Pamela Mann-Francis (nee Mann)

Forename/s: 
Pamela
Family name: 
Mann-Francis (nee Mann)
Industry: 
Interview Number: 
311
Interview Date(s): 
6 Jan 1994
Interviewer/s: 
Production Media: 
Duration (mins): 
135
Access restrictions: 

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Transcript

BECTU History Project
Interview no: 311
Interviewee: Pamela Mann-Francis Interviewer: Alan Lawson

No of tapes 2 Duration: 2:23:03Pamela Mann-Francis. Tape 1 Side A

1

Pamela Mann-Francis. Tape 1 Side A

NB: The time codes given here are estimates based on readings from the original cassette recording.

Query from SB: I assume that the text in 10pt is speech from a third party (e.g. sound recordist)?

Tape 1 Side A.

The copyright of this recording is vested in The BECTU History Project. Pamela Mann later to become Pamela Mann-Francis, feature film continuity. Interviewer Alan Lawson. Recorded on the sixth of January 1994, Side One.

The original start of this interview is missing. Pam was born in London in 1927 and went to a secondary modern school in Wembley. Her father was in the motor businessuntil the outbreak of war. Now I won’t, now, we’ll now pass over to Pamela describing the rest of the interview. I’m sorry about this.

...a director in a small motor company in, in Mayfair.

Ah, ha.

And then when the war came along he, he sort of freelanced.

Ah, ha.

And eventually became a, eventually took out a small finance company, Century Motor Finance, and ran that for many, many years until he retired. So we were all,you know, he was always involved with cars and...

Yes. And what about schooling?

Schooling? An ordinary, I was the girl of the family so the education money was spent on my brother and I went to an... what was in fact a secondary modern school in those days in Wembley, funnily enough very close to where Freddie was in the Army. I was being schooled just round the corner from where Freddie was in the Army Film Unit, oh, what was it? The AKS?

AKS, AKS, yes.

AKS at Wembley Studios.

Yes, yes, yes.

So strangely enough though we never met in those days we were, I was very close to him in those days.

Yes. What, what was, what was your kind of ambition to be in those days do you remember?

2

Pamela Mann-Francis. Tape 1 Side A

I don’t, I certainly didn’t have any ambitions for the film, I was a great film fan.

Yes, yes.

I mean I was, as we were.

Y es.

I mean we went to the cinema every week.

Y es.

And sometimes twice a week, sometimes three times, I mean depending what filmswere...

Y es.

Were, were about. And of course, most, or a lot of my schooling was during the war.

Y es.

And even then I mean we went out to the cinema whether there were air raids or not. We used to get the bus up to Wembley High Street. The one cinema, one of our cinemas was taken over by the Army, which was the Capitol Cinema in Wembley, that was taken over by the AKS but there were still three cinemas in Wembley. There was The Wembley Hall, which was an independent. There was The Majestic, which isnow Tesco’s I think, and there was the ...and that was Odeon and then of course, there was the, what was it? ABC was it?

ABC, yes.

The ABC, which was The Ritz.

Yes, yes, yes.

And we’d go, as I say, once, twice, three times a week sometimes. So I was, I wasbrought up as a kid as a film fan.

Y es.

But didn’t really consider that the film industry was anything much to do with me.

Not for you?

And after my, I went from this secondary modern school to... I mean what did girls do in those days? Secretarial work. I went to Pitman’s Training College and fromthere went in to, my first job was with an advertising agency. Strange had nothing to do with commercials in those days.

3

Pamela Mann-Francis. Tape 1 Side A

Commercials were almost not thought of at all. I think there was a small division at Dorland Advertising thinking about them.

Oh you were at Dorland’s?

Dorland’s, yes, yes.

Oh yes, yes.

And then went from there a slight sort of step closer, I went to a music publishingcompany. Again it’s strange because music publishing is now tied up with videos.

Y es.

Which our son is, is involved with, but it wasn’t in those days.

No.

I mean it was the sheet, the sheet music sales which were important.

Who, who was that, who in the company, what company was that? Which company was that?

That was a small company which was a subsidiary of Chappell’s, which was calledBradbury Wood and it was the days of song plugging.

Y es.

And going round and visiting the...

Sheet music?

Yes, absolutely for sheet music sales.

The sheet music, yes, yes, yes.

And records even didn’t seem to be, I mean the records were important.

Yes, yes, yes.

There were Decca and HMV.

Yes, yes, yes.

But that, that was the important thing. And through them, through that company I met a girl who was a singer called Jean English who was married to a guy who worked for Rank. Under Theo Cowan their, their Publicity Department provided escorts for these young Rank starlets.

Yes, yes.

4

[05:09]

Rank, yes, the starlets, yes.

They had to go to premieres and people like, who were they, who would they be? Sandra Dawn and Diana Dors.

Y es.

And these people would go to premieres and always had to be seen with a young well dressed escort.

Y es.

And it was through this girl that I met her, met her husband. There were, there was Theo Cowin was the head of, he always, he always escorted Margaret Lockwood to premieres - Theo.

[Laughter]

And there were two, these two other boys. John, I think one was called John McFadden and one was called Paddy Fleming and they were film starlet escorts. And I met this guy and through general chatting he suddenly phoned me one day and said there was a job going at Imperial House, Regent Street, which was the Rank head office or one of the Rank head offices, there was South Street and there was Imperial House, Regent Street. And I went there and I was only there a few weeks when a job came up at Pinewood in the Publicity Department for a publicity director of WessexFilms, which was Ian Dalrymple’s company.

Y es.

And she was a lady publicity director called Joy Raymond. And so I went down to Pinewood in the Publicity Department and worked on those films, which were filmslike they had, they’d just made a disaster which was called Esther Waters.

Oh yes.

Which was I think, I’m not sure it wasn’t the first film that I think Dirk Bogarde was in it but I’m not sure. Kathleen Ryan, and they then went on to make... I mean Dirk, it was very much Dirk’s early days, I think he was under contract to Wessex actually.

Yes, he was, yes.

Yes. And he made that Once a Jolly Swagman. I’m just trying to think what otherfilms were made under that Wessex banner. A film called All Over the Town in which Bryan Forbes played a little news boy. Mm, Sarah Churchill and Norman Wooland. And from, and then suddenly Pinewood, Denham came over to Pinewood, Denham and Pinewood combined and the Publicity Department was then put under one banner,

Pamela Mann-Francis. Tape 1 Side A

5

Pamela Mann-Francis. Tape 1 Side A

all the companies. There was Wessex, Mayflower, which was Aubrey Baring andMax Setton. What other companies were there? I can’t remember for the moment.

Were Two Cities there?

Well, Two Cities, yes, Cineguild, Cine...

Cineguild, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.

Of course, Cineguild was one. Well, Two Cities was Denham wasn’t it? Yes, butCineguild was part of that. I think Cineguild actually came over from the Denham. And then we were under this publicity director who died last year called Stuart Chant, and that was the main publicity department for Rank based at the studios.

Y es.

And I was there for a few years and...

What actually, what actually were you doing there?

I was a secretary in the Publicity Department.

Oh I see, oh I see, yes. A general dogsbody?

You know, yes, general dogsbody, that’s right.

Yes, yes, yes, yes.

And we had unit publicists then.

Y es.

One of them was Norman Hudis who became a writer. I think he actually wrote or was involved in some of those comedies at Pinewood, I’m not sure.

He did the Carry Ons.

I think he did do, I was just trying to think he did do.

Y es.

Because the other company that came were Betty, Betty Box and Peter Rogers.

Y es.

They came over from, because the Bush came over to Pinewood.

Y es.Everything....

6

Yes, exactly.

Everything sort of concentrated at Pinewood.

Y es.

As the studios closed down.

Y es.

Islington closed down didn’t it?

Y es.

Southall closed down and eventually Denham and they all, Worton Hall I suppose.

Yes, it would be.

No, I don’t know Worton Hall...

Y es.

No, Worton Hall wasn’t Rank was it?

No, no, no, no. That was...

That’s right, Worton Hall combined with Shepperton.

Yes, yes.

So I was a secretary for, for... And then... Just a minute, just let me think of the order of things. I wanted by that time to get in to production.

Y es.

It seemed to be great to get in to production.

Y es.

Publicity was...

Y es.

And I was, I had a girlfriend and completely independently of the industry who was a production secretary with, with the Wilcox, with Herbert Wilcox, which is why I said Worton Hall and she was at Worton Hall and through her... We used to go to ice-hockey matches together and through her... She had worked a lot with GeorgeMaynard, a production manager called George Maynard who was production manager with Wilcox.

Pamela Mann-Francis. Tape 1 Side A

7

Y es.

[10:00]

And as that sort of went rotten she left, but George Maynard was looking for a production secretary for a picture at Elstree called Master of Ballantrae, which was one of the last films that Errol Flynn, Errol Flynn and Roger Livesey.

Where, roughly where are we in time now when?

Fifty..., that was, I came in in 1948.

Y es.

Pinewood 1948 and 1949. And I guess that I got to, in to the Production Department‘50 or ‘51.

Ah, ha. Ah, ha.
I think Master Of Ballantrae was about ’51. And I went to Elstree, which was then

ABPC.

Y es.

For this film, which starred a very ageing and very puffy Errol Flynn.

[Laughter.

Doing sword fights. Anthony Steel and Beatrice Campbell were the, were the starsand...

In quotes?

In quotes, yes. And I, I mean I knew nothing about the...

Y es.

The Production Department at all but I staggered through and some very error ridden production, what were they called Progress Reports? And from that, [Pause] from that picture which was just, I mean I worked on as a freelance production secretary.

Yes, yes, yes, yes.

But I had no ACT membership.

Ah, ha.

And it was very hard, and it’s funny now when you think about it.

Pamela Mann-Francis. Tape 1 Side A

8

Pamela Mann-Francis. Tape 1 Side A

It was almost impossible to get in to ACT, they didn’t like me doing, being aproduction secretary. I have a feeling that in fact I was an under production secretary and the official production secretary was Hippy.

Oh really, yes. Better explain who Hippy is?

Yes, Hippy was Winifred Hipwell.

Y es.

Who was, I suppose she was really a senior production secretary and had the ACT membership, and because it was a biggish picture for those days I was the sort of, again the dogsbody.

Y es.

Sort of doing the typing. And I should have done some research on this, I’m just trying to think of how I... I went, I think I went back to the Publicity Department thenbut went up to the Rank head office which was South Street working under Theo Cowan who by that time got a slightly wider brief than just being, just the escort agency.

Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.

Which he, he’d run. There was Theo Cowan and David Purcell, and that was at SouthStreet. And I was not very happy at being back in the Publicity Department again, which I, by then regarded as being a very minor.

Y es.

Player in the game. And suddenly I had a call from 146 Piccadilly from a girl calledValerie somebody who’d married Michael Pertwee, she married Michael Pertwee thewriter and she was secretary to Norman Spencer and David Lean at 146 Piccadilly, and was I interested. And so I was very interested and I jumped from, finally from the Publicity Department over to 146 Piccadilly and started with Norman Spencer and David Lean, I was secretary to the two of them, and that was pre Sound Barrier. And from, we worked on the script of the Sound Barrier and the casting of Sound Barrierat 146 Piccadilly, and then pre-production we jumped down to Shepperton, and so that was my second studio really. And at Shepperton we were in fact in an office over The Westrex Theatre which, which was The Westrex Theatre.

Yes, yes, yes, yes.

At Shepperton. And I stayed then, you know, I, as I say, I was David and Norman’ssecretary there for Sound Barrier. We then moved back to 146 Piccadilly and prepared, the next picture that was prepared and scripted there was Hobson’s Choice, which we, we, you know, we were at the London base. We then, which of course, wasclose to David’s home because David lived in Kensington.

Yes, yes.

9

Yes, yes.

At Ilchester Place. And we then hopped down again to Shepperton for the production of Hobson’s Choice. They went off on location to Yorkshire but I stayed at the studio. I used to hate that. [Laughter]

[15:00]

[Laughter] Yes, yes.

But of course, a lot of it was shot in the studio, though there was a location up in Yorkshire.

Y es.

The, all the, all the set, the Moonraker and the shop were all built on the lot at Shepperton, all the moon reflecting sequence was all done at Shepperton. Jack Hilldale [ph15:18] was the cameraman. And, and very much of course, that Camera Department at Shepperton was, was sort of fed, fed the production, I remember that very clearly. Mm, Hobson’s Choice. So that, those two big pictures for Korda. I think, am I right? David didn’t do another picture again there because we then up to, wethen, he was involved, got involved with Ilya Lopert the American producer in association with Korda. Korda was somehow involved, I suppose he let David out. And I went to work with a writer, American writer, quite famous American writerearlier on called Donald Ogden Stewart...

Oh yes, yes.
Who’d written the original script for Philadelphia Story, who lived in Hampstead

because he was one of the...

Yes, one of the names?

Un, un, yes.

Un-American lot?

Un-American lot.

Y es.

Because his, his, his wife was in fact a Communist. I mean she was Ella Winter, she’dbeen a war correspondent in Moscow and she was a, she was a real American red, Imean there’s no question about it. And I worked at their Hampstead house and originally I met Katharine Hepburn there who was a great friend of theirs.

Y es.

Pamela Mann-Francis. Tape 1 Side A

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Pamela Mann-Francis. Tape 1 Side A

How Katie Hepburn ever was not indicted in the American, un-American activitiesI’ve never known. Because she was very firm friends with them, very loyal friend to them.

Yes, yes.

And somehow escaped that, that taint, which, which is very strange, has always been very strange for me because I met her, as I say, at, at their house. And he wrote a script which did not please David at all of this Arthur Lawrence play which was calledThe Time of The Cuckoo and he wrote, David was not pleased at all. And eventuallywe went out to Venice, that was my first...

Y es.

David suddenly said to me ‘We’re going to Venice and we’re going to work on thescript out there’. And he got H E Bates, a lovely English writer, and we went out toVenice and worked on the script in Venice. David did a lot of scripting himself and HE Bates came in with him and that really started David’s perambulations around the world.

Y es.

Because he, he never really went back to a studio base again. And Summer Madnesswas shot, was the, he’d had a tiny studio in Venice, there was a tiny studio in Venice.There was a tiny studio on the Giudecca Island which we shot a few little bits and pieces.

But you were, you were still production secretary?

I was, I was both on that. I became unofficially still with no union membership.

Y es.

I was desperately trying to get a union membership.

Y es.

I didn’t get my union membership until after Bridge on the River Kwai, I think.

Really?

No, I’m pretty sure I didn’t. You could probably check it up actually, 17684 is mynumber which is way down from his number. Yours is what?

I can’t remember now.
Can’t remember? He’s an honorary member now.I’m an honorary member now. [?]

11

Pamela Mann-Francis. Tape 1 Side A

Yes, yes.
But 17684.
Y es.
It, no, it was actually Bridge on the River Kwai I got it on.Y es.

Because after Summer Madness I came back and David, [Pause] Korda didn’t die tillWind Can’t Read did he? [Pause] I’m just trying to sort out the chronology,chronology now. After Summer Madness [Pause] I came back. I’ve got to have a think actually about mm... I was still employed, I was employed, though I was David’ssecretary I was employed by British Lion. [Pause] British Lion before it became that sort of strange conglomeration of, of people.

Yes, yes. The Boultings and the Gilliats?

The Boultings, yes, exactly. [20:00]

I mean I think British Lion, British Lion was Alex Korda’s company wasn’t it I mean way before that?

Yes, yes, yes.

Yes. So I was employed by British Lion, Harold Boxall was the sort of manager.

General, general manager, yes.

General manager of London Films. I suppose films like Sound Barrier went out under London Films, yes, they did, yes. And Hobson’s Choice. Summer Madness didn’t of course, I don’t think. And I’m just trying to think what happened after Summer Madness. I must have come back and, [Pause] David didn’t seem to be doing a lot forKorda at that time. I think he was reading and, and I have a feeling that I was kept onbut nothing much happened. I think eventually we parted with... No, I know whathappened. After Summer, after Summer Madness David decided he wanted to do this picture The Wind Cannot Read, which was a Richard Mason story. And in fact because of his experience on the scripting of Summer Madness and that it didn’t workwriting it, he decided that he had to go and write the script in the country where the movie was going to be done because that you picked up the ambience of the place. And so he arranged through London, British Lion that we would go out to India with the writer Richard Mason to write the script of The Wind Cannot Read, and whichwas great for me. Because, you know, here was I now... Oh the extraordinary, nowhat, what I haven’t said about, sorry I got very confused and worried about what wascoming in the, ahead. The thing that happened, the big thing that happened from my point of view on Summer Madness was that Maggie, as she was then Shipway, who isnow Maggie Unsworth, whom I’m sure you will be talking to.

12

Yes, sure, yes, yes.

Maggie had a recurrence of a previous TB and she got about several weeks in to thepicture as continuity because she’d been David’s continuity since In Which We Serve,she’d always done his pictures and then suddenly she became very ill with arecurrence of the TB and David sent her off to Davos, which was in those days if yougot TB...

The place, yes.

You went to Davos. And I said to him I was on that picture I was Lopert’s secretary. Talk about Lopert’s secretary, David’s secretary, Norman’s secretary, becauseNorman Spencer was there as well.

Yes, yes.

And production secretary for Raymond Anzarat who was the Production Manager. So I was doing all these jobs and I said to David one night, ‘You know what are you going to do, who are you going to send for to do continuity’? And he said ‘You’re going to do it’. And I said ‘But I know nothing about it’. I’d always read Maggie’scontinuity sheets when they came.

Yes, yes, sure.

And he said ‘Don’t worry’, he said ‘I’ll look after you’. So suddenly there I was withmy notebook and a script down on the set, down on the location set with Katharine Hepburn and Rossano Brazzi doing a major moving picture as continuity.

Y es.

And I don’t know, I muddled through.

Okay. And that’s an interesting thing because I, you know, I can remember, you know,I worked, the first continuity girl I worked with was Nellie Peacock. Do you remember Nellie Peacock at The Bush?

No.

No? Then I suppose the next one was at Stoll’s, they hadn’t got a proper continuitygirl?

No.

And there was a girl who came I think from the Accounts Department and did it.

Yes.

And she just hated it, hated it?

Pamela Mann-Francis. Tape 1 Side A

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Pamela Mann-Francis. Tape 1 Side A

And one day Winnie Dwyer appeared looking for a job? Oh I know Winnie.

Yes, looking for a job. And I think she was on the floor with this girl for one day and that was it and she was on her own.

Mm, yes.

And everybody used to kind of go up and say to her ‘Did you notice this, did you notice that’?

Yes.

Did you find that? You got enormous kind of sympathetic consideration.

Probably. To be fair I think David, you know, there are one or two film makers and, you know, I always say about Spielberg.

Y es.

I mean Spielberg is the sort of film maker who really feels and could almost make the film single handed.

Yes, yes, yes.

I mean they have so much grasp of what’s going on.

Yes, yes, yes.

And I think David did sort of, was aware. And also one had a good, I mean one had, we had Jack Hilldrop [ph 24:42].

Yes, yes.

Peter Newbrook was the operator and I suppose they did all help. American artists were always better at continuity.

Yes, yes.

Than English artists anyway.

Yes, yes, yes, yes.

I remember having one terrible argument with Katie Hepburn about some ear-rings where I swore she was wearing ear-rings and she swore she wasn’t, and it was a nightmare situation where the rushes didn’t come back for a long, long time.

Really, yes. Well, it’s...

14

[25:12]

Yes, a week or what was it?

I can’t remember how long now.

About a week?

But I mean yes, at least a week.

Yes, okay.

And I remember having sleepless nights about these blasted ear-rings and I’d swornshe had them and she said ‘I didn’t’. And I said ‘I know you did’, and she said ‘How do you know’? And I said ‘Because I wrote it down’ and she said ‘Oh, okay, if you wrote it down then that’s okay then’.

[Laughter]

And I never ever told her that I hadn’t written it down but I was convinced.

[Laughter]

And I remember Peter Taylor was the editor and I said to him ‘God, I’m so worried, you know, she’s these bloody ear-rings’. And he said ‘I’ll, I’ll show it to you first on the Moviola’. And we rushed up the steps, stairs in the Giudecca to the cutting roomsand saw... He ran it on the Moviola and she came right in to the side and I said ‘She’s not wearing them, she’s not wearing them’. And he said ‘You fool, she is’. I’d convinced myself by that time that I’d got it wrong.

[Laughter]

And in fact she was wearing them and I had been right, and that was I suppose the sortof instinct that... Because you do need a sort of instinct to pick up on things ascontinuity.

Yes, yes.

I mean it is important what you write down.

Y es.

That is the most important, you have to make notes.

Y es.

But you do have an in-built instinct when something is wrong, which becomes part ofyour, I mean people say it’s memory. It’s not memory, you can’t rely on memory butthere is an in-built, there’s something wrong, that hair parting is on the wrong side or,or these silly things...

Pamela Mann-Francis. Tape 1 Side A

15

Yes, yes.

That come up.

It’s an inherent instinct really.

Yes, it is an instinct, and I guess that was my first experience of, of that instinct. And I mean Katie Hepburn was real big guns.

Y es.

I mean she, she’s a very powerful lady and I was, you know... And I remember therewas one scene on the set in the studio, and she, it was some scene which in fact is a disastrous cut, there are some disastrous cuts in the picture where she signs in to the, the Isa Miranda, she signs in to the pensione.

Y es.

And the pen I tell you travels from one hand to the other like magic.

[Laughter]

Which was because I didn’t know that I was looking for the pen in the hand. Andthere was some point where a question was asked and, and Katie Hepburn said ‘Oh don’t ask her, she knows nothing’, and I thought that’s it I’m not doing this any moreand I went behind the flat and I was sort of, you know, very tearful. And David cameround and said ‘Oh don’t be such a goose’, he said, you know, ‘It’s perfectly alright, take no notice of her’. Which was, I mean he and, David and Kate Hepburn were great mates and I’m, he did support me so I guess he did nurse me through it quite well and he obviously didn’t want anybody else coming out.

Y es.

Who was a stranger. Because I mean I don’t know, have you interviewed Maggie, youwill be interviewing her?

Not yet, no.

I mean Maggie always said to me...

Y es.

One of the, you know, things about David, and I’m now mixing her metaphors for heras well, he said, she said, he, she said ‘All David’s geese are swans’.

Y es.

You know, if he knew you and liked you, you could do no wrong. Until, and this iswhere I’m mixing her, until the iron curtain comes down.

Pamela Mann-Francis. Tape 1 Side A

16

That’s right, yes, yes, right.

And he had that strange, and I’ll tell you a story about it later which, which moves on in to the ‘80s which is quite funny about David. But he did nurse me through that. But I came back with no union membership. I’d done producer secretary, production secretary, continuity on a major motion picture and they would not let me join the union.

[Laughter]

And I got back to the studio, [Pause] Shepperton and we were then in that little, that little block was it, what block was it called? Was it called The Westrex Block? It was the other side of this silent stage and it was actually, had been part of the SoundDepartment or... Anyway a little block there and we did some extra shooting and Idid a progress report, and Norman Bolland came in and really ticked me off because I had no business, I had no ACT membership and therefore I was not entitled to do aprogress report. And I was, I got in terrible trouble and I was terrified and yet I’d done...

Yes, yes.

By that time I really was entitled to be an ACT member. And I had this terrible fight and after Summer Madness David sort of, as I say, I went back to being David’ssecretary and we went out to India to do The Wind Cannot Read script and travelled all round India. From Bombay, we drove up to Delhi getting the ambience for the movie.

Yes, yes.

And we went to all these, I mean it was a wonderful trip. I went up to Simla and then went back to Delhi, and we were in Delhi and the news came through that Alex Korda had died. And David, I remember David saying ‘The top of the mountain’s gone’.And he flew back, he and Norman flew back to London and left me in Delhi on myown with his Aston Martin, because he’d taken his, this grand cream Aston Martin outthere and which was sort of seizing up on Indian petrol. And he said ‘Oh get it, you know, I’m going to try and sort out what we’re going to do’. Because he wanted, hehad a script and he very much wanted to do the movie, he loved the subject. And went back and in fact, in fact never returned because The British Lion properties were eventually all sold off.

[30:48]

Y es.

And the script, his script for The Wind Cannot Read was sold and picked up by BettyBox and Ralph Thomas who eventually shot it. And I don’t know what happened to David’s contract but certainly it all fell apart when Alex Korda died, the whole of British Lion and London Films fell apart. And [Pause] I think I went back and I had I think no job. David said ‘Well, you know, I’ll go and try and sort of sort something

Pamela Mann-Francis. Tape 1 Side A

17

Pamela Mann-Francis. Tape 1 Side A

out to get, I, I might go back to Ilya Lopert’. I mean he, it, I remember it all fallingapart. And I, in fact for the first and only time in my life, did actually go and sign onbecause I didn’t want to go and go back to the Publicity Department, I still had noACT membership and David said ‘I’ll sort something out’. And eventually he, he said he’d joined up with Sam Spiegel to do The Wind Cannot Read - to do Bridge on the River Kwai. And he said, he met me in London and he said ‘You better go and seeSam, you know because I want you on the picture’.

Y es.

And I went down to the Dover Street office and I said to him ‘I want to get an ACT membership, I must have an ACT membership’. And I must say Sam’s office helpedme.

Y es.

Because there was the situation where you used to have to ring up ACT and you usedto say ‘We need a production secretary’, and if there was a production secretary onthe books...

Yes, yes, that’s right. .

You had to take them.

Yes, yes, that’s right.

You couldn’t take, you know, anybody off the streets, which as far as ACT were concerned I was.

Yes, that’s it.

Though I by this time had a certain, you know, a fair amount of experience.

Yes, yes.

And I always remember Bessie Bond being very helpful, which surprised me becauseI’d been terrified of, you know, people like that, the hierarchy of the union were terrifying to me. You know, they were always trying to shoot me down.

Y es.

They were always trying to stop me having jobs.

Y es.

And the accountant at, at Horizon Film, Horizon Pictures, which was Sam’s company used to ring ACT every morning and then one morning...

Y es.

18

Pamela Mann-Francis. Tape 1 Side A

They rang and they said ‘We need a production secretary’, and they said ‘I’m terribly sorry we’ve got nobody on the books. He said ‘Right’, he said ‘we want to use PamelaMann’. And through that I got my form and I got, and Angela Allen...

Y es.

My application came up at a meeting and would they allow me in. And Angela Allenwho’s never actually in many ways been very kind to new people coming in did say, Ithink it was Angela Allen and Teresa Boland said ‘Well, you know, she has been working in the business, she does know what it’s about I think we should let her in’,and I got my ACT membership. Went out, worked with David on the script of River Kwai in London. Flew Out to Ceylon, worked with Karl Foreman who was a un- American American at the time.

Y es.

But was about to fly back to America to testify. He’d decided to cut his losses and hewent back and testified. David hated his work. Carl flew back. They flew out another writer who was a disaster, he flew back from Ceylon. They flew out another writer who was called Michael Wilson who was also a un-American. Sam employed all the un-American writers, I think because they were cheap.

Y es.

Actually I think, you know, they were desperate to work and they worked anonymously.

Excuse me a sec, would anybody like some more coffee?Right.
You know where it is?
Yes.

Oh okay.

[Sound of breaking crockery] Oh whoops
It’s alright.

So this other writer came out, Michael Wilson, who was also a un-American who, infact with David. I was still doing this, I was still, I was Sam Spiegel’s secretary, I was David’s secretary. I was production secretary on the movie, and that was a big movie.

[35:24]

Yes, it was, yes.

19

Bridge on the River Kwai.

Y es.

I mean, you know, I was thinking when Freddie was talking about the, the heaviness of the production executives.

Yes, yes.

The old... But it, it goes all the way through because a Production Office now on abig movie has, you know, I mean it’s all increased so much the Production Office,where I mean the faxes that come in and the, you know, the production secretary has a computer and she has an assistant who has a computer and they have runners and they have these, all these departments have exploded.

Y es.
Like mad. I mean if you think back to The River Kwai which in those days was a

major motion picture.

Yes, yes.

I had a little local Sinhalese Burgher, the, they were the Burghers in Ceylon.

Yes, yes, yes, yes.

A girl, who was a sort of assistant typist in the office. There was me. There was Mike Holden, the production accountant, so I was doing that work as well.

Yes, yes.

For the production accountant. I was doing Sam’s letters, I was, we were shipping in stuff from Bombay and England and all around. All the equipment came in to Ceylon. I was rushing down to The Mount Lavina.

Y es.

To do script alterations with David. I, there was a little production office at The Galle Face Hotel in Colombo, so I was between those two hotels. And yet somehow it all got done. Cecil Ford was the Production Manager. They did eventually ship out a Location Manager called Dennis Batera who rushed round to various plantations, tea plantations. The Art Department was reasonable, I mean Don Ashton was Art Director.

Yes, yes.

Which would now be production designer, and they did have a company of civil engineers in to actually build the bridge.

Y es.

Pamela Mann-Francis. Tape 1 Side A

20

Pamela Mann-Francis. Tape 1 Side A

Because the bridge was in fact I mean fairly rickety, but it was a real bridge, I mean it carried a real train. And I do think when I think back that it was done, you know, in what these days would be regarded as on a shoestring really. I mean we had major artists coming in from all over or they were all booked in.

Yes, yes.

I don’t know how it was done but it was done. And I can’t remember, you know, we didn’t have dozens of production assistants, and I mean that’s an Americanproliferation - the production assistant bit isn’t it? But which hasn’t happened here yetto the extent that it’s happened in the States. I don’t know, I don’t know. We, we did do it all on a much smaller crew. And I can’t remember the duration of the location but...

It was a long one.

It was a long one, yes.

Yes, yes, yes.

I was actually there in Ceylon for almost a year.

Y es.

But it was, I think it ran from ‘55 to ‘56.

Something like that, yes.

I think it was ‘55 to ‘56.

Yes, yes.
Is it as long ago as that?
Mm, mm, yes, it was.
Yes, yes.
And...
Because it would be long because I mean David is very, very precise.Oh absolutely, yes.
Very demanding.

Yes, very demanding. And I was there from the original scripting and, and the shipping in of stuff and, and right through to the clearing it all up and in fact travelling home on the boat with equipment.

21

Yes, having a rest?

Well, yes, having a rest.

[Laughter]

And there was a terrible thing because Sam wouldn’t pay overtime. And I was, I thinkI was being paid nine pounds a week for doing all these jobs, I mean ridiculous.

Nine, really, nine pounds?

Yes, nine pounds a week I think I was on.

Good God, God.

And eventually ACT insisted that we got paid overtime. And I mean I had worked all the hours that, I mean it was ridiculous, you know, that we worked.

Y es.

And I remember putting in a bill and being terribly embarrassed for putting in this bill, and I got something like, I mean it may have been a hundred and ten but something around a hundred pounds in overtime for that picture on which I was in Ceylon for a whole year doing it.[Laughter]. Sorry for that.

That’s alright, yes. [Laughter]

[40:00]

Doing all these jobs. So, so that was... And the end of that picture I then became afreelance because David went off to all points then, he decided that he wasn’t undercontract to anybody any more. The tax was very high in England and he by that time had been divorced and lost his permanent home, or given his permanent home to his ex-wife, Ann Todd, and he, he went off and so that really finished that sort of, he went off for years after that.

Y es.
He didn’t do anything else until Ryan’s Daughter was it?‘Ryan’s Daughter’, yes.
Ryan’s Daughter.
Did he do ‘Lawrence’ first, ‘Lawrence’.
Lawrence.

Pamela Mann-Francis. Tape 1 Side A

22

Pamela Mann-Francis. Tape 1 Side A

Lawrence, oh well Lawrence, by that, by Lawrence of course, I’d, was I doingcontinuity? Yes, we were on The Innocents, that’s right, because they called fromAqaba or somewhere, they called to say would I go and take over the ProductionOffice. And I was very grand and said ‘No, I’m continuity now’, because by that timeI’d struggled my way through to doing continuity.

Yes, let and before we move on.

Yes, yes.

And, you know, let’s talk a little bit about David, working with David?

Yes.

How was it, you know, with as far as you were concerned?

Well, I mean in the early days I mean I, you know, I mean I was absolutely, I, I haddanger of...

On the line?

Danger of becoming, and there are several girls in the industry and we do talk about it who become so devoted to the usually director or producer...

Yes, sure.

They’re working for that they really give up their whole lives to it. And I think therewas a period with David when I was in danger of doing that, and I think I was probably saved from that fate, if you like, by the fact that David decided to take off to all points.

Y es.

And so I was sort of released from it. But I did love it, I mean it was great because he was a great film maker. And I always feel, this is diverging a bit, but I always feel the saddest thing really is that the latest, the last wife...

Y es.

Who in fact became Lady, Lady Lean and, and organised the great memorial serviceat St Paul’s and all this sort of thing was the wife who never ever saw David when hewas making a movie, and that was David Lean.

Yes, yes.

David Lean was making movies.Y es.

23

Pamela Mann-Francis. Tape 1 Side A

I mean he was a super film maker and, you know, the best part of the movie to him was always the spring in his step I used to say came when he got in to the cutting rooms.

Yes, yes, yes.

Because he really, you know, he, I can’t say he made his films in the cutting rooms,he used to say he did.

Y es.

He used to say ‘I get to put right all my mistakes, I love going in the cutting room because I can put all my mistakes right in the cutting rooms’. [Interruption] So, you know, I was totally sort of devoted. In fact I do feel that Norman Spencer, who I originally went to work for Norman and David, but Norman must have been very usedto it, sort of had to take a sort of...

Back seat?

Back seat rather. Because yes, I mean it was, I mean it was a great experience for me, and he did after all take me on these locations.

Y es.

Once he decided that scripting should be done where you’re making the movie,which, you know, has a good point. Whether he did that latterly I don’t know, whether he did that on things like...

‘Ryan’?
Ryan...
I’m not sure about that.
No, probably not. I don’t know, but by that time it had all changed.Yes. I’m going to stop you there.
Yes.
And we’re going to turn over.

[End of Tape 1 Side A 44:09]

24

Pamela Mann-Francis DRAFT. Tape 1 Side B

NB: The time codes given here are estimates based on readings from the original cassette recording.

Tape 1 Side B.

Pamela Mann, Side Two.

Yes. What I was saying, we were talking about David and saying that he could, you know, he was very proud of being a technician David.

Y es.

He was very much a technician, and certain technicians who weren’t so, I mean I suppose it goes back to the fact that he said he’d, he’d take care of me when Istumbled in to doing continuity on A Summer Madness. David felt very often that hecould make up for the shortcomings of technicians. If an operator wasn’t so hot he feltthat he could keep an eye, keep an eye on it.

Y es.

And, and would know. He would know if a take wasn’t good enough. He did, he wasa consummate technician I think in every field of film making. I mean he was a great, I mean the writing he did was always excellent, and though he always worked, tried to work with good writers I mean he, he had a very commanding eye over that and over every other aspect I think of, of, of lighting, operating and...

Because he did start in the Camera Department, you know, at The Bush?

Did he?

Y es.

Did he?

Y es.

Did you know that, that David started in the Camera...?No.
I don’t think, I don’t think I knew that.
Yes. But, you know, only as a...

One always...

Only as, only as the boy.

25

Pamela Mann-Francis DRAFT. Tape 1 Side B

Yes, yes, yes. I know, I know his father rather disapproved of the film industry as a career.

Yes. [Laughter] I was going to say, talking of that. I was going to, I was wondering did your father disapprove of you going in to the film industry?

No. My father only disapproved of me being in the film industry at the time when I’dbecome a fully fledged continuity girl.

Ah, ha.

And I became the sort of continuity queen of the kitchen sink movies.

[Laughter]

And he always used to say ‘Why do you have to do, why can’t you do those nice sort of Anna Neagle movies, why do you have to do all those filthy...?

[Laughter]

[Laughter] ‘Filthy, filthy movies’? You know, The Saturday Nights and Sunday Mornings and Sporting Life where they were, you know, they had bloody noses and swore a bit.

[Laughter] Yes.

He didn’t really, he wasn’t very happy with that aspect.

[Laughter]

But no, he was thrilled with the, with the film industry.

Yes, ah, ha.

He was, they were, you know, absolutely thrilled when I worked for David.

Yes, yes.

Because this was, you know, the top. And it, and it was very difficult to follow David really.

Y es.

Though I remember my first interview with Karel Reisz when I went to do Saturday Night, Sunday Morning - and I am jumping ahead at the moment - was that, youknow, I was full of the fact that I’d worked with David and done Bridge On The River Kwai and right at the end of the interview, which was at that pub just by The RoyalCourt outside of the...

Yes, yes.

26

Pamela Mann-Francis DRAFT. Tape 1 Side B

And Karel said ‘I have to tell you’, he said ‘I hated Bridge on the River Kwai’.[Laughter]

[Laughter]

I thought I’ll never get the job now, but in spite of that actually I did, I worked onSaturday Night, Sunday Morning. And when you think of it, you know, those, those pictures it was very strange that I did in fact get on those pictures because they werecompletely the opposite of the sort of movies I’d been doing with David.

Yes, yes. Glam, David’s always were glam?

Yes, they were, they were glam.

Glam, yes.

Though, though Hobson’s Choice was supposed to be gritty and down to earth, and in its time I suppose was, but when you look at it now in comparison with the pictures that really Freddie started off in, in Room at the Top.

Yes, yes.

It was very sort of arty version of gritty north country life.

Y es.

It was a very stagy...

Y es.

Lovely.

Yes, yes.

I mean lovely, it had its own style.

Y es.

And, but it wasn’t kitchen sink.

Now what’s your, what was the first film you did as freelance then?

Well, after Bridge on the River Kwai, mm, I came back, I came back on the boat with all the equipment, and as I remember it I had a cable arrive on the boat from RaymondAnzarat who’d been the production manager on Summer Madness saying would I work on a picture called The Silent Enemy, or Silent Enemy in Gibraltar, which was the story of Captain Crabb.

Oh yes.

27

Was it Captain Crabb?

Buster.

You know, the diver.

Y es.

Yes, Buster, Buster Crabb?

Yes, yes.

And I went, I did go out to Gibraltar and by that time I was officially entitled to call myself a production secretary and do progress reports because I had my ACT membership. So that was really, that was the first time I ever felt myself official.

Y es.

And I did that picture as production secretary. And I’d forgotten, you know, I’d had this continuity experience and hoped that one day...

Y es.

I’d be, you know, but I felt I then needed to be officially a production secretary for awhile. And I did that picture, which was all location as I remember, I don’t think wedid any studio at all on, on Silent Enemy, we shot it all in Gibraltar. And there might have been a few days of back up in the studio but I can’t remember them. And the director was Bill Fairchild and I can’t remember who the cameraman was. Alan Hume was the operator. I can’t remember the, was it Wox...?

Was it Wilkins?

No, I think it was Wox....

If you really want to know I’ll find out from my book who it was.

I can’t remember, it’s probably not that important.

I don’t, it doesn’t really matter.

No, right, right.

Because we can find that out.

Angela Martelli was the continuity girl and there we are. So that was my first fully fledged production secretary job. I then went on to, after that I went on to the, I think I went on doing The Angry Hills, which was a picture in Greece. By that time locationshad become...

Pamela Mann-Francis DRAFT. Tape 1 Side B

28

Y es.

You know, the in thing.

Y es.

And when, and one went and did location pictures. And you might pick up a little local, local studio for the odd interior but generally speaking locations then by that time foreign locations.

Y es.

You know, one shot the movies in the foreign country. And that was a picture with Robert Mitchum and... [Pause] I can’t remember, I’m trying to think what happened after that, production secretary on that. I think soon after that I came back and I was... Oh, that’s right, I went to... I think I did a picture at MGM which I can’t rememberbecause I remember Rudkin was there, was... I did a picture at MGM and from there Igot, I was telephoned by Frank Sherwin Green to say could, would I like to do continuity on Dial 999, which was the series...

Y es.

You know, the TV series. And I, with some trepidation, I thought well I have done it before, but, you know, I was being looked after by the great David Lean and can I do it and can I do it? And eventually I did do some series of Dial 999 as continuity. And that was really I suppose probably even more than Summer Madness, that was my schooling, that was my Harry Alan Towers.

Y es.

At Elstree.

Y es.

We then went on to a series with, with Mantovani and his orchestra shooting the...Nick Rohde was the camera operator, and we did this series which was like little potted musicals every day. We used to do dance sequences with playback and so it was a good school actually.

Y es.

Those, you know, rubbish, Harry Alan Tower rubbish movies.

Good, yes.

We then did a Dickens series, which was like period costume and everything. So though, you know, one knocks them as being a load of old rubbish. I did sort of car chases, I learned musical playback, I learned period costume and, you know, a lot of dialogue.

Pamela Mann-Francis DRAFT. Tape 1 Side B

29

Pamela Mann-Francis DRAFT. Tape 1 Side B

In those sort of things. And one was doing continuity in the proper way with continuity sheets and, you know, daily diaries and all the things that were required inthose days on...

I was going to ask you about that.

Yes.

Because I, you know, I can always remember, you know, being on location or being atthe studios and, you know, you wrap up and there would be this poor girl...

Yes.

Sitting there doing all her continuity sheets.

Yes, yes.

You know, I mean one, one used to look at this poor little lonely soul.

That’s right, that’s right. One used to be left. Well, I used to try and, you know, one took our little steam driven typewriters everywhere.

Yes, yes.

And I used to sit in gutters and on hillsides with my typewriter on my, my lap and we used to make I think five or six copies with carbons.

Y es.

Of these continuity sheets. Every one had to be laced up, everything had to be sorted at the end of the day. And we used to do a lot of set-ups on those things, and I don’t know we used to do them. I, you know, I’m slightly mystified as Freddie is at the, theworkload we seemed to get through and get things done on schedule and... I mean Icertainly used to take work home at night and type on the kitchen table.

Y es.

From location. I used to type I think even in the minibus.

Yes, yes.

You know, driving back to the studio.

Definitely.

From, from those 999s. I would type anywhere that I could just to get through the workload.

Yes, yes.

30

Pamela Mann-Francis DRAFT. Tape 1 Side B

Yes. Did you do call sheets as well or was that the Production Office?

Production Office used to do call sheets, yes, yes.

Ah, ha.

[10:00]

Those used to be done on a, sort of rolled off on a Gestetner machine.

Yes, yes, yes, skins, yes. [Laughter]

Yes, skins, yes. I mean we used to do those, those in Ceylon.

Y es.

I mean those were all done in the Production Office.

Y es.

We, I mean that, my little assistant might have actually turned the handle and sortedthe...

Yes, yes, yes, yes.

But we all used to muck in.

Y es.

I mean I seem to remember that Mike Holden, who was the Production Accountant, you know, we used to muck in sort of doing the call sheets.

Y es.

And I can’t remember who used to take them round now. I think, I think I used to take round the call sheets and slip them under the...

Under the bedroom doors, yes, yes.

The doors of the, yes, in the hotel.

Yes, yes, yes.

And somebody would take them up to The Mount Lavina and somebody, you know. [Pause] So, so yes, so by that time I, I got in to continuity. And the first feature picture I ever did from after those, that sort of grounding in the TV series was, there were two films made for Warwick. Fred Gunn, was it Fred Gunn, the Production Manager. Was it Fred Gunn, yes.

Fred Gunn the brother of the other guy.

31

Fred Gunn, yes.

Yes, George.

What’s the name of the other guy? George Gunn.

George, George Gunn.

Yes, Fred Gun said to me would I like to do, they’d shot two pictures back to back.One was called In the Nick, directed by Ken Hughes and the other was called Let’sGet Married. Which featured, they both featured Anthony Newley and they bothfeatured... Irving Allen was the...

Anne Aubrey was...

Anne Aubrey who was Irving Allen’s protégé.

Y es.

And James Booth and Bernie Winters, and they were sort of from, for Warwick Films, they were fairly small films actually.

Y es.

Because Warwick had made some quite big movies.

Yes, yes.
Up to that time like Cockleshell Heroes and those sort of movies but this was...Pot boilers?
Yes, they were pot boilers really, they were to keep Anne Aubrey occupied.[Laughter]

I think as much as anything. And yes, Tony Newley was at that time, in fact I thinkthey’d done, they had done Idle On Parade which had been very successful when Tony Newley had the hit song.

Y es.

And that really est..., that started Tony Newley off.

Y es.

On his... And I suspect they may have had Tony Newley under contract for two or three pictures and so therefore they made these other ones to follow and they weren’tas successful.

Pamela Mann-Francis DRAFT. Tape 1 Side B

32

No.

And so, so that really established me. And I suppose it was not long after that that the, the kitchen sink era started.

[Laughter] Yes.

And I think that in fact [Pause] I did do some, I did go back and do some TV series.There was a TV series at Pinewood which Bob Stewart wrote, and that’s when I metyou at Pinewood in the corridor when you were doing Sons and Lovers, I remember meeting you there.

Really?

Mm. And it was when, I did, so I filled in on I think some odd, some odd TV series that was made at Pinewood which Bob Stewart always talks about and I can’tremember what it was. And I then had this famous interview with Karel and in fact Ididn’t realise that the cameraman on, the projector cameraman on the movie was trying to talk Karel Reisz out of having me because he didn’t think I was experiencedenough.

[Laughter]

Guess where I’m looking, [Laughter].

[Laughter]

And he wanted Karel to have a very old established cam..., continuity girl who Karelwould have hated. [Laughter]

Who was that?

Olga Brook.

Oh yes. [Laughter]

Yes. And I don’t think Karel and Olga would have been good chemistry somehow or other.

No.

And anyway Karel, Karel and we remain good friends. And I was, I have to admit even with the things I had been doing I was fairly inexperienced on Saturday Night, Sunday Morning and Freddie did point me in some fairly useful directions in thatmovie. And after that I went and... So I, by that time I had worked with David Leanand Karel Reisz. Ken Hughes, Karel Reisz as, as, as my directors.

Y es.
And then [Pause] was it Sporting Life after that? Anyway I got in to a run.

Pamela Mann-Francis DRAFT. Tape 1 Side B

33

Yes, Billy Liar.

Mm, Billy Liar?

Or was it Room At The Top?

‘Billy Liar’?

No, I didn’t do Room At The Top.

Oh no you didn’t.

No, that was...

Did you do ‘Billy Liar’?

I did Billy Liar, yes.

Yes, lovely.

Which was lovely.

Y es.

Which, and I mean working with John. When people say who was your favourite director? I mean John, to work with John was a joy.

John?

Schlesinger.

Y es.

Yes. I mean he was a joy. And I remember that as being, you know, lovely, I enjoyed that picture. I did This Sporting Life with Lindsay Anderson, which was of course,produced by Karel Reisz so I guess I hadn’t done too badly with Karel, he’dobviously asked for me to do Sporting Life. [Pause] So...

[15:24]

You had a difficult start?
Yes, yes, I did really. I mean I enjoyed it all though. Y es.

You know, I, to get to being a film technician took me a long, what I regarded, when Icould put, I felt I could put ‘film technician’ on my passport rather than ‘secretary’did take a long time but it was very interesting. I mean I think I was very lucky

Pamela Mann-Francis DRAFT. Tape 1 Side B

34

Pamela Mann-Francis DRAFT. Tape 1 Side B

because I mean working with David was great and you did feel you were at the top of the, of the industry really even if you were only a secretary. And David did, you know, I worked on scripts with him and, you know, I was in the cutting room quite alot with him because I’d be in and out of the cutting room so that was a greatexperience. So really though it did take a long time it was, you know, it was probably worth it. Though I do feel actually that at that time ACT as a union held me back. They did hold me back because it was very, very hard to get a union membership and,and I think that of course, now they’re probably begging people to join, you know.And I, I, you know, it’s the swing of the pendulum, it’s interesting really because they probably let anybody and everybody in now and now I don’t know.

No, no.

No, no.

No, not really, no, not really.

Do you have to be in the ACT now to work in the film industry?

Not necessarily, no, no.

No, you don’t, no.

No, no, no, no that’s all illegal.

Because that’s another one of the problems, you know, I’m sure in fact a lot of...

That’s illegal, you see its illegal.

In fact a lot of you know...

Well, we know.

This is not for publication but on this last film I was on most of the Art Department were working unpaid.

Well, there’s been a lot of that.

Yes, yes. So, so, so I, I really do actually, and I mean I, looking back I think they did actually hold me back but I was all the time working in the business.

Y es.

And, and earning a living and, you know, in fact enjoying it.

Y es.

Having a great time, so, you know...

Carry on, carrying on there.

35

Right, right.

Carrying on now again. You...

So I did, I did that series of pictures with Karel Reisz, Lindsay Anderson and JohnSchlesinger and then I went out to do a picture... Oh now just a minute I’ve missed out one of the first films I did as continuity. And I’m, I’d done The Angry Hills in, with Mitchum because one of the first films I did, I went out to Ireland and did a film called A Terrible Beauty, which was I think Richard Harris’ first film, which heplayed a small part playing opposite Mitchum. In fact I met Mitchum when Freddie was doing Cape Fear in Miami recently, in Florida recently, I did actually, Mitchum was in the picture and we did meet and talk about that, that particular film.

Y es.

And that was directed by an old American director called Clay Garnet.

Oh yes.

Yes.

Gosh.

And it was a, it was a very early picture about the IRA, it was about the... I can’tremember a great deal of the plot but it was a W B Yates story in fact. No, it was a,I’m sorry, it wasn’t, it was a W B Yates quote A Terrible Beauty, and it was, it was, it was about the IRA but I can’t remember a great deal about it but that was...

That was your...

That was certainly a picture I did in Ireland. And I also did another picture in Ireland as continuity which was directed by Guy Green called The Mark for Raymond Stross. Raymond Stross was the producer.

And did, was his wife in it?

Ye..., mm... [Pause]

No, I don’t think.

No. She wasn’t in The Mark she was in A Terrible Beauty, Anne Heywood, andMitchum used to do terrible things to, Mitchum didn’t much like the two of them andused to play terrible practical jokes on them and, and didn’t have a lot of time. ButMitchum, interestingly we saw a programme on Mitchum the other night where it, I mean Mitchum was one of those exteriors that everybody thought was awful and terrifying.

Y es.

Pamela Mann-Francis DRAFT. Tape 1 Side B

36

Pamela Mann-Francis DRAFT. Tape 1 Side B

Because he’d had the famous drugs conviction and everything. And he did, he was, hedid drink a lot but he was a pussy cat.

Y es.

I mean he is and he is just a lovely man.

Y es.

And isn’t he. I Mean you didn’t work with him very long.

Not for long, no, I, I...

[20:00]

But he, he was lovely, he is lovely, an extraordinary character. So those two pictureschronologically must have come in between...

Y es.

The Warwick pictures and the kitchen sink pictures, if I can categorise them like that. [Laughter]

[Laughter]

And they were good experience as well. So I was building up my career, and Isuppose by the time I did get to the kitchen sink pictures I, I was sort of ...

Established?

Fairly, fairly established. But, but I came in, I always felt myself very much a newcomer because the industry was peopled by continuity girls who were very, very experienced. I mean people like Maggie Shipway, Unsworth. Mm, Angela Allenwho’d been working for John Huston.

Yes, yes.

Since her teens.

Y es.

As Maggie had been working with David. And there were a lot, there were a lot ofvery experienced at... What?

There was Angela, Angela...

Angela Martelli.

Yes, yes.

37

Pamela Mann-Francis DRAFT. Tape 1 Side B

And I always thought myself very much the upstart and I always felt that...And the ‘duchess’ of course.
The duchess, yes, Elaine Schreyeck
Yes, yes.

So, so I felt myself very Johnny Come Lately, or Jilly Come Lately, whatever it was.

[Laughter]

To, to, I’m very lucky to get those, those particular pictures and get in with thatparticular...

Group?

Group of directors.

Y es.

Which was great and of course, Saturday Night...

But in retrospect David - Karel would never have had one of those others.

No, that’s right, that’s right.

Yes, yes.

And I mean he, he almost felt that, you know, you were a bit establishment as acameraman didn’t he?

Oh yes.

[Laughter]

And of course, Freddie and I did meet on Saturday Night, Sunday Morning.

Yes, yes, yes, yes.

And, and became good friends didn’t we Freddie? [Laughter] And so after that we worked together again on The Innocents which was Jack Clayton.

May I butt in for two seconds?
Yes.
And this has got nothing to do with the interview but I did...Switch off.

38

Right, so now we’re...

On ‘The Innocents’.
Now we’re on to The Innocents.Y es.

So I suppose really as a result of my then being sort of slightly more established, and partly because the Production Manager was Jimmy Ware who had been the Location Manager on The Wind Cannot Read. Because something I didn’t mention was that when The Wind Cannot Read was eventually made by Betty Box and Ralph Thomas Iwrote to Betty Box and said ‘Listen, you know, you’re going to do The Wind Cannot Read. I, I was, you know I was on the original script and I went to every location inIndia that was the real life location’.

Yes, yes.

‘The real life restaurant or, or location on which the script was based and if you would, would like any help I’d be delighted to, you know, talk to you about it’. And they wrote back and said ‘Well, would you like to be production secretary on themovie’? Which in fact... No would I like to be location secretary on the movie? Andin fact I went out to India with Jimmy Ware, who was the Location Manager, and in fact again ended up doing the two jobs. I mean it’s amazing nowadays that one didcombine jobs.

Y es.

You know, when in fact when you think about it the union was a lot more rigid but it just so happened. So I was location secretary and then when the main unit came out I was production secretary on that picture The Wind Cannot Read in, all shot in India. Idon’t think again there was a, anything shot in the studios at all either in India or in...Though it was based out of Pinewood it was a purely location picture to my, that I can recall.

But being fed from Pinewood is it?

But being fed from Pinewood, absolutely. It was, they were Pinewood camera crewsthat came out and... But Jimmy Ware, being Location Manager, I got to know himthere and he was the Production Manager on The Innocents and I guess it was through Jimmy that I was asked to do The Innocents.

Y es.

As a picture. Which again was, was you know, a very nice picture to do. So by thattime I felt I’d got a couture of directors under my belt, I’d sort of worked with DavidLean and John Schlesinger and Karel Reisz and Lindsay Anderson and Ken Hughes and, you know, Jack Clayton added to the list was really nice.

Y es.

Pamela Mann-Francis DRAFT. Tape 1 Side B

39

Pamela Mann-Francis DRAFT. Tape 1 Side B

Then we shot The Innocents based at Shepperton and, and quite a lot of Shepperton interiors, interiors for exteriors.

Y es.

Which by that time was...

Yes, yes, very rare then?

Very, yes, much less common than it had been in the early days, though Freddie didlight those interior exteriors wonderfully, and I can say that because he’s not here atthe moment. And we shot the locations at Sheffield Park in, mm, near Brighton. And then I think it was after The Innocents. By that time Freddie and I had more or less,shall we say, got together and we didn’t live together because people didn’t in thosedays.

[25:30]

[Laughter]

And I guess... Now that was... Just a minute. The Innocents was in 1961 because it was during The Innocents I think that Freddie, Freddie got his first Oscar. He, it was for, the news came through, the news of the first Oscar came through when we were on the set of The Innocents and so that was 1961. We didn’t get married until 1963. I, I don’t know what I did actually after The Innocents.

You were there at the time?

He was there at the time, yes.

[Laughter]

Well, I was saying how The Innocents...

No, after The Innocents, we didn’t get married on The Innocents.

No, no, we didn’t, no.

Did you do ‘The Sporting Life’ after that?

Maybe I did, maybe I did do Sporting Life, that’s right. You did The Horse Mastersafter that didn’t you?

Which we won’t mention, yes.
No, you did The Horse Masters before that. No, I did The Horse Masters afterwards.

40

Did you?

No, I didn’t.

No, no, no, it’s very difficult. You know, I mean I suppose...

[Laughter]

I know because I’m sure...

Yes. Because Jennifer supervised the horse jumping.

Didn’t we used to pass sometimes?

Well I was doing Sporting Life.

When you were doing Sporting Life.

And I was going the other way.

We used to pass on the hill. Yes, Freddie would come down the hill at, just byNorman Spencer’s cottage.

Y es.

Redhill Cottage, down that Denham Hill and I used to be going up the hill to Beaconsfield because we did studio stuff for Sporting Life at Beaconsfield. I think itwas, I’m not sure that Sporting Life wasn’t the last picture that was based at Beaconsfield, because very soon after that I think it closed down and then eventuallybecame The National Film School didn’t it?

Right, yes.

I’m not absolutely sure of that fact.

No.

But it was very towards the end, yes.

And that’s easily, easily found, yes.

The end of its days, yes that’s right.
And then you did, then you did one other film when we were courting.
Then I did the picture in Ireland, I did the Disney film, Doctor Syn.Oh yes.

Pamela Mann-Francis DRAFT. Tape 1 Side B

41

Pamela Mann-Francis DRAFT. Tape 1 Side B

No, we went to Ireland and did a commercial and I got the call in Ireland could I do this Doctor Syn? Based at Pinewood again which was a remake of the old Doctor Synabout the, you know the...

Smugglers.

Smugglers.

Y es.

And we did that on location. That was American director again, an American directorcalled James Neilson. It was one of the Disney films made at Pine..., Disney had anoffice, you know, a whole organisation at Pinewood. They made a lot of picturesdidn’t they from Pinewood.

Yes, oh yes, yes.

With Ken Annakin.

Y es.

A lot of them directed by Ken Annakin, but this was, they brought in an American director, a rather unimaginative American director actually called James Neilson.

He was a sort of product of the Disney Organisation.

Absolutely. I mean he used to start on a long shot and move the camera in to mid shot and carry it, I mean literally like that.

Jump cut?

Yes, oh dreadful. And we shot that on location at Rye and we got married during the picture.

That’s right.

Yes, that’s right. Because you, we must have shot in the studio first and then gonedown to Rye. Because we’d just got married and we, we came down, you came down to Rye didn’t you and...?

And you stayed in The George?
Well, we didn’t, because we stayed outside.Rumples.
Rumples Hotel.
Oh yes, yes, yes.

42

Pamela Mann-Francis DRAFT. Tape 1 Side B

And the, the crew stayed in Rye. And we, we actually stayed. It was a sort of, itwasn’t really a honeymoon was it because I was working and you, you were resting atthe time.

Oh dear.

And I think you kept well away from the crew as I remember. But there was one day when they hashed up the call sheet and you drove me out to the location and there wasno crew there. Do you remember that? Yes, and because they’d changed the call but hadn’t let me know.

[Laughter]

I think it was one of those things. But, and then after we were married really I stopped doing feature pictures and did commercials for a while, for quite a while.

Did you? I thought you just stopped and did that...
No, I did do commercials.
A bit soul destroying weren’t they commercials?Yes. I never minded.
[30:00]
Good money?
Yes, I never minded commercials.
Really?

As much as, Freddie hates commercials. I’ll tell you what I feel about commercials. Imean I, I have to admit that they are from a continuity point of view they are a sort of a different job, but I always found that you worked quite closely with the director, which was nice. And also that people were always very appreciative of what you did, whereas in films it was always taken for granted. I mean and that’s fair enough, Imean you were doing a job, you were a professional technician. I always found in commercials that people were slightly more in awe of what I did, slightly more respectful of what I did and therefore I quite liked that so I never minded doing commercials as much as, as much, you know, a lot of other people do. Also I did feelat that stage that I’d had the best of both worlds. I mean an awful lot of continuity girls in those days dedicated their life to...

Yes, yes.

Either one of the great directors of, you know...

Yes, yes.

43

Pamela Mann-Francis DRAFT. Tape 1 Side B

Micky Powells or the John Hustons or whatever and, and never married. And I feltthat I’d really got the best of both worlds. I’d had a great career which I’d enjoyed andthen I was very happy to be Mrs Freddie Francis.

Which she didn’t enjoy.

[Laughter]

Then we did, you know, have two children and I really did give up then for about tenyears I...

As long as that was it?

Mm, yes. Because Gareth was nine when I went back and Susanna was just starting at Goldophin. So when the children were started at school...

Y es.

I suddenly decided [Pause] that I wanted to do something, I’d got very frustrated.

But you didn’t go back to do features did you?

No, I didn’t. I decided I’d go back and do a few commercials. And, but the phonecalls didn’t come for many commercials because by that time I’d lost mycommercial...

Y es.

They were a whole new lot of people.

Y es.

Whereas the film industry had still stayed with the same contacts. So funnily enough I went back to square one, Nick Gillott phoned me and said would I do some Avengers,New Avengers?

Okay, yes.

And I thought well, I started in TV, in TV series before so I’d go back. And I, I didsome New Avengers with Joanna Lumley and Gareth, Gareth Hunt.

There was Pat Macnee still there?
Pat Macnee. Yes, still Pat Macnee, Gareth Hunt, Gareth Hunt is his name, yes.Did you feel rusty?
Surprisingly, no, I don’t think I did. The first commercial...
You hadn’t really left the business very much in fact yourself...

44

Pamela Mann-Francis DRAFT. Tape 1 Side B

No, the first commercial. I did get one commercial when I came back, one commercial and I really was rusty on that, really was.

Y es.

I forgot to click my stopwatch. I, you know, I look back on it and I think my God, no wonder I didn’t get any more commercials after that because I really was rusty. Andthen somehow or other when I went back on The Avengers, no, it seemed to fall in to place.

Y es.

And I did a few of those And the first feature I went back to was Don Sharpe’s wasn’tit? Thirty Nine Steps.

Oh.

And I, I worked with Don who was lovely. I mean, you know, a lovely man.

Y es.

And a very efficient director, very efficient. I wouldn’t say, you know, a greatdirector. You know, maybe, you know, being a director in England you had to be at that time particularly, you had to be jolly lucky to, and I think Don just missed the boat sadly.

Y es.

I suppose it’s what Sarah Miles was saying about Chris, because I did do a picturewith Chris Miles later. You know, to be a director in England unless you went toAmerica really...

Is difficult?

Yes, very difficult. And I, I always feel very sorry for Don who I feel had great potential as a director but, and was lovely to work with and knew what he wanted and was very efficient. So I did Thirty Nine Steps, which was actually not a bad movie butreally finished the Rank Organisation. I think it was the last, wasn’t it the last pictureof, that was actually under the Rank Organisation?

I’m not sure.
I think they made the, the remake of, didn’t they make a remake of Night Train To

Munich, which was a Cybill Shepherd?
That’s right who...
[35:00]
And Michael was involved in that. He didn’t direct it did he?

45

Michael?
Michael, who the other day.Carreras?
Michael Carreras.

Mm, and that, that and The Thirty Nine Steps I think were the last two movies whichwere actually done...

By Rank?

Under the auspices of the Rank Organisation. And then after that I probably didn’t domuch because I still had the children at home and it didn’t worry me unduly. I think Freddie probably did a picture and we used to find that, you know, we didn’t worktogether. I mean we only worked together, I did miss out your first movie which I did do continuity on and, and helped you on the script of, of which we don’t talk about much anyway because it wasn’t a very good movie.

[Laughter]
And that was between, that was before The Innocents wasn’t it? No, couldn’t have

been.
No.
No, after.After, yes.

Anyway so I didn’t, I don’t think I did very much between Thirty Nine Steps . Andthen Robert Watts who Freddie had known since he was a runner and I’d known, I think I only knew Robert, I didn’t think I’d ever worked with Robert actually. He rang me up to ask me if I... [Pause] No, he didn’t. Ann, Ann Skinner, by that time Ann Skinner had been my protégé.

Y es.

Ann Skinner, and had become, she’d taken, when I got married John Schlesinger wenton to do Darling, and he wanted me to do Darling and I said ‘I’m married now and I’m not doing any more feature pictures John’. Fool I was!

[Laughter]

You know, and he said ‘Well, if I, if I took Annie on would you show her the ropes’? I remember exactly that phrase he used, and I said ‘Yes, of course, I would’. And I, Ihad Annie down to the house and showed her, you know, how to, actually more than I ever had funnily enough.

Pamela Mann-Francis DRAFT. Tape 1 Side B

46

Pamela Mann-Francis DRAFT. Tape 1 Side B

Actually, you know, told her what continuity was and what it involved and she used toring me up in the evenings and say ‘Oh God’, you know, ‘what shall I do’? Youknow, ‘Dirk had the briefcase in his right hand when he went out of the door and in his left hand when he arrived at the gate, oh will it matter’? And things like that andso Annie had been my, you know, my protégé really.

Y es.

And she went on to become a very successful continuity girl and of course, now is a producer. And, you know, she was one of the first continuity girls to actually jump on from the job, because continuity in those days had been a real, I mean that was as high as you went.

Y es.

Really. I mean I think was Muriel Box a continuity? Did she do continuity?

I don’t think so.

But Muriel Box became a director really because of family connections more thananything else I think. And I think she was actually a continuity girl, but I’d, continuitygirls in those days that was it, you’d reached the pinnacle. You know, it was, it was areasonably good job, it was reasonably well paid. It was hard graft, it was really hard graft and you were the department of one. And by the time I came in to the continuity, doing continuity because earlier on most of the girls like Angela Allen and had, had become, had been training, had been assistant continuity girls.

Y es.

When I first went to Pinewood...

Y es.

There was an assistant, there was a grade, there was actually an ACT grade I think.

Assistant.

Called assistant continuity and I never had...

That was after the war.

Yes. And I never, that did train girls.

Y es.

I never had that opportunity. And somehow or other, I don’t know whether it wasbudget cuts, that grade went and it had certainly gone in the ‘50s by the time I came in

Yes, yes.

47

Pamela Mann-Francis DRAFT. Tape 1 Side B

to it and I never had that, that opportunity. People like Kay, [Pause] Kay Rawlings, she was an assistant continuity girl.

That’s right.

Angela certainly was an assistant originally but...

Angela Martelli?

No, Angela Allen.

Oh sorry.

Yes.

Yes, yes, yes.

She did learn the ropes originally through that. But there’s no, it’s a pity actually because it’s quite a useful grade.

Sure.

And the only way you can train girls now is if you have a big movie, and I’ve done iton, on bigger movies where you get a second unit and, you know, some poor little, you know, untried girl from the office as I was...

Y es.

In the old days would come in and, and, you know, you learn the hard way, and that’show you learn today.

Yes, yes.

And, and you have to be really keen and really dedicated because it’s hard graft and it always was hard graft, and I think even today it’s hard graft being continuity.

Yes. But I think learning the hard way is, is often much the best way.

Well, it is often the best way. Yes, that’s true, that’s true.If you surmount the first hurdle?
Yes, yes.
Y es.

I mean, I mean in the past I mean there have been some really bad continuity girls. [40:00]

48

Pamela Mann-Francis DRAFT. Tape 1 Side B

Oh sure. But I think this is, again I think this is part, part of the whole business of ifyou have a crew and you’ve got a sympathetic crew...

Yes, yes.

And they’re more...

Though I’ll tell you something. I think that one of the best things that happened to continuity, I personally think was not that many years ago when the Camera Department decided to embrace continuity as part of that Camera Department. And I noticed a difference, I noticed a lot more co-operation because I mean a cameraoperator really is the continuity girl’s best friend.

Sure, that’s right.

Also boom swinger can be.

Y es.

Because boom swingers always know...

Yes, observant. [Laughter]

Yes, yes. They, they stand up there and it took me a long time to appreciate that.

Yes, yes.

I think it was John Salter...

Y es.

Who actually said to me ‘You know, you know why didn’t you ask me’? And I think oh well, that’s a point, you know.

Yes, yes.

But camera operators, you know, if you can work closely with the camera operator. Because I, you know, as a continuity girl you try, and for artists particularly to haveconfidence in you. I mean it was David who said to me ‘Never say you don’t know’.

No.

Never say you don’t know, bluff it out.

Y es.

Because once, if I’d said to Katie Hepburn...

Y es.

49

Pamela Mann-Francis DRAFT. Tape 1 Side B

‘I don’t know whether you had your earrings on or not’.

That’s it, yes, yes.

You’re lost. Because she’ll never take any notice of you again and will ride roughshod. And, and, you know, it’s, sometimes it’s very hard to bluff if you reallydon’t know. I mean I have actually said...

Y es.

You know I remember in one of the Indiana Jones, one of the, jumping on a bit now. Ithink it was... What was the one where they started in Hong Kong? Was that...? No,it must have been Raiders of the Lost Ark when right at the end there was this enormous night club sequence and enormous fight and Harrison had a glass and therewas a fight and everything and he said to me ‘What, what hand did I have my glass in’? And I said ‘I haven’t the, I have no idea, I don’t know’. And, and, you know, that,I mean I had to say it because I really, it was a snap thing and I had no idea whichhand, hand he’d had a glass in. But it was an enormous wide shot.

Yes. So it wouldn’t have mattered anyway?

Which, which it didn’t matter anyway, you know. And, and that is one of the sort ofarts of continuity, you do learn by experience that certain things, you know, can get missed.

And also one of the other points, excuse me for butting in.Yes, no, please.

I mean we’re seeing, we’re seeing The Innocents on Sunday.Y es.
There’s a sequence in that.
Oh yes.

Where Deborah Carr is up in her bedroom and she looks out and sees something down below. So she comes down to go out of the house. When she comes out of the house she’s wearing something completely different, which is nothing to do with continuity, it’s merely that when Jack was editing the film...

He changed it, yes, changed it.

He changed the sequence.
He changed the order, yes.So the shot...
Y es.

50

Pamela Mann-Francis DRAFT. Tape 1 Side B

That we did of her coming out of the house is from a completely different sequence but nobody’s evermentioned that.

No, no.No. No.

I nearly died at the premiere.

[Laughter]

Which actually I have a feeling I went to with Jim Clark who was the editor. And, ah well, you know, how could that have happened, how could I have done that? And Ithought just a minute, I didn’t do that. Because, you know, it was a...

Now you talked about ‘Indiana Jones’?

Yes. Well, that, that really. I diverged with Annie Skinner. Annie Skinner was asked to do the second Star Wars and by that time she was trying desperately hard to be a producer, and to become a producer she had to had to have money and so she decided to do only commercials because commercials earned her a lot of money and didn’t occupy her five or seven days a week. So she was asked to do, she’d done the firstStar Wars, which turned out to be an enormous success, nobody thought it would be. And in fact the crew on the first Star Wars had been extremely disrespectful to George Lucas who they thought was a nutter.

Yes, yes.

And this picture had, was, had no chance. I mean they all admit it and even RonnieTaylor would admit it. They used to say ‘George, this stuff will never cut together,you know, there’s no way’.

Y es.

And Ann, Gill Taylor, Ronnie they were all rather. Ann was asked to do the secondone but she didn’t want to do it because the first one had not been a happy experience. She said to me ‘Would you like, you know how about’, she knew I was trying to get back in to the business so she said ‘you know, why don’t you ring them up’? And I rang up Robert Watts, who Freddie had known very well, and Robert said ‘Comedown and meet the director I think it will be great, good idea’. And I met the director, Irvin Kershner, who was very worried that because I’d been out of the business for a long time and only done that one feature film that I wouldn’t be experienced enough to do this great big movie and...

I must stop you there.

[End if Tape 1 Side B 44:48]

51

Pamela Mann-Francis DRAFT. Tape 2 Side A

NB: The time codes given here are estimates based on readings from the original cassette recording.

Tape 2 Side A.

I’m just ruminating, it’s not worth putting on tape.

Pam Mann Side Three.
So we’d got to Star Wars. Annie Skinner...Y es.

Who, a I say, I’d sort of, she returned the compliment in a way knowing I wanted toget back, sent me down. Irvin Kershner I met, got along with very well but he said‘No’, he eventually said to Robert Watts, ‘I don’t think, you know, I‘d like to go with somebody more experienced’, and he went with Kay Rawlings who had worked withhim on The Man Called Horse movie.

Oh yes.

With Richard Harris and he’d got on very well. And that was fair enough, you know,and I felt well, after all Kay Rawlings is, is a proper continuity girl. Here was me still feeling, and particularly having had a break and coming back still feeling my slightly, you know, Johnny Come Lately that I was much less a conventional continuity girl than the, than, you know, the, the , the big guns. So I, I thought fine.

And would you say, yes...

You know, fine, he’s chosen her, fine. Went back home and then they rang and then Ihad a call to do a picture for Nick Roeg called Bad Timing, a thing he did in Vienna. And I thought well, you know, I knew Nick when he was an operator on, on theMantovani series so I’d known Nick, you know, for ever and I thought and we’dalways got on very well, I had the saying sort of a piece of cake Bad Timing, yes. You know, I said oh yes I know Nick and I think, talked to the production manager. Nick was away and suddenly I started getting these sort of funny phone calls and nothearing and saying ‘Well, Nick wants to interview people when he comes home’, andI thought well, the hell with Nick Roeg [Laughter] he’s not interviewing me, you know, if I’m on a list I’m not interested. So they rang, they’d in the meantime rung me up from Elstree to say ‘Look, you know, we know that Kersh has, wants to do,wants to take Kay Rawlings but would you be interested in the second unit on this great big new Star Wars movie in Norway’? So I, three weeks in Norway, they said,and three weeks was about as much as I felt I could go away and leave the children.So I said ‘Yes, okay, fine I’ll do three weeks in Norway’. It actually turned out to be Ithink six weeks.

[Laughter]

52

Pamela Mann-Francis DRAFT. Tape 2 Side A

We went up to, oh God a place called Finse in Norway, which is really at the end ofthe line, it’s where they actually trained for the original Scott of the Antarcticexpedition. It really was thousands of feet deep in snow and I went up there and I had my first initiation in to the American numbering system because, as you know inEngland, I mean continuity has a lot to do with the numbering of...

Yes, sure, yes.

I mean its one of the sort of basic, you work with the clapper loader who always knows the next slate number.

Y es.

Because the next slate number is the next slate number.

Y es.

But no, on American films they work by the scene number.

Y es.

And this becomes very, very complicated. Because if you are shooting, you will start on day one on an English movie and you will say Slate One, Take One.

Y es.

And then on my continuity sheet I would key that to scene...

The scene number, yes.

Seventy-two, B.

Y es.

But no, no, no, the Americans would say no, this is Slate Seventy-two, B A, or Seventy-two A, and also they complicate it by the fact that their A, B, Cs become Apple, Bear...

Yes, yes.

You know, they all have a, a code. So the American producers and American editors insisted that we had to do this American numbering system, which became, oh, tremendously complicated because I started off in Norway... In fact in the end italways seems to fall to me with two units because they didn’t, they sent the first unitout for a week working in conjunction with the second unit.

[Laughter]

So I had two crews working on American numbering on different scenes.

53

Pamela Mann-Francis DRAFT. Tape 2 Side A

And it was a nightmare, for a week it was an absolute nightmare. Because nobody had thought at that time, and I have to admit I didn’t because we were always terribly worried about the numbering machines and the, the....

Yes, in the studio.

And they said ‘No, we have special numbering machines made’. And what would youget would be numbers on the board like Scene 215 A. Because as the script had been written you got A and B numbers.

Yes, yes.

So you’d have scene 215 AA, AB and you’d get through to BA and, oh, it became anabsolute nightmare it did. For the first, the first, even as long, as far as Roger Rabbit, I remember saying to the director of Roger Rabbit ‘I would take a hundred pounds less a week not to have to do the American numbering system’. [Laughter] Mind you itnever came to that. And they, the Americans cannot understand why we have slate numbers.

05:10]

Y es.

They think that it’s much easier to, to have their scene numbers on the board.

What, for editing, was that for editing them?

For editing, but I mean it never worries English actors.

No, no.

I mean it’s, and it is a nightmare on the set, and when you get two units. And nobodyhad thought, actually an editor later on did say to me ‘Well, if you’ve got a second unit you just put S in front of the letter’. So you then get S215AA, AB and if it’s aretake you get RS215 AB.

[Laughter]

You know. And things like the sword fights on Star Wars where we had hundreds ofset ups, you’d get to, you know, S215DA, DB, DC because you’d gone all through thealphabet for the A. And it is, it is an extraordinary numbering system, but I had to get used to it because they absolutely insisted on it. So that, I did the second unit on Star Wars in Norway directed by Peter MacDonald. Two or three cameras out there including the first motion control camera seen in Europe. It came from ILM, which George Lucas had just started to build his Industrial Light and Magic complex in San Francisco, well, just outside San Francisco, Marin County. And this motion control camera came out with two very, very strange long haired, pony tailed technicians.

[Laughter]

54

Pamela Mann-Francis DRAFT. Tape 2 Side A

And the damned thing never worked. Because it was so cold in Norway that the motion control digital computer drive completely packed up and never, never ever worked, so we, we never did use the motion control. Well, I think we had three cameras out there. It was well below zero, it was the first time in my life that I relied on [Pause] modern technology because they gave me a little Pearlcorder, tape recorder.

Oh yes.

Which I was, they said ‘You cannot write out there because it’s much too cold’, whichto a certain extent was true.

Y es.

Because you couldn’t write with Biro because if the sleet fell on this, it would freezeon the notebook and so it, it was quite a struggle. So I thought one day I thought thisis great I’m going to use this Pearlcorder. And I did, I can remember it was a prop man dressed up as a, in a, in a sort of rubber suit as something called a Tauntaun,which was a sort of snow animal out of George Lucas’s head. And this poor prop manwas standing there in the snow, and Harrison Ford was in the foreground with some goggles, which he put up or took down and looked with binoculars at this strange animal in the distance. And I thought this is great. It was snowing, sleeting, the wind was blowing I will use my Pearlcorder. So I used this Pearlcorder and I got back tothe hotel and I thought this is great, I haven’t written on smeared pages, I’ve got thisthing, and the whole thing was drowned out by wind noise, I had nothing on that tape.

[Laughter]

And I’ll tell you that was the tape we came back to time and time and time again.

[Laughter]

Because Harrison wasn’t right, and then it was did he put his goggles up on the top ofhis helmet or did he take them down over his head? And I had nothing, I had no record of it, and, as I said earlier, I mean continuity...

Y es.

The art of continuity is to take notes.

Yes, quite, yes.

Because you cannot rely on memory.

Y es.

And that was a nightmare and, and they’d always taught me that, you know, moderntechnology is wonderful but be very, very careful of it.

[Laughter]

55

Yes, yes.

It’s the same with Polaroids.

Y es.

I mean Polaroids are wonderful.

Y es.

But your Polaroid is set and if anything gets moved...

Y es.

And, you know, you, you rely on the Polaroid in three months time and, and you haveto make sure that, that... You can’t write on Polaroids either, [Laughter] you can’t ‘X’it out.

No, no, no.

You have to, it’s so modern technology in continuity has many traps.

Yes, yes.

One of the first things I tell anybody training.
That’s another thing. One of the things I came, sorry I keep butting in.No, it’s alright.

Having been out of the business, you know, I stopped lighting for about fifteen years when I was directing movies so the movies I was directing were quite low budget things. When I came back to photographing again I went on to very big budget movies. And the way the Polaroid camera has taken over. Everybody, especially in America, everybody on the set has a Polaroid and they Polaroid everything.

Gosh.

Whether you’re shooting or not. So consequently, so, you know, they drive me mad. And just recently Iwas involved on a film I was going to do in the States as a director and possibly and the producer as well and I had the budget done, and the first thing I did when I got the budget was to cross out thisenormous amount they’d got down for Polaroid stock. An enormous amount because I did, Iphotographed film in America and we had an outside, an exterior at a club, an exterior party, a night party, about two hundred extras. We broke for... And during the, the shooting before we broke fordinner everybody, the hairdresser, the make-up, the prop man, the continuity girl, they photographed every single person on the set. When we broke for lunch they had all these people back to Polaroid them again. We came back from lunch and they Polaroided them again.

[10:42]

[Laughter].

Pamela Mann-Francis DRAFT. Tape 2 Side A

56

Pamela Mann-Francis DRAFT. Tape 2 Side A

But there is one reason for that actually and it is a difference between continuity as done in this country and done in America, and I found this out on, on Raiders which is where it impinged on me. Is that in America each department is responsible for its own continuity, in this country continuity the buck stops here. If the wardrobe waswrong it’s my fault, if the hair style is wrong it’s my fault, if so and so and so and so.But in America that isn’t so, and there was actually a very funny moment in, inRaiders of the Lost Ark there is a sequence, an early sequence where Ron Lacey is the baddie. Tries to grab this famous medallion which has the big clue on it and there’s a big fire, it’s right at the beginning of the movie, and he suddenly sees in the middle of this fire this medallion and he picks it up and it’s red hot and he screams and he dropsit and rushes out in to the snow and puts his hand in the snow, but you’re led to believe that in fact the imprint of this famous...

Yes, medallion, yes.

Medallion is on his hand. Later in the film we were out in Tunisia and a lovely make- up man called Dickie Mills. And Dickie is a great make-up man but not in to actually reading scripts a great deal. So suddenly there is the point in the film where RonLacey goes ‘Heil Hitler’, and in fact Harrison Ford sees, gives him the clue that this isthe clue.

Y es.

On his hand there is this imprint. So suddenly they said to Dickie Mills ‘We want the imprint on the hand’. And Dickie went ashen white [Laughter] because he said ‘Oh God I didn’t know that’. And they said ‘Well, you should have read your script’. Soanyway he, he managed to lash up during the lunch hour this imprint. And I think wewere delayed a bit and I said to Howard Kazanjian ‘Look, I’m terribly sorry’, because I felt it was my responsibility that I should have...

Y es.

Sort of taken... And he said ‘It is nothing to do with you, it’s not your responsibilityat all it’is the Make-up Department’s’. And, and, you know, which is a point that theMake-up Department are responsible for their own continuity on American films. And you always say, and we have found that script supervisors in America do not work.

Although I, I, I ignore, largely ignore them.
Yes. Mm, they’re not, they don’t do as much as English script supervisors.Really, no.
Or continuity girls as we used to be called.
Interesting that.
Yes.

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Pamela Mann-Francis DRAFT. Tape 2 Side A

And that is partly the reason, and that is partly the reason for all those...

Y es.

Departments having their own Polaroid cameras. Because in the, in the ve...Sorry, I, I interrupted and we’ve gone off at a tangent.
I was...
No, no, we’ve come back again.

I was one, funnily enough I did have a Polaroid we’ve got in the office, a very, veryold model Polaroid which I bought from a stills man called John Harman, and I was one of the first continuity girls to have a Polaroid here. And I think it was on The Innocents, Laurie, stills man, who became a sort of manager at Shepperton, Laurie Ridley.

Ridley.

Laurie Ridley coming to me and saying ‘You can’t take those Polaroids, you’re notallowed. You, you know, under ACT rules you are not allowed to take Polaroid cameras that is the job of the stills man’. I said ‘Great, fine, take my stills’, because I mean it’s a bore.

Yes, it is.

Really. And I think actually that, I don’t know what, I can’t remember what happenedbut I can remember him coming to me and telling me that I was not allowed. I meanthat’s all gone by the board now.

Yes, yes, yes.

But I mean I’ll still give my Polaroid to the prop man or to anybody.

Yes, yes, quite.

Because having to take them, while you’re messing about taking them you could bedoing other things.

Distracting, yes, yes.

Yes. So Polaroids have been a growth industry. They’re, you know, one must be very,very careful with them and not rely on them too heavily, but they, they are a, you know, they are a boon actually because all those little drawings we used to make inour scripts...

Y es.

Yes, yes.

58

Pamela Mann-Francis DRAFT. Tape 2 Side A

And what was on that table. I mean you just have a Polaroid of it now. But the danger is you take that Polaroid in a time when, during the rehearsal or something and thensomebody says ‘Look, we don’t want that plate of biscuits on there take it’, and you...

Y es.

You’re left with your Polaroid in your script with a plate of biscuits on. Somebodycomes in later...

Y es.

And doesn’t remember they’ll put the plate, it’s, so it’s a, it’s a trap. Modern technology is wonderful but can also be a trap.

[15:00]

Exactly.

I’ll tell you something about the Polaroid that is now universal and which I started. When we weredoing, because as you know a Polaroid if you press the button whether you want it or not the flash goes off.

Y es.

I don’t know, I’ve done that too.

So we were, when we were doing Dune out in Mexico we had some big set which is full of gold, gold set pillars and the only way I could, well, the only way I can light this set, the most convenient and quickest way was to light it with battens and battens of photo floods hidden behind these pillars.

Y es.

So I must have had on this big set at least five or six hundred photo floods. And suddenly there was aflash and I said ‘Roy, one of the photo floods’, and we spent hours looking for a photo...

[Laughter] Oh dear.
And I realised it was the silly...Yvonne?

No, it wasn’t Yvonne, it was somebody else who had been with the Polaroid. So I got them all altogether, I said ‘If anybody uses a Polaroid before they do it they have to say “flashing”’. And now throughout the industry both here and in America you hear people saying ‘flashing’.

[Laughter]

So that the cameraman knows that it’s a...

Yes, it isn’t his bulb. [Laughter]

59

A Polaroid, someone with a Polaroid.

[Laughter]

So that’s my greatest claim to fame.

[Laughter]

I’ve never, do you know I’ve never said ‘flashing’ when I take my camera.Well, you probably haven’t been on a proper picture since then.
[Laughter]

Well, only Raiders of the Lost Ark, two Star Wars, Roger Rabbit. [Laughter]

[Laughter] Carry on, carry on do.

So anyway there am I out in, in Norway with these, I’ve diverted to because theAmerican numbering system it is an interesting point. I mean I have shown it at its most complicated level but it does get very complicated.

Y es.

And in, especially in Norway when the first crew went back, thank God after one week, I only had one week of that total chaos and we were shooting the second unit, where we for the first time I was shooting scenes that were only half the scene.

Y es.

Because things like the giant walkers, if you remember the Star, the second Star Warsthey had these giant walker things going across the snow. They were never there. So for the first time I was shooting scenes and explaining what had to be there later.

Yes, yes.

You know, so, so that was a, an added complication, but interesting. We then went back to the studio. And in fact we went back to the studio and in fact they dispensed with my services because it was the end of the legation. But then the, they called me in again to do second unit shooting in the studio, because the person they got in whowas somebody quite local to the studios of course, didn’t know anything about all these strange Star Wars characters and so, so they called me back to to second unit. And in fact in the end poor old Kay was suffering from cancer and in fact started falling about and in a terrible state and Bruce Sharman who was the Production Manager said to me, you know, ‘You get on up there it’s too physical for her’,because they were shooting in the swamp area and jumping over water and everything. And so eventually I did end up taking over the first unit on that Empire Strikes Back and Kay relaxed a little with the second unit. So by that time I was then in with the, that particular little lot at, at what by that time was EMI.

Y es.

Pamela Mann-Francis DRAFT. Tape 2 Side A

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Pamela Mann-Francis DRAFT. Tape 2 Side A

And having started at years ago at as A, as ABPC it was then EMI. And I did that Star Wars. I don’t think I did a lot in between because, as I say, having a family I was not anxious to go from picture to picture and I think I did a few commercials in between and worked up a commercials [Pause] network of one or two nice companies that I liked working for.

Y es.

I then went back again, the same, virtually the same people, Raiders Of The Lost Ark, which was Spielberg, Spielberg came over very anxious to prove, and with a large bet we understood with Paramount, that he could do this movie on schedule and on budget with an English crew he was quite convinced would go off for tea at fouro’clock and leave the set abandoned. And he’d never, I don’t think Steven had everbeen abroad. And he arrived over sort of after having had enormous success withJaws and rather inclined to say ‘Well, when we did Jaws, we, you know, when we didJaws.’, oh we used to get so bored with ‘Well, when we were doing Jaws’.

Y es.

But very much a whizz kid. Not particularly pleasant, but I got on actually quite well with him. And that was a hell of a picture to do, it was very hard work. We shot it at ahell of a pace and I do think he’s a wonderful film maker. I, I know all wonderful filmmakers make one or two stinking movies. I mean Michael Powell did, David Lean did and, and certainly Spielberg has made one or two rotten movies. I mean Always wesaw the other day on television, which we thought was rotten. We’re seeingSchindler’s List next week.

[20:21]

But yes, I think he’s a great film maker I must admit. And he did eventually realisethat he had a really super British crew put together by Robert Watts, who I think is one of the best working, real working film producers, great. And so Raiders of the Lost Ark was, we went out to Tunisia, we went to France and shot all the submarine stuff. And there was again a lot of special effects in it which I had by that time sort of become au fait with mats and split mats and the process situation so I wasn’t too lostby that time on what was required on that picture. And that was really, I mean it was very hard but it was a great triumph to have done it.

And I then went on to the next, they then followed it up with the third Star Wars, which we shot again at Elstree and then went out on location to America, which was my first taste of shooting in, actually in the States, though at the end of Raiders we had gone to Hawaii, we finished that off in Hawaii. And I then called back via San Francisco and was shown all over ILM, which was great experience, and paid my first visit to Los Angeles. And so by the time we shot Return Of The Jedi with Richard Marquand directing and George Lucas very much in charge.

There was a funny moment, actually I must go back to on Raiders of the Lost Arkbecause we started in France and George Lucas who hated directing, after Star Wars

61

Pamela Mann-Francis DRAFT. Tape 2 Side A

he said he’d never direct again, but he loved to get his hands on a camera, particularly an Arriflex, if he can go round with a roving camera...

Y es.

And there was a great point in the submarine pens in, in La Rochelle when I hadSteven... I don’t know I always seemed to buy, Steven directing at one end of the,one crew at one end of the submarine pens and George Lucas shooting at the other end of the submarine pens and I was the only continuity girl so I was running between the two and I felt to myself at one time I am working at the moment with StevenSpielberg and George Lucas who’ve got to be at that time the top two directors.

Y es.

You know, in the world, it was quite funny. So, so I sort of managed to survive that, and, and American numbering yet again. And, as I say, then went on to Return Of The Jedi which we shot out in, in Yuma, and which I got my, I suppose that was the firstH1 I got...

Really?

Permission to work in America. And again a big process movie, which by that time I was fairly au fait with. The fact that I was only shooting half the movie there and the rest of it would be done. Of course, in America they never ever believed that the Star Wars movies were shot in England.

Never, never, yes.

They, they... Well I suppose, I suppose a good forty per cent of it was shot in the States because all the process was done in the States, all that, you know, everything was done. But it was, they were hard work as well. And then I was, sort of finished that, went back to doing my commercials quite happily, which, as I say, I always quite enjoyed because it allowed me to run the house and the children and, and, you know, appreciative directors on commercials, unlike, you know, some of the directors here. Just, June Randall used to say ‘It’s so nice to meet a director who actually said, said “good morning”’. I mean she worked with Kubrick a lot.

Y es.

And Kubrick was not inclined to say ‘Good morning, how are you’? But anyway Ithen went back to commercials until the Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom came up and they asked me to do it. And it was going away to Ceylon, which was Sri Lanka.

Yes, yes.

Which I’d had a year of anyway and I really didn’t want to do it, I thought that is such hard work and I don’t need it. I mean Freddie was very busy and I thought no, I don’t know, so I turned it down. Shock, horror, they thought, ‘You always do our movies’. I said ‘No, no, I don’t want to do it’. Well, in fact they took somebody on the movie

62

Pamela Mann-Francis DRAFT. Tape 2 Side A

who was bad chemistry as far as Steven is concerned. Oh in the meantime I‘d doneone Bond film.

Oh yes.

Which was, again with Irvin Kershner.

Yes, yes.

Who by that time had realised I was experienced enough.

[Laughter]
I did Never Say Never Again.Oh yes.
[25:00]

Which we shot in France, again France, the Bahamas and again an all location picture. And I went, it came off that. Went down to Elstree to, funnily enough to collect some petty cash and which was owed to me from the Bond movie and thought well they’re almost, I’ll just nip on and say hello to the boys, like, you know, the camera crew andeverything. And I got down there and I saw Robin Vidgeon and he said ‘Steven wants to see you’. And I said ‘No, no, don’t tell him I’m here’, you know, I didn’t want tosee him, it was really embarrassing. And the next thing I knew there was Steven thereand he was saying ‘You’ve got to come, you’ve got to come on this movie’. And I said ‘No Steven, I can’t’, you know, ‘I’m...’. ‘Yes, yes, you’ve got to come on the movie’. And I said ‘No, no I can’t, I’m’, you know, and I sort of ran off the set and got home and the phone didn’t stop ringing saying ‘Steven’s insists you come on the movie’, et cetera, et cetera. So the be all and end all I did go and do the studio workon that second Raiders of the Lost Ark which was called Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. And that was quite a long stint, but I didn’t do the location so that was all Elstree. And then I did actually turn down the third one. I didn’t, I really couldn’t face the third one, which I slightly regretted afterwards because it would have been nice to have done all three, and the third one I thought was the best of thelot actually but never mind I didn’t do it. And I, really I didn’t, all I lost was a lot ofhard work. [Laughter] But then again almost under the same banner the next big movie I did was Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

Oh yes.

Which had again other complications in that only, but again another picture in which only half the movie was there but in which we were, had great complication of, of passing on to the animators what the director wanted to be there and why Bob Hoskins was stepping very high because there had to be a little creature there with a pronged fork who, you know, he was trying to avoid, and, and when he went like that he was being knocked by a pink hippo or so, so that was a complicated film. Alsocomplicated by the fact that we shot... When I say ‘we shot’ it was a twenty-four hour day movie because when we finally moved in to the warehouse in Wood Lane where

63

Pamela Mann-Francis DRAFT. Tape 2 Side A

we shot all the end sequence we had a second unit, we shot from eight thirty to seven thirty.

Gosh.

And then the second unit came in at seven thirty and shot through until seven thirty in the morning so that we had a changeover, and we had to back match all the props for the second unit and then move them all forward for our unit because we were always ahead of them, so that was a bit of a nightmare. And, but the best thing about that movie was that we had three weeks shooting in Hollywood and I found myself on great shot makers up and down the boulevards in Hollywood.

[Laughter]

And I thought, you know, what am I doing here, I couldn’t believe it, and it was awonderful experience, it really was.

Y es.

And, you know, Bob Zemeckis was quite an interesting director to work with. Steven was the producer, Steven Spielberg was the producer. And again Robert Watts and allthat Elstree set up, which is now sadly Tesco’s.

Y es.

Now gone. And it was really after Roger Rabbit, you know, wading round in, knee deep in green slime at, you know, freezing cold at, you know, at seven o clock, seven thirty at night I thought what am I doing, you know, really is this, is this ridiculous? So I, I really decided after that picture it was a good big movie to go out on. I wasn’tgoing to really match it, I could have done Indiana Jones Three but I decided not to.

Y es.

And I carried on then really, by that time Freddie was starting to do a lot of movies in Hollywood, well not Hollywood in America, and I used to go out and visit. And it, itwas very disruptive, it meant that, you know, movies would come up...

Y es.

And I, I didn’t want to commit myself. So I really after Roger Rabbit decided that I’djust do commercials, which I did quite successfully for two or three years didn’t I?And then suddenly last year commercials companies were going broke, not payingbills. I, you know, was working until ten o’clock. I mean I did one last famouscommercial with a company that has gone bust which I never got paid for and was very hard work and I thought this is ridiculous so I called it a day. And I suppose Ishould lodge my card now though I haven’t done it yet.

[30:12]
Oh no, I wouldn’t do that.

64

Pamela Mann-Francis DRAFT. Tape 2 Side A

Just in case the phone rings.
Don’t do it, yes, yes.
So that’s it really. That’s, that’s my career not quite in a nutshell.Well there are one or two things I’d like, I want to go back on.Yes, yes.
Arguments over camera left and camera right. [Laughter]
Yes.
Did you have a lot of those?
No. I...
Well, it’s usually with the director of the project

Well, no, not really. I’ve, once I discovered, and the funnily enough the greatest help Iever had on cameral left going camera right was a book Karel Reid, Karel Reiszwrote...

Y es.
Called The Technique of Film Editing.
Y es.
And in The Technique of Film Editing Karel goes in to direction.Y es.
And over shoulders and things like that.
Yes, yes.

And I suddenly found that what worries people mostly, and I did last year I did a course. I, I was inveigled in to doing a course as an instructor I suppose or adviser at The BBC.

Oh yes.

Train, where they train...

Yes, yes.

These little girls to be continuity girls in, in four days I think it is.

65

Pamela Mann-Francis DRAFT. Tape 2 Side A

Went down. And I find that what confuses people about left and rights is that they’realways on a set thinking in three dimensions.

Y es.

And they have to remember that on a screen it’s only ever two dimensions.

Y es.

And anybody is only ever left or right.

Y es.

If they’re round a table they’re either left or right. If they’re, you know, it doesn’t matter if they’re lying on the ground they’re either left or right because that screen isalways there.

Y es.

And it’s always two dimensions. And people, even directors, I’ve had, there’s onequite notable director I’ve only worked with in commercials and maybe the oddMinder which I might have done, who you will say ‘No Robert, Robert that’s wrong’. And he’ll say, he should, you know, he should be on the right. And he, he’ll go on the set and he’ll...

Mind.

Oh sorry.

That’s alright.

And he’ll go like this.

Yes. [Laughter]

And you think, how can I tell him that that’s nothing to do with it?

[Laughter]

You know, they, they... And it is this people can’t get out of this three dimensionthing. And I was talking to Freddie’s operator the other day and saying, you know, how these girls get in this terrible state because they will think in... And he said ‘Well, there is the thing of where you put the camera’. And I said ‘In my experienceas a continuity girl I would never ever tell an operator where to put a camera or adirector where to put a camera’.

Oh no, no, no, no, no.

[Laughter]

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Pamela Mann-Francis DRAFT. Tape 2 Side A

I mean, you know, that is not. You might say ‘Look, that’s the wrong shoulder’.

Y es.

And then he might say ‘Oh yes, sorry’, and move the camera.

Y es.

But that’s his prerogative and I, I... So no I have never... I don’t think, I mean I canremember, I can remember certainly on one of the, there are certain cases where the look becomes, does for one reason or another become ambivalent.

Yes, yes, yes.

I remember there was one case in that in, in Temple Of Doom and Dougie and Chicand I said ‘Well, you know’, and I said ‘Well, personally I think he should be looking camera right’, and he said ‘Camera left’. And I said ‘Well, ask Steven’, and we didand Steven made that decision.

Y es.

But that was really when the look was...

Pretty good?

I mean there are certain times when, when you’ve had an enormously long shot with somebody right at the back of the...

Y es.

On the left where you come in closer and because it’s all changed around maybe the look can change, but that’s really the directors prerogative.

Yes, yes.

Really. I’ve, I suppose I’ve been fairly lucky. I mean, you know, one usually relies oncamera crews, camera operators should be fairly good at it. These days, I mean what I dread and I have to tell you I have done it are the cameraman operators.

Oh yes.

Who, who really don’t have time. You know, an operator who’s working on a set upwhile the cameraman is lighting has got time to sort out his looks and directions andset ups. But I have found cameraman operators, I haven’t worked with them a lot buton the occasional days, you know, they, they, you have to keep a real eye on them.

Y es.

But even then I would only say ‘Look, that’s the wrong shoulder’.

67

Pamela Mann-Francis DRAFT. Tape 2 Side A

Or, or ‘Why, why are you having him look that side of the camera’? I might saytactfully.

Y es.

Because I don’t ever feel that we’ve been able to push around camera crews or directors, I don’t think it’s our...

And how, do, do you always like to sit close to the camera?Yes, oh absolutely essential.
Yes.

Because how can you ever...? I mean I remember taking over on a picture once where they rang up and said ‘You know the continuity girls hopeless, would you comedown’? It was a location in Wales, a director called John Gilling. And I went down and they said ‘You know the poor girl doesn’t know, you know, where she is’, it wasall pirates racing around the streets and stunts and everything. And I said ‘No’, you know, ‘I’ll come down’. And this girl was on the set and I suddenly looked and thecamera was here and she was sitting over there and I thought well how can you ever,ever? I mean it’s, you’re back to three dimensions again in a way.

[35:30]

Yes, exactly, yes, yes.

You have to weigh where the camera is.

Y es.

You have to see that screen.

That’s right, yes, yes.

You know.

Y es.

Nowadays of course, nearly all movies have video anyway, which makes, you know,everybody can see that it’s a flat screen but it’s amazing how people...

Y es.

Get muddled.

Y es.

By the fact that they’re not, they’re looking in three dimensions no two.

Y es.

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Pamela Mann-Francis DRAFT. Tape 2 Side A

Now what about, have you had difficult directors?

[Pause] Not really I, no, I don’t think so. I mean I’ve always had a fairly good relationship with directors, I mean Steven was quite prickly.

Y es.

At the beginning because I think he feared...

He wasn’t sure?

That we would work in a different way.

Yes, yes.
That we wouldn’t do what he wanted, but he was knocked out by the crew on Raiders,

on the first Raiders...
Yes, yes.
Because we did finish it on time.Yes, yes.

And, you know, he, I think Steven was the one who went back to Hollywood saying that British crews are the best in the world. I think that’s where that rather nice, andprobably I mean it depended on the crews quite honestly.

Yes, yes.

But where, where that rather nice rumour grew up, because I don’t think GeorgeLucas would have said that when he went back from the first Star Wars.

No.

Because the crew were quite uncooperative and unhelpful to him.

What, do you know...?

George is not a great manager of people, which doesn’t help.

Oh I see. It’s partly himself you mean?

Yes, he, I mean I like him very much, I think he’s lovely. He’s a nice person, he’s agenerous kind person but I think that, I think it was that it was a new style of film making, the crew, British crews could be very hidebound.

Y es.

69

Pamela Mann-Francis DRAFT. Tape 2 Side A

And quite reactionary in a way. And I think that, I really don’t think on the first Warsthey knew what George was getting at. I mean I wasn’t on the floor.

No.

And I don’t know but I rather gather from people I’ve spoken to since that they didn’t,from a crew point of view it was a disaster, I mean they fired the editor.

Y es.

Who’s after all a good, Johnny Jimson, you know, he’s a good editor.

Yes, that’s right.

But they got rid of Johnny and put George’s wife in. But I think that was becauseGeorge and Marsha, who was after all a noted film editor in her own right anyway,knew what they were about and I, I don’t think the British crew actually tuned in thatquickly to, to what it was about.

Perhaps the wrong choice of a studio? [Laughter]

It might have been, though they made the others there.

Yes.

They made all the others there you see.

Yes, later, yes.

Yes.

Y es.

Robert Watts stayed on. I think Robert had an enormous influence on the choosing of crews later.

Y es.

And, and the fact that the films went through so smoothly.

Yes, yes, yes.

And he stayed with them even to this day. I think he’s now with Kennedy Marshall,you know, who Cathy Kennedy, who in those days was a little gofer for Steven.

Y es.

And is now of course, a big producer but...

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Pamela Mann-Francis DRAFT. Tape 2 Side A

Yes. What about relations with the cutting room? Did they eagerly await your continuity sheets? [Laughter]

I, yes, oh yes always, but one always had the continuity sheets first thing in the morning.

Yes, yes, sure.

I mean that was an unwritten rule.

Yes. Did you put comments on yours like Tilly?

Not too many, not too many.

Tilly Day always used to do it and they used to wait for those things.

Actually, yes I told him she, I told him...

[Laughter]

You, you do occasionally safeguard, try and safeguard yourself but there’s not muchpoint, mm.

No, and this was script?
You know, because you always feel that months after in the cutting room....Yes, yes.

That you know...

And the director has seen them anyway?

I, I, the only thing I would say about editors. I always thought editors were too kind tome because I always used to say to editors at the beginning of any, any picture ‘You know, if, if you’re not getting what you want please let me know, please tell me to...’And, and when I look back I think, I think my continuity sheets improved as I went on.

Okay.

I mean I, I always quote this actually and I think it was Angela Allen who actually said it to me, it was either Angela Allen or Teresa, that when I, those first days when Frank Sherwin-Green asked me if I’d do continuity and I was full of trepidation... No,I know who it was now, it was Maureen Linden who worked in the cutting room and Isaid ‘Oh I don’t know, you know, Frank’s asked me to do this continuity, I don’t know if you do it, I can do it’. And she said to me something which I’ve quoted to other girls and I quote all the time, she said ‘As long as you realise the implications of what you’re doing you’ll be alright’, and I have always tried when I’ve done mycontinuity sheets to think what are, you know, what am I describing?

71

[40:21]

Y es.

And why, you know, what is going to help the editor most? And I, I, I and that’s constant, that’s been constantly in my mind all, all through my career. So yes, I always, I’ve always tried to have a good relationship with the editor. I’ve always felt terribly embarrassed, I mean certain cases where for example there was a period where artists were very often a bit unstable because of certain substances that were very popular.

Yes, yes.

And actually one of my very favourite actors was...

Coward?

What?

Coward?

No, no, no. I, I better not quote....

Yes. [Laughter]

Because I think he’s lovely and he’s very, very, very top actor now but he, he was very much on the...

On the bottle?

Baccy or even more I don’t know, and very unreliable as far as hand movements was concerned. And though there was nothing much I could do about it I used to feel, you know, I used to feel very responsible for it. But editors, I suspect that editors rather liked the challenge of a bad match actually.

[Laughter]

You know, they loved to say ‘Well, this didn’t matter’.I say . . .

I mean George Lucas, George, George I mean I used to have a running joke withGeorge that I used to say ‘Oh George only has me on his pictures because he doesn’tmind me getting it wrong’. Because George Lucas loves flopping shots and making them work in a different way by... And he, I mean if you look at a Star Wars you’llfind shots of people with their medals suddenly jump to the wrong side of their uniform because George has flopped the shot.

[Laughter]

Pamela Mann-Francis DRAFT. Tape 2 Side A

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Pamela Mann-Francis DRAFT. Tape 2 Side A

Funnily enough the only... I did, we did have a wrong look and an argument about a wrong look which eventually got flopped with Richard Markland who’s now sadlydied of a heart attack very young. And he had, we did have something where Richard insisted on shooting a wrong look with Billy D Williams and which was flopped. ButGeorge loved it, George loved to be able to and say ‘I made this work because I flopped the shot’.

[Laughter]

And it became a, a running gag. You know, people run in the other direction, people’s and he says ‘Nobody ever notices’, and sad to say it’s one of my, I always say in thefirst week of a picture somebody will say that to me.

Right.

‘Nobody will ever notice’.

Right.

They never, they used to say in the old days...

Y es.

They used to say ‘They’ll never notice in the one and nines’.

Y es.

And that dates me but, but they always say ‘You know, darling nobody will never notice’. I’ll say ‘I will notice’, and you know, let’s get it right’.

Y es.

And I have to admit that Spielberg could be very careless of continuity and he used tosay ‘I don’t care which way we do it, I’ll probably curse you in the cutting room but I don’t care’. And I used to get very angry with Steven at times and say ‘Why would herather cut where it fits than cut where he wants’?

Right, yes.

But Steven always knew that the speed at which he cut would cover a multitude of sins.

Yes. I’m going to stop you there.Yes.

[End of Tape 2 Side 1 43:30]

73

Interviewee’s name DRAFTTape 3 Side B

NB: The time codes given here are estimates based on readings from the original cassette recording.

Tape 2 Side B.

Pam Mann, Side Four. Which was your favourite film?

[Pause] Do you mean as a finished product?As a finished job, yes.

Oh golly. [Pause] You know, funnily enough, oh dear I don’t know. I suppose... [Pause] I can’t think of an answer to that really, each film has its sort of....

Not the last film you worked on, [laughter]?

No, no, not the last film I... You see when you go and see a film you sort of, a filmyou’ve worked on, you, you’re inclined not to, to sort of look for things that you might have done better or look for things that... I don’t know that you judge itcompletely objectively.

Well, no, because it’s, it’s different isn’t it?

Yes, absolutely. I find it very difficult to make a judgement. I mean I suppose in someways I, I’m, I, and I think it was full of mistakes because of the speed and the, the wayit was shot was, is Raiders of the Lost Ark because it sort of, it was a sort of triumphin a way. But then I’m very fond of, you know, slightly coloured by the sort of experiences you have while you’re actually working on the movie, and I would saythat Billy Liar because I had such an enjoyable time working with John Schlesinger,and I’m really so fond of John. And The Innocents as well, and Saturday Night, Sunday Morning, I don’t know, I can’t pick out one and say, you know, there werecertain films that I found were not particularly sort of, I mean those early Warwick films were rubbish and, you know, but I, I...

I’ll tell Irving you said that.What?
I’ll tell Irving Allen you said that.Yes.
[Laughter]

Yes, Irving. I think that, you know, I suppose in some ways I, I would say I’m moreproud of a body of work, and that sounds very pretentious and that sounds very sortof...

No, no.

74

Interviewee’s name DRAFTTape 3 Side B

You know, you’ve given him his Oscar for his, you know, lifetime achievement award for a body of work. But I’d, I think that I’ve been very lucky to have had a veryvaried. I mean in some ways if you count up the number of my pictures compared with the number that say Maggie or Angela Allen...

Y es.

It’s a very small number. But I think that each picture has had something special about it. And I feel I’ve been very lucky in, you know, in the directors I’ve workedwith from David Lean to Robert Zemeckis if you like, or Steven Spielberg and, andJohn Schlesinger and Karel Reisz and Lindsay Anderson. You know, it’s been a varied collection of films, some of which have been very popular. I mean I’ve got afew movies up there in the top ten I think, you know, which I have got my name on.

Yes, yes, yes.

And I’m quite proud of that.

Yes, yes, yes.

So I, I find it very difficult to say I’ve got a favourite film.

Have you got a, have you got a favourite director?

[Pause] Mm, I must admit I do admire Spielberg and I, I’ve found myself very knocked by a couple of movies that we’ve seen of his that we haven’t liked, and I think it’s a shame because I think he’s a great movie maker, and I’m very proud ofhaving worked on movies with him. I mean David was a super movie maker, though Ifeel that with David because I’d been his secretary for such a long time and I knew somuch about him and his personal life that it was a different sort of relationship.

And he was an ethereal producer.

Yes, yes.

Mostly. [Laughter]

John Schlesinger, Karel Reisz. John Schlesinger, I don’t, again I find it, you know, they’ve all, they’re all so, they were all so good.

Yes, yes.

I, I think I’m very lucky to work with so many good directors. And, and so I, I find it,you know, I admire them in their own way for, for what they’ve done in their ownway. You know, I probably what? I worked with Steven on two, with David on, actually on the floor really, actually on the set. You see I only ever worked on... Iturned down Lawrence of Arabia because it meant going back in to the office and Ididn’t want it. You know, David said, I had lunch with David actually just beforeLawrence and he said ‘Oh you better go down and talk to Sam’. And I said ‘What do I

75

Interviewee’s name DRAFTTape 3 Side B

want to talk to Sam for’? He said ‘Oh about coming on the movie’. And I said [Laughter] ‘I won’t come on the movie’, [Laughter] I said. So I turned him down and I turned Spielberg down so I suppose that’s a bit grand.

Yes. [Laughter]

But I didn’t feel grand about it.

No.

It just happened to be at a point in my life when I didn’t want to...

Yes, yes.

[05:00]

And I think, as I say, in a way I’m lucky to escape that, [Pause] you know,enslavement to any one particular director, or, you know, I feel that... I mean, youknow, people like Maggie, I mean Maggie was with David on his first picture to his last. I mean she had a few breaks in between.

Yes, yes.

But those were mostly for health reasons. And Angela was with John, John Huston on nearly every movie.

Y es.

She didn’t do The Dead but, you know, every movie he made. And I can’t, I can’t say I’ve done that so maybe I can’t say I have a favourite because of that. Because maybe I’ve been a bit of a butterfly but I’ve chosen the I think in many ways the...

Grass, grasshopper?

Grasshopper, yes, yes, yes.

[Laughter] If you could start again would you like to, would you want to change horses or change, change lines do you think?

What, start again in this period?In, well, yes, well, in the present..

Well, I mean I suppose in, in hindsight, you know, and I do, when I say blame, I do feel that I was held back a bit. I was, you know, the ridiculous situation that it was impossible for me to get in to production because the union wouldn’t let me come in.

Yes, yes.

76

Interviewee’s name DRAFTTape 3 Side B

So I would like to have got started a bit earlier. Now as to whether, I mean I think in this day and age I, when it would have been much more acceptable I would have liked to have gone on to producing. When Ann went on to producing, Ann Skinner, she was really the first continuity girl who decided there was, there was life beyond doing continuity.

[Laughter]

I, you know, maybe I would have... [Pause] Mm, I’d, I, it’s an interesting answer. It’san interesting question which I again I’m, I’m sort of waffling about because I, I would have to think about it. I mean the, my career as it’s happened has happened tosuit me at the time, and when I look back on it it suited me very well. I, I, you know, as I say, if I started again now I think I would have gone further and higher.

Y es.

I wouldn’t have sort of messed about being a secretary for long, I was a secretary, justa secretary for a long time.

Yes, yes.

And, you know, I mean people start now, I didn’t start in the business you see.

No.

I started advertising music publishing and came via that. I think I was, I started working at sixteen and I was twenty-one I think when I went to Pinewood and started away. So I always felt I did everything late, I would have liked to have started things earlier.

Y es.

I suppose. But then the business as it was then did keep you much more in your place than they do now, you know.

Yes, yes. [Laughter]

You know, you, you, you know, if you were a secretary you stayed as a secretary andyou didn’t, you know, you didn’t get an automatic rise every year like everybody doesnow.

No, oh no.

I mean when I got in to commercials I used to be amazed that I used to docommercials and then I’d do a movie and I’d come back to movie, I used to ringAngela up and say ‘What’s the rate now’? And it had always gone up by leaps andbounds.

Yes, yes.

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Interviewee’s name DRAFTTape 3 Side B

And, you know, we, we were pretty low paid. I mean I was low paid for a long, longtime and...

And when you first started doing continuity how, can you remember how much you were getting?

I can, no, the only thing I can remember, I can’t. The only thing I can remember isthat when we, just before we got married and I, we were in Ireland on a commercial. Freddie was directing a commercial and I went out as continuity on that commercial.We hadn’t worked together a great deal actually have we on, on the floor? Not verymuch. I mean we, we were on Saturday Night, Sunday Morning together and we were on The Innocents together and I worked with Freddie on the first picture he directed,Two And Two Makes Six and then I’ve been in on odd days when you’ve been directing if the continuity girl’s been sick or something like that, but generally speaking I haven’t. But on that com..., we were out in Ireland and I had this call fromDisney and they said did you, ‘Do you want to do this picture Doctor Syn’? And I wasn’t very keen on doing it and I said, I remember saying to Norman Warwick, who was the cameraman, ‘I’m going to put my money so high that they won’t take me’,and I asked for forty-five pounds a week’. And to my amazement they said ‘Yes, alright’.

[Laughter]

And I, so that must have been way above what I was getting.

[Laughter]

But I can’t remember what I was getting when I first, when I first started.

No.

I really can’t remember rates at that time.

[Laughter]

Quite extraordinary, yes. Do you remember that?

Yes.

You remember that I said ‘God, they’ve come back and they’ve said they’ll pay forty-five pounds a week’.

[Laughter] Yes.

And I really felt I was, you know, a high...[10:00]
You’d arrived?

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Interviewee’s name DRAFTTape 3 Side B

Yes, I’d arrived, yes, yes. But, as I say, I’ve never got out of the feeling that I was abit of an upstart because of all the other girls that had had proper training and that I’d sort of wriggled my way in by...

Well there wasn’t proper training, they’d just...
Well, they were assistant continuity, I mean that was a good training.
Well, yes, yes but I mean there is a lot of other people starting who were not, not in the trade yet...Oh well, indeed, that’s true, yes.
Y es.
I don’t suppose Maggie had a great deal actually.
No.
When she was sixteen on Which We, on In Which We Serve.
No.
I mean to be sixteen years old and doing continuity on In Which We Serve.
Yes, yes.
Was she sixteen?
Amazing, yes, mm.
Yes, yes.
Yes.
Well, anyway thank you.
So there you are, that’s it so thank you.
Thank you very much, thank you.
You’re very welcome.

[End of Tape 2 Side B 10:36]



Page/Time

Query

Tape 1 Side A

 

9 15:18

Jack ‘Hildale’? Spelling/Doubtful Word – Shepperton cameraman.

13 24:42

‘Hilldrop’? Spelling/Doubtful Word – Film person uncertain context.

79

Interviewee’s name DRAFTTape 3 Side B

80

Biographical

Married to Freddie Francis (cinematographer)