How long have you been in this game and how did you get into the Film Industry?
“ My first job was building scenery for the BBC around 1976. It was only over the Christmas period but it got me a union ticket.”
How did you become and AD?
“ My first outing as an AD was a splinter unit shot in a small country village for a kids and animal series called ‘Search and Rescue’ made by a small west country TV station. We netted off both ends of a small street and released two Bengal Tigers. The riggers were so incensed that I was trying to leave their union to become an A.C.C.T Assistant Director that they walked off set and the shoot was abandoned. Not a great start to my AD career. The Director suggested I move to London where I was soon employed on cop shows like ‘The Professionals’ and ‘The Sweeny’ .
Where is your favourite place to shoot in the world and why?
“When I lived in Europe, it was always exciting to shoot in Los Angeles, but Cape Town was always my favourite location. I moved to Cape Town in 2009 and personally I think its still the best place to live and work in the world.”
What personal motto do you live by in life?
“First decide the end result you want and try your very best to make it happen.”
How do you usually feel the day after AD’ing a Farm Film shoot?
“Tired, happy and hopefully loved.”
What is your most memorable shoot?
“It was probably a BT shoot for RSA Films in the Himalayas. With new Telkom technology we took Sir Edmund Hillary’s son up Everest so that he could converse and see his father back in New Zealand. We were air lifted in by helicopters to various levels on the mountain and left to shoot. When it was time to extract us, the weather was so bad we had to make our own way down with Sherpers carrying the equipment. We completed the shoot in the mountains of South Island in New Zealand and with Sir Edmund Hillary at his home in Christchurch. It was twenty-eight days shooting for a 60 second spot, now there is a budget you don’t see anymore!”
Tell us about some of the people you have had the pleasure of working with?
“ I have been screamed at by Tony Curtis. I have sat in a bed with Sophia Loren. I have put shoe polish on Bruce Willis’ bald patch. I have sparred with Mohamed Ali and broken Eric Clapton’s favourite guitar stand. I have womanised with Kevin Costner and procured drugs for O.J. Simpson. I can’t forget a hungover Peter Sellers, whom I upset so badly trying to get him out of his trailer onset, that after firing me on the spot he preceded to have a heart attack. Several weeks later he was dead!”
You had the great honour of working with the late director Tony Scott. What was it like to work with him?
“I worked with Tony for many years in commercials and later on in films. He was one of those rare directors who had a huge talent as well as being a wonderful human being and friend. He had so much energy and slept only a few hours a night, preferring to prep for the next day. Sometimes you would catch him taking a catnap on the dolly with his head resting on the eye piece.”
Did he wear the famous faded cap?
“ He did indeed always wear the pink cap as well as the pink shirt and pink shorts. He said it was ‘One less decision he had to make each day.’ ”
“Thank you Farm Film for welcoming me into your family.”