BSC Members Roster – Honorary Associates

Neil Binney Assoc BSC

Category: Honorary Associates

Role: Camera Operator

Website: IMDb

I was born into the fantastic world of cinema.  My father was projectionist in the silent cinema and mother extemporized on the piano.  In 1946 at the age of 15 I visited my mother (who was now wardrobe mistress) at Riverside Studio.  A coach was outside ready to take technicians to Chiddingfold for the exterior scenes of ‘The Years Between’ - would I go as clapper boy - my career had started!

At 16 I was engaged at Twickenham Studio where I worked alongside Cedric Williams BSC and Peter Newbrook (BSC) and Gerry Fisher (BSC).  Still as clapper boy I was employed by Hammer with Gerry Turpin (BSC) who was camera assistant.  Cedric gave me a break as camera assistant on further Hammer Radio spin offs!! which were shot in a house; very innovative in those years.  After two years national service with the Royal Air Force as photographer I returned to an industry in recession.  Colour was the future so eventually I was lucky enough to be signed up by Technicolor as assistant technician, as were Tony Spratling (BSC) and Alex Thompson (BSC).  It was the last days of the Hollywood Studio system and I was lucky enough to work with Freddie Young BSc and Bob Burkes ASC and in Italy Pepinno Rotunno ISC.  But Technicolor was losing its monopoly and converted the beautiful blue three strip cameras to two-frame pull across and added a 1.5 anamorphic.  The process was called Technirama.  From the negative any ratio print could be made. We assistants were sent around the world on various films mainly in Rome and Madrid and France where I worked on the 1957 remake of Les Miserables photographed by Jacques Natteau FFC.  1961 now freelance, I assisted on three films photographed by Denys Coop BSC.  1963 I promoted myself to operator and accepted all offers, commercials, features, second camera, second unit.  My happiest time was working on Space 1999 with Frank Watts BSC who proposed me to be an Associate BSC in 1981 and seconded by Alex Thompson BSC.  My proudest times were to operate on four films photographed by the illustrious Jack Cardiff OBE, BSC.  On the Wicked Lady, Far Pavilions in India, Conan the Destroyer in Mexico and Cats Eyes in USA.  By 1996 film was becoming outmoded by digital image gathering.  Features were very expensive to produce and the work was very intense.  I had been regularly employed and privileged to have seen and heard some very talented actors, dancers and singers.  It was time to retire from the best job in the world.