07.07.1929 - 15.12.2022
Born in 1928, Mike Reed grew up in South London with two brothers; Clive (who eventually became an assistant director) and Lionel, an actor who changed his name to Maxwell Reed and became a popular film star of the 1940s and 50s. One day, Maxwell took his younger brother to the set of Daybreak (1948 d. Compton Bennett, ph. Reg Wyer BSC), at Riverside Studios in Hammersmith, and from that moment on Mike knew that he wanted to work on films.
Leaving school at 14, Mike found a job at Studio Film Labs as a lab assistant, and got his union ticket which allowed him to work in the film industry. The job involved working in the dark and dealing with chemical fumes, so it was inevitable he wanted to move on. With a little help from Maxwell, he became a clapper loader at Southall Studios on the film Dancing with Crime (1947 d. John Paddy Carstairs, ph. Reg Wyer BSC). He was soon focus pulling, and by 1955 operating on the television series Fabian of the Yard (ph. Brendan Stafford BSC). After operating the camera for Ken Hodges BSC on Robin Hood (1957-58), Ken recommended him to photograph its second series, and Mike was now a director of photography.
Around 1962, Mike took over filming some pick-up shots from cinematographer Ted Moore BSC on the James Bond film Goldfinger (d. Guy Hamilton), whilst Moore was location shooting in Florida. The second unit director was also the film’s editor, Peter Hunt.
In 1967, Mike was asked to shoot the opening sequence of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (d. Ken Hughes), working again with Hunt as the film’s editor. The following year, Hunt was asked to direct the next Bond film, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969), and took Mike as his cinematographer. Unfortunately, they were never to shoot another Bond after this one.
However, they did work together again on Shout at the Devil (1976), Philip Marlowe, Private Eye (1983) which won a CableACE award, and Wild Geese II (1985). In 1973, Mike photographed The Hireling (d. Alan Bridges) which won the Palme D’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. His last feature credit is for Captured (2003 d. John Krish); a docudrama about prisoners of war.
Mike ended his career as a lighting consultant for the televising of Parliament. He became a member of the BSC 1966.
OTHER CREDITS: Dracula: Prince of Darkness, Von Richthofen and Brown, Ghost in the Noonday Sun, Galileo, Leopard in the Snow, The Passage, Loophole, John Wycliffe: The Morning Star
SELECTED AWARDS: CableACE Awards Winner, Lighting in a Dramatic Presentation: Philip Marlowe, Private Eye (1983 d. Peter Hunt)
BAFTA TV Award Nomination: Paradise Postponed (1986 d. Alvin Rakoff)