23.6.26 – 2.12.2014
GERALD FISHER BSC
GERALD FISHER BSC was born in London, June 23rd 1926. He served with the Royal Navy during the 2nd World War and his career in the camera department began as a clapper boy at Riverside Studios in 1946 as the central loader, progressing to 1st AC on documentaries until being engaged as 1st AC on The Wooden Horse  directed by Jack Lee and photographed by C.M. Pennington Richards BSC, one of the founders of the Society. His good work landed him as resident 1st AC at Shepperton Studios where he worked for DPs such as John Wilcox BSC, Ted Scaife BSC, Max Greene BSC, Bob Krasker BSC as well as Pennington Richards BSC for 6 or 7 years.
He then joined Jack Hildyard BSC as a freelance 1st AC for Anastasia (1956) directed by Anatole Litvak and then The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) directed by David Lean during which he was elevated to camera operator for a few sequences. Following this he did one more film as 1st AC for Ossie Morris BSC on The Key (1958) directed by Carol Reed.
Gerry then began an association with Jack Hildyard BSC as camera operator on some fourteen major features: The Journey (1959); The Devil’s Disciple ((1959, Suddenly Last Summer (1959); The Millionairess ((1960); The Sundowners ((1960); The Road To Hong Kong (1962); Flight From Treason (1962); THE V.I.P.S (1963); 55 Days At Peking (1963); Cleopatra (aborted UK unit) (1961); Circus World (1964); The Yellow Rolls Royce (1964); Modesty Blaise (1966); and Casino Royale (1967).
Gerry tells us: “'It was during 'Casino Royale', which I was doing with Jack, I got the offer from Joe Losey to read a script, which was Accident (1967), and to let him know within three days if I thought I could photograph it. So I went back to the hotel and locked myself in my room. I was saddled with these enormous decisions, (a) whether I think I can do it, (b) whether I think I dare do it and (c) whether I dare tell them that I would have to leave 'Casino Royale' in order to do it.”
Gerry continues: “Anyway, I did do all those things, because I read the script, which was marvellous, and a strange thing happened, I began to read a script for the first time in terms of what I would do with it, of the way I visualized it. So it fell into place, it suggested itself to me in terms of images, of how I felt it should look, although I didn't know how I was going to achieve that look. But I discovered afterwards that it's not important to know how you're going to tackle something so long as you know what you want to do.
“I'd worked on a picture with [director, Joseph Losey] called Modesty Blaise on which I was the operator, and there were things in it, images, ideas that I had contributed... so much so that recently I walked into a bar and I happened to glance at the picture on the television, and I recognized it instantly as one I'd framed myself. So it wasn't just straight forward operating. And evidently, arising out of that association, Joe Losey figured he saw something in me I didn't know I had. I mean, I wasn't saying to him, "Please let me photograph your next picture." Anyway, I did it, and finished it... probably most of the people in the business were astonished that I was actually able to do it, but nobody was more astonished than me, I can assure you.'
Gerry went on to photograph 62 features and among his credits are films such as: The Go-Between (1971) directed by Joseph Losey for which he was BAFTA nominated; The Offence (1972) directed by Sidney Lumet; S*P*Y*S (1974) directed by Irvin Kershner; Brannigan (1975) directed by Douglas Hickox; Aces High (1976) directed by Jack Gold for which he was again BAFTA nominated alongside Peter Allwork BSC; The Island of Dr. Moreau (1977) directed by Don Taylor; Don Giovanni (1979) directed by Joseph Losey; The Holcroft Covenant(1985) directed by John Frankenheimer; Highlander (1986) directed by Russell Mulcahy and Running on Empty (1988) directed by Sidney Lumet.
In 1997, having worked many times in France and speaking fluent French and as a tribute to his art and talent, Gerry Fisher was made a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Knight of the Order of Arts and Literature).
In 2003, whilst a member of the jury of the Vulcain Prize, awarded at the Cannes Film Festival by the CST (Commission supérieure technique de l’image et du son), he attended especially to give a trophy to Tom Stern, ASC, AFC, for his work on Clint Eastwood’s Mystic River (2003).
The BSC awarded Gerry its Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009 at the BSC Summer Lunch presented by director Jack Gold.