Oliver White and his encounter with Grace Wyndham Goldie

Specially shot video of film editor, Oliver White, talking about his encounter with the legendary Grace Wyndham Goldie, whilst a trainee at Ealing in the late 1960s. Grace Wyndham Goldie was the Head of BBC Television Talks, and later Head of News and Current Affairs, she was a formidable producer and executive. Oliver is talking about the obituary of Dwight D. Eisenhower, who died in 1969. Oliver White worked as a film editor at BBC Pebble Mill for many years, he edited dramas like Nuts in May, Gangsters, Kiss of Death and Red Shift, amongst many others.

This video was recorded at the London Film School, and is part of Royal Holloway’s  ADAPT project, which engineers re-encounters between television practitioners and the historic equipment they once used habitually. I think that the editing machine next to Oliver is a moviescope – can anyone confirm that?

Oliver White with a Moviescope










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

Ieuan Franklin: ‘A fearsome lady by all accounts – Bel Rowley from BBC drama The Hour is based on Grace Wyndham Goldie but the character is a bit too meek for GWG I think! Great to see Oliver, he’s looking well.’

Syncing film rushes with Dawn Trotman and Oliver White

Copyright, Adapt Television History, Royal Holloway, University of London.

This video was recorded in August 2015 as part of Royal Holloway’s ADAPT project. The aim of the project is to recreate how television programmes used to be made, before digital technology. The project reunited Pebble Mill film editor, Oliver White, with former film assistant editor, Dawn Trotman. Oliver had a long and illustrious editing pedigree, cutting dramas like Nuts in May, The Red Shift, A Touch of Eastern Promise amongst many others. He retired as Avid editing came in. Dawn is now a freelance Avid editor, cutting programmes like Countryfile for many years. The ADAPT team asked Dawn and Oliver to demonstrate how film and sep-mag audio were synched up using a Picsync and Steenbeck. This film cutting room was in the London Film School.

Dawn Trotman with Oliver White

Dawn Trotman with Oliver White in the London Film School cutting room














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

Roy Thompson: ‘Remember teaching all of these film techniques, sound transfer, syncing up, track laying and dubbing to the ITO course (Introduction to Technical Operations) at Wood Norton after being taught by Henry Fowler formerly of Pebble Mill. A great exercise in logic, and creativity, for the students who, in a group of 3 or 4, were given 200 foot of 16mm reversal to make a short film. Great learning even though by then single electronic cameras were making inroads into production and news gathering. Great memories.’


Tribute to Dave Baumber by Paul Vanezis

Dave Baumber, photo by Peter Poole, no reproduction without permission

Dave Baumber, photo by Peter Poole, no reproduction without permission













Some sad news. Dave Baumber, ace sound recordist and dubbing mixer has died after a short illness. My Pebble Mill friends will be shocked, as I was, but for those of you who think they don’t know him, well, I’ll remind you of his work. My Doctor Who friends will have heard his work as a grams operator on the 1966 adventure serial The Moonbase.

Dave was a BAFTA award winning sound supervisor for Boys from the Blackstuff in 1983, but fans of cult TV will have heard his work as a sound recordist on Tom’s Midnight Garden and Torchwood and as a dubbing mixer on Artemis 81, Gangsters, Spyship, various ‘Play for Today’ editions including Nuts in May, Red Shift, Penda’s Fen and Licking Hitler.

Dave looked after the sound on many of the major series to come out of Pebble Mill including Anna of the Five Towns, All Creatures Great and Small, All Quiet on the Preston Front, Martin Chuzzlewit, Dangerfield and Dalziel & Pascoe.

By 2004 Dave had itchy feet and was keen to get back to doing more location sound. He was my sound recordist on Casualty Saved My Life. He had stints on the real thing, Casualty in Bristol and then the aforementioned Torchwood.

Apart from being brilliant at his job, he was a really nice guy.

Paul Vanezis

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

Ray Holman: ‘So sad. I worked with Dave on several series, some at Pebble Mill such as All Creatures and the last one was in Cardiff on Torchwood. What a shock and what a lovely man, I’m so sorry.’

Steve Weddle: ‘A true professional who made everything he did seem deceptively easy. Happy times.’

Jeff Matthews: ‘I am devastated and totally saddened by this terrible news. I worked with Dave on Torchwood and had many a ‘soundman’s’ type chat with him. He retired and went to drink wine in France. I hope he had lots of fun. A very sad loss.’

‘Red Shift’ by Alan Garner

In this video, Bob Jacobs (1st Assistant Director) and Oliver White (film editor), talk about their experiences of working on the 1978 ‘Play for Today’, Red Shift. The drama was written by Alan Garner and directed by John Mackenzie.  It was a complex play set in three time periods: Roman, Civil War and present day.

‘Red Shift’ by Alan Garner, 1978 Play for Today from pebblemill on Vimeo.

For more information about Alan Garner you might want to take a look at this Alan Garner website  http://alangarner.atspace.org/index.html .

Oliver White – Film Editor

Bob Jacobs – 1st Assistant Director

Oliver White (Editor) – His Unreliable Memoirs – ‘Red Shift’

Red Shift by Alan Garner

I was a little apprehensive of working with John McKenzie.  Like any good editor I’d looked at a previous film.  It was about the Orange Order in Glasgow, and was very good, tough stuff.  I vividly remember looked at the ‘synched’ rushes.  Take 1, so, so; Take 2, better; Take 3, better still!   Take 4, perfect.  Then horror!  Take 5.  Now I’d worked on quite a bit of twaddle, such as ‘Nanny’ (actually, that had some good bits) and the  Takes would go on to 8 or 9.  After Take 4, the poor actors would ‘fall over a cliff’, because they didn’t know what was expected of them.  Now a Take 5!  It was even better than perfect.  Then he stopped.  I now knew it was going to be good.  I don’t normally like directors ‘sitting in’ on the first cut.  I want them to be a fresh pair of eyes, but John just sat at the back of the room, read ‘The Times’ and moaned about the fuel consumption of his Volvo/DAF 340.  (I could have told him the belt drive would give 15 mpg….) It was obvious how to cut it, as it was so well directed.  Then the work started!  It is/was set in three time periods.  We sub-divided and rearranged them to make it, hopefully, more interesting.  We put the ‘in’s and outs’ of each scene on different coloured cards, and blu-tacked them all over the wall!  We were both nervous as to Alan Garner’s reaction to John altering his precious story – but he said, ‘John, it was my script, but it’s your film!’  I think he was quite happy.

I’d stolen a huge blow-up of Quatermass I from the basement – ex Pebble Mill at One.  My assistant,  Claire Doukin, coloured in the dreadful Space Slime consuming Westminster Abbey …. It’s now in my garage.