. And we actually projected
stuff we did what age are they eligible would you been in? I've been about 10 or 11 went to that school?
I've run still of school. Yeah. Well, your uncle, what was he interested in photography? I think this was only handed on. I don't think he was actually interested. It was sort of some neighbour who died and left a lot of stuff, like development issues, printing out frames, and cameras. And cars are great. And he just passed them on to me as also I had a lot of old amateur photographers, which he passed on to me. And that was really the start of your interesting that was yes, I really got interested. I mean, to the degree that we used to do our own development or printing and, and intensifying and all this sort of thing. And you met you met gun battle at school? That's right. Yes, he was. He was at the same school Australian school. But then after that, my family were very ambitious for me. And they wanted me to go into insurance. And in those days going into insurance, I bank with quite a good job. And so they pulled strings and got me into an insurance company in the city, the northern assurance company. And there's a mortgage is no longer there has been taken over by somebody else. But after a year and a half, I was never happy there. And after a year and a half, I was still in touch with Frank basil. And he'd gone to first of all been to healing work to do even now he'd got come on to Shepherds Bush. So he called me one day and I phoned me one day and told me there was a job going in the central loader room at Shepherds Bush. Are they interested? So I went out by lunchtime. From the city to Chevron, and I had an interview, and I've got the job. I went back and a very nice, Chief Clark said he'd always seen that I was a round peg in a square hole. And he thought that I was doing the right thing by moving out of insurance. And he said, and Mr. level, because we always called Mr. Mr. Lavoie, he said, You're guided to a business where you're going to meet severe temptations, from beautiful women and excesses of all sorts of things. And I can only counsel you to really take care and avoid getting into the pitfalls. Well, I've been looking for that ever since Actually, I never found the pitfalls. But in my turn, I sort of didn't find very many beautiful women who were acquiescent. And just to interrupt, give a rough idea of the date. Yes, this would be about and I left school at 16. So that would be 1931 1915 1931. And I started at accurate shepherds, Bush 1932, late 1930.
Unknown Speaker 6:12
Sure, go back just a bit on basil the father basil, he had lots of equipment at home. And and he
Dudley Lovell 6:19
was under the was, I remember the wooden pathway cameras, you know, which were hand crank. There are there museum pieces aren't there. We didn't use them as such as cameras, I don't think we did really the one thing I do remember is trying to convert. And then he had lots of scraps of rolls of film of his own stuff from pathways. And I remember trying to convert or we did convert this better camera into a projector. And it worked quite well. I didn't do any actual film photography or film photography that I love it mostly still, in those days, we had these cameras and my wife who I knew in those days, I mean, she was a very patient model, because the lenses were I think the widest was five, six. And on the big camera it was I was sick three, I mean, it was really dead. So she had to keep still, you know, and I made up. I made up lamps out of old biscuit tins, and cut slots in them and put condensers on the front. So we had spots. So I got it's quite interesting sort of hobby.
Did you get much encouragement from Frank basil the father? Not really left everything. I mean, it was all there for us to use. I
mean, he didn't really I in fact, I never. I should have done I'm an I should have asked him lots and lots of questions, really. But when you're young, you're down to the only thing of that nature, don't you? And then I went to as I say, I joined frankly, central central loading room at Shepherds Bush in lime Grove. What was the central loading room? Well, that was in those days I've been Shepherds Bush usually had about five production six production guy. It was like a film factory really the central low room. So it consisted of a background on the front room. And in the front room, you loaded the magazines 1000 foot magazines. And we put them into the light trap, which rows covered which was open from the outside of the outside of the room with a bar, which when you pull the bar down to open the cupboard automatically raised another bar in the background so you couldn't open the door so no two doors could be opened at the same time. That was the loading room, the front room. And when the boys from the floor, their systems came off the floor. They used to stack stick there they are exposed magazines into a light trap in the backroom. So and the busy times you'd be one of you working in the front room loading magazines as fast as you could. And in the background. You'd have somebody unloading magazines, and at the same time putting the tins that they'd loaded them into into the light trap ready for collection or red where they did get collection and eventually one of us had to take them up to the lab because the labs were in those days. The labs were joining the studios. So as a matter of taking them crosswind hours remember I used to put them in the wrong place and but girdlestone bills girdlestone was out there. And I used to get several rollicking for them for not putting them in the right place at the right time. And this was working in the dark or we're all working in the dark all the time. And no air conditioning and sometime in mid summer when you were stuck in there for probably two or three hours used to get terribly hot. And of course one of the worst things is the let the centre of expose roll of film dropped out and you're here got onto the floor and you spend the next three quarter of an hour feeding it back with your fingers and putting it back and not saying anything about it and hope nobody Without it all scratches you and all kinds of hours did you work? The hours, we started eight o'clock in the morning. And the finishing time was quiet, you just had to be lucky. I mean, sometimes we finished at eight o'clock sometimes finished at midnight at eight o'clock. New had a supper allowance, which was in those days half a crown. And so consequently, you went up the road or you had a bar of chocolate or you took, went up the road of the road and head to the pub and had a half a pint of butter. And then if it worked or 12 o'clock, you had taxes home. Now taxes weren't load on. So I noticed those I lived in Earls Court. And so quite often, I used to claim for the taxi and walk to Earls Court from Shepherds Bush. That way I made I pay for my overtime a little bit. Did you integrate? Did you get overtime? Oh, no overtime at all. No overtime. And the hours were only regulated because in those days, the only real unit Julian was edu. And Edu quite often used to sort of say, Well, that's it. We've worked on long enough. I mean, I remember once we had a lot of North hardware, the exteriors were night. And I remember one winter's night there and I think the director was waterfall. I was working on a picture there and we just went on and on and on. No probation, no meals, no breaks until I it was about how Bothwell we've been working since about four o'clock in the afternoon. And about how bosavi to you broke. And that was it. I mean, not that we had anything to eat unless you bought it yourself. And I do cameramen code Joe Rosenthal, doing second Cameron, this is the first time I ever had spirit. I know I had a cup of coffee and the must have been the masturbator Coffee store because I know I had a cup of coffee. And he came along with a bottle around and I drank half my coffee and he suddenly folded that was run. It was a most revolting test I've ever had, but I got used to it after a time. How many days a week. Were you working in the loading room? I think it was six days a week. For sure. full days, six full days. And then maybe Sunday's.
I mean, there was no sort of half day on Saturday. Sometimes on some productions you might have had a half down on Saturday. But I seem to remember most of the time I used to get home to ship to I was called in time to give them out your max. Should we stop it from going in?
Unknown Speaker 12:51
Dudley Lovell 12:53
speaking of North Hall lot, reminds me that when I've moved out as a central loader run and become a crapper boy, I remember once for three whole days and nights I didn't leave the studio. Right I did leave the studio but I went out to work at North Hall at night. And then came back at a couple of hours Kip in the camera on and went onto the floor to work as a second or third camera for another production. Next night, the night I went out to North Oregon that went on for three days nights. And I guess I was young and healthy and enthusiastic because I got no extra money for that at all. But I enjoyed it thoroughly. Go back to the lighting room a bit how many worked in it. There are only while there was a head of the load room and there's a gentleman called Mr. brocklebank. And at that time, there was Frank and myself. So there were two people had to be two people because one had to work at the back loading room and one had to work in the front loader room. And occasionally I will I think if it got really busy we might press in one of the clap of boys from the from the floor. As I say it's up quite often there were five or six productions going on in production of doubt on location who would come in later. And most there were five stages at the bush. Number one was the recording of the Adda 2345. So and there was usually a production on each floor.
Unknown Speaker 14:22
You must have got through an awful lot of film in a day. Oh,
Dudley Lovell 14:25
it was absolutely fantastic. I mean so the videos are stacked up to the stacked up to the ceiling in the loader room. So 1000 thoughts my jam 400 foot because at that time we were using 400 foot to breeze and also we had near one thing clear. The main camera was a Cinnabon camera. That was a German nine rather. It was checkers. Very good. It was self blunt. And because in those days too, I mean you tried to look through the film had a direct look through through the gate of God but he had those days with the grey back People used to go under the black velvet and stay under the black velvet to get their eyes accustomed to the diminish lights really, through. This is plastics are there for this vast plastic that dries. And mainly, we only had one English camera man to English grammar. I'm working now that Bernie knows working there, and Roy canino. The rest were either Americans or Germans or French. So I was going to get grant and Clement Williams, Charlie venango from the state, especially talking about looking through the grayback film cramp used to work very low key. And for his upgrade. He used to be almost a basketball besides the low key. He also used to put two or three diffusions on the front of the lens. So looking through that lens was really our most difficult task. But I didn't I didn't have to do that. I was I was a clever boy or I was pushed into assisting. And I waited and wait a minute. How did you get leave the loading room? Well, one way again, it was because of emergency suddenly another camera was required on the floor, which hadn't been sort of catered for. And so you weren't sort of rushed from the loader room. We made up enough magazines to last them for a little while and then rushed out on the floor and did a little bit of work either as a clever boy. First clapper, boy, the job I ever did. I remember there were five cameras and what on the one set on the one. So I think it was one of the one of the Jesse message fixes. Come with a five cent cameras or with a yes, five, six cent cameras. And we had to put the cover board in. In those days a clapper board was separate from the board that consisted of two of our big clapper. That's what it was. And I always remember because I went in a great hurry to get there, they were so rushed me on the set. And I was showing where to stand for the clapper board in but nobody showed me where to get out afterwards. And you put the board in a new bag, a new announcer with a very tremulous voice because it's your first public appearance. And then you rush to get out but the lights all the way around you. And on top of that are people screaming at you saying get out. And you're like a rabbit in the headlights of a car. But this is how we greatly. And this is a great thing to have all the way through that we had little snippets of experience. Whereas these days, the person has to go straight on the floor and work straight from scratch. We had little snippets of getting experience. We another time. I mean, I'd be rushed onto the floor on another Jessie Matthews picture. And we were given a six inch lens to follow Jessie Matthews around her head, following her around. And of course, in those days, I think people have said it often we worked at wide open at two, three. And you've never seen a rehearsal and all you did was try and guess the distances as they went around. I mean, used to not sleep at night. But then I think also in those days, you didn't realise that you weren't striving what for 100%. I mean, if a director got 40% out of his close up camera, he was very happy. And if he got more, he was even more happy. But of course being the assistant and being the first job or the second job you've done, I mean, you're striving for 100%. And as I say he went up went to bed. I sort of thinking my god tomorrow I'll face the SEC.
This is all in focus. I'm sorry, as I was talking about what what kind of wages were you getting in the loading room?
25 shillings a week? And then how to how did the wages go up after three to five years a week I used to used to have to go in and five follow them, you know, so if you had to have to go in and people would say well, of course we're cutting down on production and we needed so many people in future. But we might be able to keep you on if we don't give you a ride. But if you went on we managed to push up to five shillings. Fashion is a week. On top of that as a bush of that time we had a lot of apprentices who had come from art school quite often. Once many photographic schools and they were getting five shillings a week. This was painted preppin ship scheme that they had. They were getting five students a week kind of few of them from universities as well I try. I didn't really know their background, although I'm in all the time whenever they came in. Excuse me. Whenever they came in. I was a little sort of apprehensive but another one coming in would push me out of my job for which I was getting 25 shillings. By the time I finished that I was getting them when I'm talking about 1939 I was getting four pounds a week and at that time I was a fully fledged assistant cameraman follow focus camera focus. The wages are first operate I'll have other picture in those days too. Of course every production was assigned to cameras automatically. You had the first camera and the second camera. Some directors would use their second camera the whole time. Other directors you might only do two shots in the whole production. The first camera operator got something like 25 pounds a week. The second camera operator got 12 pounds 10 a week. The assistant on the first camera got six pounds a week. And the assistant on the second camera that drives the follow focus assistant. He got four pounds a week, number by he's got about 3035 shows a week.
With the production that was more or less continuous there was I was ready to continue as Yes, I've been sort of up to the time of what was it 36 we had a camera department which at one time I think we numbered 60 to 7065 people in our old loading operators assistance number boys. And, as I say, with five productions going with two cameras assigned to each production. And on top of that we had odd odd units knocking around one one year I spent a whole year for the government British Library going up with a man standard rubble. And another one Cliff hub on Bay. We used to take two cameras is to take a 400 foot debris and a Newman Sigler. And we used to cover anything such as floods, snowstorms, I remember one year we spent about six months with the Navy, just photographic, all sorts of gunfire, 15 inch gunfire six inch gunfire. And this gave everybody an opportunity because I remember once on the Queen when the Queen Mary's maiden voyage coming back from America, they gave me a Newman sinckler. And that was the first time I ever operated a camera. And they put me up the top of one of the cranes at Southampton all by myself with the Newman sinckler just to get shots of the Queen Mary coming round into the dark. And I know I was hired by a dark policeman and said had I got permission about that? Well, I had no idea I didn't know where the rest of the people had gone. And it ended up with me talking giving them that sort of check all the time while I was photographing the Queen Mary covenant. And lastly, you was halfway out they'll either say and if you're not coming down, I'm coming up against you. And that was the first time I'll find your camera. But as I say it was useful. Were those two cameras because you've got a vast experience of follow focus of operating. And as I say that while I was operator and I was exposing so as a government who was head of the camera department there was a was there a hidden camera? Well, not exactly ahead, there was a man in charge of the of the of the camera department of the loading room and his name was Rabobank. But the crews were assigned in another office down what we call the Polish corridor, where the the big word were Victor piers was one of the production supervisors or what he was production supervisor. And I think together was brocklebank. They used to make out the rotors for the next picture. really, truly the rotor was applied more or less as you became free from the last picture you just finished. So when you were available, you went on to the next production. There wasn't very much of people wanting certain people not like so much scissors today, not too many people don't work quite so much together. And the if you really because there was no protection at all you knuckled under to whatever sort of insults and and bad treatment that you got. The the alternative was was to walk out the door last minute and say goodbye. If your face didn't fit on, on set, you kept very quiet because otherwise I would just point to the door and you'd go You didn't get a day's notice you didn't get a week's notice. You just went on the minute and this happened with one or two people. But if you kept your kept your head down, said yes at the right minute and as your bride and tried to do the best you could and showed that you were trying to do the best you could. And you also had enthusiasm via terrific enthusiasm. I was I was a bit stupid. I mean, can you remember any incidents from any of those productions at all? I remember one incident which as a very A person I enjoyed, I think it was on a fixed record.
evergreen might have been wrong, but I know. Victor Savile was director and he was a man to be fair. I mean, you didn't breathe, once the red light have gone up, you didn't make a sound you didn't call you choke to death rather than make a coffee. And one day, he had a very bad day, I think somebody up for the what, after the bell had gone. One electrician up on the top rail, it was a big set. And on the top rail, this electrician coughed, he couldn't help cough, and victus several, shut it up to him. He said, If you cough once again, I'll come up and break your neck. And nobody thought much about it. And the same went on and suddenly picked us out or found himself confronted by a huge, short sleeved electrician. And the electrician said to him that What did you say to us now? And he said, What do you mean what I say? He said, You said something about breaking my neck. And I said, Oh, I already made a big quad as well. You should be more polite in future because I think I could break your neck much better than you could break my neck. And anyway, that was one little incident on that day. And everybody saw that they cheered as Mr. Savile said, well, quite a few. Then the next thing that happened, the dress designer came in, of course, he came in just right after this incident. And the dress designer came with all his dress designers are showing them to Victor. And Victor said Why do you call ladies because he was still smarting under the electrician? You are they call these designs? He did disgust? He was not. He said that's not a design for a musical. And artist. The dress designer said you don't care for them? No, I don't care for a loved one. No, he said the founders and it is the best I can do is you don't know my mother or tear them up. So toy every one of them up and throw them over his shoulder and he said you better get somebody else to do your dress designing. And again, we'll add a bit of cheer because testing to see fixed saddles phase. And at the same time after that, but Jesse, I think Jesse just had a miscarriage just have lost a baby. And so she was quite emotionally strong up. And she turned to Victor. I said, Victor, You're nothing but a big bully. And now you've been faced down a couple of times, and I'm very glad to see it. And I'm going off and I can't stay on this side anymore today. And she was off to and that was the end of the shooting for the day. And of course that was a marvellous It was a marvellous moment for all of us seeing this man who nobody dared face up to sort of what are what are the directors did you work with? Alberto Koval how to curve or wasn't a lovely man Really? Because he if you ever said well you're mad. Ask yourself Ask yourself the impossible. If you've said you're mad, you say oh no, I'm not the old I need Richard to his inside pocket and he pulled out a certificate to show you how to discharge or lunatic asylum. And he said have you got that? Can you prove your suicide because he could prove he was saying he was mad. They are alone. I just can't think of them. Oh Waterford Waterford used to do the jackhole but and Sicily curtilage Picton though they were found to all Tom walls or that Tom was he was he was directed and appeared in his pictures that he made like rookery knock and Turkey time was another one down there. But there were so many pictures going on that i think you know sort of it's very hard to remember. I think the first fridge driver went there was a thing called last time with evil inlay. And I can't remember Yes, there's another man who had a toy rail railway I can't think of his name. Did you come across Geeta Baldy at all is keyed out bigger the buyer and we get appropriate he blew himself up one day I was good I was terrific. I mean good. I would always put everything into his I remember looking down into on the was on the I was on the gantry. And we were supposed to be looking down into the into the volcanoes. Middle of you know the sort of centre of the volcano. And we're looking down we have cameras on sort of high hedge pointed down and we all count down and bang up comes a flame and we haven't got any front here and we haven't got any eyebrows and everything had gone but the effect was terrific because the camera had been completely engulfed in flame. He I don't know which picture was on it might have been might have been on one of the models shot but he did. I had a At the back by the carpenters job, he had a he had a
model shop. One night he was working there and he actually did blow himself up. He blew blew the whole place apart. He wasn't all that badly injured. But I think after that it took a little more. Chaos didn't didn't go quite so for the big things. guida board. He was a special effects man. Yes. He blew up a train as well didn t going through the through. And he didn't he knocked Madeline Carroll out with a explosion in one of the studios. I don't know recollect that no, I was 49 steps, the first 39 steps which was Madeline Carroll and Robert donut. And Hitchcock, of course, and Hitchcock. I worked with him as a number by and that was, tell us about Hitchcock. Hitchcock frightened me stiff over that was we're in a railway railway carriage. And I just got ready to come onto the floor from the load room. It was my first picture. This 39 step. And I remember were waiting to shoot the light of he got ready. And I'm still sitting there in the corner with my number board on top of board rehearsing what I have to say because I only had to say like 123 tape to but it was a terrible line to get out if you were really nervous. And Madeline cow was sitting in the carriage. And Hitchcock was right opposite. And suddenly unbuttons his flyer and he says to Madeline cow, have I ever shown you this violin. And I was in the other corner I was aghast I thought this is a wicked things that you find in talent in the film business. And he fumbled inside, of course you couldn't see either he could see because it's his stomach was quite big in those days. And he fumbled inside his flies. And he said I must show you this. He said I only just only just discovered it myself. And he rubbed forward in his flies and suddenly pulled out the end of his shirt, his shirt tails. And he said love this. He said 711 711 with two colours from rumours. And of course by that time I was looking the other way I thought he really was pulling out his nose saying. And of course it was a very funny joke. And I've used it since. But rest of the dive. I mean, he was very distant. And most the time you didn't really get to know, directors as you get to know them these days. Or maybe because I was in such a lowly position. I was like the dirt on the floor, I suppose. But do you remember anything else about Hitchcock at all? working with him. While now I only remember the second hand story, I'm in another wicked. I mean, he had a wicked sense of humour. Had a production manager called Dickie bevel. And he once got a flock of sheep. took out all the light bulbs in Dickie bevels flat, got into the flat, put the light bulbs, or put the rock of sheep into the flag. And Dickie Bebo came back late one night about one o'clock in the morning, switched on the lights. Nothing happened, but he could hear this tough, funny noise going on there. And eventually, he got 20 sheep in his flat with all the all the accompanying mess and episodes style if you have another narrow reported you're on Hitchcock is that there had to be a pair of handcuffs to be used next morning on the set. And he always liked to see his props and to try them out before he bought them on the side. And so the front man hadn't got the haircuts at that moment. They hadn't arrived. So Hitchcock said, Well, I will be over in the pub. He said that. Bring them over there. So I'll be there for a couple of hours or so. So eventually they're over there drinking the pub, there's thought better over there. The hair gals and me ma h Cox had a chat with the barman and he says, You know what? He drinks down to the front there. And the bar said yes. He said well put him up. I'd love it. And he said put in four or five legs later defects of leg laxative tablets. And so the barman did and so when he when the front man arrive with with the handcuffs. He said, how do they work? So he said Why should you put them on? Oh, he did show me. So put them put them on there like that. And so his guy said know what happens. He said I just he just kept it together. So Hedgecock clipped them together. So now the chat was handcuffed. And so he said,
Well, it worked very well. They're very good. Yes. It's just what I wanted. He said do you want to drink? So the guy said yes. He said we'll see if you can drink with say just a matter of inter Can you drink with your hands to calculate that? So he said yes. So he drank is paid off. He said Yes, quite easily look like marriage because I think there was action in the picture where the man had to do something. With a thumbs up, and Hitchcock said, Fine. He said, Well, good night, see you in the morning, I walked out with the key of the hanger. And that project had the blacksmith working in the middle of the night. And the story was that I mean, his wife had to help him, I mean, sort of to help him sort of get to look after the result of the laxative, but that was a sort of wicked sort of pranks that went on. And I guess I sort of thing goes on now, but he's only a Nigel van. Was there not a practical joke? Yes, there was actually, I mean, there had to be a lead or, you know, he was saying the clapper boys had to be careful because we didn't have zips. In those days, you had fly buttons, you see, and just before as you walk to put on the board, somebody would rip your flies, and the whole flies would come over and the cameras are turned, and you hadn't got time to do the map again. And you went out sort of either putting something over your thing or your your flyers and managed to put the board in like that, but it's very difficult. You needed to has to put the board in Batavia. Always remember I think actually he got reprimanded. I know the other side. But they did that day him. And he just walked out with the whole gaping open and of course, an EEG. Everybody could see everything sort of that they had. Another ridiculous thing was there. I wasn't smoking at the time. But there was a game whereby if somebody put their cigarette in their mouth, if you could knock it out before they got it lit, they had to give you two cigarettes, there was a ridiculous charging game. But if you hit it when it was lit, then you had to give them 10 cigarettes. I mean, it's our taxes we charge people for serving beer careful going into corners lightened cigarettes very carefully, so nobody would see them in a duel. Otherwise medical jargon, you will learn to smoke on the floor. Yes, yes. I mean, the regulation said no. But you know, if we were did smoke on the What about the cameramen you worked with. Or the operators or the cameraman? I worked for. As I said, for the library, I worked for standard Rob wall who was a very odd caravan he'd been round the world for the Prince of Wales on the repulsor. And the Prince of Wales did his world tour. And he actually was very, very Navy, I had to buy a hat to work with him. When I worked on the on the with the Navy with him, I had to buy a head out of my own pocket, because when we're working on the quarterdeck, he insisted that I salute the quarter date by raising my hand, every time I went onto the quarter deck. He also insisted that I should not bring any superfluous superfluous gear onto the quarter deck. So I have to take the camera and the legs and nothing else, except maybe just one filter, and not the box of filters. And I remember one day we got up onto this quarter deck, it was the order deck or the curious side. And he had a K two filter. And he was looking through and he said, Give me a 23 I got a 23. So I had to rush back, raise my hand to quarter don't get the credit Ray rush back with a 23 to raise my hand to the court staggering the 23. And he said no, no, I've changed him It should have did this nature, maybe the 72. So I had to go back raise my head to the quarter day. By the time I finished it. I think I'd raised my head to the quarterback about 30 times because he changed his mind about the photos but he was really a Navy. And quite often. I mean we'd come ashore from the ship. And the century on the end of the deck the gangway wasn't take any chances because he thought he might be an officer in in nafti. So the century was throwing a complete salute. And after that you couldn't talk to her ID Right. I mean, I'd say what did we do want the gear ID but he wouldn't talk to me to go striding through the dark because he didn't want to spoil the illusion that he was not a not an officer. He was a camera man. The man I worked with was Roy kuleana. I was on picture corto HMS. That was my first picture as a first assistant on a first camera completely through and Roy was a very promising young lighting caravan.
And he was British. He at that time. He married the Astros one of the Astros brought him Pamela nan lastra. And before before the picture started, I did a little documentary up in Ipswich with him and that I first got to know him and he was a very enthusiastic man really dynamic and he died at a very young age. The other cameramen, I only worked with us I did another thing with Kurt Conrad. That Right, current passing of the third floor back with a man directed code bear Toad fatale, a German director units and current current operator was Steven dade. And I always remember their double dealing because you see, I remember that Kurt grant had a moonlight effect in a set and he went to Steven and said to Steven, when you frame this shot, frame it over with the moonlight effect in and put the artists over right over to the side. So Stephen Of course had to do that because the lighting cameraman had asked him to do that next day of course it was in rushes there was a terrible to do because the the artists wasn't really in the in the most important part of the screen, the most important part of the screen was taken up in the moonlight effect. And I still I was remember hearing the noise I wasn't allowed into Russia because I was too junior to be in the Russia. But coming down I still stupid Howard is held his breath about the about being told to put them on the on the right hand side and so he got all the blame for wrong framing. And I know that Steven said to Coker and he said But you told me to put he said no nothing like that at all, but I had actually heard and seen the result of this double dealing, this is all part of your education, I suppose you knew and for your children, you wouldn't do anything like that and talking about rashes there too. In rashes, quite a lot of directors only allowed the lighting caravan of the director and maybe the editor, but artists will quite often not allowed into the into the theatre, the writers theatre and also the no other people these days you look around Russia theatre and you see masses of secretaries and everybody which is great it encourages encourages interest. But on the other hand a catalyst like and take a breath or Oh, I get quite often put the put a doubt into a director's mind. And I think the old system was very good I mean now I think it should be extended to the operator the camera system, but in those days you you just stood off I mean you quite often got the sack without know why you got the sack because you just got told that you were finished and we got somebody else moving in because your job you've done something wrong, which you didn't know what you were done wrong. It later transpired obviously, but you didn't actually see what you've done wrong. And of course in a case like that I've just quoted about her current and steam the date of interview if it was your first picture and your first day on the first picture. You'd be out the door because you would have made a mistake. But that time Stephen had a very good reputation. I mean, he was established first camera operator. Did you ever get the SEC to own my note? No, I never did. I nearly got the sack. And when one day one night of what we call the long knives. There was a depression in 35 years.
John Taylor 0:00
I think this is the best way of doing it with the holding it here. Yeah,
Dudley Lovell 0:04
I'm happy. I
John Taylor 0:05
never understood how it worked down there because you're talking. Okay.
Unknown Speaker 0:09
John Taylor 0:10
Dudley Lovell 0:12
Okay, I never I never got the sack but One.
Unknown Speaker 0:15
Dudley Lovell 0:16
lasted about a week. We, the depression came. And so our 66 camera personnel overnight, suddenly became seven. Everybody else had to go because they were cutting down they were co I think they were closing the studios. I can't really remember. One of the i was i was one little sub mother was left I was okay. There were two camera crews over to compact complete camera crews kept
John Taylor 0:41
What were you at that time.
Dudley Lovell 0:43
At that time I was an assistant cameraman I focused a lot on the second camera. We had the first camera which was Steven de frag basil and by Gabriella who later went to the television. And on the same camera there was a man called George Stevens, me my I was assisting him and a man named Reggie Johnson. I also think Jim Borden was the load of so that made the son but I'm on the hour number boys who had been saved was a man who was a nephew of Austria. And he got onto his uncle, the uncle said, you just go along the next morning and tell him this to not being fired. And sorry, okay. And the next thing I happened was that I was supposed to be going to be fired in his place, that there was a man called Victor appears, whose son is worth a lot to me. He is a profound madman. And he said now he said, I've made the decision. He said, level stays and you go get into. And so I refined all I think was a seesaw sort of open and I'll still remember and the shoe brocklebank. Ah, he used to I don't know whether this is sort of like libraries or science landers. But he used to borrow money from his cattle boys, more or less, sort of blackmail them into lending him money. And this Gibson owed him a lot of money. And so I remember I went into rocket bank office. And he said, Well, alright, well, let's sort this out. Victor piers would like to know exactly how much work each of you have done in your time that you paid him. And so he said, Now, first of all, what have you done that day? And I told him, and he saw, yes, but that was only a complete picture. He said, No, no, that was only a week. I remember that was only a week. And so my picture was scrubbed down to a week. So the weather the experience, I have went down to week and said I'm hoping they said backwards or neater, or what have you done. So I did this picture. When I knew that he'd only done two days as a camera on that. I said, you only did two days. He said no, neither brocklebank said, well, let's put you down as that picture. So the list ended up heavily weighted. And getting some side that had been much having done much more than I had, which wasn't the truth at all. But somehow, Robin I never actually personally went into to Victor bears but dimensionally going into went and I stay. And that was the new game to the sack. And then we had
John Taylor 3:13
which here would don't have been the depression. I
Dudley Lovell 3:16
it's good to say I think it was 3530 for 3535, late 35. Because then we went down to five one as a complete, skewed camera, two cameras. And we did several pictures down at Pinewood I also got hired out to denim to do a little work on a picture Gordon Jaeger at Oxford with Robert Taylor, and down at Pinewood we did three or four pictures of another two more Jesse Matthews pictures and there was a picture that this was going one property that was going on we all went down to pine one chapter to do with 20th century I must say but we still got paid. And then
John Taylor 4:06
non picture by picture but
Dudley Lovell 4:07
permanent style permanent Stan as I've been permanent staff since since I joined them then and we did several pictures down the pipe with PI and we did really only just opened at that time. A couple of two other pictures there but I don't I think one of them was The Mikado very makhado for your maid that I don't know who was doing that
John Taylor 4:32
at all. You didn't work as a PR I mean in general you didn't work as a permanent did the cameraman nominate his crew or could he ask her who you wanted to or did I mean were you just assigned to a camera
Dudley Lovell 4:45
you were assigned in those days that was our like a factory I've in that as we're complete crew as the two crews were complete well first and second. Unit just
John Taylor 4:55
did you tend to stay together as unit as crews or you know work before For the depression,
Dudley Lovell 5:01
Yes, we did. We did wherever possible. I'm an occasionally sort of somebody was pulled off one because somebody went sick somewhere else. And then it changed around there. But mainly crews kept together as much as they could. In the crew. As a crew, they went on to the film, they went as first and second unit. Another who done it down at Pinewood, for instance, there was a place called the band drum, where we used to use some, I think it was used afterwards for artists test. But we had a regular gymnasium set up there. And there was a lot of inter class stones used to send down their team to box and we used to have nights, one of the stages would be completely cleared, and we'd have a ring in the middle and we'd have boxing night where Pinewood Studios would eat you box, I boxed. Yes, in fact, that's what I was going to say that we used to, because we weren't used on pictures, some pictures as a second crew, we had to pass the time somehow. And so this bandroom was rigged up with more barbed with a ring with a punch wall, with all sorts of domestic sort of operators. And I used to go out there and spend the day sparring or exercising. So it made us very, very fit and deed. And case knew when we were called to have somebody had the phone there. And if they wanted us on the floor, we'd rush down and be blood coming out of your mouth now to your nose. And you'd go on and do your shot. But it passed a time very well. And Whose idea
John Taylor 6:32
was it to have this?
Dudley Lovell 6:34
Well, there was a man called Jackson, who was the he was a farmer pi move, and he was very enthusiastic. And he wanted to get everybody boxing. And he rigged up the he was instrumental in getting the room rigged up as a gymnasium. And I was I had I blocked a school. And so suddenly to do to pass the time, it was great. I mean, wait for you. I was I used to be water weight 11 instead of six. And he was 11 instead of six. And I remember he was fantastic. He was a great man. And occasionally, if you took liberties with him, I mean, he was very nice for you. If you took liberties with him, you really paid for it. And I always remember that too. This has nothing to do with his own business. But I'm Reggie Johnson, my assistant who was a very big beefy man, probably about a stone heavier than me and the stone heavy on the Jackson. When I wanted to see fights. I said, damn, I said, you're getting so good rage. I said you could easily take him anytime, you know. He said, Do you think so? And I said yes. Good. So next time he goes, and he puts one when Jackson is only aspiring lightly and a red foot to heavy punch on him. And I saw Jackson's face change. And he really murdered him. He was hitting him all around the room. And they say don't ever do that. Again. Don't ever do that again. And I don't think you ever knew I never told him because I damn because he'd killed me. But now, that was a nice part of the film business.
John Taylor 8:06
Did you travel to play mode, where the car actually what
Dudley Lovell 8:09
happened when we moved to pi. And while I move I actually had a flat for the beginning when I was first at pi. Shelby mirage. I had a flat as in Georgia square Victoria. And when we moved to Pinewood, we moved down we took over downstairs of the house.
John Taylor 8:28
We're married by the married by this time. No, no, no,
Dudley Lovell 8:31
I didn't get married till 38 which was
Unknown Speaker 8:34
cool. And then
Dudley Lovell 8:37
we moved into a house little house at Huntington and what several of your Yes, three others. That was Frank basil, myself and red Johnson. We all shared the downstairs of the house here at something like 12 other top level week it was in those days and we could I think Frank had a car. But if it wasn't a car we probably cycled into from Pinewood from Hillingdon it wasn't all that. And we stayed down there for quite a while until, until I moved up to until we moved back to shepherds, Bush and we did move back to Shepherds Bush before the war. And during that time, I don't know understand why, but they kept on these two crews. And after time, would we move back to shepherds, Bush and Frank, my friend Frank basil, he was keen on the saxophone and I had a guitar. And we used to pass out days in a little room right at the back of shepherds, Bush studios, practising the guitar and the and the saxophone. Also, we used to swim at Bloemfontein road wind sugar, free the telephone number and they used to tell the guy at the desk so who we were and if they wanted to say is this Have we had a very healthy life? I mean what with boxing and swimming I mean Bloemfontein road we used to do about 22 lengths of l'enfant iron road, you know, and then just start to stagger back to the studio just to say, is there anything come up? I think I went and did a picture called idiots delight in Switzerland. That was before the war, but that was only with American director cord Clarence Brown. We only did the exteriors and shot,
John Taylor 10:27
who's the cameraman,
Dudley Lovell 10:29
jack Whitehead, jack Whitehead and Derrick Williams, two cameras. And, again, those are that big recommend me to because I was an assistant to the two cameras we took to Mitchell's. I was one assistant. And I worked on both cameras. At the end of the day, when
John Taylor 10:49
this is operator as if our camera
Dudley Lovell 10:51
system focus, our focus puller. And at the end of the day, when we done all our back projection shots and everybody come back to the hotel, I had to unload all the magazines from both cameras.
John Taylor 11:04
And we didn't have a clapper node i didn't have a global
Dudley Lovell 11:06
node i was entirely on my own. And I had our load the cap, the cameras cannot take them down to the local station, and then put on a board to be sent to England and curl up the and load up the magazines for the morning. Besides that jack Whitehead used to like to have at the end of each magazine used to shoot a 20 foot test. We used to develop this test in thermos floors with our own d 76. Door. And I used to have to take the negatives down to him to show him after all this work. I must be stupid, I wouldn't have stood for it these days because I used to take it down to him. And he'd be sitting after dinner as if it is Brandy and having a cigar with a crowd of people who we'd collected from the people in the hotel telling about our film business. And I'd taken down these negative clippings and haven't dried them and I'd say they're hijacking or the clippings from SATA. I actually hold them up to it. Or whatever it was this I had no say no 60 days 50 hydrati Yeah, how what development Did you give it? I said no, that was about 1212 minutes.
Unknown Speaker 12:20
Dudley Lovell 12:21
take them back and do another three or four. I hadn't eaten. I hadn't drunk hadn't had anything is taken by her do another could be another cowboy. And he said give him a little more development going on a minute. So then we're tell the lads to give it because it's a bit thin. And this is what I used to do. I mean, I'd probably end up as it go down the kitchen and get it sort of
roll a piece of bread or something. You know, it sounds awful. But I was still enthusiastic. I loved it, you know, so it's great.
But it was really because I mean I don't know how I stood for such behaviour. I mean, I didn't even in those days have everything in bag. Do I feel that it was a terrible nobody to talk with anybody? But at that time I said yes jack okay jack and went back and did another couple of tests for him and
John Taylor 13:06
still no overtime, sir.
Dudley Lovell 13:08
No overtime, no, no money for that. But I enjoyed the scenery. And you know, is this
John Taylor 13:13
your first time overseas?
Dudley Lovell 13:14
That was my first overseas location before the war?
John Taylor 13:17
Was that a great excitement?
Dudley Lovell 13:19
It was it was terrific. And I remember also Dave Bolton was the development store man. And I remember getting into a terrible fit of giggles that we were on the train with we took the boat across and got on the train, I suppose the lines on it. And there we were ordering red wine from the OEM. In those days, you could order things on trains and the bottle of red wine and we were having giggles about French and everything. And then of course, I arrived at Lucerne. And I had to take these two cameras through the customs. I spoke schoolboy French. And we arrived in Lucerne at four o'clock in the morning. And they either didn't understand my friends, which is quite likely. When I described what each piece they took each piece out of the camera and wanted to know what that was for. I ended up setting up two mutual cameras in the customs Hall, showing them what each piece was for. At four or five o'clock in the morning, Harry and I had the first time I've drank a bottle of red wine in my life you know it's either bleary eyed, but there again I had to do all that myself and then pack them all back again or get them on a truck and take them to
John Taylor 14:28
the hotel. Did you did you have what kind did you have in the way of expenses? Did you I mean, we you're allowed to buy a bottle of wine on your expense account?
Dudley Lovell 14:37
Yes, I don't remember that. I don't remember that. I think we have it out of my pocket. No, I didn't have any expenses. No, it was out of my own pocket. I mean the fact that we wish we were going overseas, I changed into change some friends and we bought anything like that. As far I mean when I had to pay if I had to pay the duty and I don't think I did but if I had to tip anybody, I would didn't tip them off. I collected it back from somebody like jack white who held the float, and jack would hold the float or Derrick Williams would hold the float. And he reimbursed me for taxes and transport of the equipment,
John Taylor 15:12
or which really brings us to AC T. When When did you first how did you get it become a member?
Dudley Lovell 15:18
Oh, that's the old story of across the road from the bush studios at the railway railway tavern. We wish to go to the back background there.
John Taylor 15:30
And who introduced you to it?
Dudley Lovell 15:34
I think it was Lyndon Haynes Tabby Linden hain here he was, he was active as well. I suppose it was a shop steward in those days. But you had to know we had to breathe a word that you're in the ACD. You must not show your card. Actually, Linden Haynes, he actually got fired, because he was instrumental in recruiting. And he was one day as boom operator in those days. And one day, he was scraping down a boom, ready to repolish your door repainted. They came along, caught him and accused him of sabotage on the boom, and he was sacked. That actually happened. But there's an excuse as an excuse me just because he was a union representative. And I really, I must say I had a ticket. But I didn't. Except for these meetings which we went to the back of the Power BI I've never went to any other meetings. We talked about wages, scale wages, scales and conditions. Nothing very much happened. And really, and truly, I just had the card I was my number was 637. I remember the number. And I had to call right up to the time I was when we were at the when we were getting back from Pinewood and we were doing the musical business. At that time. It was 38 and the Munich crisis and everything was blowing up. And very obviously, there was a war coming. And everybody was the advertisement about recruiting and so I persuaded Borden, Jim Borden, who was with me, Frank basil, and Reggie Johnson, to go around to White City, to the territorials and join us. And so Bruce Johnson couldn't get into our lot. I don't know why. But we that was Jimmy Borden. And Frank bausell and myself all joined up the anti aircraft at a 30 aircraft at White City. And we went there used to go there twice a week from then on, it was 3838. And it went through for 39.
John Taylor 17:54
back a bit on a CT, but I had to did any of that. Was there any collective action against the management in your time now that you remember?
Dudley Lovell 18:02
No, I don't remember there was anything at all.
John Taylor 18:06
The management just wouldn't have it. That's all.
Dudley Lovell 18:08
I mean, the only thing I know was that we had to keep our cards hidden and never breathe a word who was in there. But obviously,
John Taylor 18:16
that was right the way through until the war started. Yes.
Dudley Lovell 18:19
Yes, that was I mean, I went away. And in fact, I've been jamming out a bit I've been when I came back from the war, I was amazed to see the strength that ICT had because I mean, really, during those formative years, it really had, you know, gather strength, and it was terrific. I mean, I was really amazed. I mean, those days because that was I'm talking about 1945 now, but that's jumping ahead.
John Taylor 18:43
So what happened in won't be working on when we were working when the war broke out.
Dudley Lovell 18:49
Now, really, I wasn't doing anything at all I was at. I was I had been told I've been to the man named Templeman was in charge of the studios. And before we joined the territorials, I went to him and I explained what was happening. And I said, we would have to have two weeks off in the summer to go to practice camp because you had this practice camp. And I said, we have to go to practice comm for two weeks and he said, that'd be fine. So if I was your age, I would be doing the same. I would be joining up and all this crap. Anyway, I believed him and so we all joined up. And on the 24th August 1939, I received a telegram from the War Office to report to us sanctions,
John Taylor 19:33
but will you work working at the FBI
Dudley Lovell 19:34
wasn't working but I was I was employed by Gallup British are still being paid.
John Taylor 19:41
Now we're 20 of the head production stopped at that
Dudley Lovell 19:44
desk. So there's nothing happening in the studio at all. nothing happening in the studio. On the 24th of August was a Thursday. And so I took the telegram to the studio first and showed it to the man and I said I've got to go. He said, Joe. Yes. Well, very proud to have known you and go down and collect your money. So I went downstairs to the cashiers. Charlie Wilder was the cashier. And I said, I said, I've come down to collect my money, because I've got to go, look, I've got this telegraph to go to war stations. I said, Yes. And he counted out some money and gave me some money. I said, this is not what I usually get. He said, what today's Thursday. So I said, but I haven't had a holiday. And I said, I expected to have it for August. I hadn't had a holiday that year. Haven't had a holiday. He said, but this is Thursday. And so your day shirt was short or walking out. So I would I was really upset. And I went back to the man upstairs temperament. I said, Look, it does only give me six days money. Why is there a surprise? You're breaking your contract with us? Do you understand that you're breaking your contract? You're walking out on us? And I said, I told you I was going to join the territorials. So he said yes. But he said this is now wrong. This is different. It is not your training camp. This is why he said you're breaking it. But I haven't had a Hyundai. I have some time with him money. He said does that not he said because you're broken your contract, you run, run out all look and every everything you should have, he said you renounced it by walking out on us, you're walking out on us. So I said shit, walked out. And I wish I will. I was so upset, or afraid to crying, actually. And I just went away. And I swore I'd never come near a film studio again in my life. And I never had anything to do with films. After that. I'm in Utah, I came back. But I was so upset. And I won't I've naturally I went home and told my wife was upset. Because while I mean she knew that I was going to get new money, I had no money. I'm like any way on person I had in those days I'm going to manage. So we are low in in court and a nice sub basement flat. And we I just got pierced. And I've honestly I mean, we went out Frank and myself and his wife and my wife, we had married 3038. And we just went on to the town. And eventually when we reported to we just got in before midnight, on the reporting date, date. And we crawled out of the taxi on our hands on these into the into the place to report for duty, both of us. And it was ridiculous because the first thing I joined was a queue to collect money for attendance at these drill meetings, we got paid something like shilling a time for attending. And I had to collect some money as I crawled up to this table and collected the money there. Hold on I had to collect. We had no uniform. So I brought my overcoat lower allowing us a shilling a week to wear a uniform is the Nova coat instead of having a uniform. And so I went there and collected some more money which was valued at 76. But it's quite good money in those days. When we were marched across to the White City and otherwise city and told to kick down on the floor, no blankets or anything just lie down on the floor. Well, after my after my tour of the town I was in a good mood to lie down on the concrete. So I lay down the concrete. And that is the start of my experience or army life because after I'd been asleep for about an hour, about two o'clock they shook us and I woke up and they gave us two blankets each has over the two blankets, which were great welcome because the concrete was getting cold around the South and the two blankets and snowed in half an hour later they woke it again. So to avoid your feet were moving out. So I'd slept without the two black, two blankets and then we move down.
John Taylor 23:57
What What was your day in the army in the
Dudley Lovell 24:00
tire was 24 shillings a week, of which I kept seven shillings a week and 17 shillings a week went to my wife. So my wife was receiving 17 shillings a week and nothing else. I was getting some shillings a week, which I tried to send some of it back to her because our flat at US Court was costume 20 fortunately the week and she actually had to give notice immediately because you couldn't get paid. And in the end she had to put our furniture onto a little Tatas anchor anchor and take it all the way over to straight on where my mother lived. And she said was a very emotional time for her naturally and follow. walking behind is like sort of awkwardly how they have impacted She's walking behind victory following to say nothing falls off the bat. And that was a saddle, which is terrible. And as I was very stupid because as I say, the treatment I received from go British in those days, I mean, if anybody did anything like half that to me, I would be on to the popular price in a second and lower would be paying me pounds of vowels. The vowels that keep me glad I'm in, there was a ridiculous thing. I went, but I just I was so so upset, so brokenhearted about the whole situation, you know, and so enthusiastic and, and in those days patriotic, too, because I've also been to, I've seen what this black shirt thing was, like I'd been to I've been in the east end of March, some of the East, the black shirt, marches. I knew what was happening. And I mean, it was it wasn't at one time I said, I did say that I joined up early. So I was I get a nice job before the war started. But I wasn't I mean, I really was fighting fascism, because it was disgusting. But I want to I mean, I'm still alive. So I didn't lose much, except all that money, which go on British Army. But
John Taylor 26:16
guess what, not everyone was conscious of fascism in those days now by any means. But I think when you're young,
Dudley Lovell 26:21
I mean, I believe in youth, I mean, you are a crusader. You have crusading youth, you know, some? Not all by any means. Well, I'd always been brought up in that way. And I think you were brought up in those days, those days like that. I mean, I was a rover Scout, until I when I was still working. I was a rover Scout, and those sort of things having their good old fashioned and old hat, but I do breed some good things, even if they are available.
John Taylor 26:50
To the modern people. It was something that worked at the time. And apparently still does, but I won't ramble on anyway.
Dudley Lovell 26:58
No, I was truly gone. Really. And truly, I mean, I did do the right thing by joined the terios. Not that I knew about it, but I mean, the way it worked out. I mean, I had a lovely warm, comfortable, warm, you know, I'm in a much better a lot of people, much luckier than a lot of people, but at the time, I mean, I didn't know that was gonna happen. I mean, flip, but the thing was that Jim Gordon and Frank and myself were all together in the same battery, the same anti aircraft battery. So we did have the companionship but at the same time,
John Taylor 27:33
I knew stay together. Did
Dudley Lovell 27:34
we stay together for quite a while, until May of 40. When they they I I wore glasses. And for some reason, they Sunday downgraded me from a one to D four. And so when Frank and Jimmy went ask for their embarkation, I was downgraded to do four and transfer to the JC aircraft, which was actually like a JC h AC h honourable artillery Carling. Right? And it was just like a gentlemen's club. And when I first arrived there, I couldn't believe it. I mean, there's a major drinking in the bar with everybody. And I mean, it was they'd been regular you, however, the gunner. And, I mean, they've been together through the armoury house days, when they were sort of joint of as territorials. So they knew each other and and in the elves and saw this and sort of people like Lillian Lillian Skinner, Skinner of Lillian Skinner, and very big sort of stockbrokers and people, nice people were nice people and they were living live. They took it in turns when I joined them to have mess. odle is out of the out of the rank and file of the battery. And they all took it in turns. And we had wine with our meals and because they're awfully nice because although they knew I wasn't getting anything except my assumption at a week, how they paid masters. They had to look to the to the to the seller and to get to have extra food and that's all they and they didn't let me off completely and I used to enjoy the meals without having to buy anything at all.
John Taylor 29:10
Were they all gone as as well. Low gunners, yes,
Dudley Lovell 29:13
but they were all gunners are queuing up for October for the officers training call, you know, trainers unit damage by by June 9040. They'd all gone to be officers, you know something and I was I was left out. I was left out but by that time some misplaced officer had addressed at one early morning and asked if anybody knew how to mend a fuse. And so some of us put our hands up and I put my hand up and I suddenly found myself forward to secrecy on a radar course. Which that was that was in the early months of 1940. There weren't any radar sets around but I went to a place in North London and started learn the rudiments of radar. Our operation and theory. And again, I say all the time we were sworn to secrecy and there were no sets for us to work on. So we didn't get a cert until much later in the war. And I go around and rode up for the rest of the war, having becoming an eventually becoming a technical instructor, and training IDs, because the operators of the radar will be going female. And I had to train them, I had classes of 30, or 40 girls, to train in theory and practice on radar, among other things, although I tried to keep business away from pleasure, because if anybody found out you were immediately posted to the far flung outputs of the war, and I liked the life I was leading, actually, so I kept it very secret if I had any sort of interest beyond the work. And
John Taylor 30:58
you did that through all through the ward
Dudley Lovell 31:02
with a gun sergeant in the, in 40, when the road started, I was a gun sergeant. That was in London in Africa, forestry had effing fires was one of the gunsights and Apple kind
John Taylor 31:16
of come to the
Dudley Lovell 31:17
three sevens, the big ones, yes, that they wanted. And I was allowed to say, if there wasn't a radar set to off road, we were assigned to guns and I was against it. And predict your site. And we have predictors in the command pose, the predictor used to sort of work out the, the end of site, and the aftermath and the fuse, which was related to the gumpertz. But that's purely military. And then as I saw when the sets became available, I'd started to train a crew. Now crew, first of all, in those days, and I used to, oh, this is technical stuff, you don't really want to hear about radar. Do you ever wonder why not? Well, it was one of the things that we used to be able to be in the early days of radar, you could easily be pointing in one direction with your set and your guns and find the aeroplane come up behind you. Because there was no way of telling him which direction the offset picked up an echo. But it didn't quite know where they whether it came from that direction or 180 degrees out. It wasn't until they started to put reflectors behind the aerial array, so that when you switch them the reflector, it increased the signal. So that you knew that now you were pointing at the plane. And if you weren't pointing at the plane, when you switch it in the reflector, it decreased the signal became it became a barrier in front of the aerial instead of a reflector behind it, if you understand. So I used to stand outside of our wooden hut, which was a rotatable wooden hat. And if I saw my crew were lagging a little on the practice target, which we had up in front of us, I used to bang twice on the wooden hat. And if they were, if they were in front of it, I'd bang three times. So we were more or less on target most of the time. So we got a very good name as a very efficient Chrome. It sounds really primitive. It was primitive. But it became less primitive with a blitz. I
John Taylor 33:27
mean, I mean, we, I mean, he was firing all the time, all the
Dudley Lovell 33:31
time I had done and I had to, we had we had in those days. I mean, there were four guns in a battery. And in those days, we had used to have a the height of the bloats. I'm talking about 1940. Now, the bad times, we had 16 guns and a geo a radar set. And we used to be in hainaut on the east side of London. And suddenly we'd pack up as dusk came in the 16 guns and the radar set would set out in convoy and cross London and dig in at Heston, where Heston aerodrome used to be, or the field is a field there. We wish to ballot bullet in the house. I think the house is still there. And we'd still get our guns 16 guns in the dark and be ready for the nightly Blitz.
John Taylor 34:23
And you did this every night, did
Dudley Lovell 34:24
you not every night we stayed there two nights or three nights and then moved somewhere else and then we moved back to hainaut the idea was though that the the we could put up a barrage of aircraft far I mean, aircraft was never very accurate but if we could put up a barrage at a certain height which the plane for flying the low bombers or flying was not anything else it was a deterrent, you know. And so, having daggy and being on the radar said why quite often used to go to a crowd
John Taylor 34:53
with little radar by this time.
Dudley Lovell 34:55
It was radar, radar radar, which has been sent over to the projector, who they were, we had a dial. We used to energise a dial from our radar set we used to be followed in the prediktor. And consequently, the guns were on target. And we're 16 guns. It was quite a salvo when we first knew
John Taylor 35:21
you were all together,
Dudley Lovell 35:22
the 16 guns all dug into the same field. So if I had time, if I was off duty, we had two crews on the radar. And if I was off duty crew I'd go across, I think was the travellers friend, which is just across the way there. And I'd be drinking, I knew the 16 gallons would go in any minute. And so I'd be drinking my pint. And suddenly this first salvo would go off, and everybody would disappear and a tablespoon dry. And I stand this cooler sipping my drink, but knowing that it was 16 gallons ago and off over the road, and we used to, I was, I mean, it was exciting. It was exciting. And we didn't do badly. I mean, I had to cruise and I used to arrange a roster for them. So that we had time off we had eight and eight and eight, you know, time a towel down eight hours sleep eight hours off. And I think we probably brought in on our crew, we had to for that sort of rotor. But we had people there on labour, or young young people. I tell you, another thing I made it worth having was that they were all young Bevin intakes, you remember the better in better boys. They were mostly driven by intake very young boys. And of course, be firing all night like that in terrible conditions, the guns, all used to have a run ration. The ROM ration used to be the top of our three, seven shell cap, which is quite deep. It's quite a good ration. Now. Very unofficially, as none of my boys drink, drank, I used to send over a bottle to the command pose and tell them how many all of us were the were, or they used to fill the bottle with the rum and send it back to us. And there was only myself and the other side of Jamaat who drank rum. And so the evening was quite a pleasant evening, because the rest of the night we had a bottle of rum, army rum, good, good, full strength army round put away. And the other boys Didn't they just couldn't stand the system. There were marvellous, marvellous boys, I must say, Oh, very young and very enthusiastic and very good indeed. That went on. And then I went, then I went away to. I did. I did a BSc course in electronics. Up at North Hampton Polytechnic, which took a year usually took three years, but they crammed it into one year, and I did the theory of it, and then went down to watch it. A fine cab down and Santa said, Well, we did the practical work for radar. And I came out of there fully fledged technical instructor in radar, and attached to a regiment. And my I'm still a gunner. Now by that time I came out as a sergeant I was a sergeant ti, which the wages went up then I was getting 12 and six a day. I think it was.
John Taylor 38:14
So when was it about this time you had that motorcycle crash?
Dudley Lovell 38:19
Now, later on next, because then I had gunsights to visit from hamster was our our HQ, first of all. And I remember the first time we reported there, first of all, went to our search light outfit and down in Yorkshire. But my major had seen my posting and he applied for me. And so I went from search loads, which was a bit boring and went up to hamstead. Well, I remember I reported to the major. He was Colonel by then I reported to Colonel. And we shook hands. And then he said, ride is well I expect or want to get down to things as quick as possible. So I said yes. And he said, the guy said yes. If God is arrived, he said, Well, the girls have already four in the morning. I said pardon. He said the girls have already flown in the morning. What are you talking about? He said, well in this Regiment, all our RSA is our operators, fire control IDs. And he said it's up to you to train the APS. I've been training me enough to learn and I must say I hardly slept that night because to face a whole class of goals was something which I really wasn't prepared for at all. And I also went down to the I, the regimental Sergeant Major and he said well, we'll go out to the office site in the morning. He said do you do ride a bike? There is a lot bike. He said motorbikes. I said now I can't ride a motorbike dominicus ice so it's well, there's a very good bike from the transport. Guys. Take it around the roadblock. Well I fell off about three or four times dragging this motorbike round and then next morning after breakfast, he said you will Didn't I suggest those were just follow me and he went off a national storm had stood up to I probably it was somewhere like leopards Hill and effing forest and I followed him and of course i got i overall I follow Him and the traffic wasn't too bad in those days but I do remember that I we were going got about 40 miles an hour following him and he went through some lights which suddenly changed from green to orange to I got through the orange and then the next seven lights are red and I still by that time I was so panic stricken I couldn't think how to stop the damn thing. My hand was on the on the on the accelerator, the accelerator was open. I didn't even think of closing the accelerator. And I went through two red lights, missing trucks, like sort of on a picture and eventually he he came back drops for you came back behind me so if i summarise and I can't stop it, I got to stop the bloody they say so take your hand off the accelerator. So I took my hand off the throttle. Of course I nearly went over the top but we got there eventually and then
Dudley Lovell 0:01
Once I got to the forrest gump side where I had these female these ATMs to train, and I remember I worked very hard on a course worked out the sessions and everything. And I eventually I know the sergeant before me had been, he'd been posted because he'd been too friendly with one of the ATMs, which was very often most of my mind anyway, and I intended to do a very strict instruction work. I remember I had these The girls were in the classroom waiting for me. I went to the RSM, and he said, Well, the girls are in the classroom, you just go in. And so I took my hat off, put it on my under my epaulettes, like, you know, and had my book on my cane under my arm, and I walked boldly into the class. And as I walked into the class, there were 30 blades, girls faces looking at me. And I said, Good morning. And as I said, Good morning, they all went, gave me a whistle. And I went to Carlo allows, I said that there is no way I want to be greeted as I come into a classroom. And I said, Now I said, I'll go out, I'll come in again. And I said, I want you to not make those wolf whistles. So I went out and got a little cooler, came in again. And as I came in, not only did I get Wolf, which was the leg up clapping and I got sort of just like at a rock meeting, it was anyway, eventually it quieten down and I sort of I was able to get some sort of order. And that was my first attempt at teaching where lady's hand and I found it was very good. I found it was very attentive. Once I'm afternoon, I do remember very well that I was talking about some part of the radar, which I still remember is called quiggin. oscillate. I don't think it's top secret. But it's a very clever little device, which amplifies signals. And I was talking about this, and it was a hot afternoon and the girls are following me as I walked up and down, pointed to the blackboard. And points talking, making my points the girls were following me was rapt attention. They were just following me backwards and forwards. And I thought this is terrific. I'm teaching, I really am teaching I'm instructing is marvellous to have this down. As I finished my lecture. And I said, Now let's just see how that song came. We'll ask a few questions. I said, do now what sounds very basic question. And the girl who I asked has looked at me blankly and said, I got no idea. And I said, Well, you know, you told me I went on to somebody else. When I asked about that, or 23456 people, and they still have no idea at all. And I said, Listen, I said, Have any of anybody do? Can you answer my question? They said, No. And I said, you'd be listening to me? And they said, Yes. And I said, What do you mean? So they said, Well, we've been listening to your site. And so it hasn't any of it gone. And they said, Why? No, it's such a hot day. And your your voice is such a pleasant drone. And the subject was so boring that we weren't nearly honestly tempted to teach, it was very disappointing. Another thing I had to be careful of to these girls weren't my Christian name, and quite often, suddenly into the room would come up Scarlet tab, Brigadier carrying on an inspection course. And the first time I had warned the girl, and I, I did a lecture as usual, which I already done, obviously. And I asked question, which I had already asked again, I'd be fine to get an answer. This time I did get an answer. But the answer I got. I said, Now, what's the salsa sauce on? The girl said, well, Bradley.
I said, I said, well, Bradley, I said, tell me that image sergeant, don't you? I said, No Dudley was a brigadier standing there listening to me with the colonel. And if I can envisage sort of a Burmese jungle coming closer every second. So I managed to get over that. And after that, I told him, You know, I told them a future never to do that. If you value the fact that I'm just going to stay with you because you know, you're going to send me off. And they were very good. They, if they were marvellous because we used to take them I used to take them. I had carte blanche into the ATF quarters on any of the gun sides. I was accepted to go up there to the the Manning hearts, which they had where they rested before they went into the radar sets. And during a raid I used to visit the sights on my motorcycle, just to make sure everything was going all right and the girls were upgrading okay. And I'm also gonna show antastic you go into one of these hearts and the summer's night. The girls cried after would be stripped Otherwise, because it was stinking hot in these little things which were like six by four was the space in there. And all you had was the instrument lights which were throwing a beautiful light back on the girls. Something which I would like to photograph actually because fantastic lights used to come back and midriffs, they're the most interesting thing was that if you follow the target in radar, with a little question, you could work out sort of where this target at certain height had to drop bombs to be anywhere in your vicinity, when they came down, it's a matter it's a little formula, which is quite easily worked out. And the men I used to have used to work this out and their emotions, they used to get quite distressed because we could see off the brake off the brake as a target on radar, you could see bombs come away, there were small breaks that used to come away from the big break a bounce down the tide base toward you, which is zero down to the place where you were. So you knew the bombs are coming at you here. And this used to create panic among the men that I was with, and also what we used to create another while sort of, I used to get a little disturbed. But the fact if a target kept straight at you, we're pretty sad that that plane, that bomber was coming at your gunsight to drop bombs on you. And they used to get quite distressed. And it needed and you had to be quite strict with them until that they would continue to read out the lambos and send you through the information to the command but but the women now the women, if we were following one coming in, these girls used to be used to get excited at the thought of the fact that the guns their guns, were going to be able to engage them as soon as they came within range. And they used to get very very excited. And if I was a lovely girls levels mixed class, so there's some of the world lecture school, no girl, some sort of graduates and all sorts of people. And so used to get all sorts of language. So they were getting excited rather like almost like a boxing matches on the you know, when there's targets coming in, and they're going to fall out in a minute. And then if the target suddenly veered away, you should have heard the language I mean, sort of Oh, shit was sort of, we're not going to be able to have fire at it. And we're really upset. And this really, by estimated women went up to refute in those days because men quite often worth scared. If I wasn't there, and I hadn't held over handed over to a sergeant I handed over the sector or he handed over to me rather, I was taken over from him. This was at that hotel in Epping Forest. And he actually said to me, I've heard of him because he probably still alive but he actually said to me, he said if he said if there's a plane come straight in, he said, for God's sake to break off the signal. So you've got some technical problem, whether you should because if that planes come straight at you, he said it's bound to begin to drop bombs on you for God's sake. He said don't keep that onto the target. He said give them give him some excuse and sort of you know, and I couldn't believe it. I mean this this was a guy who I respected quite a lot and I was very rooted. But most of us most others were very keen but I mean it was very you know, sort of once again started firing of the guns the bombs started falling and I didn't attack the side so often it was more or less accidental.
Occasionally we used to have they used to send drop they the bat jammer bombers used to drop what we had what was called window which was strips of metal which used to break up the break so it interfered and we couldn't pick up pick up a target and I've quite often However, a major on the on the major the command post telling me that my information was terrible and try and do better because you're not feeding through information of the targets at all. And I said we're having problems so we're having this interference and he said don't give me excuses Just give me a target and he was really shouting down the phone and I said well I can't give it I said don't argue with me he said if you're here with me I put you under arrest. And this was the major and I was trying to get a target anyway I really got so threatening that I we used to have a W Rambo cop on the on the shelf. So what I did was pull down the Darby ran, if you understand what a derby run is that is feeding at a certain angle of sight a certain range at a certain height and if I did this to him and at the end of the shoot after the after we had to report that the target sort of the no longer visible and he got onto me is it now Sergeant he said don't have any argument in future next time I tell you to pick up a target do it don't argue when they do it like you did that time because that was marvellous. And I never told him that this was a complete phoney and all the rounds on a big fad would be far off into open without ever go near a plot of that target. Could you tell if you bought a plane down on them? Yes, you could. You could but very rarely the first time the dollar one was the best one because at Liberty Hill, they came over the top Get base. Have you ever seen a radar to has a target has obtained base. And we'd had the report from gun operations room to say that 500 plus for crossing the coast 300 plus class for crossing here. And usually what happened at the end of that time days that was one single break came, which was the plane which we're going to follow. On that day, September, the seventh I probably was, was the time base suddenly lifted at the end, and came in solid, no break at all, but just a solid block coming in, as the 500 plus made a combined brace of black break as they came in. And very soon, we could hardly hear ourselves speaking at all. And it was impossible, I couldn't pick out one target. So I went outside to see if I could help. And you can see the plaint in the in the sky coming over. This is the first time we've been in action, really. And truly, we've done fine cabin five on some nights out. But the first time we see him in daylight, and the four motions, we could see 300 plus 250 plus coming up over the top of us and the gun started firing. And you could see our breaths, and the first salvo that went off as soon as the Sava had died away. So we had that. out of four guns, we had number one run out of actions or another to run out of action. So number three got out of action, we only have one gun left in action. What had happened was that first of all, there's a roaming Bing ra which runs the show up into the breach and the guy had pulled this wire too hard and broken it so that gun was out of action. Another man had put the the ammunition tray over and held it over still looking up at the client and the gun of record onto the ammunition tray and smash the ammunition tray. And another one that had just got out of action because I think again, there could have been a broken lanyard. So we had three guns out of action. But looking at you can see and I actually saw me while Milo was a short ball straight on it. And of course, we all cheered. And it wasn't, we're still cheering when you see the little black specks come out of it. And the parachute started to open and they you stopped cheering because up to then it had been rather like a parlour game, playing games with battleships and things and suddenly you realise you are dealing with human beings in the aeroplanes. Also, of course, you've got to realise you're dealing with human beings underneath that what the aeroplanes where they're going to bomb that sort of doesn't make any, any more friendly towards them. But that's the only time you could tell the other times rather that occasionally a break would disappear. And you wouldn't know whether that had been shut down by aircraft or by a night fighter. But occasionally you you had the satisfaction of next day hearing that you been credited with a shoot down but it was very rare. I mean, I took aircraft was more of a deterrent more than inaccurate.
But for another guy, my head was up in Hyde Park I took we took four guns off into Hyde Park and we had what we call GC II GCI, which is ground control interception. And that again was like a game because we had we were in direct communication with fighter fighter control, grr. And we're done. We pick up a target. And we'd give the target over. And at the same time, we'd be in touch with our predator. And the fighter was given our FF identification Friend or Foe blip, a little blip used to come out from the side of the Blitz. So we'd know that it was a fighter octillery blip if you understand. And so we'd know that that was the fighter. And we'd have to plot the two on a grid, we plot the bowler, and we'd see where the fighter was. And then we could give the fighter a vector course to fly to intercept the bomber. So that became more and more like a game until you had the fighter in communication with you. And his radar probably would then pick up when he got close enough to the bomber to say tell me how. And after that it was up to him. And he went off and we picked up another target with another fighter and tried to put that fighter onto the value. It was very, very interesting indeed. Great. That was our turn just opposite powertrain. There were the spaces that I had a very interesting war. I mean, I learned to live sounds I was very, very interesting and I also very comfortable war. And when they For me it was formed in I think I don't know but that was 40 or 41. I realised that the right thing to do for my Have a career point of view is to get into the film in it by what I saw applied, but by that time I was training personnel in radar. So naturally, the block was put on my application. So I didn't have any more fun experience until eventually, I was deleted out of the service in 1944. But before that time, as I say, I learned a lot about radar and I learned a lot about electronics, which I will write about life lol about life and about alibi, ladies too. And it was fantastic. And when I had, I mean, I used to go around staying at a site here site there. I mean, I was up at the airfield site where Mary Churchill was at one time and she was she was a sergeant there at the same time. So in the sergeants mess we used to see a lot each of each other. And if that one time we got we got very friendly, you know, sort of, but those some warned off because naturally other don't he was only sergeant's I should make sure the lighter her right. And then a ratio on the same side was the site where I spent the night and then went off on my motorcycle, we had a distress call from another side. And I went off on my motorcycle. I might have been a little hangover, I don't know. But I had to go. A storm broke, there was a downgrade going on, bombs are falling. And I turned the corner and went up this road. There was a humpback bridge, I was not doing more than about 3540 miles an hour, overland both bridge and as I went over on both bridge in the rain and the sleet and the hail. There was a trap turning into an opening on the other side of the humpback bridge. And I came towards it and I tried to miss it. But I'm told that my head must have struck the back of the lorry the truck which was rendered unconscious and I then went over the other side of the road and the handlebar smashed into the side of the road and the handlebar, the left hand handlebar limit through my shoulder came out the other side. I have the others how they travelled to pick me up because I was such a mess but eventually they picked me up and I was unconscious for two weeks. How to foresee on top of everything else I'm in a coma and actually came to two weeks later in the hospital in Walthamstow. Then I went to then I went to bought this I went to another hospital about this part, which is insane, and eventually ended up I did apply to go back because all I had a paralysed left shoulder I applied to go back into radar because I felt that was the thing to do. But then somebody said, Well, if you wanted to keep on like you, I mean, you'd be just to get a discharge. So I decided to have a discharge. And that was what I did. I decided to have a discharge so I go to discharge easily. But the shoulder is still
paralysed. But I have the use of the full arm and the hand so I'm very lucky in a way. And I had a fracture to go which I'm very lucky to and I had a fractured pelvis. How long did the hospital thing take all together all together, I was six months in hospital. And Bartlett's part was doing it after I was really really sick for about two months, but the rest of the time is set Sarah therapy making waving claws and making things and just to get the use of my hand and I think I was okay and myself I'm in mentally I was okay. But I had this I had this block, I had amnesia about the about the external one time I even had a complete different version in my mind, which had to be dispelled because I, I have an illusion that I'd had an accident and killed three people in the accident. And this was during the time that I was only just out of the coma stage. And my three people had to come and talk to me and tell me that I was only myself that had been in the accident. And I still I still don't remember it. I mean, I have no No, no, no, no recollection at all of it. I mean, this is only what I tell you is only what I have been told it is how it happened. But as I say I wasn't picked up because they just didn't think I was alive. That was loud from my head blood from my shoulder. But it was pretty horrific. And of course, my wife was called. She had to come from stratum and she was told that I wouldn't last the night out. And that was pretty so dramatic. I was sick, and she had to sit in a ward where other people were dying to. So I there again, I mean it was wicked because I had a good time out of it and In a while, not a good time, but I had no pain out of it until I came to reform later. So that was the that was a hospital and I ended up as a with a parallel shoulder with a with a badge for loyal service discharge. Didn't get a suit, I noticed he did get a suit. But I think I had some money, but not very much. Until I came back to the bush, which now with bush was working, but bush was working his way into the studios had gone over to the bush actually, and opened up again. The Bush, I never heard I did here once they trace me when I was in hospital, I think it was probably through Jimmy Borden of America. And Charlie Wheeler, who was running the forces fund and that sort of thing. Now, he traced me, and he got in touch and send me a newsletter. And so that way I Was this an AC t newsletter or as a studio studio. So I started to get in touch. I didn't get any visits from anybody. I mean, it's only family visits. And as I say, I didn't really I mean, having not been in the film unit and hadn't been out of the business for four or five years. I really didn't fancy my chances in coming back to the business. But I did go back and what what grade what grade did you get? Back is camera system. But this is this is focused on? Yes. I went back and I received was well hamam job and arms, you know, and also money, which much better than when I left? Of course, how much Carmen that? I think it was.
Unknown Speaker 21:37
Dudley Lovell 21:39
it was 20 pounds a week? I was I think so I'm not sure about that. I couldn't say that was the first time you worked on the first film. I came back to was wicked lady, with the lady with Margaret Lockwood and jack Cox was photographed forget and a chap named Harry Rose was operating and I assisted him and
Unknown Speaker 22:05
Unknown Speaker 22:06
any stories about wicked wicked making the film?
Dudley Lovell 22:11
Not really except that I was I was in I was in Wonderland again, really because it was my it was film business again, and I was back there and I you know, I directed larger Alice directed it. And James Mason was in it, of course, a lot of stories out about James Mason because James Mason was he was padded out and had what highwayman boots on and everything and I remember one afternoon he strode onto the floor in a very high rage and wanted to see the director when Leslie and Arthur Arliss eventually arrived. He said then what the hell's is I've made is at seven o'clock this morning. And I'm still not being used and it's now 230 in the afternoon and I've been sitting waiting all day. And let's Where are those who is what Marv Manor man Actually, I was very surprised because he said, Well, he says that happens to lots of actors who get cold and he said, I was just one of those things that he said we haven't got round to and I'll call you when I want you. And at that Mason went to throw a punch and I had to be separated and and so the thing died down and Matt Mason went off and the AC t i think it was the AC t benders, they got together and said that the disgraceful behaviour and wanted the message conveyed to Mason and also his thought it would warrant a public apology to the technicians and to Leslie Alice Mason cave on a made up various sort of half hearted apologies, I understand the gentlemen of the Union would require me to make an apology. Well, I apologise, but I don't really see why, you know, that sort of thing. And he made a very half hearted apology. But that was a highlight in the in the thing. Another highlight I remember to was Pat rock, and Margaret Lockwood. Never had to be slapped by Pat. And Pat was quite a beautiful young lady in those days. And with all due respect, I don't think she was very much of an actor while she didn't. She didn't act and slap him. And I remember the shot was from behind the bed, I think so Margaret was in the foreground. And she had to be slapped by patches and you really you could hear it really was a slap. And of course, we had to do two or three takes. And I remember Margaret Lockwood saying, you know, the kids, I'll help me I'm going to give up that one bag which will allow her out for the afternoon for those a little moments which sort of springs to mind the rest of the time wasn't as an interesting picture. Another time another interesting thing was the months were supplying horses. And in one of the cases in the studio, the horse has to be shot and is killed by the shot. I think it's probably by one of the highway man's pistols. And so the way they did the shot shooting was first of all, to put a knockout drug in the in the in the saddlebag in the nose bag, and then put it over the horse's nose. And the vet said, if we hold it there for two or three minutes, take it away, get away quickly and the horse will drop down. Well, they tried this two or three times, and the horse was getting more and more hysterical. And Harry Rose myoperator was a very good horseman, I've seen him ride who had a marvellous he didn't he knows horses, and a horse was getting in a terrible state. And then they said, well, that won't work. So what we have to do is to do the shot, well make their camera cut in the frame, knocked down to his ankles, and we'll put four ropes around his ankles. And at the same time, we're all pulled the rope and make him fall on his side. And Harry said, why if you're going to do that, you better get another operator, because I'm not going to stand by and watch a horse or treated like that. Your hand. And I said the same? Because I mean, it was a terrible way to treat an animal, you know, which was already hysterical. And so so they said, Well, you mean, so we said yes, you're not going to do it that way. So eventually, I mean, they got over it by sort of, you know, sort of in the only way they dope the horse, and they did away with the fall down. But it was only I don't think we thought before the war, we couldn't have done that. But after the war, we could do that, because it wasn't really after the war, but we could do. And so we got away with it. Because that was cruel to animals, which I think is indefensible, and
Unknown Speaker 26:54
anything at all.
Dudley Lovell 26:55
Another thing I did about that time was in 45, I photographed I was part of the team, the photograph the king in Buckingham Palace. And that's another little point to what was there before, but that was for the cinema. It was May the eighth, we went there on May the eighth, or this. This is the end of the war. This is the end of the war in Europe. And we had permission to I have a letter at home which shows that I was quite authorised to take photographs in the palace. We went there. We got there earlier about 830 took our gear in the back way and went out to this room. And we were gonna photograph it we're supposed to photograph is that help us 10 which saw it was ridiculous to me because nobody had said the ward ended. You see the war wasn't really announced. I don't think until late in the afternoon at having ended and there we were photographed for good in the morning. Which I think is terrible. Yeah. Anyway. Hello, we arranged the we arranged the desk. And for him who was directing it was no director really just a crew. Yeah, we had an air query with us and for granade was lighting it remember Fernando and he was lighting it and he had a piece of to put across for backlight and all this audio. And we had full range and our range being operated. I was arranging the ad two cameras to my chosen and I was operating one and assisting on two. And I was arranging the telephones and things like operators do fun stuff on the desk. handler. Interesting because we've been writing where we had a message down to say that the king apologised that he was going to be a bit late, which was amazing. But in my experience, no artists had ever sent a message like that to the kings and the message to say I'm sorry. So we all sat down on the floor. And suddenly it was this little short man and I looked at him I thought that'd be the Prince of Wales come home is it and suddenly he said there he was. It was a game and he says gentlemen, I'm terribly sorry to keep you waiting. But I mean, I will go like this when he's doing affairs of state and it was fantastic to hear him come in and apologise to everybody for keeping them waiting, you see. Anyway, we all jumped our feet right to the cameras, you see, and he gets out of his script, holds it in front of him. And he says his business data we're all waiting for this data one of those not by side of us doctor he said how can I read this he said this light up here the back here suena shadow Look, he said I've got a shadow. I read a shadow everywhere I'll move I can't read it. So so hard to move alive. And then he said once all this garbage on the desk, these telephone this red telephone he said Am I going to find out the first station was on the subway and of course I suppose to call him Your Majesty but I sent you a mouthful I said was it Did you have a telephone? He said yes but not like there's not like the size and when you put it how you want to so he put it out wanted to do and then we went ahead and did it and it was all very nice and after. As I say he thanked us All very much again, I even sent a letter to thank because that was really quite an awakening. But as I say the better thing was that they ended the war. I mean that right after the cinemas in the afternoon, those quick jobs through the labs and the prints, you know, and it was shown in the cinema with him speaking. But the terrible thing was the war should have finished that little bit earlier, which built through bureaucracy. It wasn't, which was awful, I thought. But that was an interesting job they did about that time, that was May the eighth 1945. And wiki lady was around about the same time. And then after we could lady, I got one or two jobs sort of fill in operator, radio bush. And most of the time we own permanent on the permanent staff. They're not at the other permanent staff. There's no written contract, but weekly employment. And also little appearances over his LinkedIn where we made most of the form the form the pictures with Marcel vondel. And in the end, I got seconded over to Islam to the studios, which is still now still a branch of Gainesville studios. And I was so candid, so candid over there pretty prominently. And there was a man called Alan karma. Yeah, well, he had only been, I mean, I hadn't been back at the bush very long before I realised that a lot of the people, the camera technicians who were there had only started in 1941, or 42. So even with my gab, I had no experience of cameras. And they did. This ran called a little bit, but on the other hand, I was very happy with the money I was getting on the job I was doing, but I realised that I did have to push because these people had been at the bush lumber temporarily, in effect, and I had because I had only they'd been there before the war. But the the showdown came one day when I was an abortion, they, I was Harry rose, he, he was sick, I was afraid I was assisting him. And so he didn't turn out. So I took over for the first two shots or so quite successfully. I think it was so good. And I lived and then and then suddenly in the dog walk this chap kalama. And I'm calling him off. And I said, What are you here for? because by then my neighbour boy had moved up and we'd gotten an assistant, he was assisting me. And he said, I'm taking over the operating. And this is one I wrote, I said, No, you're not. So So yes, I am. I've been told to I'd come over from the bush, they told me to come over in the bush to take over the operating on this camera. sighs Well, in that case, you better get your size. I said, Who's going to assist you? So he said, You are sighted. No, I'm learn I'm not assisted you I said this is nothing personal. I said, don't think it's a personal and I said, You know, I know you have only been in the business since 42. And I said, I have had no experience and I I want to operate. So there was a stand up thing where the studio manager came on the floor and the producer came on the floor and they said you're paid to do a job. I said, Yeah, I'm paid to do a job. But I still have a mind. And I have a voice. And I said I'm I'm perfectly capable of operating. And I want all right. So that was hoo, ha. And then eventually I started operating. And that was the start of my operating. And I really had to put your heels in, you know, to operate. Because that was the first feature agreement was came about. Yeah, so the regulators and lots of the studio work. Yes. Yes, it did the crew, the minimum crew and that sort of thing. Yes, it did.
Although I must say I wasn't very conscious of it, because it was all manipulated so well and agreed to by by the studio. And then the next thing I happened that of course was only a bit of an operating to sort of finish the picture and a very hairy going back. And so I naturally went back to assisting him. But then there came a time they had to do remakes of wicked lady, the Hayes office and in Hollywood in America, had object objected to the cleavage that Margaret Lockwood showed in her period dressing This is at the same time as the outlaw. Remember, Jane, they're throwing rocks and I was showing so much there but they trade the obviously because this was a successful picture. And so we had to do six weeks retake with instruction from the head office that we had to cut out this shot or that shot this shot. So we did six weeks retakes with with jack, jack, jack photographing, jack Cox photographing and we were doing them on bitsa Packed slats, like fireplaces, Windows doors, it was very difficult. And I jack was very kind. He said I could operate fine. So I'll phrase around all those retakes, which really didn't demand very much, mostly close ups, again, with more or less crew with less cleavage before, so that we got over it. But obviously it detracted from the picture as a whole and destroyed its boxoffice potential, which are all part of the thing. So after that, there was now a job I've had is LinkedIn. I think it is a picture called a soldier for Christmas with Marcel van now. He doesn't remember the first picture I met you on? Yes, I was. And I think Yeah. And we've moved from a few shots in that. Yes, we do. You McDermott's were pleasing, as he did, and, and for very kindly for granade, who I operated for, he done two or three pictures. with with with me at the bush, we did thing called I'll be your sweetheart with Margaret Lockwood. And that was Phil, and Phil and I had struck up a friendship. And there wasn't an offer, it didn't have an appraisal. So he said it I take me out. So Phil really gave me my first break on on a main picture. I did I think I may have done a picture before that formed the picture with Marcel by now. And it was very, very good trading because Marcel varnelli used to sit under the camera. And the first thing at the end of the scene, would you you'd see his Marcel varnelli bald head coming up under the camera. And as he came up, he was saying cut print viewfinder over here for the next shot. And so if you're an operator, and you had any doubts at all, you either had to be very, very good and get it all right. Or if you had anything you had to say, No, it was no good for me. And I mean, you didn't say that very often because he wouldn't have warned you if it was really good training. I think that way, you know, to be merely with your nose against the I mean, if there was a real reason, and he understood they've been a director understood artists if he saw artists make a false move, he will understand that that was why you as a camera have made a mistake. A lot of directors don't realise these Georgian city streets. Problem was God Seventh Street. Yes. Right. Yes. That's right. Georgian civvy Street. That was probably the first time and it was very good training as well. first film was going through as well. That probably went unnoticed. Yeah. Because after that, we did a whole number didn't that soldier for Christmas? Christmas weekend wasn't in a hotel. It had didn't have Tom was in it? Or was it just my imagination? I don't think they'd had bitches. No, not Beatrice Lilly. I know Phil had a lot of trouble on it because for grin on had a lot of trouble because we had a cow singers in the blackout in the moonlight, singing in the snow. And he couldn't get a source of light because there's no in their own way Carl Sagan standing on the lamppost. But he couldn't have a source of light. So he lit it with moonlight. And the moonlight was strong enough and in those days are those sort of comedies? The answer was if I'm paying somebody so much money I want to see that face all the time. And I think a Columbia it was made under the Columbia auspices and Columbia wanted to change the camera man. They wanted to sack
Unknown Speaker 38:47
reflect the fact that was reflected dust and snow.
Dudley Lovell 38:53
And we actually got a panel of leading lighting directors of lighting cameraman and they had to pass an opinion on it and see whether Phil was was that att or AC t that was more or less organised by the studio, I think. I don't think it was ACTA organised. It was just one of those things that Phil organised himself and of course, we will say again, making the point you know, I think for state each state but under the cloud under a cow from Columbia, but not under our cloud from the studio because Columbia were a renting company. This was all rank by now. Yes, no rank by now. And then we went on to all sorts of pictures didn't we? I went on to I'm in the Huggett were the last ones but then
Unknown Speaker 39:42
Dudley Lovell 39:43
and then blank goddess as you say that was one with Arthur Crabtree directing. And we had blind got it we had guy remember anymore. Do any of the film stand out particularly from any you know from the general run of Not really not the ones that is LinkedIn because we work as I said they had the habit. So we're three in the habit series that was vote for how gates Come on. How good are the habits abroad? What stands out in my mind there was that was my start of my association with Ken and again, yeah, the director. He came from the bush having just made holiday camp. He, I think, was it realist? Madden Park. That's it come from baton park with with Sydney box in new box. Come with Sydney Bama from Western Sydney. Sydney bought in a lot of people that ride with him, didn't he light rail? That's right now we started a picture called the girls jars the mermaid thing. Miranda, we started Miranda with a one light and director and, and and Oh, I can't because there's no golden tales. Gordon house was the editor. But the lighting camera man was chap. Round faced. Anyway, we're there and what happened, the director went and he the head lighting cameraman went and in came can and again a replacement. And he bought Ray often. And my first experience with with Ken was he just been working with David Harcourt as an operator over Shepherds Bush. Joe Harcourt was doing continuity who was unfortunately for was David's sister. And every shot I did.
Cam would say Oh, not every shot. But occasionally Kim would say Well, David wouldn't have done it that way. Or they would wouldn't have shot it that way or this or that. And Ken in those days wasn't very experienced experienced that. Right. And I mean, I rule this a lot because Joe was his was the sister of David and I, David was a great operator anyway, until one day, we had a shot. Well, first of all, it's an over shoulder. And we're on the man who we're looking at, and it's a card from the man getting out of his chair. He gets up into the foreground, and we shoot over his shoulder. And when we've seen rashes, cancer, what do you think of Russia? nicet. Okay, so clearly shot over the shoulder. I said yes. He said, Well, the chat was Linda Salva, he was sitting down below camera. So I said, Ken, I said you got to understand that and the other shot. I do remember what happened to the other shot when you're on him. He suggests he got up. I said, Well, that's your cutting point, you see, because he gets up and he gets half. It's unbelievable. And I feel sure if Ken could hear me now. And he said well, he said, Oh, is that sour? So I said yes. It's got to have that for your cutting voice. He says, Well, David wouldn't have done that. I said, Look, I am David is a marvellous operator. I said I'm just tired of hearing his name. That's all I said here. Look, there's a telephone on the wall there. Can you go over there? And I know David's doing nothing at the bush at the moment. Get on the telephone phone up shepherds, Bush. So David, can I have David over here to operate for me? Because I prefer David Harcourt to Dublin level will he please come? Actually, no, no, there's no need to be like that. I think there is no need to be like that. Because every shot I do for your every other shot. David could have done it better. So if you don't like it, I said you don't you know, get David over here. Oh, he said no. I didn't mean that. He said I think you're great and marvellous. I said well, oh, just keep off David Harper, and I didn't if he did a friend of mine. I don't want to hear his name too much. You see, so I know why. So we got through the picture.
And the picture is premiered. Can I use really rude word? Yes, of course, can I?
After the premiere coma. Miranda was a good picture. I really did very well. You know, Glenn and john everything and Margaret Rutherford. And after a picture, I've went to the premiere and Ken was coming down from the south and I came down on the south. Side Ken and I said, Listen, I said you got a great picture there. That really is a great picture. It's going to their mothers is yes. And he said Dudley, I want to thank you very much. And he said, You know what? I said no. He said you're a much better operator than David Hogg.
Unknown Speaker 44:21
said you're a cat.
Dudley Lovell 44:26
What did you say that term for?
Dudley Lovell 0:01
You asked the first question, Well, you
John Taylor 0:06
know, what are the directors you work with, say, starting with Ken and Akin?
Dudley Lovell 0:11
Well, after Ken I mean, after unfortunate sort of request that I made on the steps. I mean, I didn't see him for an awful long while. It wasn't until 1958 after my breaking into freelance work, that I eventually met him again. And in between that time I worked, for instance, on a second unit and Moulin Rouge, which was the day that
John Taylor 0:36
I moved on with Houston in a minute. Keep on with
Dudley Lovell 0:39
Ken. Ken called me around about 9058 for a picture called northern man by night, shot in South Africa. And we shot it all on an area of lakes. In fact, I think they've made a claim that kid for two follies was the first practice shot and our effects right mouse was actually we went to South Africa. We were supposed to, we're going in October, we're supposed to be back in December. On on that picture, the weather was bad natural age or was it on pictures. But mainly we had the lady lady fell in love with an Italian counter and tried to commit suicide. One of our Legion men had an accident. And so we ended up having been there in October, we didn't get back till the beginning of March, which is long, long. location. After I again, I didn't see cam for quite a while then we can find me again. And we did we had a sort of up to that point where it was more or less a love hate relationship was more hate than love, I should say. But then we did another picture, which was across the bridge with Rod Steiger. And we were operating I was offered one of those time this the lighting caravan, or in South Africa. I did do a little bit of photography, because I loved camera man. He went home. And so I took over and they were very happy at that time, which is 9058 could have been a tired turning point in my career. So they were happy for me to go on Karen anniken RC styles if they'd be happy with me photographing them, and they said yes, but unfortunately, it was a picture coming out of Pinewood with Rank Organisation and Raghuram gado zation had another cameraman who was free Harry Waxman. And so they said Harry Waxman out and he took over from me and I never got my golden charts, except for a fortnight after hours I was across the bridge. I thoroughly enjoyed that. No, I think we started to like each other a little bit more after that. And from then on, I kept on having over 20 pictures again. I've done pretty slow, long duel with your brother. I've done that all the board, magnificent men, and they're flying machines, pitch cord, MonteCarlo bust, which was very successful, biggest band a little more. And whenever he's had a chance, he's Give me a second unit to do. And I've been thoroughly enjoyed working with him.
John Taylor 3:21
What about any details about who you're working with him?
Dudley Lovell 3:26
With can The only thing that happened was that he should take me with him. He was the director and I was the operator. And it's sort of an unwritten law that in the camera department, the director of photography or like government, he usually chooses his crew and he chooses operator. So I was usually when Ken insisted on having me as an operator. I was usually in an embarrassing situation for the first few, two or three days or maybe a week. Before we settle down with the lightning caravan and the lightning came man realised that I wasn't an ambition oriented, orientated person, and that I was only there to help him and to help Ken at times again, when I was working with the American artists, just as Charlie Bronson nor Tony Sal as well as Ken would turn to me quite often and we'd call freight on setting up the shot. In fact, I mean, he'd almost world on top right? He'd say, how do you think we ought to shoot this? And this I think was a little unorthodox and unusual for the American stars when they used to look up a little sconces. So who is this guy just a camera operator who just points points a camera What the hell's he talking about, you know, and so I had to ride over that but I enjoyed riding over it because it was creative. I in fact, this is one of those things about the camera operators job. Having in America for instance, if you're working for an American lighting, director or director for Coffee. And I did I worked with a man named krasno krasno with Henry Hathaway. And usually I'm the director and the director photography, he laid out the shot and you just listened and got your brief from listening to what they were doing what they were saying. This is one way of working. And when I was working with them, for instance, I remember shotwell Vera miles was coming down the road just by the BBC up in Portland place out and she turns into a doorway and goes into the door. And I said to Milton cries, and I said, what I do I she comes down the road and then I pan out into the doorway. I said, No, no, no, no, no, you just let it go out of frame let it go out of frame. I said, Sure. No, I thought he I had to pan on to the doorway. He said, No, no, no, you just got a frame. So anyway, I she comes down the road and I let it go out of frame, service voice creatures in my mind. And I said pardon.
Unknown Speaker 6:00
He said why why didn't Japan we have special Pamela.
Dudley Lovell 6:04
And this was Hathaway behind me on Maya. And I said, well, Miss adaway nobody. I told me to pan these. I told her to pan I said, Mr. Holloway, you hadn't spoken to me. You don't even know my name. You just know on the camera, but Mr. Johnson a word to me yet. And he said, I told you and I'm waiting for Lauren Krasner to come in, though my god if he does, and I'm off the picture. Yeah. But anyway, he said, Well, you said so I that moment will come in, and you're handed time he said, Now, Hank, I told him not to pan he asked me specifically. And I thought it was a real, real gentleman. And so halloway so Wow. Shetty is no better he should or no do what a pan. Anyway, after that everything was alright. But that just demonstrates the difference between operators, camera operators with some directors, other directors, other directors want to be able to do it in Thailand themselves, you mustn't deviate from their shot by an inch, by the way or up and down. And so consequently you become a camera manipulator rather than a camera operator. You like a factory hand, you just carry out what is in the blueprint all the time, the cameraman, the director, and the government will leave it to you as long as you don't go over the top I mean, you don't put the cameraman in you are continually having been in in having had the experience you know that you wouldn't put your artists in a certain position that they are not likeable, if you understand what I mean can't get at them without having my shadows and things like that new bear that in mind as an experienced operator, you work with your life and career man, and you work with your director. But I prefer and I think most got Veritas do buffers when the director has complete faith in you and says you know, so just go ahead and set up the shot. I've been for instance working with a lady called bureau box who was director and I when she used to say, having run it through she said to me that they just watch just watch the scene run through and she say to the actors, you know, okay, run through the scene. And then she turned to me and say how do you think we ought to shoot it? How we should we break it down for the cut? This is really beyond your brief. But naturally, I mean, you've you're, you like to do it, I like to do it. I mean, in fact, I think I've often wondered why more a camera operators don't make directors when I'm talking about that I mean, mechanical mechanicals constructors of pictures rather than people who can manipulate act actors because after all, that's the difference I mean, some directors are very manipulative with their camera and other people can other act other directors can relate to their actors and obtain performances out of them so it's it's it's a strange scene I mean, actually even to this day when people say to me What does a director do I can quote you like a dozen different ways the direct I mean, I know some directors who just to start leave the lining up to their camera man and the picture would love be lined up for to shop or what have you. And then they would say they say okay action, they when they said cut, they turned to the continuity girl and they say Did they say all the lines and the continuity girl having looked I would say yes, she said or printed then that's very good. And really there wasn't very much direct into that. Now another man like Houston I mean who I worked with john Houston he left a fairly wide to you I mean, I probably had a little qualms for the first two days right it's once you tune in the first day is rashes or secondaries rash at less than entirely to you. He told you what sort of shots he wanted,
John Taylor 9:55
and he tell you directly what
Dudley Lovell 9:58
I wanted to shorter and shorter long, short, medium long shot. And I mean even went to the point and I felt very flattered once on a picture called Kremlin letter, which we were shooting in Rome. I had a difference of opinion with the lighting director to go. And I felt that there should be a different movement though the camera. And anyway, I didn't make a scene about it, I accepted the fact that Ted sort of had his point of view. So I left it at that. But we've done three or four takes. And the first take suddenly, john Hewson said cut the camera. He said, cut. We got and I was in the middle of a track and I stood there and he said, Dudley, are they happy? And I said, because I was very surprised. He was talking to me. He said, you're not happy. So I said, Yeah, I am. I'm fine. And we're doing the show. He said, No, you're not happy whatsoever. So I said, what I said when I said, because I I respected him very well. I said, I think at this moment, we shouldn't be going that way should go this way as of late accuracy. And he will show me Show me what you mean. So I said, Why this moment? We should be sort of taking the camera this way around that way. He said, Yes, you're right. You're right. He said, let's do it that way. Because I was nearly killed by this looks like Ted was giving me but and I didn't even know I had been, you know, be noticed. Which I thought was admirable, insofar as this man, very experienced man, elderly man with great string of successes behind, we're still conscious. Oh, what I was feeling. I thought that was amazing. Not only directing his artists but conscious of what's going on with the set. And again, with American directors. And I see, I say American directors, occasionally, though, are British directors who had justice experience but in their the dresses were suddenly caught the scene, I mean, your as an operator, have a two shot now walks over from the masterpiece, he walks over to make a two shot to another man to stand by the windowsill. And you suddenly find that he hasn't reached his marks, he's not getting his marks. So he can't, um, got enough width in the angle of the club to include the two people. And so you think what to do just that moment, the American director will say, cut, cut, how do you expect my cameraman to get you both in if you know, hit your marks. Now, this way, the English director, I have very rarely seen, I must say, I mean, if I have sometimes had to cut. In fact, I've even had the point where I've had to cut because the person is only half into frame and I'd cut while the most the rest of the film because the film probably goes on for another two or three, the second scene goes on for two or three minutes. And the director said to me, I said, Why to cut? And I said, Well, I can't. I mean, he said, What pan over? I said, Well, if I pan over, I lose the other guy. He said, What do you mean for those el archaia? size? What are the lens only has so much scope? And we've lined up? I said no, he's not on his mark, he will make adjustments. size, and I can't make an adjustment if we have decided no, that's the decision of the scene. And these are people who are stupid, and we have a lot of stupid, ugliest directors. But we did have, maybe they're more experienced now that we're not working anymore. So it doesn't matter. I'm gonna say that about. Now that is true. And so you just didn't know until the first day came home with American directors, you knew, really, that you had to, first of all play the content of the American star, play it so that you just pointed the director above the camera. And then after a time, after two or three days rushes the director would have confidence in you. And I quite see why. I once directed the second unit of coral, the wild in Norway. Norwegian operator and this Norwegian Alfredo was full of enthusiasm. I spoke English very well. And we work out our positions. And we'd say I'd say How's that? I mean, because I believed in cooperating with him. And when I lined up the shot, I'd say hello. is no Mossad. Not that makes any difference. But that's a very common name in Norway. So how are we God? How's that frame? Look? Do you need locker nice, okay. And so we go through and we probably had five or six positions on the track. And I said, How was that? He said, terrific. Marvellous, you know, and next day, or next day, I see the rushes. And there were nothing like the shots that we lined up. And I say, what happened? You know, because this is one we saw, is it? And he say yes, yes. That's what I saw. So I say one, sorry, you know, because I didn't see that. I mean, when I called you over, I mean, it was a different frame in time. And he'd say, Wow, now that's what I saw. So I said, Well, you know,
I'm sorry, but let's make sure that we get what we're aiming for. Next time. I said, Don't worry if we do two or three takes you see, and I even got to a point where I felt awful about, I'll say, do you mind if I do one Now, of course, he didn't like that. But I mean, it was one way of getting exactly. And this is why, in the new style directors, I live in caravan, quite often do their own directing. Now, basically, that sounds to an
John Taylor 15:21
Dudley Lovell 15:23
yes, directing, directing an offer. And that's why men don't miss that. And that sounds terrible, but they have a good reason, they're probably had a very unfortunate experience when you're shooting, or now with video with monitors, things like that, it's not so hard. But when you're shooting on film, and maybe if you're shooting on film, and you're shooting on film, in a foreign country, where your rations are got to come back to England, you're going to have three or four days to four, you're going to see your rushes there. And sometimes you're going to be terribly disappointed at what you thought was going to be the shot and it hasn't turned out to be the shot. But obviously, when the relationship becomes good between your or the man has a reputation, then that doesn't apply. But I think that's very interesting. The and I'm sure every operator, every camera operator would say the same. And for a long while, I felt that I was at the hub of the production, the AI that actually saw what was going to go on the film. And so from that reason, I mean, I operated from 1945 to around about 1970 much longer than I should have done well, I was very happy, I did a very good job. And I enjoyed myself and I got better and better paid for it as the time went on. But I now now, I realise that from point of view of Korea, one should have done different you know, so much and so right, let's finish with operating now you're going alive. But that talking about that? I mean, as I say that directors I met met Well, I mean with Houston and
John Taylor 16:56
Edwin, which one do you admire most out of all the directors you've worked with?
Dudley Lovell 17:03
Well, the different facets of admiration, I admire Ken and again, his enthusiasm at all times. Sometimes beyond his capabilities, but enthusiasm, which is fantastic and inspiring enthusiasm, which will keep you going when you are yourself a flag a little bit, you know. And so I have done lots and lots of pictures. And of course, not only do I admire him, but I'm flattered by the trust that he puts in me. So obviously, that has a little something to do with my admiration. But the man I do admire is a host. And I think Houston's track record is fantastic. And instead of with the pictures here, and also the gentlemanly style that he has on the floor, I've never heard him raise the voice of anybody raises his voice, he says, tell us a little bit just to keep the noise down a little bit with you. And another thing I admire about him too, when we were initially he'd come in at a reasonable time. And he'd say, at five o'clock, much to the dismay of the production manager or the director, you'd look at a script and he say, well, gentlemen, let's all were scheduled to do today. So as far as I'm concerned, I think we all ought to go home. And of course, I mean, this is not the style of most people they want to go on and get ahead of schedule. But john Harrison quite rare Riley, he respected the fact that was a shared goal. And he kept to it. And another time I had admiration for him again, which is flattering to me, I suppose. But we had an assistant director who, whose turn was late one morning, so this assistant director naturally for morale star, he got everybody cracking and although we didn't know what the shot was, we put some tracks down and I got some stand ins and manoeuvre to stand in around two positions and said, Well, this would be a good decision. That would be I'm working in the dark, completely banned. Eventually Houston arrived. And this assistant director said, Well, we've lined it up for you. So which I think was important in any way. And I've already biassed i mean i i said well, no, it's not. And so who saw us just run through Let me see it. Here. Of course we go through mechanically with the standard moving on, I'd say now you move over here, which is ridiculous for filming. So I also said, Yeah, I would watch it. Okay, Bradley, can I have the camera for a second? And although I am I gotta admit this as little laziness, I suppose. But he said, Okay, we're use these tracks and he got his will artist down. And he started to put the marks around and move the tax positions around. And he knocked around for half an hour and he said to me now just take a wrestle through there and see what you think of that. And when I looked at it become a sharp, who really was a very fluent, marvellous, sharp and everybody was moving on for reasons and on cue, and you know, not just moving from mechanical reason. You see another there's another man road bag, who was Arthur Crabtree and talking about this way back. And he another instance of a director, he said, I don't want my artists on the set to help us 10. And he would get his standings, move the wall round Mark from them, because he was next camera man. And he marked them all off, mark the position on the track. And when they came out, when the artists were called on the side, he'd say to them, I want you to stand over here by the fireplace. When you said this line, you move over here, and stand by the door. And then having said those two lines, you now move over to here. And the other yard is that was all right, until it came to James comes to James Mason, they say, and he did this with jasmine. So he says, now he says how he said that line, you're now moving over. And so my son says naturally, why do I move over there?
So he says, Well, he moved over there, because you're gonna have to talk to him is why do I want to talk to him? And of course, this now destroys, I mean, now, you can't be mechanical like that. I don't know. This is a dissertation on directors. But those are the differences. A man who thinks as an actor thinks, and a man who thinks there's a camera things, if you understand what I mean. And there are some I mean, after the world, some I can't remember his name, but I always remember one director, French director, who if a man picked up the telephone, the camera immediately we were all around him to the other side of him while he was talking. And in the audience, I mean, you think you're on a roundabout, you know, you're the whole screen is going. That movement is really for some purpose. It's not just to be used to show what a clever person you are as a director. And a lot of directors are like that. They deliberately move the camera around, saying this is a fantastic shot, like directors who say, any shot about three foot off the ground is a bad shot. I have had that said to me. I mean, I've had the shot at four foot, which I mean, I didn't just put it there because of an axe and they put it there because there was reasons. And the guy comes along and says, What are you doing up there any shot? Come on down here, right? Every shot has to do from the floor. Now that's okay. If you're Citizen Kane directing. And if you've got the sort of sec, that goes with it all the style of pictures it goes through, but I mean, you don't necessarily make a rule that every setup has to be one foot off the off the ground. Another thing we have as operators to suddenly a man like I worked one day or two with Ken Russell, Ken Russell, sort of you just finish the shot and he says, hold it, hold it, don't move anything, don't move anything. And he says you and he didn't know me very well. So I have to hold the camera this and he comes and has Look who says this what you finished with? So I said yes. He said Are you sure this is what you finished with? You haven't adjusted to the frame? I said no, I don't do things either. He didn't know me and I didn't know him. And so he said all right. But this is the distrust that you get with operators. When when any mechanics i mean i'm sure you get it with your car mechanic
John Taylor 23:10
don't you? I suppose if you're you know if they're not used to working with you, it's that understand a bit understand how many times did you do with whose turn which ones
Dudley Lovell 23:18
only I only did the second unit of Moulin Rouge, and discriminate letter, which was the most confusing picture. We went to Finland down to Italy and then I went across to America with him. I got my to America. And then I also finished off by we had several cities in the in the United States which had to be this where the character came from, and I had a little jaunt, going from New York to Chicago to San Francisco to Hollywood to sample. Acapulco, do a helicopter shots. And during that time, I crashed the helicopter in Utah road one went and I crashed in New York. But what happened? I cut my head open. But I was such a junkie as that guy from New York to Chicago to I wasn't gonna be I they wanted to keep me in for observation. But I said no, no, I feel fine. And so I went on and did
John Taylor 24:11
the helicopter crash
Dudley Lovell 24:12
as a tower rotor. When you say it's a tower, a tower rotor stops it go around? Yeah, I mean, there's the the main rotor is sort of making it go up and go along. And the tower rotor is something that destroys the torque of the top wire, right? And with that, when you go around, around around, and I really, I was
John Taylor 24:33
set up with a camera and said,
Dudley Lovell 24:35
I'd done the runs, I'd come up past the Statue of Liberty and I'd done a shot over Central Park, I had to show Manhattan, you know, this is where the guy comes from. I was again, I was amazed to do the job because I used the must be a lot of opposition from the American trade unions. You know, I'd heard about them being very tough. And but now I was because Houston had the pull over there. I guess And he wanted me to do this work and Cypher and and did it. And as we got into the aircraft I said this isn't the same aircraft we looked at this morning and the guy said no, I'm sorry that one was on already on charter so we couldn't have it. And you know, we went off on it, and I waved goodbye and we got up we got up to about 3040 feet and the tower roller when I've done a lot of helicopter work I've done a lot of how I've been down inside Vesuvius and all those things. And when the Taiwan rotor when I knew what happened, and as respond down what was going through my mind is that this is a very, very tough action to take if they didn't want me to photograph this piece of work. I will no Coronavirus me nicely in my head complete crash. And as we bounce we bounce because we have floats on. Luckily we weren't over the water them. And we bounced went over on the side. I was hanging upside down in this safety belt. And you can't find the release on our safety belt when you're hanging upside down. I tell you and the chopper, the blades will still we're on the on the helipad in the side docks, and the head, the blades aiding us towards the edge of the water. And I can see the water coming in. I couldn't I've been trying to find this release. I couldn't find it. It was terrifying. And eventually I found it. But before that the the guide the pilot is switched on. Well, that was very funny too, if you do mind hit listeners of this because I police insisted I go to hospital, I catch my head and I had blood all over the place like you'd get from head wounds. And so I went through these sites in an American New York ambulance going yeah, with patients sitting with me and I go into this hospital, which runs you inside looks just like an English hospital. And I'm sitting there and the production managers Come with me. I had a feeling he hadn't renewed my insurance actually for the day because he very wide, it very wide. And he was sitting with me. And I had this pad on my head. And I sat there while other people that were coming it was Friday night will say they were having heart attacks and they were muggins coming in. And eventually he got out of the system nurse assisted colon pastor, she was hired. And he said, he says this that this man is sitting here for three quarters of an hour. Could you just have a quick look at him. So she pulled my hand away with the wall of cold wallet I got and she says you started early. Didn't you? size it? No. Sister. She said what do you get get mad cited? No, no. She said you pulled out purse. So I said no, no nurses don't request a helicopter. She said What? I said I've just crashed in a helicopter. She said fucking nuts to walk away.
I was seen. But I will say I destroyed myself because such a junket was going across America and Chicago. And so I said No, I'm fine. So I went away and nothing else would have ever happened except I get a little excited at times maybe. But no, that was that was a host and so naturally my admiration for husen is tender for gratitude for the for the licence it did me and I think it's always got to be like that. I can't I do admire very much indeed. Joe Rossi I work with which films to work on I go between, I also worked on a sleeping tiger, which was it was way back when those two first came over here as you when he was a fugitive from the UnAmerican Activities. And at that time I got along fine with him. But his stature had grown quite a bit and and and also it was one of the most miserable pictures I ever did go between very successful Victor but I had no communication was losier time and I didn't know what he meant. And also the gentleman who was photographed forget, he deliberately put himself in the way so that I didn't have any communication with them. Jerry Fisher hasn't been to Vegas. Now I deliberately sort of I do used to do things like I line up a shot below sea and with him watching. And I come back and find your change. And I said what are we doing? He said just don't argue just get on the camera. And then this was Fisher I mean, we're nice to be told. I mean okay difference of opinion but also be told at the time. My do another one like that was Freddie. Freddie differently. You will ever listen to this because Freddie I admire he's terrific. I mean, you know, nobody can help but admire. I did battle Britain with him. And guy Hamilton directing guys a nice man. A guy used to want me to line up with him. Because I think it was just communication. And I always remember we all lining up into a innocent hot amending hat. And I knew that if I went into five business and had it provided it was very difficult to photograph because you're very get so much light through the windows and the windows weren't very good. And so we put the track down and guy would say, I want to start the door and pull back from the door and come in with a guy and make a long shot of the heart just and I knew it was getting more and more difficult. And I'd say Freddie Fay, have a look at this. He said, I
know you've gotten it. And so I went on, and eventually, I mean, I said
awry. And then I lined up and put down all the marks for the standards. And I and I said, Friday, I finished so he said, Oh, he finished now heavier. So I said, Yes. So it's right for the camera to lay back on the track. And we had a track of about 20 feet. Exit, okay. And he pulled the camera back to the back of the track. He said, lock it down there. That's where we're doing the shot from. This is Friday. And really embarrassing. Say, I said, well, Friday, I'm sorry, I knew you're in problems out there. But why don't you say so? He just didn't say they went on. But the embarrassing was when the guy comes back and says, okay, we were ready to shoot a way to rehearse and I said yes. And he suggests never versus Jason. guy said, right? Or come up to the front of the tray. size to know we're doing it for days had done it, don't you remember, we start up here? I mean, look at you're like, You're an idiot, you know? I said no, Freddy is gone. He's talking in the background. And I said Freddy, and he says, yes. I said, Would you like to come here for a second? He said, No, no, we go to the shop for that. And so we did the shop for now. But you see, there again is a different I mean, all the all the different scales of of influence of a watch have ended, who's going to take notice of who and I say I mean David lean who got who Freddie works with a lot wouldn't stand for that. I mean, if he wanted to shot like shot like that he's who are too bad get over the problems, you know, you've got problems, okay, we I got problems you get over them. And a lot of directors are like that. I mean, they give you that shot. I mean, I worked with him as a as a lighting camera man. And I say, you know, sort of put somebody up against a wall where you know, I mean, you can't you can't get no light on them if they're going to use a boom How can you get light on them without getting the shadows on them? And they put them right up against the wall and I said couldn't they just come away from the wall about three feet? They said no, I want them right up against the wall. You so why did you died? I don't want to tell you why. I'm just saying I want them up against the wall. And you meet directors I then and so you get by somehow by sideline. But let's say the difference, the so many different gamuts cooperation, of dependence of of you know, just doing what you're told. And I suppose that's what makes us so horrible and embittered as we get older. Because we meet so many people who we disagree with.
John Taylor 32:36
What are the directors?
Dudley Lovell 32:41
Well, that was a Ken's really sort of ice I did paper tiger with him and did another thing called Five musket fist Musketeer. It's very difficult to find another director. I mean, I drew I work with rollback
John Taylor 32:59
was the journal about the American you were talking about? Who made winchesters mt three?
Dudley Lovell 33:03
Oh, wow, that was a great display. I must say because I did.
John Taylor 33:07
We haven't got his name but we that could be filled in but he was the director of winters of Andrea Miller story. Director and what was that about? was you know that you were talking about
Dudley Lovell 33:18
here is a Telemark. That's the cresco Bob crafco was photographed again I really got the job is operator miles of fluke I think you won't have by God God Harris. And I was just a fluke. So you know, I was not so really all that much all welcome. But What amazed me was this director who it man adds new man, tiny man, I was looking forward so much because I mean, I admired his work before and then there's another picture I don't know where they did best shows your life not but so much sensitive words. And when we on the floor, and it was more or less sort of, Okay, put the camera there. You ready? Okay, sure, sure you turn over shoot. I when the first the first disillusionment came, we did some exterior to horio to Norway, we did some experience down at Weymouth. And I was more or less working in the American star, listening on the back of behind the camera man, Rob cash and Bob CalHFA guys go and then sort of lying and up. And eventually we had a mark. And when they disappeared, that was a short mark on the floor. So we brought the camera there and I'm supposed to point it into a frame you see my point and rocking along the waterfront and there are about eight cranes all lined up behind each other. And I looked at it. I didn't want to make waves too early in the picture. So I said to Greg, I said, Listen, I said if we move the camera to free to the ride, or we get separation from the cranes, it will look much nicer. And so he said, All right, if you want to do that, you know, but he didn't really give me permission to it. So I knew I had a very new grip of secrets. And we're working with technical or heavy camera. And so I said, we're just going to move over that tiny bit. It can't hurt you, because you're not going to make the shift as a long shot anyway. So we start to move over on the left of the camera, and of course, one leg goes up underneath the camera, then it goes over the floor. Tony man, Cesar, Cesar says, What the hell are you doing with a camera? So I was just moving is What do you mean? You're moving it? sighs and I was just moving it a little bit to the right. He is talking about grasp. What's he talking about moving the camera? Why is he moving the camera? So I said to Bob, Bob car by moving the camera. Bob said to me. So what I told you, I said let's get separation for these. So So man says, What am I doing? Well, here you see we got all those cranes in line I was just moving over. And by the way, you should not be you should have had not in line item when the chalk mark was there. And we put it It shouldn't have been there. Somebody made a mistake. It was chalk markers of opposition. And I will say from then on. I mean, it was a disappointment all the way because we never had any sort of Kirk Douglas and he was Coke, like less than Richard Harris on the picture. And we never had any real I didn't see any real direction. I mean, one day we had a stand up fight almost between between because Harris headlines and, and here the director and Kirk Douglas between were farming his lines onto Kirk Douglas. And Harris didn't stand for it to say. But apart from that, as I say it was a pure mechanical office job. I mean, I said, Okay, you're in position right there. So realise, turn over shoot at it, and you did it, you know,
John Taylor 36:46
and he made good films.
Dudley Lovell 36:47
He made good pictures. I I finished. I I was getting so tired of it. And I knew that Bob really wanted he didn't like the unpleasantness. We're having a Johnny house by that time came free. And cam was starting battle the bulge in Spain. And you'd find me to say if I was free, and I said yes, I will be free. And so I gave my notice in. And so I gave my notice. And I stayed a couple of days for Harris to get into the swing of things. When I finished I went up to him. And I said, Mr. Man, I was just come to say goodbye. I'm going off another picture. He said, Why are you leaving us? He said, I'm just getting used to your funny ways. I said, I'm sorry. I did my I said that. I just can't get used to your funny ways. And I know somebody who is used to my funny way is to I'm going to work for them. And so we left. And that was that. But it was it was an amicable but I had much nicer time. Well, well, well, I'm from Norway, where it was trying to below to the to Madrid to to go way up into the ice areas. And it was 25 below. And I thought I was going to Spain to Germany. But sorry.
John Taylor 37:58
What about camera men that you worked with?
Dudley Lovell 38:00
Well, again, I think I've worked with everybody I've worked with Freddie and Freddie, I think is marvellous, I mean is fantastic. I mean, he is professional. And you know, I could never even hope to sort of hold again to him. I have worked with jack Hilliard or a lot. And he is a quantum gentleman jack. And he is a wonderful camera man. At the same time, being a great diplomat, diplomatic sort of person who can serve over unpleasant things, you know, which there again, I think, I suppose you're going to be born a gentleman I wasn't because I can't. I can't smooth over things like that I have to speak out. But jack does is marvellous I mean, especially with women who photographs women marvellously I have worked with Jeff fonzworth on second unison to Nigeria at the top is still big joke, I think of it. After six months, I worked on their second unit. I worked with Chris Chalice, who is a charming man, a wonderful man and a great character and he was a pleasure to work with
John Taylor 39:01
which films then
Dudley Lovell 39:04
that was on series of pictures we did in in Pinewood one was called captain's table a comedy. And the other one was called floods of fear is about the business simply floods or staged in stage three of of Pinewood with a tech tank flooded. And I also worked with them on the second unit of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. But before that, I mean when I was at one on 10s and my first starting freelance days I worked with people like Jeff and Jeff faithful a wonderful, wonderful man wonderful judgement. Another one was Jimmy Harvey another one was God through the other ones another one just the same.
John Taylor 39:52
But a cam the camera man's personality must be very important on imagine on a film is it to keep you know to help so move things over, keep things moving and so on.
Dudley Lovell 40:02
Yes. And I think compatibility is so good. compatibility is the essence of crew work, isn't it? I mean, you've got to be compatible. And if you're not compatible, it happens in as you probably know, I mean, in Hollywood if you're not compatible if the camera man is not compatible with the director or the operators not compatible with the rest, I mean, it's he's dismissed or somebody else has taken on. And there's no, there's no real stigma attached to a situation like that, because it's understood that you didn't get along. And if you don't get along, you're going to take time up. And time in the essence is money. And also it shows in the finished, they're again, talking about. Plus notice I'm in some directors believe that you got to have blood, sweat and tears in a picture of, especially if it says style, a picture of adventure pictures that you've got to have
John Taylor 40:50
that sort of thing worked with Michael Powell? Well,
Dudley Lovell 40:52
I did I do by talking about blood, sweat and tears. One day or two days, I can't remember not very long, because I was only a standard. But I know I had to do a sword coming out of the sheath and burn up to the nose for a salute and artists a salute. And by that time, I was pretty efficient. And I did all most things in one take. I mean, you know, I'm very quick. Thank goodness, I'm quite athletic. And this floor came out and I went up top and it was fine. They said what happens every year? How is that for you? And I said, Fine. If you don't want to do it again, cited? No, no, I pay me. He said you sure. I'm sure you don't want to do it again. I said no, I'm very happy indeed. You said I didn't see the camera move. It was very quick. You probably missed it. You know. It all worked out. It was fine. But there was a case of a director. I mean, after all, I understand and he doesn't know me, we'll examine him and establish forgivable too.
John Taylor 41:52
But, but someone like christianities can smooth things over and keep things moving. Whereas you know, now that we know someone in our people
Dudley Lovell 42:00
story, they like it, you know, Gil toller, who I worked with him two or three pictures. In fact, he was one of the first who gave me real big breaks in, in in freelance world but he was a little star at times and that was the Bolton's the Bolton brothers. And there again, you had to be a little careful. Sure.
John Taylor 0:03
Where should we start on the bowties?
Dudley Lovell 0:09
You say, Well, I'll give you Okay,
John Taylor 0:12
I'll give you a lead in
Dudley Lovell 0:12
what about some other directors like the Maltings or your tailor girl girl sort of introduced me to the Bolton's on the Bolton's were very very strict I had met john bolton on the magic box, which was a festival picture. And he was directing it there. And I was called in after I'd been shooting five months because Cardiff had to go and do, I think the African Queen and another cameramen took over. And so I was a complete stranger. They were doing odd shots on inserts and pieces that fitted in here and fitted in there. And I didn't really know much about at all, but every time I moved as an upgrade of our moves the camera or pan the camera or moved a piece of furniture, john would say no, that piece of furniture was there. Oh, that's how I wanted. That's how it was set up. And so please don't move anything. Leave it exactly as I've set it up, please. So after a time I did that one day, I had the camera right on the floor and freeze grid studio. And there are a lot a lot of black marble columns. In the foreground, they were occupying maybe over over a third of the picture. And they look most uninteresting. And I didn't say anything, because as I say I've been I've been hitting my head so many times about moving through. So are you ready to shoot it just already? And also, because we don't? Well, there is one thing I said we're not these. This is a retake. I know you're doing a retake here and probably that's conforming with the retake. But I said here you've got all those black marble columns. It's a colour picture. And to me it looks wrong. So Bolton's This is john says, Get up, get up, have a look. So I had Kasab and he looked through and he said, Of course I should be there. Of course I shouldn't be there. Why didn't you move them sighs Well, every time I've moved, at least so far. I said, you
told me not to move it. So I speak to us a little intelligence. It's as if you've got any. And I said, I went
out to him. And I said, Listen, I said up to now I said you'd be rude in a most professional way to me because you have wanted something and you want something.
But now you've just said something, which I find very insulting. I said years, I may be an idiot. But I said I don't like everybody being told about it.
And probably like this. So I said, associate Well, I said I want you to apologise to me. So he turned away and so we're very sorry if we feel like
I said, Don't turn away when you apologise stand there and apologise in the same tone in the same
voice that you use when you were rude to me. So he said, I'm very sorry. So I said, Well, you know, I said I was trying to do a job and I'm trying to do the job of the best I can and I said it with rudeness. It doesn't help anyway he never spoke to me for the rest of the picture. We broke through intermediaries anyway the next thing that happens is a girl does this picture with Roy directing and john is producing and he also would you like to do it and that's why I've got no hope I said John's producing it I said when you use my name I'll be off. So first occasion is down to the Channel Islands and older older now and we're on the jetty on the first morning Roy has given us the first shot and we're doing the first shot down the end of the jetty I see john Baltic approaching I thought this is it because the game's up you know as soon as he and he walks all the way down and I've signed in they're not looking at him. And he walks across to me throws his arms around me and says I must say that professionalism I think I smile forgave him everything for that moment after that we got along fine if I row was very autocratic, very autocratic. They won't he said I mean, Google came to me and he said you know what was just said to me so I said no, is it is it deadly that deadly is getting too big for his boots, you know, far too big for his boots thinks he really run the show. And he Well, I will not affect you for, for ROI. A little anecdote about ROI. We had been rolling water off on the cliffs at water, you know, the lava rock now which was most unpleasant. And Jeffrey Hunter was the on singlehanded is the remake of brown on resolution and he's holding off the gun. And he's been shot at by the guns of the ship. And so we had 11 explosions on the rock lined up by the special effects man. Jeff was housy down in a little hole in the rock. Now I was working with a wild Mitchell with no parallax correction, and he's in big head down on the rocks. The chat is to our cue word pan from the big head up to Roth phase, founder of phase, get the first explosion. And then what pan was the 11 explosions as you went along, bang, bang, bang, bang. And by God, it was the first time. And at the end, with an alarm to the end of the explosions, I had to whip pan back to Jeff, who was there. And when I went back, Jeff, he didn't know expect me and he's looking at the rock like this. He's no longer hiding behind the rocks. And he's looking at other awkward explosions were and so was it. How was that viewed? I said, Bob, as I said, I couldn't do it better. I said, there's only one thing he said, I'm just asking you what, how was your operation? Did you offer her? I said, Yes. But there is one thing I said, Don't tell me about that. Did you get all these versions? So I said, Yes, I got the phone. So it's about printed and printed. So we're going to assume right away. Well, Russia is used to be a secret operation George, the drum and Roy used to go and see him at another theatre somewhere across the island. We used to leave about six o'clock in the morning from the hotel. One morning, I had breakfast, and I was on my way out to get them to the Trump and I passed John's rose table and row two. Oh, Debbie got a minute. I said yes. He said Do you know that shot you are so cocky that say what shot I'm cocky. Vamos Sharjah. So he's no write down with the explosion. So I said yes. He said, you know, we had 11 explosions on the rock face. sighs Yeah. So he said, Well, you only got 10. So I said, You're joking. It says no, I'm not joking. And don't laugh about it if we've got to retake it. So I said, Yeah, I know, you've got to retake it, but I know why you've got to retake it. He said, Don't argue with me. He said, we've only got 10 explosions. I wanted 11 expressions. So I said, Listen, I said I had one in my pocket. I said, Look, in here, I think I've got 40 pounds. I said, I'll put that on the table. And I said, I'll bet you if you come with me, we'll count 11 exposures on that rock face. He said, I'm not here to back with your answer. We're going to retake it. So we go all the way across the island. And we retake it. And we do it. And this time I do it again. Fine. And when I come back, he's crouched down behind the rock. And Roy says, How is that for you? w this time? And I said, Well, this time right? When I got back, Jeff was crouching down behind the rock and it looked much better and what more how's it should be? But those
are those are the things which are really unnecessary, complete, completely unnecessary. I mean, Lord God, you know, I mean, I mustn't be wrong. And unfortunately, with power, I mean, there's somebody said, power corrupts and absolute power corrupts or something. And I think this is what it is, and unfortunate this happens. But I have never found that. I mean, except for Tony man. And Tony man was not like that, really. He just expected you to be a cog in the machinery and work as a cog in the machine. He was never thought he was used to. I mean, he was never unpleasantly rude unless, as I say, when he saw me moving the camera. He thought this was unusual for the camera to be moved
John Taylor 8:17
out low skilled but to work
Dudley Lovell 8:20
at isn't. Remember. He was a script writer. And he used to come on and sort of we used to chat. And then he did a documentary with Laurence Harvey was Lawrence Harvey was just starting with Jeff over. And then we did three I did a picture called sun, the sun at midnight or something with Laurence Harvey and Maxwell Reed. And then we did a picture called emergency call. I did three pictures with with Lois Gilbert, when we're in the small time and at pnnl for studios and work with Cooper photographed most of them he's a wonderful black and white camera.
John Taylor 9:07
And since then, though, when Louis moved on, I didn't really you haven't caught up with you know, what about the the times you were to get together at a website called independent frame, or you know,
Dudley Lovell 9:25
one of those where you're typing while you're typing and as Tom would when they introduced
John Taylor 9:30
interdependent for the other one though, the logic games first shuts off for him to build in frame. And remember how bad they were when they Why didn't bear any resemblance to the
Dudley Lovell 9:44
it didn't work.
John Taylor 9:46
window to tell
Dudley Lovell 9:48
the difference. So we can we be given for independent frame we'd be given a mark on the floor a height of a camera and a lens to use and almost a compass. directions where to point the camera. And where you pointed it there. Because lenses are not our the manufacturer due to a formula for another 135 mil is never exactly the same as another 35 mil. And so it doesn't encompass the same field of vision. Exactly. And so consequently, you always had to make adjustments, and also tied down the director because the director could only move artists from one scene to another out of one scene to another, he couldn't really pan with them. Because once you pan with miniatures or anything like that, I mean, the perspective goes completely. So it didn't really work at all though the millions of millions that were put into it upon would you still got restrooms, which were sort of used in the independent frame, beautiful solid restrooms with June as of now have been used since then for travelling that and that sort of thing. But I never already did one picture, I think I hardly did the whole picture. That was boys in brown about reform school. But another thing we had, there was the vistavision camera, which came in just after then, the issue of racial camera giving you a much bigger negative area for your photograph. But the camera itself was bought by not by a technician. And you had instead of a solid viewfinder, you had a top viewfinder, which was not parallax corrected at all. So instead of having a sound viewfinder, it was a huge thing. not as big as a technical problem. But it was a huge blimp. And the top viewfinder you just had to guess. So if you ever did a shot a crane shot like starting on the head and pulling back to the full shot, you first of all had to cut. This is what I used to call experienced guessing and you had your close up, you either had to shut cut in around that nose, and then sort of have a right frame to get back to at the end, which I preferred because at least you'd be going back to the right firm for frame or sheet has the frame right at the beginning. And then you'd have the frame Roman. At the end. Yes, I was really going back about 30 or 40 years, you see because you had no parallax correction. And if you mentioned it, they said more we used to manage in the 20s without our legs. And I don't know why you can't manage now, which is a very negative attitude here. But it did happen. I did tour through this division. And I've got quite used to it. But the only one time I blew out was this division was we had this division on one of the comedies I can't know why there was and there was a through shooting through a door. And there was dialogue in the other room. And then they came in to our room. And of course, the boom operator dropped his boom in the room. And because my viewfinder is on the top here, I couldn't sit up and I can't see into the other room you see because the top of the door is sort of cut off. And that was the only time we had to retake the rest of the time it was all SSH experience getting and hopefully you did it right but as far as anything else you allowed to shot I talked about the explosions on the wall. And then that was without power legs Did you got so used to knowing the position of your viewfinder and I believe we upgraded to, it's an instinct, I can always put my finger. I remember I did another picture floods of fear with Charlie crighton. And Charlie and I didn't I mean Charlie have a bit before that we're talking. And I know we're an afternoon, he worked it out deliberately to give me a real trial. And then we had this nom, we had to be so close on the muzzle of a gun that it filled the screen. And then we panned out from the muzzle of the gun to the face of the eyes of the man who was going to hold the gun. And the thing is that he's threatened in some way to shoot somebody and the guys have gone through a gun down you're finished, you know you might have no we have this cool shot of the ground pointing arrows pointed up to the eyes, then down. Then that guy stole the gun stays there pointing at you. And then suddenly, he throws it away. And as we were just about to shoot, right and says I want you to follow the gun. He's gonna throw it away. Throw it away desperation. I mean, I'm saying it's a pure instinct or something else got out there is what you because I said you want me to follow that
I've done I've got a wad case it Yes. Well. So anyway, fantastic. I did this and it was one, one take and I pan from the gun up to their eyes down to the guy and he I read like that and I followed where you thrown it. And I'm in it without the Finder because the Finder had been set on the coastal edition. And when I wrap the camera over, the gun was right in the middle of the frame. I couldn't believe it myself. According says, How was it I saw Jesus I don't believe that recover, have a look. And he had a look. And he said, did you move it? You painted onto it? So I said, honest to God, I haven't. Yeah, but that was an error. You see that all little niggles that creep into filmmaking isn't. And people do this with. I mean, I remember Houston even doing it with one of his actors who kept on saying that Nigel, Nigel green, who had a tough part he had, he had to speak Russian sometimes, and put in Russian words into English dialogue. And he wasn't very good. He only knew we got to what the what we call the fluffing pillows, you know, because he kept on fluffing and after about the eighth day. It's a flap again, and Houston Say what? Take that base? No, you know, so let's say that I did. And I do, of course, are that how you want me to say, I didn't realise that? How you Why did you say, which is so bloody transparent? And who said yes, that's how I want you to say it now. Could you say like that? And so we do it again. He doesn't say like that. And so who says why struggling you now? Did you want another reading? I read I do realise what I'm how you may or may not want you to say. So. Anyway, and then we went on, and I think that's the longest I've ever seen. We went on 25 takes, you know, and he was doing this deliberately, because this man had said, Oh, that's how you want it. And all the time. It was the fact that he couldn't say the word. But this is, as I say, is the interesting part of filmmaking all these little sort of compatibilities incompatibilities, taking the deliberative going out of your way to making it difficult. I mean, I saw real quick Cooper died. I mean, it we had an assistant who was the son of the construction manager, that metaphor nice boy, nice. Molly's
John Taylor 16:52
Yes. We are worse. Yeah. Because you will lose, because when I started operating, he was pulling focus for me. And he did everything wrong, and I couldn't keep blaming
Dudley Lovell 17:07
him, and he'd say, Africa bison. And so we've got this shop. And he said, Show me your top line. What's your top line? So I mean, I I'm pretty honest for that top line because cameramen asked your top line so they can put their backline down as long as again. So I gave him the top line. And he took the 5k which you would never use for shooting straight at camera. And I know what this SR co round looked at it and I get rid of their size or I don't know and he said well can he do for exaggerate the system? do you do that? And he kept it there and this poor boy he was trying lowering flags, putting a flag in a last minute, Wilkie says hi, you don't seem to bear the flag at all. So I better save it so it take it up. I can't use it even though we're going to use it in the first place. It was only bitchiness I mean really well unpleasant because he could no used it. I mean, it didn't fit that much backlight didn't suit the scene at all You see, so he just put it there to make that make it make it hard for the boy. And this happens. And these all these things touchwood what i have i that? I don't think I was and I don't ever really get into that sort of stage. You know, because I think sheer viciousness.
John Taylor 18:26
What about the other people you work with on the floor? What about the continuity girl?
Dudley Lovell 18:30
Well, we're fantastic. I think they're fantastic. I mean, most of the time we work together and so far. It's very close, because we're talking about over shoulders. I mean, if an operator you automatically know what direction and look, your date, you work you work closely with our vendor, because we're talking about entrances and exits and all the solving and quite often knows I think he's happens quite often in the film as a camera operator and continuity goes I've been very close in more senses than just the work you know. And understand. Yeah, because you do you do get on the same wavelength. As I say the only run time when the same lady I was telling you about on this. The most I know Louis girth go pictures, I think with Lars Harvey. And Laurence Harvey had this rather Mongolian face, and he always rather have it flat on camera. He always tried to show a three quarter if you understand what I mean here. He's already got a profile on the flat Mongolian he was very conscious of the fact he used to look like a Cherokee Indian. Sometimes he used to do his own makeup and put in his own eyes, cheekbones. And because of that, he never used to take a direct look at somebody. He always used to do that. Which is fair enough. After so looking straight, full face. It's up to you quite often. And this continuity girl would say, but he's not looking at me looking at it not looking at him his face isn't okay. She knew why he was doing it. And I mean, we had so much trouble over that. And we go to Russia into the middle of Russia is which is a terrible thing. So the look is wrong, it looks wrong. Look, he's not looking at him at all. And yet the eyes were looking at him. The head wasn't looking at him. And I mean, most of the times I never had that before I'm I'm in fact, what happens usually most guard duty girls will take an experienced operators word for entrances exits over the shoulders. And if anything happened, I mean, they obviously I mean, it depends on how much business some of these actors who've got business during the dialogue. This is the thing that blows a continuity girl, because after all, if you've got a certain amount of business, like lighting a cigarette and putting the cigarette down, taking a drink of wine in between our dialogue, if we're going to cut in close, yeah, this has got to be continuity, I mean that. So you might cut him for the moment, this might be a good cutting point where he takes the glass, take it to his lips, and he takes it to his lip. So you've got in, and the moment has got to be exact with the dollar. And so they do have a very tough time. But most times, I mean, ours is just basic. And I mean, all we have to do is to sort of get directions, enter instructions and directions and motorcars and things like that. So they always go into the same position, same direction,
John Taylor 21:25
but you work closely with the continuity.
Dudley Lovell 21:28
I've worked with some of the top brass I'm in like a lunch break. Or maybe maybe that the top my over fingernails right. And at best man who was at
John Taylor 21:43
the base and doing what was
Dudley Lovell 21:46
doing Randall now do Randall is really up to Tom now she really does all the land she was on. That picked radio in Africa, the wild geese. And she really is moving among the American director to the top. I found it funny a lot bigger i did was i did a picture in 76. with William did the
Unknown Speaker 22:13
Dudley Lovell 22:15
French Connection American director, actually and also the the anyway, he had he had a male. And in Hollywood, they're quite often that script supervisors and their male Johnny Franco he was and I found it unusual. I mean, very unusual to have my ahlborn he did the work just the same. Exactly. In fact, it was better really in a way. Because sometimes the atmosphere gets a little strained. And it's very if you've got a male you can talk to and tell them exactly what you're thinking rather than sort of catching it in, in gentlemen, a language called nerdy girl. But Johnny and Johnny Franco is really
John Taylor 22:58
complicated seeing that a group of people around the table or causing it get very turned out with looks. Yes, right? Yes. Where the continuity is very, very. Yes,
Dudley Lovell 23:09
yes, especially a table where you've got five or six people around the table. Mind, mind you that really needs planning from the start that you see. I mean, you can't just go and shoot in here, here here. You've got to plan what your dialogue has got to be in the sequence of your dialogue before you go into it, otherwise, you're going to end up in an awful mess. Because if you don't know who's going to come in next in the table, then you're going to probably have your looks wrong in the first place. Right? What about the boom swing? You were talking about? ello is a pain in the neck and the sound when both or just the boom swing. But really was it the sound of the sound man used to be you know, when we were at the bush going back way, way back when they were in their booths. And we had these cellphone cameras, and they were noisy, and they're on an operator. I remember we had both sorta the recorders, he was in his booth. And the booth was away behind the set. They didn't always have a clear view to the set. And he kept on coming out. So now I can hear the camera and this poor bear on he had about 20 either downs on top of him on top of you got to operate the camera, and you've got 20 eyes down smothering here. And eventually after that 22 pounds bill sorta came out and said, Now that's okay, now that town's got a boom we got to do that because I can't hear the cameras. Now it goes back to his to his booth and Bill Allen, the operator boop working up his rage. You could see it mounting, and suddenly he got mazurka as I said, right, you read the turnover and he said I'm ready and he tore off all the ideas are thrown on the floor. And they turned over and shot and bought the soda then came back from his booth and said right well that tower is and he saw the camera without an either down on it and just said it was okay. I mean that really shut him down really in frames and we did used to get that sort of thing with camera noise camera noise as a thing, which depends upon the watch how about you put guide up on the sound, you know, some some sound recorders like to work with top gain. So they've got that little bit to play with so they can pull it down and all the others can work. Some sound recordings you never hear a peep off you don't even hit know that they're on the set, you know, others you're getting every minute. I mean, there's a sound and and then of course Mike shadows thing. I mean, that used to be the thing where I remember I was Phil green rod Phil green rod and a sound recordist at the bush. I mean, they had a mic shadow on the recorder. So that's where the booms got to be, the bikes got to be. And the land caravan said, that's where the lights got to be, which is a stupid sort of situation. So they have to call down the executive producer and the studio manager. And eventually somebody gives way, but that's how it used to be once upon a time. And then of course, then we still had the sound was fairly new in those days. So sound was given a more leeway. And right, should we get back to your career now? You'd stayed on at rank for until when? Well, I went down to the I finished the last picture of the bush I went down to a golden salamander, which has been on occasion running, he was directing and as optimised as lighting. And I went down, fitted in, which is unfortunate, because as I say, I mean, I was like I felt like an East End East End kid coming to the west NOC because this, our budgets would be something like under 1000 120,000. This was 750,000. And it I was feeling very sore, I haven't seen to get to those close. And we get down and
Ozzy and Ronnie were lined up, and they also start to light. And then suddenly rollingwood appeared and said, I've been up in the I've been up with the art director and we've decided that's not the way to shoot. And so let's put all that set back and we'll shoot it from this direction. And I mean, probably if we got one shot in a day, where was this pain or time went on? And at that time, I mean this right on quite often. That time, we had a shop steward at Pinewood called albertan, an American who was a boom operator, and he was at a meeting or he told Elvin something about what we're talking about. Amanda, I'm telling you now, you know. And so, Alvin, at a meeting of the BFA one day, because there were a lot of redundancies coming up. He said, The redundancies wouldn't be necessary if we were still making big just like we made the little students and not making pictures like the golden salamander where there's a lot of rally was present at the meeting rather named because he had been a part of the BFA, and he hears that inefficiency is being levelled at his unit. So he comes back to us addresses us on the floor and said, We I have we've been accused, we've been accused of inefficiency. And I think it reflects on all of us. And so we all have a meeting. And so we went up into the director's room at at Pinewood. We all had the sat around this table and Ronnie said that we were making pictures for the future of the industry and all this legacy. Of course, I'm smiling, I'm smiling, and I'm thinking, geez, you know, I'd say No, I'm not. And suddenly, he said, If anybody's got anything to say, I think I understand that I'm so sorry, I pushed me to stand up. I said, Well, listen, I said, I've only been in the business about 10 years, 12 years. But I so I've been associated with making pictures which have not been off the scale of this picture. But they've been commercial propositions and they've been for the budgets, which are so much less. And I said, I can't help but think that when you unless you can make up your mind to do what you want to do and decide what you want to do. wasting money in that way is a complete waste of money. And it's to the detriment of the business. I mean, if you're spending money, like 750,000 pounds on this picture, and maybe I throw it is wasted and wasted time, I thought that would make two pictures of the solid picture I was working on. And I read on in this strain if you're new, I get deeper and deeper into the dirt. Rafi stood up and said, Well, he said I'm only just starting as a director and I'm not as experienced as I as Dudley and his line and all this crap, you know, and so I can't really I'm learning and I got to learn and I'm doing it in the band anyway. So then he sat down he said anybody else got anything to say and I was amazed I thought I would be the only person but also Ozzy got up. And this isn't directed. And Ozzy got up and said, Sometimes I'm not sure the mood that you want me to you tell me what mood you want day night, Samba, gay or whatever. He said, Sometimes I'm not sure exactly what you're talking about. And he said, I am really in a mercy. He said the other night, for instance, when you told me not to use too much contrast, and all this other, he said, I photograph it in the way I photograph it, you know. And then the assistant director came out, got up and said exactly the same about crowd. Crowd dispersal very well for you, you know, but I did feel very strongly at that time. And then from from there, in fact, my, my contract finished them at pi mode. And that's when the bad times came. That was the end of 49. And for a long time, I sent off letters to people, I wrote to Australia, Canada everywhere, got nothing back. And I went, I sold secondhand cars for about six months, in Brixton Hill. And then I got a job with the picture being made by Carnegie films. Remember that? Jerry gives a photograph again. And it was early south. So the other county you were directors on the Harry Reynolds was a producer.
John Taylor 31:19
And which are hidden down there. You're
Dudley Lovell 31:22
right. And I did slightly in front down out. Harry Reynolds was a producer. And we all went to it was going to be great. I mean, it was going to be mood pads. This is the first picture of a series and we had people like Michael Redgrave, we had a nuke, and all that sort of thing. We went to Cannes, South of France and flew down there. And it was obvious right from the start, that we were in trouble. Financially, man named cousins. Eric cousins, Bill can no no only got to know how he was pm. And he actually almost did a contract. Because in those days for net finance was a little complicated with transferring money, and you had to have permission from all sorts of people. And he went to the mayor to the hotel as the big hotel, the front there. And he said, Look, my pranks haven't gone through yet. And I wonder if you could let me have a float to keep me going for the first few days until the phone comes through? Well, at that time, it later transpired that we actually in the bank, because the Old South ask and the Earl of Carnegie were both miners. And so the contracts they'd sign had no value at all. they withdrew their backing. And Harry Reynolds flew to France, with 27 pounds, nine shillings in the bank for the company. We moved in the Martinez, the big hotel, the front there, and the cousins kept us going for about four or five days by borrowing this money. We'll bring it over he borrowed it from him. Then he changed it into other those took it back. So thank you very much. Then he said, Oh, do do another snag. I wonder if we let we have another and he gave him another this guy. And he's already the balls running out. But the Martinez USA. And eventually, I mean, what happens one day and the French crew we're working with a French group. One day the camera wasn't in the camera car when we got back to the hotel. And I said what happened on the French crew said, Listen, it's not to do with you, but we know we're not getting paid. And so we've taken the camera away and we've got the camera. And I thought well, I've got some personal stuff. And so I saw you tell us what it is and within half an hour my personal stuff was back. Then it all started to get nasty. And the they wanted us arrested you say? And they said no that give us give us so then what happened then was the the ICT sent money out for our passage home, the airfare home. The manager insisted on keeping. It was for hostages. Pat Kelly, the assistant director was one somebody else but another head for hostages who were going to stay in the Martinez. Now Pat Kelly and I had been sharing a room and he and I were doing pretty good because we didn't have much shame. And we used to go down the bar and a few days we stayed there with our money and sooner or later some tourists would come up to you and say listen, are you the people who are here with the money making a film? We'd say yes. And because the rest of the day was paid for with drinks and wine and everything you know. And Pat when he elected to stay as hostage he thought this was going on. I said Pack your bags and bring them down and I don't know Martinez but there's a hell of a walk for the lift to the door. And they said walk out your bags. We don't know whether you get out with your bags, but walkers Oh, you're going to so we had to walk with our bags. And we got to the bag and the door and they weren't taken. It was very nice. None of the boys wanted to know about giving us a lift. And we eventually got home the hostages that night. The manager came with it. But the director of the hotel came in and that night they threw the hostages out there. In jail they again were bailed out by the ICT low tech. But that was in 50. That was my first start of being freelance after again it wasn't very nice and I lost four weeks money because
John Taylor 35:15
that led to the new rule Yes. Anyone getting approved on location has to get clearance
Dudley Lovell 35:22
start money had to be in there in order they call it escrow escrow that escrow has to have money but had to be there for escrow that's that was the start of it as we work with other people have started we got nothing out of it there was nothing there because of us you know there were prior creditors and there was nothing except like typewriters and things like that just
John Taylor 35:42
to antigen manage to keep going financially yourself I mean no without without money coming in.
Dudley Lovell 35:47
Well I got I was on the lower exchange and I had some money and as I say I bought and sold Frank and I that's Frank basil again we set up this little he had to money and so we used to buy secondhand cars and scrub them up and sell them for 2030 pounds make a little money like that there was very close we were very very close indeed to being completely broke. And then I don't really know what happened after that because somehow I got to nettle forge and for nettle groves I I got in fine there because everybody liked me and I got along fine with the work and not being making the little things like McKay Rogers was no director who will a dove Paul temple things and, and mother Riley meets the vampire and things like that, you know? And also then, besides that, Louis Gilman came in and made some little pictures there. So I made about seven or eight were these quota films or not quota sites? No, no, they won't be pictures but not quite as quick as cookies. I mean six weeks was the you know,
John Taylor 36:50
over your quota quick it was one week. No, no, I
Unknown Speaker 36:53
Dudley Lovell 36:54
I never had to work on quarters really. And so from there again, I think I must have had a little bit to keep keep Oh Have you have your
John Taylor 37:04
write down a bit is who tends to get in front of you. From now I
Dudley Lovell 37:08
don't really know how it all started. But in the 50s I gradually got better known I did pictures for work like the Black Knight and, and koco for the heroes. And then I also did the bolted pictures in the 50s that was cigars over Sorento, which was dean Kelly. And then the 60s of course blossomed dad had a terrific time in the 60s over picture after picture of a guy used to have four pictures being called after if I would do the pictures would tell us about the period with the pictures you did at
John Taylor 37:41
that time and not in the 60s or 50s more whichever you like.
Dudley Lovell 37:46
Well, now let's to go those names as I say I did fly machines magnificent men in their flying machines with cat and kitten in the in the in the 60s I think that was also did the a couple of I think in probably the copier show heroes was later on in the and I'm going to look at these names a bit. I'm sorry, I'm going across the bridge was a picture of the Battle of Britain and was in the 60s. monte-carlo a boss that came into the 70s Kremlin netta was 1969 Zulu I went to South Africa and did Zulu. And then what about Zulu? What was that like to welcome Zulu? Well, there again, it was an effort. It started very much as an effort. And it wasn't until we'd been there. I suppose a week, two weeks, we'd shot about two weeks when Joe Libyan came over and they showed him the best rushes that we had. From then on. The money was okay, we were okay. But it wasn't a very pleasant experience. We were up in the oven the highlands in Natal, and the Burg and we were in a hotel for 14 weeks was no transport out the hotel It was like being in prison really. Except I was lucky because I'd been there before on on that thing I told you about. Nala move by night and I had friends in the towel who used to come up weekends. We did work out did we work Sundays mostly but then we had a day off occasionally whenever we had the day off. I was lucky. But the other boys and especially electricians because the electricians weren't getting any overtime because the whole thing was being shot by Steven died with sun runs in the African sound. With sound guns in the African sound, which you know, sort of is ridiculous. I wish they'd had rural lambs like broods they'd have had to work to do so what happened was as When the sun went down, and it was winter, and the sun did go down about how plus five or six, so that was the finished. So half past five or six, you went to the hotel, and you didn't come out again till seven o'clock. You were getting seven guineas a week in those days around. I mean, you can't live in a hotel and find your imusa for seven minutes a week, you know, I mean, it was impossible. And so there was a lot of bolshy feeling among the electricians. I mean, the electrician. So what absolutely, there were more Richardson. And it was true that, that when they came back, Stanley Baker was appeared in the picture. And also with the producers, I have worked with the director. And it was through that, that mo Richardson really went downhill after that, because he came back, Sandy came back and really tore tore them apart because of the behaviour of their crew. I will say that, I guess, you know, people don't go away for 14 weeks to live on a mountain. for basic wages, no one will come to you. You don't go away and live or antisocial live, and move your family for 14 weeks, and not expect some good money or some overtime. And it would have been possible to get my basic overtime of some kind, which would have obviated the situation, I think. And I mean, it really was the most unhappy picture most unhappy. I mean, I had I have problems with site, I had problems with seinfield. But I'm inside did a good job of directing. But there again, now a little anecdote, I mean, we had this crane, and we run the electricity and got a generator. So we couldn't move, the crane had to be moved by hand. And it was very hot in the midday with the sun. And so I'm up this crane with a new Finder. And he's down below, it was down below. And he said, Give me a long shot with a mountain. sighs Ryan. And I said, I've got a long shot with the mountains. He said, What do you got? So I said, Oh, I'm seeing the mountains. And it's a long shot. What do you say? So he said, Well, I'll move two or three feet back. So I moved two or three back feet. Is what do you got now? sighs? Well, I suppose I said, you can see it visually. If I must have a little bit more mountain, you see. So we'll move in a bit. They're moving in there. So the boys are pushing this crane sweating. Okay. So after about
a quarter of an hour of this, I said, Listen, wouldn't it be a good idea? If I came down, put the crane at the back of the tracks, also tracks we got a pair of step ladders, and you come up with a viewfinder and decide what you want visually through the viewfinder. He said, What did you say? I said, I thought it'd be a good idea is the crane came down, and we got a better step. He said, therefore, I thought you said so for let's do it, shall we? So is it. Yeah, so we got the steps. And then later that day, we do the sharp upgrade. Later that day, Steven days, like that man said, Oh, saya wants to see you in his office, or the office was a shared equity. We built a sort of production village. So I got along. He said, He's even one of those world around chairs in the back chairs by the desk. And I said you wanted to see me say? He said yes, yes. He said, You know, he said, I would like to have a car with a friend liseberg on this picture. sighs Yeah, that's great. I think that's what you need on pictures, because that's important. He said, but I can't if you're rude to me, can I? I said rude to you? He said, Yes. I said, if I've been rude to notice I said a rude word here. He said today up the ladder there up this crane there. You are most sarcastic and rude. I said I wasn't being rude. I was being helpful. I said, if I sounded rude, I I'm sure it was in your mind. I said I wasn't being rude. I said I was only trying to save you time to stop pushing backwards and forwards with a crane. He said yes. He said of course. I've heard about you operators in England. He said you've got an over estimated estimation of your importance. And he said I like to work in the Hollywood star. I survive. Okay. Well, I said I've worked with a lot of American directors and American cameraman I walk at work in the Hollywood style. I said, you told me what to do where to put the camera and where to find it. I could find him well. I said, I'll get my master. He said Well, no, I didn't really mean that. He said I would like and this is the problem I had you say and I mean, this is again. I mean going back to relationships, do it on the fly. It's so it's so difficult, isn't it?
John Taylor 0:02
As of this recording is invested in the actt history project. Interviewing deadly level camera man, the interviewer is john Taylor has many years for recording. Okay.
Well, Robert, let's just do briefly and kind of shorthand the main stages of your working life. Right. Well, I left just as a resume a to start off again in a job.
Dudley Lovell 0:32
Okay, well, I left school about 70 and went into insurance at the instigation of my family because they thought that was a good job, couldn't stand it, they're managed to hear about job, I
John Taylor 0:42
don't need to go into detail. Just just I think just the bald fact
Dudley Lovell 0:46
of knowing I saw her go more British and 3233. And work there in the loading room, became an assistant. did a little bit of camera
John Taylor 0:56
operating, not the details you I think just you know, I was at go mount as from 1994 graduate
Dudley Lovell 1:06
until the war came in 39. Then I went to the territory of the army was radar, came out in 44, involuted. Out went to this LinkedIn, gaze with studios, that is LinkedIn.
John Taylor 1:22
And this was permanent work.
Dudley Lovell 1:23
Yes, I was at the studio the whole time. I'm engaged, not contracted but weekly salary. And I worked there is LinkedIn closed in 47. And then I think Jeffers was close to 48. After 48, I went on down to Pinewood take in my rent contract worked it out on the first my picture down there, the garden salamander. After that, I became freelance
John Taylor 1:50
as an operator, as an operator.
Dudley Lovell 1:53
Yes, I was an operating. I started operating in about 1945, I would say, just a year after coming out the army. And I operated right the way through until occasionally got second unit jobs. right the way through
John Taylor 2:10
the second unit Jobs was second unit director and second s
Dudley Lovell 2:14
director and photographing until around freelancing, freelancing still a time one time I did go to pi and word under contract to Peter Rogers, for the carry on type of brick journal. That was a nice period. I was there for two years. And after that, I went freelancing again. And I've been freelancing ever since.
John Taylor 2:39
And partly partly on features, but also on freelance when you worked as a freelance you worked on on documentaries and advertising films as well.
Dudley Lovell 2:51
That's right. In 1968, I did a whole year of advertising commercials. I couldn't stand the solos dialogue. And so I went back to features. And then I stayed in fridges until 1977 and 77, I photographed my first documentary from 77 to 87, which was my last job. I did documentaries worked as a TV lighting director, and also photographs second units on fairly major pictures such as wild geese, and Ellis Island.
John Taylor 3:27
And there was a period you were tangley a word during that time.
Dudley Lovell 3:30
That was only free lounge. Yes, I went up there for days on end or weeks, maybe three weeks, I think. The longest period I was at Anglia, most of the time doing run of the mill jobs such as news and interviews, and occasional sort of insert for the for the news programmes.
John Taylor 3:51
And that was on film
Dudley Lovell 3:51
was it on tape on tape? And it was a new word entirely for me. I thoroughly enjoyed it. And
John Taylor 3:59
great Well, shall we? I think if we went back to your work on fee on features as an operator to start with, yes, yes, you do. I mean, you did it, you didn't have an immense number of features as an operator or a very large number of which particular ones stand out in your mind.
Dudley Lovell 4:22
I suppose the most interesting one I ever worked on was men, a magnificent men and f9 machines with Ken and again, that was I mean, his history coming to life. And it is also a matter of achievement to see these pilots who were used to sort of landing on tarmac with modern aeroplanes having to go back to learn again to fly these new air, these old aeroplanes taking off on grass and landing on grass. We had first of all, we had technical advice, I mean a wheeler and we found that if the wind was more than seven, five If not, no plane could take off at the start. But after modifications we were sort of taken off and the the Wright brothers plane, fly the fly out of the box guide that type plane. It used to take off and just got straight up in the air because the wind was so strong and then come down again, without even moving along the ground. And when you see when you see that sort of thing happening, I mean, it really was sort of triumph over over sort of what elements and styles of flying.
John Taylor 5:32
Did you do? Did you do material photography on it?
Dudley Lovell 5:35
Yes, I did. In fact, that's really where I started. I we flew Apollo eight and I know I didn't do air to ask each Kelly did the air to air. I did air to ground wherever we had sort of the principles involved. And there's a I think Fred Amnon Sicily could is a shot there, where they have an aeroplane pass over them their motorcar I did the eyeline shots of that and also the general sort of shots of them as the plane flies away.
John Taylor 6:12
What are the features stick out in your memory? Just run through a few of them the titles Well,
Dudley Lovell 6:21
John Taylor 6:23
from that list you can it's pretty impressive list
Dudley Lovell 6:27
as I mentioned Kremlin letter that was with john Houston Battle of Britain because that was a that was fantastic again, although it didn't end up a very exciting picture. It still was fantastic to see the history being reproduced battle the boat that was another war picture. Everything that very authentic there we went to Spain where we still found Tiger tanks and, and the American tank. Zulu Zulu, I said was not happy picture. But I really was a very exciting way to to, for Brazil, the penguins. That one stands out in my mind, because that, again was an unhappy picture because we had to go to the Antarctic and stay there for Christmas and the new year. But at the same time,
John Taylor 7:17
where did you say in the Antarctic? Didn't have any hotels?
Dudley Lovell 7:22
No, we were in a hot about 12 1314 of the unit. I was hot. It was a hot used by the geological survey people. We went there and a place called hope base. I think it's now called s brands. Because recently just at that time, the Arctic had been reallocated, re divided and what had been British and Arctic now was Argentinian and Arctic. And we went into entered Argentinean territory. With the idea that the Argentine's were going Argentinian to are going to middle us and help us with various things like snowcats not very much of this help or assistance actually materialised. And so it was a pretty tough location. Tough with the weather has been tough with the work and tough was the fact that we were pretty loose short off of food,
John Taylor 8:24
which had to do special clothing and so on.
Dudley Lovell 8:28
There again, we're, we're promised special clothing. We supposed to buy it at at in Buenos Aires. That didn't materialise and we went down south right the way down Argentina until we came to use wire which is the southernmost tip of the of South America. And there we were told we were going to get some clothing we never got there. But one day we were caught aboard this transport Argentinian transport vessel went down into the hole. We had bundles of clothing thrown at us, which was it's good it was on the issue Argentinian army issue or Navy issue. It was made in good good material and line. The only trouble was when I put my trousers on the waist went three times around my waist. And my jacket when I put the jacket on my sleeves, were up to my elbows, the end of my sleeves, go to the elbows and actually I went back to where I drawn it and I told the man in my halting Spanish that it was a little bit out of sight for me and he said I'm afraid that's all I've got and that's what I have for the rest of the location. So every morning as I dressed when the entire day when we got to the base, I had to widen my trousers around my waist and put them in position with a lot of sash. The jacket I put underneath and then put I had brought my own jacket naturally because I have always been a little sceptical of the fact we were going to be outfitted by the production same company. And that didn't help the start of the day.
John Taylor 10:05
A new shorter food as well is
Dudley Lovell 10:08
that right because of the we didn't get very well retold from the Argentinians. And at one time, we weren't going into the cold store, which was a good coal star because the temperature was around about minus 20. And we would get food which had state date stamps on it. Beans and spaghetti and sauce and we'd open it and dip it out. It didn't resemble beans or spaghetti, any lumber but we added and it did us no harm, it kept us alive. Another nice little thing was that we had at were allowed each of us were allowed to shower every 1012 days, I think it was and this shower was a gallon, petrol 10 inverted was a tap tap pointed down with a bottom cutout so you could fill it with water we're allowed this one can have water to shower. So you had to be sure that you hadn't used too much. Otherwise, you're left with the soap idea and the only alternative was to go out and use the sorrows now, as with the snow, get the get the soap off you having having shad in this cramped condition, we now had to go outside the hot cut blocks of snow to put into the melting can pan so the water would we'd use would be replaced.
John Taylor 11:29
How did the unit cope with this? I mean, were they happy or?
Dudley Lovell 11:34
Well, I must admit there was a tie up with an Argentinian brewery. And if we hadn't bought food with us, we'd bought lots and lots of Argentinian gin, Argentinian whiskey, Argentinian vodka, and lots of fruit juice. So the wilds a certain amount of sustenance in the way of liquor. And that did help pass some of the worst times. But most of most of the people seem to be quite happy. I we had games with us we had also bought a 16 mil projector. One of the pictures was Cliff Richards in cyber holiday and then those Carry on, carry on something or other. But I must say then we played Monopoly. But I was a little bit on the reclusive side I used to having got a good book, which I bought with me. I used to take a tumbler whiskey to burn. Also take a few vejen and when I finished reading, I used to have the double whiskey and the Virgin and go to sleep for the night, which was a very good word lemon because I woke up early before anybody else. And I was always into the ablutions earlier to
John Taylor 12:54
work opposite light with the work. I mean working outdoors in that it's kind of temperatures. I mean,
Dudley Lovell 12:59
I actually wasn't there because it was a summer the Antarctic and during the day the sun did I was quite pleasantly rather like Switzerland. And so far as the sun got up and in the morning because the Argentinians didn't provide the snowcats that they said they would the we had to pull our equipment across the snow which was fine because in the morning over overnight they've been very cold and the snow was hard so we're out of tragedy land and we got on stage this was on a long sled Yes. So you that you have addressed out ready for the cold and you fully equipped pulley equipment for about four or five miles till we go to our location which the top of a little mountain where the penguins were making their necks in the rocks. This was fine and we worked through the day and it was pleasant and even sometimes they went when the weather was good. We almost didn't shirtsleeves, then towards the evening we'd start back again. But now the snow which we which were in the morning had been Chris had now where the heat of the day had got very treacherous. We had no snowshoes. So quite often as we're pulling our sleds along, we'd suddenly disappear up to your chest in in slushy snow, which is sort of, you know, added to the excitement of going there. There was some Huskers being bought but for some reason the Huskers were going to be in the picture. They were never allowed to help us pull the sled. I think we did have one technical advisor who was an Outward Bound teacher, and we began to get the feeling that we were on an Outward Bound course so we're really being toughened up as update. Because no way did we have any assistance which was sort of like a dog or snow cat or even a good sled they were really heavy sleds and we used to arrived back having absolutely exhausted, which was good because I mean, you haven't got anything to do. So as soon as you had something to eat or found something to eat, we used to sort of
John Taylor 15:08
who did the cooking. I mean,
Dudley Lovell 15:10
while we did have an Argentine cook, he didn't cook very well. In fact, he we had bought a frozen turkey with a Christmas and the frozen turkey with he put him without unfreezing it. So when we got down our plates, it was like a plastic Turkey. And to break it up, you had to hit it with a hammer. And you use ended out with a leg or a piece of breast on your, on your plate, which is as hard as as plaster. And what I still remember one of the unit hitting it hard and swearing forcefully about the the producer, the biggest producer who of course, was at home in England, this was on Christmas Day. Not a little episode we had was that way before Christmas around about December, I would say December the 12th. The last letters we've written had been thrown use wire. So we hadn't written any letters for two or three weeks. And there was no way to get in touch with our loved ones at home. But we were told suddenly that there was going to be a little play in putting down on this now. And it would take our letters and return them and would take them up to the mainland and we would be able to send a message to our loved ones back in England. So all very sentimental, we rushed into the hearts wrote our letters, made up, put them in our beds made up a pass on handed them to the pilot of that little plane and off when the plane took off on it skis on snow and went off into the blue and we all waved to it. And tears came into our eyes as we thought of the messages going to our people in England. Well, we never thought any more of that. And we passed Christmas in the new world what new year went by. And then the producer said, because we hadn't seen any eggs or anything like that for an awful long while. And the producer said I heard on the radio xR telegraph that there is a ship not coming in here but putting our paths in the point at about two or three miles away. And he said I've told them that we're very short of film. Now this wasn't true, because we had masses of film, we bought lots and lots of them. But he said, I've told them that were shorter films. So thing wouldn't be sound to sort of airy. And he said at the same time as ordering another 50,000 feet of film I've asked her to but a great alto of exit. So he said when we get the when we see the ship, we should hear the helicopter and get the eggs and film. So I know when we saw this ship passing it a tiny speck on the horizon. And lo and behold, quarter of an hour later, we heard the beat of the helicopter and the helicopter came towards the heart. And we all rushed towards it waiting for the helicopter land. And as soon as the guide landed, and the blades were coming down a little bit, we're all rushed in and looked in the back of the hole. We saw the film. And we said what about the eggs? He said no, that the age was so heavy. I couldn't bring the film was so heavy that I couldn't bring the eggs. So we said well, couldn't you go back and get some eggs? He said no, the ship is continuing on his course. And if I went back to the ship, and then had to come back here again with some eggs, he said I wouldn't make the journey. So we had 15,000 feet of film, which we did need over the top of all the film we already had that this pilot said don't why is that I've got a surprise for you. So we did what ended so he said, I've got a bundle of mail for you from England. Ah, we said terrific. So the guy goes into his case pulls out this parcel. And they start his roll call and in the army you know love or scope somebody else and we're catching these ladders. I took a look at mine. And it didn't. It signified right away when they I knew that Ted. Ted gave he took his into the heart ready to enjoy it in the kitchen in the quietness of his little Ron little bed rather. And he opened it and next day I owed him I heard him screaming he was actually out of his mind with rage. He came tearing out and he was trying to get at the producer and the so cross by knew what had happened. Because I looked at my letter and it was the letter I had written and given to this pilot to take back to England. Somehow there's mail had got back to the mainland had stayed on the mainland and be given to this helicopter all the ship and nobody does. So that was the sort of organisation we had on that location.
John Taylor 19:46
What What was the composition of the unit? I mean, did you have sound and
Dudley Lovell 19:51
everything coming from a major studio. The Works Committee hasn't had insisted that we take a map From each department, so we had a carpenter, who had no word and we had no word fun. We had a painter who had no paint and nothing the paint. We had an electrician who had to sand guns. And, and I had a grip as well who know, then we had two cameras. So the composition was really that we had to produce the weather's where they had tried to get a continuity girl Come with us, but that was very impractical living in one, one room. And so we brought a tape recorder, we had an assistant director, we had a lightened caravan test gave myself, we had two cameras, we had camera mechanic who doubled as a camera assistant, was hired feldhaus, who was very good guy from aeroflex. And we had two cameras, we had a Mitchell effects. And as I say, we had the electrician, we had the director and the producer, and the technical advisor, who I probably was very good, but he didn't seem to contribute very much except to instead of bringing a portable shower attachment, he insisted on having this petrochem turned upside down, which was very Boy Scout Titian, I do adventures.
John Taylor 21:26
I mean, we're in working as you did it. But even with the long periods away from home, it must have made life very difficult did it or not?
Dudley Lovell 21:35
Well, it did, I had to turn down notifications, because I think it's one of those things that everybody in the film business has had the problem with, that you do disrupt your social life and your marital life is completely disrupted. And whereas when I went to the civilised places, our locations such as Vietnam, Madrid, Rome, Berlin. Anywhere else like that, I was able to take my family and my wife and my children. And so the continuity of and this, I would like to point out that the Americans, American production companies seem to appreciate this much more than the English Canada, the American companies used to move us into a major hotel when we went on vacation, and then they would cold, call us to a meeting and say that we could either stay at the hotel and have our bills paid, or have the amount that it cost to live in this hotel, and make our own arrangements for accommodation. And all they wanted to see was asked to be there at the time of the call in the morning. So consequently, with this amount of money, which the main unit probably was staying in a Hilton, so that was quite a lot of money. And so with that allowance, I was able to find a smaller, smaller hotel and move the wife and my family and which was a much better idea. Then the English production manager occasionally I think once in Paris, I was able to sort of make the arrangement with him. But usually they didn't want to know about it. And quite rightly, because quite often a lot of the English unit, especially among the people who hadn't been abroad so often, they were completely lost if you just left them adrift in a strange town in your own town with just the amount need to live. So you can understand that quite a lot of English but don't producers and English crews English. Wellman didn't really want to have that arrangement. But no, it was disruptive. And except for the times when I went to the desert or the jungle or the Antarctic. I mean, I used to take my family with me
John Taylor 23:56
was about some of the other strange locations night the jungle you just mentioned. What were you doing there?
Dudley Lovell 24:03
Well, that was that was way back in 58. We were sort of doing this. Nola moon by night that was worth cut out again. And we went to I don't know. Well, I've mentioned this one before we went to South Africa, when we were only supposed to be there from October to I think the beginning of December. But as so many things went wrong with the victor. The lady lady fell in love with the prince in Italy and tried to sort of take an overdose of drugs. And then we had a leading man who had an automobile accident and had a concussion and a fractured skull. That the location went on from November to notch. Where was the luggage was in South Africa. And we're in the tall in the valley of the 1000 Hills. And we live in a jungle there, though. In fact, we made up The use of the downloads of our, the bungalow in which we're working in the, in the valley of Halton Hills, we had a monkeys and all sorts of wild animals, which sort of more or less in, in captivity, I suppose. But once they were sort of allowed in, we penned them in and they were able to work within an area of the jungle on the house.
John Taylor 25:25
I mean, were you living in hotels?
Dudley Lovell 25:27
Oh, yes. No, that was fine. We were living in a hotel called the Cato Ridge hotel. I don't know if it's still there. It was about 30 miles from Durban. And about 20 miles from Peter Maris, permanent,
John Taylor 25:41
long location. Note that it must be it must strain everyone's nerves and so on, does it well,
Dudley Lovell 25:47
yes. Because when, when it was appreciated that we're going to be long lived there a long while. The company very, very thoughtfully decided to move from this Cato Ridge hotel, which is a small hotel isolated with nothing around it at all. And the unit was given the choice of either going to Durban and living and coming to location each day from Durban, or go to Pietermaritzburg, which was 20 miles away. And I opted to go to Pietermaritzburg, because it was a little Sleepy Hollow, a nice, rather London provincial town, it was, I stayed in Pietermaritzburg, and formed a lot of friends around there. And quite a lot of unit were did do Durban with the bright lights, and obviously more to do with evenings, didn't pass the time.
John Taylor 26:39
That what about any other rough locations like the Antarctic grand
Dudley Lovell 26:44
mal, I did do the secondary I photographed and directed the second unit of a picture of God Call of the Wild. This one was the one with Charlton Heston. And we made that in Norway, and I went out with the dogs, the dog sleds, to do the run from the Alaska coast to the goldfields, which was really part of the picture. That was very exciting. Very interesting, really, although we worked under conditions, which were really blizzard conditions. These were the conditions we really wanted. And so, as a second unit, working entirely, I worked entirely with the Norwegians. And there were only about five or six of us all now unique Besides, although we had the dog handlers with us as well. And that that I found was very satisfying. Very interesting. I learned a lot about dogs, I learned about sledding. That was good, too. They are at another location, which was a pretty tough location to start with, as well as Battle of the road. We went up into the mountains about Segovia. And there we had almost the same sort of conditions, which existed in Belgium when the actual breakthrough in the Battle of the Bulge occurred when the German Briggs good. It's no nice snow and ice and an evil fog, instead of with the snow in it. I mean, it was very exciting. We actually had Tiger tags, we had about 120 tags all together tigers and Sherman's. And I remember once when the Tigers were supposed to be coming at us, across the ridge in the in the in the forests out of the forest. The snow and the fog was so thick that all you could hear the engines coming towards you. And it was a very exciting situation. I mean, a little frightening because you weren't quite sure where they're going to come because gamma positions were static and waiting for them to come through the through the snow. But they're over though was such good conditions. But unfortunately, we ran into a little bit different shedule got behind a little bit. And we had artists problems. So the art we had to get down to Madrid. And so although maybe three quarters of the location work had been done under ideal conditions, the actual tank battle itself, where the Sherman's engaged the Tigers had ridden on the tank training ground down in, in Madrid at a temperature of like 102 and the sky is blue, so that we had to keep the cameras up in the air so we couldn't see the blues. And we had to paint the the the fields wide to simulate snow, which was rather unfortunate. In fact, I mean, everybody I think, would have preferred to have stayed up in the bad condition rather than to work under these bad conditions down on the training ground.
John Taylor 29:52
It's often struck me you know that they're there. feature work can be quite dangerous.
Dudley Lovell 29:59
Oh yeah. Yes. Well, one of the one I used to like working from helicopter, I worked on a picture we did biggest budget a little more, which was done in Italy. did a lot of helicopter work on there, even flew down, I did an opening shot, which we were down in the crater of the Vesuvius, okay, right out of pursuers. So we could see the Bay of Naples, and then pan around the Bay of Naples. But that wasn't dangerous. Although we were, I had faith in the pilot shoberg shoma. And we were using another word, helicopter, which had plenty of power, the only times I felt toward danger, the danger when we work in helicopters, when we're working with a helicopter, a machine which was underpowered, such as the, the, we did some work on better the boat when we started. And we started to use a bell, small helicopter. Now we were using 30, the large tide eo cameras, the large film so the wait was terrific for the camera with the with the cameras already without the people. And we didn't have the manoeuvrability. And although we didn't have any problems that time, actually when I took over the aerial photography, I actually bought in at alouette was your bear shamar. But then I'd had to draw when I was on Kremlin netta to photograph New York together, atmosphere of New York, and then move on to Chicago, then to do the same there and to go on to San Francisco. I do the same there, then go down to Acapulco, and do the same there and then finish up in Los Angeles and do the same there. They again had the Bell Helicopter, I don't know where they're just my bad thinking that made the trouble that we did the I've mapped out the shots I wanted to do. Then the pilot said, I'm afraid we have to change machines because this last guy to go back to the base, and I had this new machine or we got up 30 to 40 feet off the helipad in New York, and the tail rotor went and we span down to the ground. Luckily instead of in not into the water, but onto the concrete had a port bounced on the pontoon for sure. We had pontoons instead of skid, thank goodness because otherwise, my legs were hanging over I'd have had received the shock on the leg. And we bounced on the pontoon went over on the side. And the blades of the helicopter still went on turning. I was frantically trying to find my safety belt release. But by now I was hanging from the safety belt. But I knew that the blades of the helicopter were greatly turning and edging hours towards the dark side with the drop into the into the river there. Also, I kept my head until I was pretty blinded by blood but luckily the pilot mode to turn out and turn the engine off. And so that stopped. But that was dangerous. But then that was no more dangerous than taking a flight on a helicopter.
John Taylor 33:19
But your notes telling me that feature directors and producers will take risks with with things on features which shouldn't be taken either through ignorance or I mean if you come into any of those situation well
Dudley Lovell 33:33
cam reminded me one yesterday when we're in South Africa, we hadn't got a proper stamp I am with us. And the scene is where Patrick McGoohan is driving a jeep and a snake falls on the seat beside him off the tree. And he now he tried to steer with a snake go to attack him and he turns the Jeep over. So we wanted a shot of a Jeep, an open Jeep without a Robles with no superstructure at all turning over, which is pretty suicidal for anybody to do. They'd got a local stock car driver to double for Patrick McGoohan. And the way we were going to do it was to dig a trench. So as we as he comes down the felt towards us, heads towards this not trench, it's a bank to a trench. And as the wall goes up onto the trench, so the theory was that it would turn the Jeep over and as the Jeep turned over, so this man would throw himself clear. Now this was not a stump they're not a train stop, man. All he was was a stop car driver. Well, we did. We actually did 10 takes each time as he came down. As he got to the point where his wheel went up on the bank. He lost his nerve and accelerated out. Now there was two cameras in front Then I was off on a random trice who came into my restroom and hit the restroom. And as the cameras all chained down, not the rostrum over I, myself and my assistant jumped to one side. Three times, there was another camera, Harry Waxman had a camera in the grass sort of low angle shooting three times, I had to pull him out of the way by his ankles. On the 10th time, the 11th time I had lost my cool and I also lost my nerve a little bit. And I'm very proud. And I said, No more, I do not shoot on this shot anymore. Because this guy is either going to kill himself, and I want no part of that. He's going to kill one of us. And I wasn't hurt by that either. And so that was natural. Natural Kane was a bit upset because he wanted the shot to be, dude, I took that we've got the, we've got the Jeep, on the way over. I said, without, you know, we do a shot now with it pushed over and you've got the cut, but we worked it out. Anyway, a lady came up to me as we were lining up for the next shot lady come up to me and said, I just like to thank you very much. Thank you, who used as she said, I am that man who was driving the jeep. I'm his wife. She said, and I will show you is going to kill himself. And he hasn't slept for a week since he took the job on. And she said he, he's terribly nervous. And thank you for saving his life. And while this was I mean, that was ridiculous. I mean, it was an unskilled man, taking unnecessary risks, and putting his own life in danger. And I think that's crazy. I mean, no picture is worth the life of a person or an animal as far as I'm concerned. Right? But
John Taylor 36:44
what are what are the what are the key occasions of your garden like that, you know, in which people put people at risk of just for the sake of a shot?
Dudley Lovell 36:55
Well, it does happen, you know, I'm in those. I battle the bows, I had a tank driver and I was supposed to be in the middle of the middle of the road, this tank driver was a Sherman so they go pretty fast turret shotguns, I'm gonna go 30 to 35 miles now. And he was going to come straight down to stop a six foot in front of the camera, or that was the idea. And he came down the road towards me and I had I everybody else had gone this is one thing that happens to you find the camera and are left entirely on their own. For the first time in a picture. When this happens when there's any danger at all, everybody disappears. And so
John Taylor 37:40
whatever the focus bullet doesn't have to stay there too.
Dudley Lovell 37:43
Because this was an exterior shot and we'd sort of stopped the lens down and I you know, and he'd gone. Occasionally they do well, I can tell you two or three cases where the focus billows there, but this time this guy was coming straight at me and this he was a he was a Spaniard. And they'd explain what they wanted him to do. And I'm always very sceptical because obviously, they some people feel when they're being told in their own language don't quite know what to do. And having been told and another language anyway, came down this road. And he did stop. But by that time I'd gone I just gone straight off, I took a dive the horizontal dive into the ditch, and he did stop two feet from the camera. It was fantastic. One of those lucky things because I was he was coming. And I when my camera which was my head, which had to handle head was tough, heavy. So when I left it, he'd got to about I suppose 12 feet away, but that's when I left. And the camera panned down slowly to the screeching tracks as I came down and it took a beautiful shot of the tracks coming down into the into into camera. But there was another time the same sort of thing. Are the picture caught across the bridge with rods diagram we were supposed to be in this Rod Steiger and now the man in the in this van they're trying to get him across the bridge into American territory so they can prosecute it. And he's frightened the wheel and they are again this. We were on the side of the bridge. It was a night shot. And this truck they have whenever production companies hire trucks, I think for us they always goes cheapest they can because quite often they know the truck is going to be sort of demolished at the end of it. As this truck started across the bridge towards the camera and my assistant was with me then there was nobody else with me. Everybody else had gone. And I could see he was making much too much speed and also he really hadn't started turning in time to finish up just in front of camera which was the idea. So I said to the assistant, I said you better go because He'd sort of hidden under the camera so that he wouldn't be sort of in the way so he went and the truck came on. And the okay I didn't have a handle ahead I had a pan by head. And he, I sidestep to the left. And he took the camera and I was left holding the hand bar or power bar in my right hand word attracted away from the head on the camera, and he went on and crashed into the side into the, into the side of the bridge. David Knight, it was driving.
John Taylor 40:37
The camera was right off.
Dudley Lovell 40:39
The camera was back to your right arm. He got out because he knew he'd hit something that he was shaking and why he thought he'd killed us. Others he was overjoyed when he found he didn't the cameras are right off and the head was right on
John Taylor 40:53
if you'd have been looking through he would have been right off to I would have been right
Dudley Lovell 40:56
off but I mean also I mean whatever you're doing shots I think any camera, any camera, that camera operator has a look over the top and sort of makes these allowances before it gets too bad. I mean, I have heard camera operators cameraman say they would if they were going to die they want to die during a shot, which I think is a little bit far fetched diamond skeets Kelly who actually did get killed during a shot. He actually said this to me. I don't know whether he meant it or not. But that is to my mind going a little far. We've had I've had other things like the unused when you're dealing with experienced stuntman. I never have quite so much fear as if I'm dealing with the artists or some some person who would say he would do it that the accidents usually happen with with inexperienced with inexperienced drivers inexperienced and manual. Another time on dead track. I was doing a picture with Louise Gilbert. And there's a crash and one of the dirt bike riders that he's in the he's on the on the floor on the ground in the dirt in the cinders and another dirt rider comes along and goes over his head. Now the we had no stump and now but the dirt track ride. I said yes, he could do this. And he come over the head man's head. So we put a dummy head down. I had the camera behind, just behind the head so I could see the head and I could see the dirt track ride coming towards the head. And in those days, I was very, very stupid. And I stayed because this man said yes, he could do it and the business could completely Well, he did it and he missed me. But he actually hit when you hit their head he went out completely out of control. He missed me by about I would think about six inches, went into the wire fence on the side and broke his leg and his arm. And this was another case of a man saying yes, I can do it. And this has happened before there was a continuity girl was very badly injured once just because somebody said yes, I can do it all the dirt are even sometimes when the if the director is stupid enough, sometimes the stunt man says no, we can't do it like that. And the director gets a little annoyed and say I can't I'm sure we can do it like this. And somebody says yes, I can do it. Somebody some driver run the motor pool says yes, I do it and that's where you have trouble.
John Taylor 0:05
To get to get back on the problems of long locations and separation from your families, a lot must depend on the trust your wife places in you, and so on. And what are the qualities of your wife as well? Because there have been lots of divorces. And yes,
Dudley Lovell 0:24
yes, I've, whenever possible, I've taken my wife and with me and ebru go to continent, if we go to France, or somewhere pretty close and pretty sort of easy to arrive at with a family, we can do that. But if we go to a place like the Antarctic, for instance, or the we go to the, to Norway, or we go to the jungle or the desert, and then it really is not possible to take the family with you, because the the situation there would be sort of, not very nice for them. When, when we go to when we go to we've been to, for instance, we go to Vienna, I go to Paris, we go to Rome, we go to Madrid, those times I've always taken my family, my wife, and my, even my daughter, and sometimes my son,
John Taylor 1:30
they were long locations, but they were long locations, in which that was impossible. And this must put a strain on any marriage definitely
Dudley Lovell 1:38
does. And I mean, it's also all always think as a chore sort of leading a life full of full of fancy and people living with people drinking, and this sort of thing, which is not always the case, because for instance, if I, when I first went to Madrid, I used to leave, leave the hotel about six o'clock in the morning and get back at nine o'clock in the evening. Now, there would be no point and family coming with me. Because first of all, they would want to load want to sort of be with me, in the evenings. And I, on the other hand, if I then had to get up early in the morning, and if I had to sort of be late in the evenings, I wanted to go straight to bed. So I mean, there was no point in having the family with you, under those circumstances.
John Taylor 2:31
But I think you must have been fairly exceptional in always taking your family when you could, you know, not everyone did this?
Dudley Lovell 2:38
No, they did. Now quite often, I was sort of the only one with a family there.
John Taylor 2:44
But in a lot of people's marriages who didn't do that didn't survive. No. Where's Sue Do you I mean, your your state and very successfully? Well,
Dudley Lovell 2:56
I also think my my wife is very understanding and very kind to sort of understand that. Except for maybe once or twice when she sort of doubted that I had sort of had been behaving myself. Most of the time she she appreciated the diverse. I was working
John Taylor 3:15
all the time. And he knows a lot depended on the wife didn't really I mean, that being, you know, sensible and trusting. And
Dudley Lovell 3:28
obviously, when I went when I went I'm talking about that the short time of going to the Antarctic, I mean, obviously you can't take full family, whether you're anywhere near with you. But when we were in, in the in the continent on France or or any other places like that we were able to take the family and also take the child or whoever was able to not leave school.
John Taylor 3:58
You took children as
Dudley Lovell 4:00
young. Yeah, so one time I had to I had my eyes remember that when we did a picture in Paris. That was with Alec Guinness. And I had my, my eldest daughter and my son was there. And after we'd finished one day with Alec Guinness, and we were having lunch, and they my wife and the two children had come to meet me in Paris somewhere. alligators came over to us to our table and said, Would it be possible if I could have the two children this afternoon? I said, Well, what do you want to do with him? So he said, Well, I just want to take them out to eat because I missed my family. And I'd love to sort of have just the two children with me and I'll take them out. But I still I believed that they were sort of doing some sort of publicity Down to No. So they're going to take pictures, I think. Anyway, I said no, they'd love to come, I'm sure. And I think my daughter, my eldest daughter was about 12. And my son was about six. So anyway, we went on, we went on to work and Eric goodness, he, he had the children, he took the Jordan and they went off. And next in the evening, when I finally met them, I said, What happened? Did you have a nice time? And she said, they said, Yes, I've been it's been marvellous, he said, we went up the Eiffel Tower, we went up the top of the Eiffel Tower, they miss Mr. Guinness took us all the way there. And then he said, he took us on the horse and carton took us over all over the place all over Paris. He said, Absolutely fantastic. And I think both of the children had sort of had, you know, I really couldn't believe they were with Alec all the time.
John Taylor 5:58
He sound quite an exceptional man.
Dudley Lovell 6:00
I was wonderful. I had to putter two pictures with him, I did that. And I also did. I can't remember the other now I did two pictures with Alec Guinness. And he was so so. So good as an actor, so and so at the same time. So, so easy to talk to too easy to understand. He was very good. But the family as I say, most of the time, though, they were able to enjoy themselves in Spain, in Italy, in in Vienna, and in Paris, and
John Taylor 6:43
any of any other people who have come across like Guinness in you know, who were a pleasure to work with.
Dudley Lovell 6:53
Can I stop for a second? Okay. Okay. Now, the the person that that was the other picture that we worked with Eric girth. And that was that was quite fantastic. And let's say it was not a very successful picture.
John Taylor 7:13
Where was it in, in this country?
Dudley Lovell 7:16
Oh, yes. All all in all in this picture, we did do some work in, in Belgium. And good stuff again, sorry.
John Taylor 7:30
What? What about the financial side of it? I mean, it must have been very tricky, you know, being out to work in work after work. I mean, did you survive financially with these or not?
Dudley Lovell 7:44
And, yes, I just about gotten by. I never really made an awful lot of money, because for a little while, I used to make the money and then sort of it would got spent and so we never really took money completely, until it was towards the end that when I really made more money in the 60s and the 70s. But before that I was just about sort of just about getting enough money to exist and keeping long enough to keep having enough to just about get back goodbye. But from the 60s and 70s, I started to sort of get money on and then came a time when the 70s came after the 70s which I I was doing for the beginning of the center's overdue fine I was doing quite well others suddenly we I got no work at all. My wife now by now had got tired of me working to do pick doing pictures and going away going to new places. So I made up my mind that I was going to try and do some work which would sort of keep me at home. So I took I took a sharp I took a sweetshop again. And it was the biggest mistake I've ever made in my life. I took this in about 1972 I think it would be 1972. And instead of one time I had I had the other sheet of paper which goes on to say that I could make a picture which was going to be a picture in France. But I decided that I do this picture. Do this, do the shop and not do the ship picture. So I took we moved in and sold the house. But I took a shot in on the road just outside. Where was it? Just outside more than I think it was For two years, I tried to I tried to keep make the shop, pay. I've had a lot of trouble I did one I've done one picture, which was was a semi sort of pornographic pornographic breakdown. And then I also did a picture later on to I went to Malaya, Malaysia, to do a picture there, which was connected Victor. Meantime, I had another man who was supposed to be supposed to be type of person who knew how to run the shop. I didn't run the shop. And when I came back, I found that he was spending the money right and less I was already deep in, in, in debt.
John Taylor 10:56
We all been faced with this problem. And we have had finding an alternative way of living or nextra way. I think everyone. I mean, it really was a tough business really, as far as money was concerned that you were uncertain whether you, you said you had a period when no work came in. And I think everyone had this album to everyone periodically, is,
Dudley Lovell 11:19
when I did this shop I was going to do and the shopper you know that this news, news agent and sweet shop, I thought then I was going to run it for a little while and then hire somebody to look after while I went off and did the work again. But it's I suddenly found that it was much more difficult. I chose a wrong time. It was a time when, when, when it was bad time for trade everywhere. Everything was disappearing. And so I was suddenly I was really sort of losing money all the time, all the time in the shop that I was sort of working in, I was working from morning, I was working out the shuffling the papers, so that I can sort of sell them and send them out to the boys. And I'd work until eight o'clock each night. And that went on for seven days a week. And I think I lost about two stones in weight. And that went on for two years. Suddenly, I managed to find somebody I sold the shop for much less than I paid for it. And I eventually got out. I then found that I owed about 12,000 pounds to people to everybody because I kept my my shop my why why for when I went back to live in the main house where we had started. And so for a year, I was looking for some way to work I actually I actually went out to work at the night, the night, what do we call it, I can't see what to call it. I got to stop again. I'm sorry.
John Taylor 13:02
Doesn't matter about the tape over the tapes.
Dudley Lovell 13:07
I lost I really hadn't got 12,000 pounds down the shop my the bank was going to sell my house. And I did this I did this London sort of houses where I could sort of find somewhere to make some money, just the math, I've made 70 pounds a week. So I managed to just give a little bit of money to the money I owed to people all around various people who are supplying me with things like sweets, papers, writing material and all stuff. I had to pay off all that. And eventually Suddenly, a picture came to me a picture came from it was called low wages, wages of fear. And suddenly I want to make a picture. First of all in, in, in Paris, then I went to Israel. And then I went to America. And then I went to the West Indies. And that lasted for nine months. And in nine months. I made enough money to spend off all the money that I owed to all the people that I owed and in the suppliers from the from from those
John Taylor 14:33
people don't realise what a chancy business it was though Do they know i mean you tend to forget the bad times but the there were a lot of times in which was you know you never knew where it was going to get where job was going to come from next. Did you did you?
Dudley Lovell 14:48
Yes. I was just stupid as he really I mean to have done all these silly things. I mean I could have kept on I'm sure I could because I did two pictures while I owned the owned the owns the shop. And I own two pictures, which were enough to have kept me alive for the week. But I had this terrible thing as I'm making this, making this, this house of providing this house of providing all the things that at home and the house that I lived all by myself, and it was just leaved Deaf me absolutely sort of believing that it was impossible to sort of carry on, you know, so I just, I had this chance from this one picture, which was an American fell, my name is American money, and I was able to spend money to sort of plough. plough the money. Terrible and sorry. Yeah, it was terrible. It was really was a terrible time. I went for two years of it, when I it's a terrible situation where I had money going down and down the money. I was owed more and more money all the time. That was Charles is still tired of making a making pictures. I'm doing a picture here doing a picture there. But I had to stay at home, stay home working. And making all the things of that is necessary that I didn't understand sort of how to how to make make the picture how was how was the picture was get known how our How was the people who were looking after my, my production sheet, okay. It's difficult to sort of really put it in position because I can't remember what order they were. But I remember that. We were running. Yes, yeah.
John Taylor 16:57
Yeah, it doesn't matter which order. I mean, you know, just just what it was like working on.
Dudley Lovell 17:04
Well, I should have,
John Taylor 17:06
they were very quick productions. Were they them and they knock them off.
Dudley Lovell 17:09
They're very good. I was I took about six, six weeks, usually was with the same sort of people on every picture. And I think it must have been in the beginning, early 60s when I first when I first went to when I first joined in there, there was
Unknown Speaker 17:32
I stopped? Well,
John Taylor 17:38
should we go on?
Dudley Lovell 17:39
Yeah, I know why we did this. First of all, I suddenly sort of just told a talker, we did a test, first of all, and they suddenly said that Peter, Peter Rogers sort of said, Would, what I'd be interested in working for them? And I said, Yes. And I said, How long will work? How long would it take, they said was six weeks at a time, that would be sort of maybe three, three pictures, three pictures a year we would make and the rest of the time that I would be interested in or I could do exactly what I wanted to myself. So for I used to do six weeks at a time
John Taylor 18:22
where was at
Dudley Lovell 18:24
in Pinewood there were the same sort of people. All the same sort of
John Taylor 18:32
work with the same crew always. Yes. And
Dudley Lovell 18:36
we took, did the did the picture to did the did the various stuff. And then after that, I was I was free to take various little jobs, maybe sort of
John Taylor 18:57
in between, in between each pick the day must have been pretty efficient productions. were they?
Dudley Lovell 19:03
Well, they took six weeks at a time and Joe Thomas was very, very good. idade. And they were very quick or we didn't take long on each on each on each
John Taylor 19:18
turn, where they fun to work on.
Dudley Lovell 19:21
They were as I suppose they were I mean, if anything, I mean, they were all the time sort of everybody was thinking of funny funny things to say. The continually sort of people telling you so I'm really making a bloody off and
John Taylor 19:44
just keep going we will change the subject. What about when you were working as your second unit director and photographer? Because you did a lot of that in June.
Dudley Lovell 19:57
Yeah. Well, that when i when i come Back when I'd come back from into the business after,
John Taylor 20:06
after the shop
Dudley Lovell 20:08
after the shop, I came back again and I did a picture for freakin that was wages of fear. And that went on and that was 1976. And I went away for that took seven weeks.
John Taylor 20:26
This was a second unit
Dudley Lovell 20:28
director. No, no, this is this is more or less full of the time I took it, he there was a direct otherwise lighting cameraman. And he liked to do his own. do his own operating. So I was really I took it. I did take a second, second, second
John Taylor 20:53
Dudley Lovell 20:54
second unit, but I didn't really sort of most of the time, I just had to be there ready in case anybody wanted me to take the take the take the second unit, which I wasn't sort of upgraded very much. Then I went from there. And I took another picture. When we came back we went to we went to Vienna with canonical. And so after what happened there and after I'd been to that picture to to Fagin and do Can I was able to sort of take all the pictures and have to spend all the money that are owed from the from all the 290 I've taken from the from
John Taylor 21:45
your during the shop period
Dudley Lovell 21:46
from the shop and I was able to pay the pay what which
John Taylor 21:49
was the first one you do feel muted as director of second unit?
Dudley Lovell 21:55
Well, with that would be Excuse me.
John Taylor 22:03
But if you're in line or together you're right. Running. How did you how did you get on with income tax? Because you must have always been years behind in sending it in and so on. On a freelance basis. Did you have trouble with tax at all?
Dudley Lovell 22:26
Now I was very lucky actually. Because way back way back in the I would think it was the 50s that some people, some accountants. And from then on I got so used I kept a very good record. And this accountant, this income tax accountant he looked after me absolutely perfectly. I mean, I was he always seemed to do very well to not not sort of charge me too much or get me charged too much anyway. So I was really very organised about
John Taylor 23:00
it was very important, really wasn't it because a lot of people got into terrible troubles with the text in that round. Yeah,
Dudley Lovell 23:07
while I while I was under contract, of course, I was a big word, you know. But once I became freelance, I mean, then I was lucky. I can't remember how I met this accountant. It was
John Taylor 23:21
assembly line recommended. And he blasted all through your working Oh, yes. right the way through and
Dudley Lovell 23:26
very, very good to me. I mean, I I did keep I mean, every I kept record very carefully. Because I've seen what people can do if you suddenly have sort of find yourself sort of missing here and there, your various earning earnings that you've had. But he was very good. And I mean, every year I used to go back up to him and take every all the all the records that I had. And during the time I had the sharp he looked after that to
John Taylor 23:54
the end of the year your Did you always have enough money to pay the tax?
Dudley Lovell 23:58
Yes, I did. And you were wonderful. I've no one. Yeah, well, I was careful to put it away. I mean, because I sort of knew that once. I didn't put it away, I get more and more behind and that would be a progressive thing and sort of more and more money I'd need
John Taylor 24:14
going back, you know, on you must have worked with hundreds of people and on hundreds of films. Which is there any one film that you stand out in your memory more than others?
Dudley Lovell 24:27
Yeah, I echo Steve Magnus and flat men in their flying machines. I really do think that was a greatest picture. I enjoyed it thoroughly. I mean, it's not only do it's interesting work that you're doing but you're actually seeing history being made or being reconstructed. And you're seeing sort of the aeroplanes that were performing way back and people are learning to how to fly them again. People who flew modern planes are now having to go back and learn how to fly how to take off in and grass how always To take off into the wind wherever you were. And consequently, it was not only history being made again,
John Taylor 25:07
as there was more probably to it than that, though, as well. I mean, it was a kind of film that went into you know that when
Dudley Lovell 25:14
well it was eight or it went well, yes, it went very well because there was one one good thing about it, we actually sort of had we worked out at Marlow airfield, and we started it took nearly a year was the beginning of the year and we went on to above October. And we had took out their son a set in case it was raining we could take a set and work on in one of the hangars, were right the way through the whole location. We didn't have to use this exterior at all. It was a wonderful year so we're very lucky so when the weather was good and everything worked marvellously
John Taylor 25:57
but any other film that stands out particularly in your memory
Dudley Lovell 26:02
Yes, there again Zulu Zulu was fantastic. I mean, I wasn't I wasn't a very happy picture. We had a little problems from money and accommodation and things like that. But make it out I found was very exciting. It was historically wrong because the The location was chosen, more or less from a scenic point of view, which was wrong. It wasn't the really rock the place of Rorke's Drift that the actual event took place that when we were working, we were working with these Zulus. We had about 700 Zulus who first of all, they had heard that we were going to restage this battle of Rorke's Drift. And they came along and when we sort of started shooting, they approached the camera very tentatively. I go, Well, I've told you this before, but they were very tentative about making the attack upon the rules drift. And they used to get within about 100 yards and start they wouldn't come any further. And we say come on now come on this sort of you can charge us and they say, Oh, no, no, we've heard that what's going to happen is as soon as we charge the lions, you'll be firing at us. And then you'll go and send for some more. No, it isn't. Because we're we shot towards somebody else will come along. And we've talked quite about a couple of days before they were really happy enough to come and attack us or pretend to attack was their most vicious Babe Ruth shields and does his beard. And so you were really recreating history. And it was really, really an interesting picture to me.
John Taylor 27:45
It was the subject matter that on both those films was it that made you made made them?
Dudley Lovell 27:53
Yes, I used to find it, it was the subject matter I'm in because it's interesting. I'm involved for the fact that you also got I suppose technical problems. I mean, if you're if you're thinking that technical problems, I bet on every picture I found those some style of, of technical problem. I mean, either it's it's a very cheap picture. So you're making do with locations you're making do with sets, and you're making the best I mean, you're creating by making good setups and you're making with photography, you're creating atmosphere with your photography, and then you go on to make be making more expensive pictures. When you actually have the right locations, you have the right surrounding. So that leaves it it's it's interesting the whole time making that was
John Taylor 28:40
a long one, I could have met those magnificent men. How do you sustain the enthusiasm over a year?
Dudley Lovell 28:48
Well, it was just interesting. I mean, we had all sorts of aeroplanes, we had so many different aeroplanes, and each one, as I said, was flown by pilots who, who were learning to reef have to fly these early planes again. And so the whole time it was interesting, it went on for nine months or so. And the whole time every every minute of the time to me was very interesting.
John Taylor 29:15
Any other film other than those two that really sticks out in your memory?
Dudley Lovell 29:20
Yes, we're focused on the penguins again, I mean, it wasn't a very successful picture. But we I will tell you so we went to the Antarctic and took time to go to the Antarctic, the conditions were not very pleasant living there. But what was interesting was the was the way the the the the penguins. All came ashore, and went to the places where they made their nests. And then they laid their eggs. And having laid the eggs they tried to hide they started to hatch their eggs and at the same time there were school birds tried to swoop down and pinch the eggs and when the eggs hatched, and the young chicks came the scrub birds again tried to steal the egg. Just extra cost. And then eventually the the penguins all the young penguins are all there and most of the bandwidth, then go back to the sea and they leave two or three sort of adult penguins just on looking after the babies. And then eventually the babies all get to a stage where they all take the journey down to the sea, and they all disappear. And the place now becomes empty. And we wait for them to come back again next year. But that was fantastic in a different way. You know,
John Taylor 30:33
any other films that that stick out or Battle
Dudley Lovell 30:35
of Britain, there was another one that was
John Taylor 30:37
very well what was notable about them
Dudley Lovell 30:39
and why they are again, I mean, we went to Spain, and in Spain, they had the various aeroplanes, they had the various aeroplanes which had taken place in the back Battle of Britain. And we also bought over the Spitfires from, from England monitor Ireland, but also from America. The Spitfires came, and we had Spitfires and hurricanes. And although there were different marks at what I say marks of a different sort of aeroplanes produced in different years, once they were airborne, they all look the same. And there again, it was history being made in front of you by eyes. I mean, it was very interesting, especially as during the war, I had been in the territorials I had actually seen these aeroplanes fly, really and truly, I've seen the actual I've seen the English planes fly, and I've seen the German planes fly. And to me the whole thing was all sort of history coming alive again.
John Taylor 31:41
What about people that stand out in your memory? I mean, we do any particular people stand out more than others. I mean, Ken Anna can obviously does, yes, well,
Dudley Lovell 31:54
I'm with him. I've I think I've made 25 pictures, which is a lot of pictures to load was one director, directors,
John Taylor 32:03
not only directors but actors.
Dudley Lovell 32:07
Well, actors, especially I mean, actors sort of working with people like Alec Guinness. I mean, that was fantastic. I mean, it was a job what as far as your I found myself quite often looking through the camera, and really forgetting that I was looking through a camera. I was so intrigued with his acting, and especially in the picture called the prisoner. He was he was so good that I forgot that I was looking through a camera and I enjoyed watching him act. It was fantastic. And another man was Rod Steiger would be the same. I mean, Rod was different type of actor, but he was 100%. And rod used to be actually carry me away when I was watching, he was looking through a viewfinder, which is quite, I think, is quite terrific to be able to over overcome the artificiality. And I mean, obviously, I had to be thinking of other things besides the dialogue and the acting, because I was also framing, making the frames that will go in for the picture. But even so this was quite a quite a fantastic thing, the two of those. So are the other pictures I made, especially when you're doing the thing like the Battle of the boat, which was using German tanks, Tiger tanks, and Sherman tanks. And the whole thing was reconstructed. And we worked under conditions which were very actual for the type of weather conditions. And the whole thing became very real. I thought that was very interesting.
John Taylor 33:39
What about other people other than striker, and
Dudley Lovell 33:44
while there again, with with
John Taylor 33:47
whether any women that impressed you, and who were acting?
Dudley Lovell 33:51
I didn't have much luck with women. I mean, I must say sort of I seem to have worked with actors more than actresses. I mean, way back, I worked with Margaret Lockwood when we did, wicked lady, but that was so many years ago. And after that I seem to work mostly with
John Taylor 34:07
men with men, what are the men then other than stay current on?
Dudley Lovell 34:12
Well, Henry, find
John Taylor 34:13
what works and what
Dudley Lovell 34:15
that was on, that was on Battle of the Bulge. Over the fantastic man, I mean, he used to appear in the mornings, right on time, right all the time, who would appear on the set, had he although this happened with actors used to get called on time, but would naturally, quite often not be used on time. But he would sit on the set waiting to be called. And he might not be called all day, and then suddenly, sort of, he would go home in the evening and he would come up next morning and we'd be on the set first thing in the morning and wait patiently to be called for when he was needed. And considering it was a great actor. And that is fantastic. In fact, I've seen less actors complaining that they've had to hang around waiting, but find on over there. The tall. The other one was called the name of the moment who now I got
John Taylor 35:11
Dudley Lovell 35:12
Yes. Couple of American booster. While I haven't worked with ocean as a as an actor, but I've worked him as a director and that was fantastic. I've mentioned that before. But this man is Ryan, Robert raw rock. And he was he was fantastic too. I mean, there were the old style of people who were actually a professional and a different guy mind coming early and just wait and be told to be guardroom used when they were going to be used. The other man I can't think of his name at the moment, but I'm
John Taylor 35:52
always glad. What about the ones that weren't so pleasant to work with?
Dudley Lovell 35:56
And looking back, of course, everything gets much nicer as you look back. At the time, it was probably a little more difficult. I mean, some of the directors were a little difficult. I found most actors were pretty good. I can't remember a difficult one Really? Oh, who became difficult and unpleasant. And I may have been disagreed with the director. But quite often, from the technicians point of view, most of the most of the actors seem to be pretty good
John Taylor 36:26
and easy to work with. and easy to work with. Yes.
Dudley Lovell 36:29
I mean, those heroes of Telemark now, I mean, I did I started that because we went to we went down to Weymouth and then we went to Norway, Ireland. And there was a lot of problem there because we had an English actor, an American actor. What was the name of the actor? Richard Harris was the English actor. And the American actor was the chest cleft chin man. Go Douglas. That's right. And there was a little bit of sort of animosity between the two of them one loss of animosity, but professionalism, I suppose. I mean, I mean, because it was an American director, we found quite often the American director would tend to give the American Actor what are some lines that belong to Richard Harris. And Richard Harris, being an Irishman, he wouldn't put up with that. So, I mean, that provided interest to us, because they had nothing to do with us. We just had to watch with the sideshow, you know, as it happened. So really, and truly, I mean, I don't think we ever had, I can't think of anybody who really sort of caused any problem to the dead. The technicians. I mean, they were usually sort of phrases, I mean, are the biggest bundle of those we had. A lot of actors came from esterday, and actors came from France. And we also had Edward G. Robinson, who was a great actor, and no problem at all. I mean, only too pleased to sort of work late and to have to do whatever was asked of him in grabbing a letter with which was another Houston picture as the same. I mean, we had a lot of actors all night, and they were all very, very pleasant to do. So I've never I've never found any unpleasant. It's great. But sometimes on the second unit, I found a little problem, for instance, of the Montauk Monte Carlo past, I went to Italy, I don't know where's both spoken about that. Canada was doing the first unit and I went and did the second unit for him. And I met a lot of a lot of Calvinism that sort of, I was unpopular with old Italian crews, the second unit. And I know, I had a moment then because I worked with the second crew, we're all Italians. And I always remember I was asked, I asked of my assistant for a certain filter, I've worked outside. And he said, No, I, I haven't gotten a size of walk. Can you go and get these? I think it was a three and five, five and five children wanted tasted, can you go and go to three and five, five and five. And the Italian boy said, No, I can't. And I said, Well, why can't you I said, I want this VM five or five and five. He said, my father wouldn't like it. So I said, Well, I don't really mind about your father of my day. I said, I'm I wanted I like you to go to the cabinet. If I would go to three and five and five. He said, My father told me I mustn't. I said, Well, I don't care about your father. I said, you know, sort of I wanted you understand I said I thought it was a language that will do because it was speaking in English. I tried to speak Italian to I said please will you go get this vote? He said no, my father I said what? why don't why why won't your father like that like, so then it turned out that his father was photograph in the first unit. And his father had put this assistant with me to keep an eye on me to keep to find out what filters I was using. So anything I asked for, and his father has said, I must use my assistant then told me I couldn't have which is done pleasant situation.
Unknown Speaker 40:33
Dudley Lovell 40:34
I was crazy. In fact, I mean, I write down for it happened all the time. I mean, I started started to do a lot of travelling mad. And I started to put my career in a position and I found that I'd put the key in for the travelling back keeping off of the back end, I really I suddenly find the lights are being moved and I'd say excuse me Don't move the light I very happy with it there. And those are no needs to be aware. And I said why did it need to be over there? And they said, I'll go Baba Gandhi, who was the Italian cameraman that's where he wants to live. But nobody had told me I was fighting them the whole time. I mean, it was only a matter of an inch or maybe a foot or something that I clicked on there. But in the end I gave up because it gave up again he had more of the crew on his side and on my side It was very difficult. But and then there was a See I mean, I had a good time on the call of the wild I think I've spoken about that when I went to Norway and spent the time of the dog another one I did was wild geese. That was a lot of fun. I mean
John Taylor 41:39
there was a second unit that was second unit to one size unit did you work with him on a second unit?
Dudley Lovell 41:45
Well, it was usually a director me who quite often I was second unit I find I was photographing and operating and I'd had the system and a grip just for the equipment and that was about it on the second unit usually having especially another one another picture idea but another second unit I did in Israel was QB seven that was quite fun there again I then collected an Israeli crew when I got out there but they found that very efficient indeed very good indeed. wild geese colour the wild nother picture called a saucer I did the second unit that was mostly interiors. Then another one called server dream racer. I'll picture called this the pirate and the legacy and Ellis Island which was a film both for television which jackhole yard photograph the first unit and I photograph the second unit and after a time I found out not only photographing it, but I was directing it. And so I went home and got some more money and that was the highest paid highest paid job I ever did in my life. And it went on for about 14 weeks. Nice work if you can get all that was fantastic. That really worth it. But then after that, I did I started to do documentaries.
John Taylor 43:14
You did some Michelle did.
Dudley Lovell 43:16
Yes. I did want to show can we
Unknown Speaker 0:01
This is tape for of interviews every level.
Unknown Speaker 0:12
How did you start going at doing documentaries?
Dudley Lovell 0:17
Well, I I first of all, I operated on a documentary. And I enjoyed it so much that I realised that I could I could photograph one quite easily. And I went to the name of it the dates me anyway, I started doing one for the electricity board documentary. And that was very successful.
Unknown Speaker 0:44
Who was directing? Well, it doesn't it doesn't mean
Dudley Lovell 0:52
he remembers I talked about it because then then the next thing had happened. I did done a Glaxo documentary. And that lasted a long while and I did documentaries for about three or four years. With in between documentaries, I then one day, I got called up to Thames Television, to do an interview with to Who are the people who do the ghost stories things? American Erica Carter is no Anyway, after doing it. I thought it was a film. I didn't know it was television. And I was called up there. And I knew the I knew the electricians because there were a lot of ex electricians from the studios. And so I started when I went down into the studio, I found lots of five K's large names, large broads of light banks of lights. And I decided that as it was I thought it was a film. And so I photographed Assad to stand ins with a Putz I changed all the big lands to pumps, and little lamps, and did back lights and as I would do for film. Then I went back to the control room and it looked great, I must say I looked at the picture lower projecting and it would look terrific, right? satellite, the Act, the director, family said, I don't like the table there. He said, let's move the table over about three feet. Now I've been used in paths and the paths for sort of concentrated position to within Word for do with an inch. So when he moves when he moves the table over all of there's no more light on the subject. And I mean, he was going to go into shoot alive, you see. So as he does this, I this is the first time I've seen television production. And this is video. This is video. Yes. Well knows a direct it was a direct draw calls. Right? That's right. And it was about five minutes ago. And I'm sure there must have thought I got mad because I rushed downstairs with it, what we'd call like lab lighters. Posey and I just hit these parts and small labs, which I've been using, I didn't talk to anybody, I had no time to talk to anybody. I had no time to talk to, like trician to get him to help me. I just went down and smashed the lamps into position. And I've been I thought I've just taken leave my centres, but and eventually I mean, I got them in a matter of couple of minutes, I got them back into. So in the position I wanted them to. I learned a lesson though, that I love Why television uses large labs, so that you have the latitude for people to move around for actors to be moved to be pushed here, push there, but I've been in fact they were I'd finished when I finished it. I was surrounded by congratulations to say that they've never seen anything photographs so beautifully for television for a long while. The first time and the only time I was asked into the green room and we were the drink with a direct turn everything. But I don't think he had realised the difficulty that had to do. And after that I always use large lamps. I didn't use pops anymore. I use the usual lampblack big lights to give a general illumination rather the intimate in there other than the intimate for users unless they were using to at all. Well, that's right. I mean, I hadn't I had thought I mean, I didn't think it was television. I in fact I didn't for a moment ago it was live television. I thought it was recorded television, which would give me a chance to have another you know, to readjust, but I didn't think for a moment that it's going to be a live television. I was stuck with what I got. There that after that I did quite a lot of television. But I started realise why television life and directors do use larger lights and give more latitude for artists to be moved around. It doesn't know what that doesn't always apply when you're talking about drama. Because with drama, I mean, we have to do do obtain atmosphere. But when you're doing just general interviews and the general sort of illumination, then I mean, the general illumination, I did a lot of live stuff. I did the sixth at six o'clock news and the anglet. News, Minnesota. And you find then that it's a formula size.
Unknown Speaker 5:43
You enjoy working and document by found document, it was terrific. Yes, I
Dudley Lovell 5:47
did enjoy the document I worked for several companies
Unknown Speaker 5:53
show your work.
Dudley Lovell 5:54
I work for I only did one picture for Shell. Then I also worked for
Unknown Speaker 6:04
remember who which comb it was that shell?
Dudley Lovell 6:07
Yeah, it was about
Unknown Speaker 6:13
a second side?
Unknown Speaker 6:14
Yes. We're like, where are we going to next?
Dudley Lovell 6:16
Well, I did this TV work. And I said I did the documentaries, I really thoroughly enjoyed that. In fact, it was during that time that I sort of also did. The picture I spoke about before was that one Ellis Island. And I also did I also did wild geese during that time. So I really finished out doing mostly, honestly, mostly, mostly documentaries and television work. In fact, there's two last jobs I ever did. I got face cancer. And I had an operation on the on my face. I came back again. And I did two jobs in 1987 are the two last jobs I ever did. One was one was up at Anglia to do some lighting director work and the other was for Abacus, the production company. And that was that was a commercial. And so the last time I worked at all was 1987 August 25 to 26th. September the third September the third being a very appropriate date. Oh 87. That was some 72 years. And as the last time I worked,
Unknown Speaker 7:52
did you did you do a lot of commercials
Dudley Lovell 7:55
I did at one time. But that was during the time of after the Battle of Britain. I did a whole year of commercials. I did commercials in South Africa. This is about 1969 I will say I did a whole years of commercials into South Africa, in Spain, in Italy. And it was really, I don't think I've ever earned so much money in my life in a year. I didn't enjoy the work because there was so many various facets of it both were controlled by the people, the advertised agency by other people who sort of not interested in photography, some Knights who were continually trying to, for us to have a committee. I mean, instead of having a director you seen have about five or six people who would continually one would want something and then you change it that little bit. So then somebody else after doing a take you change it again. So you'd find you're doing about 36 takes, and it was greatly getting sort of so nothing like the original at all, which you were up to the to the camp. That's right, they used to queue up to look through the camera and everybody had to say something, they always had to say something quite often. Now of course, we had a monitor, a TV monitor attached to the camera, so that when it was being shot actually being shot. I mean, you had a committee factor where you quite often had two or three committees you had about three, lots of television cameras, and, and Telecom, Telly television screens, and you'd have three in different parts of the studio. And after the shot was over, you'd have about 15 people all getting together to pass their opinions, which is very complicated. And that's why I used to do about for the for 3536 5060 takes. I was silly. I mean and after that. In fact, while I went back to is the Battle of Britain I did a year of commercials, photographic commercials, and doing very well earning more money than I'd ever earned for years. But I I was I was homesick for future future production, which is entirely a different thing. You know, if I've been happy and I should have been happy with just earning money, I think I should have stayed there and carried on. But I came back from writing, I was writing a documentary for the year. And I came back to operating I came back to become a camera operator for Battle of Britain. And so I then stayed unafraid of quite long raw until I started to do second unit again. And that was with jack Hilliard, you know, be born with Connecticut. And then, after a time, this is when, after doing the second unit, then operating. I decided that From then on, as I had started photographing when I was about eight years old, that I should really do some photographic. And this is when I went and did documentaries, and I did TV. The TV, photographic wasn't very satisfactory, because I think I've mentioned before that all you did really was a main illumination. That's right.
John Taylor 11:03
Looking back on on your on your career. Have you any thoughts on that? I mean, you enjoy. I mean, on the whole you enjoyed it. It was a good job to do. I mean, it was a satisfactory job to do. You got satisfaction out.
Dudley Lovell 11:18
Oh, yeah. 100% Well, I really, I was never really ambitious. I never consciously remember wanting to do the next job up if you understand what I mean. I mean, I did enjoy things. And when I as if I directed a second unit sometimes as a director, cameraman, I thoroughly enjoyed that and I thought mice's marvellous, I wouldn't do that again. But then, I really couldn't spend the time waiting for the next opportunity to come up. Because before that next opportunity came up to photograph or to direct a second unit. Along would come somebody who wanted me to do an update on a picture and the upgrade and the picture was interesting. And it was remunerative. I got money for it. So I went on to that. So really, I had, I mean, I do, I am sorry that I didn't ever have ambition, strongly enough to want to progress to become a lighting director in the first place, and then eventually to become a film director. Looking back I think I should have done looking back. I know I couldn't have done because I'm not made headway.
Unknown Speaker 12:25
But I mean, it was it. I mean, it was it was you're pleased with with the past.
Dudley Lovell 12:32
I've had them fantastic. I mean, I've travelled I've travelled and somebody else's expense. I've seen things i've i've heard about things i've i've seen. Already, aeroplanes fly. I've seen all sorts of things. I've seen tanks sort of world war two tanks working in battles, battle formation. I've seen soldiers fighting, and I've been up in aeroplanes and had aeroplanes floating. I really couldn't have experienced as much as that in any other job, I'm sure. No, I really have a marvellous time I, as I said, the only thing I should I could have been I know, looking back, I could have been more organised in my career, and being more ambitious, more sort of selective, and more progressive.
Unknown Speaker 13:16
What about the people because the people must, and in working with a group of people is very satisfactory thing, isn't it on a common project? You find? I mean, this must it was an important part of it while there?
Dudley Lovell 13:27
Yes, it was. It was except that, I suppose after the time when I went freelance, I was always very happy. And I believe that everybody I work for has a better idea of things than myself. I think it was probably growing older. That changed my mind. And I realised I was working with some people who were not as experienced or not quite so cinematically minded, even as I was after these years. And these are the moments when I started to become I should have been progressive in my own career. And, but I found myself sometimes just knocking people by it for their ignorance, which I think is very bad. Indeed, I should have.
Unknown Speaker 14:12
understandable but the book, there's a lot of good fellowship in film production, isn't
Dudley Lovell 14:17
there? Oh, 100% 100%. I mean, people sort of, you know, I mean, you rely, especially on the camera department. I mean, as a camera team, you are, I think, well, I don't think there's any other place where you work so well together. I mean, you've got your Latin caravan, your operating caravan, your assistant, your number boy in your group, and between you as a solid phalanx presenting loyalty to yourselves, work to yourselves. And if you took risks, which were not necessary, but if because you wanted to take to make the best of the shot that you were engaged in doing Yeah.
Unknown Speaker 14:57
But the fellowship with everyone on the production mean, a production must grow grow together as you as you get to know one another. I mean, our normal production, nine months. I mean, by the end of it, you must have made a lot of friends.
Dudley Lovell 15:11
I also made a lot of enemies. I wish I could remember some directors who were very dictatorial. And this didn't suit me. I mean, but obviously, they had the right to be to dictate exactly what they wanted their design directors who would not listen to you, if you even had an idea, and you just wanted to present an idea, I can see that point of view now. Because you're probably waste time and it would probably just detract from or distract from what they wanted to do. I think this is why I was so happy to work with gananoque. And because Can I can, although I must confess that he kept me as a camera operator for years and years and years. He was always ready to listen to me if I had an idea. Or if, if I had some way of doing something which is different. I mean, he would listen to me. So I was able to be constructive at the same time. Really, and truly, I suppose I should have progressed from there. But I was happy working with him. And I was I say I did sort of like 13 1415 pictures. But there were a lot of directors, especially in the American style of director in the American started direction. I found I've enjoyed a lot director photography, the American director of photography, he would work with the director. And if I had to listen in the background, especially with when I worked with Henry Hathaway, and the American cameraman there. I had to listen to find out what the shot was. In fact, one of the first things with I've ever did was up by Bria broadcasting house and Vera miles walking down the road toward camera who told us this? I told you that. And so really, it wasn't always happy. I mean, I think you had to film a team was the director once you form the team where the director was full of happiness and cooperation. But there are some people who for instance, even though See I found with Losi I didn't seem to have a chance to sort of cooperate with him all he wanted me to do as a mechanical job. And so you varied from being constructive and helpful artistic to being a pure camera pointer. I found that the American star was a camera pointer they didn't really want you to provide anything they would definitely tell you exactly what they wanted with with English people although even there again with with some Americans once they got to know you after about three or four days, I think I've also spoken about Houston Houston, what? So listen to any idea you might have, which was always I found was very pleasant work like that. Rather than just do exactly point from point the camera from A to B to C to track the camera and then pull back to a and that would be all you contributed, you would best a mechanical pointer. I prefer the other way. In fact, that's why I think they started shooting second units, and eventually started doing documentaries, because I found with documentaries that you were really yeah, you were I mean, you had everything you know, I mean, you were able to sort of work was the director completely. And at the same time, you will lie to get an operating it together. I mean, you didn't just stay there and only point the camera. I mean, some directors and directors of photography were much more cooperative than the others. I've been some believed if they were friendly with you, I've worked with you before the Director of Photography would let you work with the director, but I did find that every director I worked with, there was a different style to my work. Sometimes all I had to do was to point the camera from A to B. And then from other times to the other extreme, I could even take the viewfinder or line up the shot for the director having told me what he wanted, which I found Of course much more interesting. And that is why I would I stayed operating for Ken antiquing for many years because he gave me a free hand. I enjoyed it. It was better than being on a picture where I pointed from A to B I suppose the answer should be I would should have progressed to become a lighting director. Yes, I say my lighting karamat but when I when I started doing documented documentaries, I enjoyed doing that very much do
Unknown Speaker 19:45
any documentary sticking out in your mind at all? Because being special.
Dudley Lovell 19:52
Not really. I told you the shell document I did but I had a little problem there because The I think what happened was, Oh, yes, it was I had an American sort of helping me. And he gave me the wrong idea entirely they, in fact, they. That's right, we went to an American laboratory and the laboratory asked for a certain sort of key or photography, and I gave it to them. And it turned out to be much too bright. But I hadn't, I hadn't gone exactly as they wanted, otherwise, it would have been impossible. So we sent all the stuff back to dead labs in England, and when it got back there turned all right. But that took about two weeks, and for two weeks, I was looking at stuff which was terrible, you know, fine. But the rest of the time with documentaries, I, I found it as most interesting. I mean, so much so that I've always been golfing with with the director even on features if I could possibly be if they wanted me to be. But I found with documentaries that do. The day director and the cameraman work much more together and much more. I when television was really interesting, I didn't do anything very exciting in television, television, and the love of television, it was more or less interview, work, and also sort of major 630 sort of special programmes for the news. And occasionally, I might get a little insert to do which was a band or a musical number or a conjurer or something like that, which was to go into the six o'clock news. That was the most interesting part because the six o'clock news was usually a formula job. Yeah, it was all set up in the studio ready to go in all you had to do was to put the labs as you had them last night, and light them and measure them and everything. And it wasn't really all that interesting.
Unknown Speaker 21:47
Did you do any work with a with a handheld video camera at all? No, I didn't do exteriors.
Dudley Lovell 21:56
No, I never did, I never used a handheld video camera. In fact, I didn't do any camera operating because I found the difference in television. Whereas if you're working in films, and your lighting, you ask the operator or camera operator to make such a frame or to moderate his frame to something like this, because you are photographing a certain area, and you want to produce an effect. And the lighter the operator would work with you. And quite often I mean, we'd compromise and so we get a good, good effect out of it. But when you're in, in television is entirely different. I mean, they call him the lighting director and the camera man. He's working through his headphones with the director. So he's completely with the director, whatever the director tells him to do, he will do. And so you may not have lit for that situation. So you can be in trouble I'm in the director suddenly says me, for instance, owners of point over there. But if you're not, if you're allowed, you're not doing live work, it doesn't matter. I mean, you've got time to readjust your lights. And as I say most times anyway, you've put so many lights there that every angle of the set is illuminated. And so they can point their cameras anywhere. Because there is no cooperation between except on the drama on the driver side you good collaboration between the camera operator and the lighting director. But anything else there's no cooperation on the director just says that's what I want. What about brought about
Unknown Speaker 23:31
film cameras in through the course of your long working life?
Dudley Lovell 23:35
Well, I mean, I started way back on,
Unknown Speaker 23:38
you know, our Newman's and what was the studio camera we were using was a chiffon
Dudley Lovell 23:43
and debris. We had cellphones at Shepherds Bush and and we had materials that the solar plants were the stage. They were soft, blunt. And then also you look through the film
Unknown Speaker 23:57
with a German cameras or
Dudley Lovell 23:59
whatever, Czechoslovakia and then you look through the film, which at times was very difficult because when the film was grobag Yes, the illumination was very little. You did have a viewfinder but the viewfinder didn't have parallax correct correction. So that you had to work without parallax correction and epico little difficult syllables and then the breeze to breathe again with lookers for the film. And the other cameras, we had materials but the Mitchells were mostly sort of silent vigils. We use the Mitchell's mostly for special effects where because you've got registration pen, and you can you can be you can make your son registration Exactly. Then after that Mitchell's became more and more popular. I also worked with the Benton Yeah, the model aids and the big square one that was on there. You also look through the film and that was that trial, but you always had a viewfinder that you could check If you wanted to, you know, you had a ground glass so but you could check through to have a look. And then as we as the material got out and then of course, the first time I ever worked on magic box was the first time I ever worked with a technicolour camera and the technicolour blood was huge I mean it stood about five foot high from the floor itself at five foot by about four foot by about two foot and it was frightening I must say I mean I've been used to smaller cameras and then suddenly you have this huge thing beside you and I got on file I sort of eventually overcame it but there were times I remember one awful thick picture with with his telecom to tell you this technical problem and I had to track on magicbox I had to track with Robert donor down a real alley instant organs where he's rushing to get the doctor for the birth of his child and he was running down a road with with all shot windows and of course we had lamps carrying the camera and trying to operate keep the lights out of the shot windows at the same time to watch him with this huge blimp you know I really almost gave up I'm we're we did about 12 takes I was ashamed I was absolutely hysterical.
Unknown Speaker 26:28
You couldn't look through it technically ahead of suicide find that you
Dudley Lovell 26:30
have a fright outside fat I know with prisons for bring the Finder lens almost alongside the taking lens. So there wasn't all that much parallax. So that was a good thing. It was a three step camera. Reloading it used to take about 20 minutes. I tried millenial prism. Yes, that used to be a very big deal. I did second unit on Moulin Rouge, too. And that was where the three step camera and that that that again was ridiculous. But we were talking about the cameras I've used the Mitchell universe as a mixture of people who made them Mitchell's likes on the new the new or last five years crispy is the first new OLED. That's right, isn't it. And the neural and the Mitchell's very much the same, but they still had power and accuracy. And he got used to power legs. Something which people don't have nowadays because he welded reg looks through in everything and the pilot sort of was very good. And of course another thing you have to do occasionally with Mitchell's before they had the power legs, you had to use a viewfinder. And guess I mean quite often it was in fact this has made the difficult, the job much more difficult. So you didn't have parallax. So quite often, if you put somebody in the last third of the Finder, you knew who'd be in the middle and then of course if you had several positions and several distances, you had to try and remember where to put the people so I'm only talking about composing a picture you weren't really composing you were trying to get them into several positions so there's at least so we're in frame but then after that of course came the Mitchell's with power legs and then you had technical Oh which was much better power legs. And then you started to get the aeroflex the first hour effects I used was on a picture was louis gilbert. I think this was able to do emergency call. And this was I remember the first one I used when Freddy Mills was in the picture and he has to his various to throw the fight and let's up the other man win. And then halfway through the fight he gets a message delivered to him to say that his son was seriously ill. And so 30 mils now changes his mind doesn't throw the fight he goes knocked the guy out. And it was very interesting. We had to Cara got wanted to cover this and I covered it with our folks who German combat camerino which was great for the job. First of all handheld handheld. Yes, I was actually boxing in the room. We had the first man was a heavyweight who was fighting he was fighting Freddy St. And so Freddy, first of all, he boxed and his timing was so marvellous that he could almost blackout the lens with his fist, and yet not hit me is marvellous It was really fantastic. I mean I I mean I'd be boxing around the ring. So to change the position we had the whole of the room sort of lit so we could box around and we boxed around and he fired the camera and every now and then put up the drive right into the into the lens, which is fantastic and his timing and his position was terrific. And then we took this other guy who was here, it was just a heavyweight been watching. And I've received three times I had two cameras smashed into the eye, he was driving safely. After three times I gave up. I was I couldn't, you know, because I was the whole camera, he would hit the camera. And I mean, the RP striking to me, I had a black eye in no time. But that was our effects. And I got really keen on the address because we went through the picture in 58, when we went to Africa, we took a blimp teraflex, which was one of the first ones that was done on a blimp derivation. And it was very, very successful.
Unknown Speaker 30:32
We could look straight through the camera
Dudley Lovell 30:33
that tried their tried, and it was really, really terrific. I mean, the difference between parallax making allowance for parallax and framing and camera, framing a picture with parallax, which is very, very difficult, really, I mean, trying to get your foreground in relation to your background, when you have a difference of four or five inches in your lens position is almost impossible. But once you start to look through a direct look through the lens, I mean, it was marvellous because you're now getting your, you're getting your composition 100%. And then of course technicolour. And then there was panavision panavision had to add the direct look through as well. And then we in fact, penetration is still going it started and it's got better and better and better. And the cameras got better to first camera, a television camera was the was battle on the board. I was did 70 mil over 70 mil and that was a pretty heavy camera, I tell you how the 70 mil film we did, which was more or less today. And another one magnificent men and their flying machines was tornado. tornado was a large, large films in which they do this size television. They have a panavision camera, which this was on zumo we had that as a second camera. It had no parallax. And people design these cameras, but they don't consider how you're going to use it. You know, it had sort of an ICER thing had it the horizontal magazine was horizontal. And you had a viewfinder mounted on top. Which, as I say had no parallax correction. If you've been used to making a parallax correction for the scifinder. And now you have the viewfinder on top is entirely different. I mean, we had to do. No, I'm talking about the what was now the system to not only what was the other system, this division, this division was the one now that that was a I did the first list of division of Pinewood operated on and you find that you've got a parallel finder on top of the blimp, without any parallax. So if you're doing a crane shot, so from a close shot to long shot, you now have power legs, that you've got to put the view viewfinder. So to show offset, you can have it right at the beginning or right at the end, but you can't have it anywhere in between. So usually, I made it right at the end. But the viewfinder right at the end the parallax, we're right at the end. And consequently, you would start in the frame. If you had a face you cut the face about the nose and sort of the head from the nose outwards to the head halfway down the frame. Now you know that you're framing it correctly. But it's it's frightening. And then you go through this show Craig show having started close going right the way back to a long shot. And eventually where you're right back in the position of the long shot, you now are correct your power legs. Correct. And I quite often when I said, you know, sort of, why can't we make we can't have some system of parallax correction because it's not all that difficult. And people turn around. So why once upon a time, we never had power after correction, which is a very defeatist attitude.
Unknown Speaker 34:08
I mean, on big expensive films like that, you know, it seemed nonsense.
Dudley Lovell 34:13
In the final instance, you're getting, have you spent 1000s of pounds on a set, you've fed 1000s of pounds on artists. And when you actually do it, you're guessing for your composition and that's what it was. And these people I mean, you know, if they were brought back from Hollywood, I don't think they're being used anymore that we use for about three years at all. And now though, the technical and penetration is sort of the new penetration is very good. I mean penetration is a lovely again, it's got a lovely look through and we've got every it's got viewfinders which adjust up and down. So I got no problem wherever the camera is. And so eventually we got round I came right the way through to turn to television cameras to but I didn't operate ever operate. I did once. I did want to try it because somebody had an idea about doing commercials way back, this must have been in the 50s. When really and truly it wasn't practical. We went to the grammar, theatre, internal green. And we did these with live cameras. So to do a commercial, you had to shoot it live. And we had about four cameras, and each camera had about three seconds work to do. And your light would come on, and you knew you were shooting. And then when the light went off, you had to roll your camera yourself, you had a unified, you will the camera yourself to the next position, being ready for the time, which is about you got about 515 seconds. It was absolutely crazy. 15 seconds, and then you you've got the time got your frame, and you sort of when your red light came on, and the red light went off again, news, Russia, and they were recording all the time on videos. The idea was that they did the commercial, but in those days, it was so long ago that you couldn't edit video. So shows you how long ago. So your commercial had to be 100% shot on video. So I mean, you might do it 30 times because something would go wrong here something would go wrong there until you got didn't get you didn't get perfection. You never got perfection. You fell short of perfection. And in those days you couldn't but that that was interesting. Now I've forgotten about and Dalio that was was there were words that video cameras, real big video cameras, huge anything. And I mean you also had to use your your your uniform around yourself to which was fantastic. I enjoyed it. Okay, the cable there. That's right. And the cable. Yeah, if I didn't take it seriously, really. But I did enjoy it. But now of course now with television cameras, I mean, you've got every every facility and every sort of everything you need. And also when you're now when you're doing documentaries, I mean, the main thing is usually an aeroflex because you're not shooting direct sound anyway, I mean, it's usually got a commentary on it or music overalls on the line. So that makes it easy to this is why I liked it. This is why I like doing documentaries because you're working with the with the arriflex. I mean, you either could use a head, a camera head, or you can just use it handheld. And once you get used to using it handheld. I'm a great believer in handheld cameras. If I can do sequence of joy, I couldn't do it now. But I have done sequences which people didn't believe was handheld. Because it's so so solid, you know, so steady. And I mean, that's, I probably couldn't do it now that was Yes, accidentally. Perfect. I don't think I've told you this, but this was on on the picture we did out in Africa. What was the Nova Zulu, Zulu? Well, at that time, we had to burn down the hospital because the Zulus had in the picture had thought of burning arrows onto it. And so we had, we didn't have enough crews, but we had an extra camera. So we had a vistavision camera, which I think I told you about with the vistavision camera had a viewfinder on top with no parallax. And so before it got dark, we lined up our shots on the Heart Hospital which was going to be burned down. And then the main three stroke camera we used around the corner on the main shot, and there was another camera somewhere which we had to run through. So once we started shooting, we were running from one camera to another as the fire progressed in the hospital. Well I ran from the main camera which was the best division camera and we did some shooting there. Then I ran to the vistavision camera, which had the viewfinder on top and we turned over some film there we ran back again to the other camera. And in the meantime, I didn't know that but somebody had messed about with the camera.
The other cameras a second cameras if we did the shot on the main camera, I ran back again. And when I looked at it, I thought my god somebody has changed the setup. So I had a handle ahead. So I readjusted the camera to frame up the thing flat by now dark It was nice juicy. And so I readjusted the frame to where it should be. Then I ran back again to the main camera and we did some more shooting as the fire went down in the hospital for the first time to burn down. Then we rushed back again. And when I wrote back again to the camera, the second camera, it was pointing down on the fifth floor and I thought How on earth did that happen? And then I looked but had a viewfinder on top and in taking the the the tarporley off the camera. Somebody had pulled the centerline mask out of the viewfinder, so it was halfway up the viewfinder instead of being in the viewfinder. So the short I'd done before I pan the camera down, because to frame in the viewfinder which was wrongly, wrongly sent. And I thought, My God, I've got that shot is terrible. And I'm looking down at the ground. You see, I've done one whole sequence shooting down the ground. I said nothing about it because I have no time to say anything about it. I panned up again to the right frame, and we shot everything went on shooting on the face bad then down. Now, rash rashes took about a week to come back. I said nothing to anybody, because I saw no point because it was all over done, you see. And so along came the time when we found the hospital it was on fire. We got the first main shot, we're actually the same camera. We got that. Then we rushed back to the main camera and I thought my god now now we're going to find this shot. There's no good. And suddenly along comes a shot where the camera is now pointed down. And as we're pointing down, and the beam water hoses, and we had a huge puzzle and shoot it down into the thing was the whole hospital on fire. Beautifully framed in the puzzle and in the real You wicked. How you didn't tell us that what a beautiful shot Dolly, what a terrific shot. A great, thank you very much indeed. I just about my mouth. I nearly had my mouth open to say I'm sorry about this next shot. And it turned out to be the best shot to add the whole of the hospital on fire in this huge water pump puzzle which we had that actually fed to I never said a word about it. Okay, lucky. It shows you how lucky it's better to be lucky than clever. That was fantastic.
Unknown Speaker 41:42
Whatever, but about the AC t camera committee, we used to go to that. Yes. And so
Dudley Lovell 41:46
I was chairman for a little while I had I had a trouble with getting Gordon once I remember. I'm not very good at I mean, I'm not very. Who was it? There was
Unknown Speaker 41:57
Dudley Lovell 42:00
Arthur Graham was secretary then I was I was chairman. And David Harcourt was chairman. Maybe one way or the other, whichever I know I had. I had Chairman one night. And later, there's about the time when the feature branch was going to take in the documentary. And everybody Well, they didn't want the feature branch anymore. They wanted everybody to be the news or was going to come in and everybody would come come in, which was a pretty because feature branch we'd organised ourselves with cards which had been well, the idea was that anybody these cards you carried in the feature branch, and whenever you did a picture, you had somebody assigned the card to say you've done this pictures, whatever work you've done, so that we were going to be able to be able to tell what people had done by their record, we were keeping a record. Now what happened then we were directed I don't who we were directed by, by maybe by the, you know the committee or somebody by the secretary or somebody. The general counsel said that we got to now, not only be feature branch, but we've got to be the law. We've got to take in documentary, we got to take newsreel and everything I said and we said the world could they first get organised themselves before they joined us. And I pointed out we pointed out that we had organised ourselves very well, you see. And I remember that Ken Gordon came along one night, and I get where you want them anyway. time we had this meeting, and I kept on trying to find out why we had asked for this to be done. And Ken Gordon said no, no, we've got to we've got to have this amalgamation right away that we don't need to sort of have this time and we want everybody to be organised and I kept on saying sort of that, that, that that we wanted them first of all the news rain and the documentary to organise themselves and then join us
Dudley Lovell 0:00
The actt history project. And this is take five, interview with w level on the sixth of February 1990. Okay, and you go on about Ken. Yeah, well, we've got this camera section pretty well organised, really had. I mean, we got these cards, which were a recording of the work that anybody had done so that we didn't have anybody coding I don't you mean? Anyway, then we had this directive to work can't start with Ken. Ken said, five. So this meeting, which I was chairing, I remember I can suddenly got up and said that
he wanted to have everybody organised into one thing and have at the dues roll documentary, and everybody in with the features. And I said, Well, I think that would be a little bit too, too much all at once. And when if you had records, you could put your record with us. So then he moved, no confidence in the chair. And I didn't know what that meant at all. But I said why I said, what happens? And so he said, Now you take a vote of cards, or what a second. So somebody seconded the no confidence in the chair. And I didn't know what was supposed to happen. So I, I said, What do I do now? So he said, Well, now we have a vote of whether there's a confidence in the chair or not, if you can, you know, sort of what he was. I said, All right. I said hands, you know, so no conferences in the chair. So we had about, I would think about 20 hands cover. And so I said okay, now right hands inside, he said no vote. How they taught me to he said whenever you say, so have confidence. Chess is confidence in the jet flow. So hand shot up. And so I said, well, there we are, now we can carry on up. But that was my last meeting. I resigned from everything to do with meetings and sections, but it was quite a good committee, while I'm in quite a lot of people turned up to either Fantastic. Fantastic. I mean, we had the section committee we had, we had the section, General section, then we had a section committee. We had people like, we had people like skis carry myself, Dennis coupe. And the but Martin Lewis, what Lewis was at OSI. And we started to map out an apparent apprentice scheme for you know, for sort of the people coming into our business. This is way back. I'm read way back before anybody's ever heard of that. Yeah, this was way back. And we were do know, we're going to. So anyway, we said that, and then skis came up with he saw his sound was going up. And he said, what parts of this apprentice scheme is it? I think we ought to have preference to people who have sons. Because after all, it's nice to have your son following the business that you're in, you see. And so, ski said, you know, sort of, I would like to propose that we say that, you know, we give preference to close relative sons of members of the camera department. And then Louis, Martin, he said, this is why he said, under Schumpeter, my father wanted me to be good go into the, into the bloody business that he was in. He said, I did it once. Got lots of fat in the back. And he said, I never did it again. He said, I don't see why you need to have people come into your business, really intuitive, but I think he was more or less joking. Anyway, that was because his father was kids. That's right. Okay. Oh, yeah. Kate Lewis, he wanted his son to go into the business. And how many years to turn up to a meeting at a meeting? We used to do very well, indeed, we used to sort of have maybe in those days, I would sink about 100 150 to digitaria. Now we're going to hold the meeting in a cinema and waterstreet I can't think of the name of it at the moment. So
Unknown Speaker 4:08
the preview, yes, it might it would understand. It was a big studio, big, big, big Sierra. Oh, well anyway, but but in a cinema or straighten it a big Sierra, did you go on after you resigned from the chair going to the meeting?
Dudley Lovell 4:22
I used to go to the meetings when I took no more interested. I mean, because you see, okay. It was obvious that they were going to fall I had a directive from General Counsel, to say that I had to we had to now encompass everybody documented to newsreel. And the thing, our scheme of having a record of feature work now went by the bird board because it was impossible to sort of, they wanted just to take over the cars that we had, which really wasn't fair because it was a different world. I mean, it always has been feature, newsreel and documentary. I mean, each one is sufficient to itself and quite quite fun in itself. But it's a different sort of world entirely. And you can't mix the two thing by saying, I did a day's newsreel work was sort of I did a four week picture or three month picture. And I mean, it was a terrible disappointment. I was so disappointed. And as I say, I just I resigned. And then I had another little union thing I remember when when do you remember when? Somebody somebody took the tonnes of funds? I mean, I appointed a treasurer, you You are my Chairman quite often. You did channel follow me when we had a meeting. There's LinkedIn. And I also have the issue did because I always remember how clever you were saying that's out of order. Anybody raised anything we didn't want you to say, I thought I used to look at you. And he say, he say, Tell him that that out of order. And I said, Well, that's very bad. So you're out of order there and the guy will sit down, and I thought was terrific. And he was wicked. I mean, he used to sort of be able to really manipulate me meetings, I believe, relatedly, one meeting once I remember, we had some night location. And so we had to meet to get to set out provisions for the night location, the conditions, you see. And the meeting gave me. conditions which were impossible. I mean, sort of breaking every two hours and coffee and beverages available every day. It was ridiculous. So what I did, I went out of the meeting, I didn't go to the studio manager, I walk around the studio twice, three times came back 10 minutes later and said, No, I'm afraid Why haven't been very successful with your proposals. I said, Now, this is what the management profiles and I had moderated there. Now the Moody's proposal a little bit. I should have been hammer centred electric chair, I'm sure if anybody found out so now, I had a modified a modified brief. And I went to the management. And I said, Now this is what we want. And the management, of course, will say nonsense nonsense. But I've already modified a little bit. So the management will say nonsense nonsense, either. Well, what do you want? What do you want change, and they'd say this and this and this and this. So I say, all right, I go out, take a walk around the meeting, still hanging out in the theatre, I take a walk around the block, again, go back to management. So I've been back. Now, this was our most irregular, I know, I should have been sort of ostracised banned, banished or something. But the point was that everything was so extreme that I was told that I knew it was gonna take hours to come to a compromise. And eventually I came to a compromise by making my own compromise. And it was after this, well, just after this, because there I got into trouble because I found I was responsible for the treasurer. I was called up to the office of AC T and told it the treasurer absconded with the money and that I was responsible for it. And I said, Well, I didn't see this for so anyway, I'd resigned being being being a shop steward. But I began to see Manny, I don't know whether it should be personal really
Unknown Speaker 7:58
Dudley Lovell 8:00
But I could see how long can manoeuvre, manoeuvre, meetings, organise meetings to get the result for meeting exactly how you wanted. And I This was too much for me, because I didn't want to do it. I mean, you're looking at tires, many himself with wicked a dime to he would move you out of order. And I think that was great, I think was terrific. What a good idea, you know, but the guy never had a chance to say what he had to say. Because it was ruled out of order before he said it says nobody heard what he was going to say,
Unknown Speaker 8:30
to the agenda.
Dudley Lovell 8:35
I understand. But if you if you and I understand also that if the agenda looked like it was sort of going off on another track, then that was a waste of time. And so it was great. But I mean, I didn't really I had no knowledge of public meetings or public speakers at all, you know, I was in those days, I mean, in studios, one vote elected as a shop steward, because nobody else wanted to do it, you know. And I've also I mean, you were looked on the scouts by the management assuring that soon as you became a shop steward, you know, which, troublemaker? That's right. a troublemaker. Yeah. I mean, you really did you'd have if we didn't have worked committees in those days did way because I think there was this this pick Americans got sick, there's electricians Scott's chair, Mac, O Mac, and that was good. Yeah. But there was also a lucky man wasn't there was a neck command and remember, he was a real wicked man. I mean, he was a Scotsman as using their Oscars. Now that was an interesting and I i did i was a shop steward at the time for quite a while, and I've been shop steward on locations occasionally, but that's not quite the same thing. But I did find that it was too much for me, especially with a treasurer who I was responsible for. I didn't realise I was responsible for the treasurer. Right. Well, they told me at head office that I was responsible and that I would have nothing happened in the middle of, you know, he'd absconded would have gone off with the money.
And it all sort of worked out. But nothing ever happened. I was supposed to appear in front of the general counsel, but I don't
think I ever did, apparently. Well, maybe I did just once. And I said, as far as I was concerned, I was a shop steward and I did the workers job steward. And that was it. I heard no more about it. But I mean, it pulled me off union work. And then, as I say, I mean, not only I've been a shop steward, but I also been a member of the camera committee and the camera committee became It was great, I mean, just really straightforward. But to suddenly throw another 2000 people at us to be incorporated into a scheme which we've got working well. I just disgusted me and I decided to have nothing to do with get on when you will shops do it on units away and so on, where I was pretty good because usually I've been there were nobody asked ridiculous things, you know, I mean, he showed me in studios that you get ridiculous things being asked I think, I mean, you just while you were told what the what the conditions were going to be and you just ensured that there was going to be a meal break and if it was night work that there was going to be a hot drink available. I mean, things which are reasonable, you know, I mean, and also to break after sort of if we've called our break after three hours of break after two hours, and if we got worse than that then we'd break sooner. And most people I found were very amenable The only people that I found I had run experience in Spain I was a shop steward there I was working on on battle abode in the studio in Madrid and and I was working there and we were supposed to have no break we're no break you see we're working through but we had service from the canteen to bring over sandwiches and beer and anything like that just so we were were to have we went straight through and we're supposed to work eight hours without a break straight through. It was the Continental star they said and it was I've worked in film studios and so we did this you say and it was fine and they were had good service from the canteen and they used to come over a bit beat up a sandwich or cheese, eggs. And then he got that next it was seven o'clock before six o'clock we didn't finish at six or seven o'clock. And nobody said nothing and you got a guitar. I know it is anything they got nine o'clock and they've laid on the bars above was able you could regard the ball returned over a drink it got there you go how fast nine? We go half past nine. I mean we've been working since eight o'clock in the morning and nobody was saying that they just help us nine American company one and suddenly I said why don't we finish into the system director oh he said I don't know we're just going on. So I looked through the camera and then suddenly I looked over him and I feel jeez Oh my eyes Oh god eyes and I walk to the studio door when it's straight out the door I had my car so I had the I never got to say oh like oh my eyes is just eight hours they won't fade over the door. My car went off to my hotel they all said oh if they back in a minute he's he's probably a diet Akin a bit and I didn't I went round out no foul I haven't got my car. So anyway, thanks for now got an eight o'clock there were three specialists waiting for me I specialist. And I said what are you doing here and they said the production manager American production manager said oh, we just want your eyes examined and after what happened last night? I said yes we're laughing better this morning you know but it was just a long hours I think made the ice or turquoise. They said the three specialists and said Look at my eyes. I said we better but not put drops in we're going to put drops our Bella row for the rest of the day. So they shone a light into mine. And they said they kind of mellow Spanish Spanish. And they came and they said yes. Once Murphy is and they said yes well you have a very severe case of conjunctivitis. And my eyes were fine. And he said that he was very good. I hadn't said anything to him. And he said Your eyes are very bloodshot so you will have to rest them a bit. Anyway that day. Next day, six o'clock. We finish. I said that night six o'clock finishing so I said is still fine now Thank you very much. Of course my boss the thing to say you know, and this went on for a week we got six o'clock six o'clock fire six o'clock and week after we suddenly got down aisle six now how about six, seven o'clock. I don't mind because I as a cameraman if I'm doing a shot. You got to do it properly. I mean this 10 minutes we used to have sometimes to do up shot was ridiculous. But so anyway, I gave it out any time but after that it got after an hour and then it got after an hour I got after seven o'clock. Go To Court. past seven. I said, Listen, listen, oh, my eyes, my eyes are going, Oh, Jesus, Oh, my God. And I said, Oh, Daddy, we just got one more shot. Can we just finish this shot? I said if you short as this shot because I said I can hardly see
it's wicked. But on the other hand, you've got to fight with the weapons you've got, haven't you? I mean, otherwise, we'd have gone on to midnight. And and I don't I don't agree with it now continue working with shop stewards and other productions. Did you do? I can't really remember anything serious. I mean, if there's more than that, that was more or less sort of the only way I could Friday, I mean, I couldn't fight it. Because there were Americans. And there, we used to work in an American style hours, you see whereby, as you know, I mean, you have the golden golden hours and all that sort of thing. But we were working on the set would work for a set, I think I was getting sort of a set figure for the picture, which was a bad thing. But a good figure. If, yeah, don't get agreement, but a good blanket agreement for the hours, which we had agreed firmly. And when it when it came to be in sort of longer hours, we weren't getting paid for long hours. I mean, I didn't even want to get paid for the longer hours, because I found that 10 hours at a stretch, working solidly was long enough, and I didn't want to work overtime. And that was fine. So I mean, this, this is what happened. I mean, I sort of I use this as the only weapon I could use, I don't think we would have been any use, I think I'd have been off the picture. If I sort of said any other way. I mean, I have been taken off the picture. But the the spaces the eye specialists were very good. These eyeballs and drops in the eye, you know, when I finished it all, so no, very good to me. I always say the very much. In fact, I said thank you very much. I said I didn't know what to do. But my eyes, alright. But this is what I found. And I know that you have union conditions. But I often find that when you're away, there's no real spokesman. Even when the union conditions are breached, the general run of the unit are not very quick to come forward and say let's have a meeting because nobody wants to have the stigma of having raised the objection to doing the overtime. And so I find that there has to be some way around this thing such as that time when I complained about my eyes or some other things, you know, I'm in sort of because I found most crew members were very uncovered when he came to serve in the studio is different. Because you have a Works Committee, you have a Works Committee and you have people who are used to arguing with with the production side. Because you are unless you have somebody who isn't used to be a novelty, you know, to talk. And I mean, also on vacation, I think you have to have a certain amount of freeway, because the conditions are going to I mean, you can't be hard and fast on notification. You can't say we got to work from such and such a time to such and such a time. Obviously, the daylight is going to make a difference in if you're in Africa, you're just going to get dark quickly. You know, we had this problem on on Zulu as well. I mean, it was the same there. I mean, the sort of the going to work. First of all, we're going to work Sanders and then suddenly we started working on Sundays. Now we were all on a six day deal. So working for Sanders was okay, because we got some money, you know, and everybody was happy to work. But you see, this is another thing I found. I think I told you the story about brew for when Wilkie and myself and the continuity go, sort of suddenly said we weren't going to work anymore because well, this I find is the hard thing because the camera man, the light and caravan and the director and the continuity go are really the working the hardest. I mean, okay, everybody else works. But you are concentrating the whole time, you know, the degree of work is different. I mean, after all, if you may not be needed to be doing something all the time, he can sit down and relax. And so it this general Works Committee idea of dictating when you're going to work, I don't think it works. I really don't think it works. I mean, insofar as I mean, at Pinewood sometimes used to sort of have people come on the floor and say, we're working tonight we're working now are the Works Committee ever agreed, without any reference to yourself at all. I I can't see this. I mean, it's a collective thing, I suppose. But I think the unit should be consulted, maybe not individually, but at least as a vote as a show of hands to see But nowadays Of course now really and truly I found on the unit's I've worked with that. Most of them are now we're getting no attire, nobody cares, they go working forever. I'm amazed. I found that when there wasn't asked for the assistant director or someone came around to ask what you
know, I mean, is it within the last 10 years? No, no, I'm talking about now, now that everybody gets overtime. You see, I'm in the monetary attitude of it now that the I mean, everybody's going to get extra money for over working overtime. And everybody is keen to do it. And so everybody sort of will work. I've worked on commercials where we've gone through to a wall everybody knows commercials goes through to midnight or two in the morning or three o'clock in the morning. Mind you have the money and I mean, you know, the money doubles and all that sort of thing. So it's fantastic. It's, it's certainly better than when we didn't get overtime and when we first started and we'd have to work hours and we got no overtime and we had no time limit and if we didn't like what we were doing or asked to do when we were asked to leave a meeting, as I think I told you way back, but I still I still find that that most people I serve are now only monitoring minded not really sort of socially minded what I mean socially minded by saying socially, ours as it gets unsocial hours and got a young man who wants to know once the overtime he'll he'll work that out. I think
Unknown Speaker 21:41
it would still be another cause.