BEHP 0272 S Paul Bernard Synopsis
Paul was born in June 1929. Went to Art School at 13 (with general studies too). Joined Ronnie Pilgrim at Cine Industrial Pictures at 16 (General art department work). After National Service, he found in 1950 the film industry was full up, and the unions too, so was advised to try the theatre.
Travelled with repertory as designer/actor for some years. Got NATKE ticket as scenic artist and returned to industry. Joined Equity also 1963 after doing a two-year training course to do a Z-Cars. Had worked on Maigret also.
TV work continued, on Londoners, R3 and Thorndyke. He speaks of “rolling contracts” to keep freelance status. Made Stand up and be Counted (about the disabled). Formed a company to make support films in 1973, and his own film (written/directed/produced) Tiger Lily was well received and shown by Gala at the Continental Cinema, with The Change.
Paul talks of the Eady Levy and its consequences. Started next on corporate videos. Tomorrows People Belfast One More week and Under the same Sun. Moved to west country to film Country Music – not a fruitful exercise. Worked at TVAM on Roland rat and various, moved on when Bruce Gingell took over.
Directing now on some Coronation Street and Eastenders episodes. Has met up with String of Pearls Co. a new group who will raise sponsorship for new films on share-holding principle. Has painted and exhibited paintings throughout career. Invented the “wheel” set (with cameras around periphery). Also “Flestex” a textured paint to avoid using plaster. Speaks of many photographic/camera techniques: Ampex Tape Monoculus cameras etc. Recalls Mike Wilkie – excellent cameraman. Paul feels that the old comradeship/co-operation has been lost in all media in recent years and that directors suffer, perhaps more than most., whilst accepting that the unions have been indispensable to the history of film and television.
Synopsis provided by Joyce Robinson, edited by DS.