2 Replies to “David Working at British Transport Films”

  1. 29/01/2009 at 8:48 am

    The first photo shows David as clapper boy on BTF production No 1 at Waterloo station.

    The second photo shows David down on the track with a Newman Sinclair camera and jack West, David’s assistant the other end of the tape. Frank Brice BTF’s gaffer is on the blond and Jimmy Ritchie is standing at the right of the picture directing this instructional film on how to drive a diesel train. David loved to have jack as an assistant as Jack’s technical ability with equipment was much appreciated by David. Jack also had a wicked sense of humour which David enjoyed. Frank Brice had been a gaffer with the Post office Film Unit in 1930s. It was Frank who lit the atmospheric night scenes in Night Mail with a line of brutes strung out across fields on Shap Fell. Like Jack, Frank was a consumate technician with a wonderful sense of humour . David warmed to such men throughout out his career.

    The sequence of stills of David leaping over a wall and ending in the water was taken by Ron Craigen during the filming of “Lake District” in the summer of 1956. David is seen with Jim Garrett.

    The photo of Tom Heritatge standing beside the production car (with Alan Willmott) would please David. Tom was a London Brighton and South Coast railwayman (he came from a railway family, as did David of course) who ran BFTF’s cinema coach. David had a high regard for Tom as David learned the art of photography from Tom, a gifted stills photographer when not working a film projector. Tom also taught David the principles of lighting which were to become the foundation for David’s cinematography in later years.

    The photograph of General Sir Brian Robertson being videoed has no connection with David save Jimmy Ritchie on the floor. David kept away from video at BTF and throughout his career.

    The dubbing session photo for “England’s North Country” was taken at Anvil Films long after David had left BTF. However it does feature Jimmy Ritchie and John Legard two of David’s contemporaries at BTF.

  2. John Scott-Morgan
    11/08/2014 at 5:07 pm

    Sadly Alan wilmott died on August 2nd 2014, he had been the advisor to the N R M at York for B T F material and had run Windjammer films, in the years after leaving B T F.

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