In 1942 as a 14-year-old wartime evacuee Brian West has had first encounter with filming
watching the shooting of a Columbian film "Commandos Strike At Dawn" on
Returned to the U.K in 1944 aged sixteen he obtained a job as a "dog's body" in the Camera
Department with British National Films at Elstree. His first film as Clapper/Loader
was on "Old Mother Riley At Home". then in 1946 to 1948 National Service.
Shepperton Studios for "The Case of Lady Brooke" followed by second unit on
"Third Man" Whilst there Georges Perinell became the Cameraman he never
ceased to admire
After Shepperton went to A.B.P.C. in 1950 as Clapper/ Loader and was Focus Assistant
on the anomorphic lens for "The Dark Avenger"in 1955.
Then Freelance Focus Assistant on Documentaries, 2nd Units and
Commercials.- eventually becoming Otto Heller's Focus Assistant.
job was "Ivanhoe" television series. Was fired after four months for "not panning fast
enough" and replaced by Producer's brother who was out of work at the time!
First feature film was "Weekend With Lulu" with Writer/Director John Paddy Carstairs.
Then to Africa for 2nd unit on Howard Hawk's "Hatari - the first experience of Hollywood
style film making. Later on"Guns of the Navaronne" met Ossie Morris and became his
Operator for seven years.
Lighting break came with a major second unit for "Oliver" Films worldwide followed.
in Italy, in Israel "Billy Two Hats", In Canada including "The
Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz", among three films in Australia "Wake In Fright", then
"Spikes Gang" in Spain. Television series in Austria and Germany "Holocaust" led to much work in America including "Jacknife" with Robert de Niro.
I was elected to join the B.S.C and served on the Board for a couple of years.
A high point of Brian's career was "84 Charing Cross Road" being chosen for the Royal Command Performance film in 1987
Last film before retirement was "Ellen Foster" in Vancouver - back where it all started....