Founder Member of the BSC
LOVAT CAVE-CHINN BSC
The young Lovat Cave-Chinn started his professional life at the age of 14 as a silent screen actor playing the role of Olaf, in The Pillars of Society (1920 Directed by Rex Wilson and based on a Henrik Ibsen play of the same name).
By 1930 he was a newsreel cameraman although it is not known which company he was working for. By 1934 Cave-Chinn was working for Pathé, who sent him on a tour of Egypt and India as ‘our cameraman now travelling in the East.' Cave-Chinn’s reports appeared in the Pathé Super Sound Gazette (with the advent of synchronised sound, Pathé launched the Pathé Super Sound Gazette, which it ran alongside the silent Pathé Gazette. The silent reels were eventually discontinued, but the sound version, renamed the Pathé Gazette, continued until December 1945).
After that he returned to London to cover routine stories, his last credit being for ‘Women’s World Games’ in August 1934 the fourth edition of the international games for women. The tournament was held at the White City Stadium in London. These were the last athletic games exclusively for women; by 1938 women were allowed to compete in all regular athletics events at the Olympic Games and other international events.
Cave-Chinn left Pathé for Paramount soon afterwards. After the outbreak of war in September 1939 he continued to work as cameraman for British Paramount News, and in September 1940 he is known to have filmed London air-raid shelters for ‘London Dives Deep But Comes Up Smiling’ in British Paramount News No.1000. He continued to cover domestic stories for British Paramount News and in October 1943 was listed among the eight cameramen and two sound engineers on Paramount’s London staff.
By September 1944 Cave-Chinn was working as a Paramount War Correspondent, filming General Dwight D. Eisenhower (Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe) however, by November 1944 he was back in London, filming the French Resistance march for ‘London Host To FFI’ (French Forces of the Interior)’.
In April 1945 Cave-Chinn filmed the enthronement of the Archbishop of Canterbury and in November 1945 accompanied Winston Churchill to Belgium for ‘Belgium Acclaims Churchill’. In April 1946 Cave-Chinn was in India, filming the meetings between the Viceroy and Indian leaders to discuss and plan for the transfer of power from the British government to Indian leadership and provide India with independence, and in February 1947 he was in Athens filming ‘America’s Historic Decision’ (The implementation of the Marshall Plan to rebuild war damaged countries). The following year, he was one of many cameramen filming the The Olympic Games of 1948. He may have continued with Paramount until 1957, after which time, until 1962, he is credited as a Reuters (an international news agency) cameraman on records at the Independent Television News Archive.
In later years, he went on to become a camera operator for films such as The Sins of Esther Walters (1948 Directed by Ian Dalrymple and photographed by H.E. Fowle & C. M. Pennington Richards) and Treasure Island (1950 Directed by Byron Haskin and photographed by Freddie Young OBE BSC) and Once a Jolly Swagman (1949 Directed by Jack Lee and photographed by H.E. Fowle) as well as newsreels and documentaries for Paramount.
He was a founder member of the British Society of Cinematographers in 1949.