Graham Frake BSC.
We lived at 49 Beulah Road E17 with two aunties. My Dad left his job in the Post Office to become a carpet warehouse manager and we moved to Maidstone into a company owned house. We returned to E17 regularly at weekends, and I was seven in 1960 when auntie Edie gave me a camera just like hers. A Cosmic 35. I took colour transparencies and sent them to Gratispool for processing and waited for the slides to be returned with a free roll of film.
My first time going to the ‘Pictures’ was also in 1960, now eight, and the film ‘The Lost World’ amazed me. I became an ‘ABC Minor’ and spent every Saturday morning at the local ABC Cinema watching film serials and features - many from ‘The Children’s Film Foundation.’ Some kids would pay to get in and open an emergency exit onto an alley where other kids would be waiting to get in free.
I joined BBC Film Unit at Ealing Studios as a trainee assistant film cameraman in the mid 1970’s by way of Harrow School of Photography and a press agency in Norfolk - shooting stills and news footage on 16mm Bolex cameras with Agfa and Kodak reversal stocks. Ealing was the best film school in the world. Rubbing shoulders with the likes of Phil Meheux, Tony Pierce-Roberts, Nat Crosby, Ken McMillan, Philip Bonham-Carter, Brian Tuffano, Remi Adefarasin, Mike Southon, John McGlashan, Ken Westbury, John Hooper. The names go on. Walking into that canteen some days was something else…Nigel Walters was a big influence in my life and for over two years I assisted him travelling the world shooting documentaries and drama. When I left in the late 80’s to join BBC Bristol as a film cameraman, there were 68 film crews working out of Ealing every day of the week.
Jim Guthrie, whose enthusiasm was infectious, headed the Bristol Film Unit where I met Andrew Dunn shooting ground breaking drama on his way to 3 BAFTA Awards. Andrew was to became my BSC proposer in 2016.
I worked with Bruce MacDonald a director of extraordinary visual talent who changed the way I saw everything. Photographing his ‘Resnick’ staring Tom Wilkinson in 1992 brought me into mainstream TV drama.
A Cosmic 35. Thank you auntie.
Prime Time Emmy: Nominated 2016 Outstanding Cinematography: ‘Downton Abbey’ Ep9
Russian APKIT: Nominated 2016 Best Cinematography in a TV Movie ‘Nyukhach’
Good Karma Hospital