Paul Lecker

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Interview Date(s): 
8 Aug 2001
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File  No 507


Interviewed by Rodney Giesler on 8.8 01

Born 1928 in Berlin. Family moved to England before Hitler. Grew up interested in films. Learned to type, and obtained school cert in the sciences. Entered the film industry through contact of an uncle whose grocery business had contact with film editor, whose husband Sidney Bremsen referred him to Denham. Joined sound department at under Cyril Crowhurst, and trained as sound camera loader. Describes the sound camera system. Installation in sound truck. Very heavy equipment. Westrex System. How film sets were cabled up to sound trucks. Function of the floor mixer. Synchronisation of sound and picture cameras. How takes were selected. RCA and Westrex systems. Blooping joins on sound cuts. Started in the industry in October 1945. First film I See a Dark Stranger (Launder & Gilliatt). Work of sound loaders. Worked in staircase sequence of A Matter of Life & Death. Interesting and busy time with Independent Producers. Seconded to Pinewood in 1946. Worked in Green for Danger, Great Expectations, Hungry Hill, Captain Boycott etc. Saw little of productions as loader. Involved in most of Pinewood films up to 1947. Also worked in dubbing theatre. Dubbing mixers: Desmond Dew chief mixer at Denham. John Cox, J.B. Smith, Gordon McCallum. Moved to Rank’s studio at Highbury. The Rank Charm School: Christopher Lee, Peggy Evans, Susan Shaw etc. First experimental electronics with Rank Cintel. Film camera recording from TV screen. Also worked at Gate Studios at Boreham Wood. Left the industry in June 1949 after studio shut down and studied for ONC Electrical. Worked in the electronics industry at Cossors. Diversity useful but film industry paid better. Achieved by Union strength and the Film Agreement. Comments on the agreement. Crewing regulations based on nature and size of equipment. Responsibility of loaders. Returned to films as a freelance. Became assistant boom operator at Ealing. Worked on night location of The Cruel Sea in 1952. And The Titfield Thunderbolt. Moved to Merton Park Studios. Worked on half hour films with Edgar Lustgarten. Edgar Wallace stories. Quick turnover. Two weeks per production. The arrival of magnetic film. (45 mins)

End of Side 1.


More on Merton Park. Location work for Sparrows Can’t Sing, The Leather Boys, Three Hats for Lisa. There from 1952-58. Moved to Leevers Rich and worked on location tape equipment. Pulse synchronisation from camera. Also worked on graphic equalisers, and DC recording for hospitals. The advent of magnetic recording reduced size and weight of equipment. Immediate playback possible. Rock and roll dubbing. Back to film industry periodically on sound maintenance. Based on dubbing theatre in Pinewood. Left film industry finally in 1969. Did BKS course on colour television. (10 mins).


End of Side 2.