David Garfath Remembers David Watkin…

One of my favourite memories is him phoning me, hardly able to speak for laughter, to tell me why I wasn’t going to work with him on a film.

He was about to photograph a film for Richard Lester who always used two cameras so needed two camera operators. At the time I was an assistant (focus puller), and only one of their regular operators was available, so David suggested upgrading me to camera operator. Richard said in the past he had upgraded an “excellent” focus puller but it hadn’t really worked. David, as sharp as ever, came back with “Oh don’t worry about that – David Garfath is a terrible focus puller.

Cut to two weeks later when another of their regular operators became available there was a discussion as to who should pull focus. Obviously, much to David’s amusement, I didn’t get to pull focus on the film either.

David was right of course, I was a dreadful focus puller, but did go on to operate several films for Richard Lester. Whenever I think back to David it is always with laughter, not a bad legacy to leave.

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