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Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (2) | Trivia (12) | Personal Quotes (2)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 22 December 1917Islington, London, England, UK
Date of Death 17 March 2007Isleworth, Middlesex, England, UK  (complications from a stroke)
Birth NameFrederick William Francis

Mini Bio (1)

During his last years at school he spent most of his time writing a thesis on 'the future of film' On leaving school he joined Gaumont British Studios at Lime Grove as an apprentice to a stills photographer for a year. He claimed this taught him more about the art of photography than any other form of training could. He then became a clapper boy at B.I.P. Studios at Elstree then moved to British Dominion where he became a a camera assistant. Next was a move to Pinewood and his call up for war duty much of which was spent as a one man film unit based at Aldershot where he learnt more about his craft than about soldering.. After the war he returned to Shepperton Studios to work for Alexander Korda and Powell and Pressburger. He also worked for John Huston on 'Moby Dick' for which he was responsible for all the second unit photography and special effects.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: tonyman5

Spouse (2)

Pamela Mann (1963 - 17 March 2007) (his death) (2 children)
Gladys Dorrell (1940 - 1961) (divorced) (1 child)

Trivia (12)

Father of Kevin Francis.
Father of Gareth and Suzanna.
Member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Cinematographers Branch).
In addition to his Oscar-winning shooting of Sons and Lovers (1960) and Glory (1989), he was also a respected director of horror and science fiction.
Began working in films as a still photographer at Shepherds Bush Studios in 1934, then proceeded to make short films for the British Army during WWII.
Completed his autobiography before suffering a stroke in December of 2006.
Directed Peter Cushing 8 times.
Directed Michael Ripper seven times: six films and one TV series.
He was not very fond of special effects, which he thought diminished the cinematographer's art.
Started to direct from 1962, particularly horror films for Hammer and Amicus. Accepted many assignments to make a name for himself, but regretted this later when he became somewhat typecast in the genre. However, he was a stylist who created superior visuals for several poorly written films. After reading a script, he would 'photograph the film in his mind'. One of his personal favorites among his work was The Skull (1965).
Studied engineering but changed his career direction when he developed an interest in photography and cinema. Became a clapper boy at Elstree Studios in 1935, eventually working his way up to camera assistant at Pinewood. Wartime service with the Army Kinematograph Unit, then became camera operator at London Films. Worked on several films for Powell & Pressburger and John Huston. Full lighting cameraman from 1956. A noted exponent of British 'New Wave' cinematography.
Provided the Foreword for a behind-the-scenes book "Inside Hammer", by Jimmy Sangster.

Personal Quotes (2)

[on Peter Cushing]: I think Peter is absolutely wonderful - there is not an actor in the world who can speak rubbish like Peter and make it sound real.
[on Michael Powell]: I adored Michael. I know all his faults...Michael loved bullying people, because he wanted them to bully him back; I've seen him have artistes in tears - but if you kicked back, it was all right. We used to have the most fantastic rows, but I always got the last word.

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