Link Building – Film Unit

link building

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission.

Before the opening of Pebble Mill it became clear that additional space was needed for the Film Unit, and particularly for film cutting rooms and review theatre. It was decided to build a link building between the Outside Broadcast base and the main building. It wasn’t a very aesthetic building, but a very functional and cost effective one.

This sketch dates from May 1969, and was drawn by D.R. Kinally, Head of Engineering, Television Projects. The proposed layout was designed to ensure that six film cutting rooms had good access to light, which shows surprising consideration to editors’ working conditions, and of course allowed them to grow the occasional plant on the windowsill!

I don’t remember the layout of Film Unit being as shown in the sketch, so perhaps it was altered later on.

 

 

Milton Hainsworth, Graham Winter and Mike Brown in TK

Milton Hainsworth-Graham Winter & Mike Brown June 1973 b-w

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo by Jim Gregory, no reproduction without permission.

The photo includes: Milton Hainsworth, Graham Winter and Mike Brown. It was taken by Jim Gregory in June 1973.
“Milton Hainsworth was a News film editor, Graham was TK supervisor, although technically the post had been re-titled Senior Recording Engineer. Mike was the original film projectionist for Film Unit and the Dubbing Suite, he defected to Central and is now a Video Editor at BBC Nottingham.
In the background is a Westrex Sepmag machine. The photograph was taken by Jim from the Telecine Quality Check Room, which only lasted for a few more years as fairly big alterations were made to that end of the Telecine VT area later.”

Jim Gregory

 

The following comments were left on the Pebble Mill Facebook page:

Ray Lee: ‘I remember all 3 as I joined Telecine in 1974, Graham soon moved to Wood Norton, but Milton was still around when News editing had gone to Betacam tapes. Don’t remember where Mike moved to, but our paths didn’t cross often.’

Christopher Hall: ‘I remember Graham Winter from Wood Norton. Sadly he died a couple of years ago.’

Peter Woolley: ‘I remember Milton! I think he refused to go to his own leaving party!’

Lynn Cullimore: ‘Well I certainly remember Milton. Yes, I think he did not go to his leaving party bless him.’

Mike Dhonau: ‘I spent 7 weeks with Graham running training in Oman – in 1993. Great times. He was a little plumper then…’

Max Mulgrew: ‘Peter Woolley is correct. Milton was not at his leaving do, on floor two at Pebble Mill, and later refused to accept his leaving present. I think Sue Beardsmore was among those at the gathering.’

Peter Greenhalgh: ‘Mike Brown is still around. Just showed him the pic as he’s not on FB. He does all the tech op jobs here, and was a freelance camera op before joining us.’

 

Derek Smith – Obituary, from John Williams

Derek Smith, directing regional Top Gear. Photo from Jim Knights, no reproduction without permission

Derek Smith, directing regional Top Gear. Photo from Jim Knights, no reproduction without permission

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have much to thank Derek Smith for. He was the one who gave me my career in the BBC with the chance to join the Film Unit in Carpenter Road. It was him who took me around the world to Singapore and a story on Bishop Wilson. A wonderful story of wonderful people that matched man’s inhumanity to man, with man’s humanity. On to Malaya and a brand-new army base cut into the middle of the jungle complete with married quarters, school, swimming pools and sixty bed hospital, now to be closed by the then Wilson government and left to be devoured by the jungle. When university students were getting very bad press of their happenings during vacations we followed them and found them in Andorra working on the Forna and then on to a farm, living above the cattle in a barn high up in the Austrian mountains giving a holiday to a group of German orphans. We got bored one night and climbed halfway down to a cafe which we expected to be empty, it was packed full of people on some sort of pilgrimage already well awash on the beer and in full song. There was no escape, we were dragged in and expected to sing. My song went well. Derek let us down by singing Lilly Marlene, which was greeted with stunned silence, and he was very seriously asked where did he learn that song. Evidently it was something to do with his time in the Eighth Army, Rommel and the desert during the Second World War. As penance we were each made to drink an enormous glass of beer where upon everyone cheered and laughed and joined in. I don’t remember the rest of the evening!! !!

Then there was Top Gear, not sure if one should mention that, because I think it was Derek who introduced ‘you know who’ and it was me who did the first story, but there is so much more. I like to think Now Get Out of That, was a programme based on a chat Derek and I had together on the reliability and initiative tests we faced whilst training in the forces, and was the forerunner of the many celebrity shows developed along the same lines that are now so successful. My chance to live and fly with the Harrier Jet fighters of One Squadron was all down to Derek, you don’t forget that in a hurry!

Plenty of us should have lots to tell of Derek’s contribution to broadcasting. He was a maverick that thought outside the box and I feel fortunate to have been allowed to work with him. My condolences to all the family.

John Williams

John Williams, cameraman

John Williams, cameraman

 

 

 

 

 

The following comment was left on the Pebble Mill Facebook page:

Murray Clarke:’Yes – a great director, never afraid to blow the budget and make interesting programmes that viewers really enjoyed watching. And yes, the original Top Gear was his creation.’

Witchcraft

Witchcraft front page

Witchcraft cast

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission.

Script front page and cast list for the BBC 2 drama Witchcraft. This was a two parter on BBC 2, transmitted in 1992, written by Nigel Williams and directed by Peter Sasdy.

It was a challenging production, with several members of the team left bruised by the experience.

Here is the BFI database entry for the drama:

Part 1:

A film school teacher chooses 17th-century witchcraft and adultery as the theme of his latest script. As shooting of the film begins, real-life events take on a menacing quality and events from the past seem to be being re-enacted in the present. http://ftvdb.bfi.org.uk/sift/title/463201

Part 2:

As reality and fiction blur, the parallels between the 17th-century past and the present drive Jamie to a breakdown. He becomes possessed by the image of Ezekiel, the Witchfinder. Meg makes a bizarre discovery putting everyone’s lives at risk. http://ftvdb.bfi.org.uk/sift/title/481195

The following comments were left on the Pebble Mill Facebook Page:

Christine Houston: ‘(Film Unit) Made rare location visit to take replacement equipment. The set was a totally constructed medieval village in the middle of a field, complete with olde worlde long-horned cattle. Managed to watch about 30secs of filming before director “cut” to query authenticity of costumes for the period!! I had a catering services lunch with the crew while the exasperated costume dept tried to convince him all was good. Also remember being completely disorientated when Tim Everett put his headphones on me – thought there were people talking behind me when they were actually on the other side of the field. WEIRD!!’

Victoria Trow: ‘Oh blimey, Peter Sasdy, divide and rule merchant. The editing team was at the rehearsal rooms. The best advice we had was from the PA who said we should always write down any instructions from Peter to cover ourselves. John [Rosser] wouldn’t talk about Peter until he’d not only left the building but had been seen to drive away in his car – John was convinced he had bat hearing. Nightmare yes, intense yes, fun in some kind of crazy way, yes; was it worth it, was it a good film? No!’

Terry Powell: ‘The directer was a nightmare bully, sexist and just a complete —-. I think that covers that. Terry, costume.’

Bill Bohanna


Bill Bohanna PP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photograph by Peter Poole, no reproduction without permission.

This photo is of Bill Bohanna, who was the manager of Film Unit at Pebble Mill. The photo probably dates from the late 1970s.