By John Grant
"My early days at Shepperton where a very happy time. I joined a departtment housed in M stage which had a large matte painting studio employing several matte painters, a model shop, a small shooting stage and optical rooms, the walls displayed many matte paintings and models from earlier films, sadly most lost today.
Wally Veevers was in charge of the photographic dept and Ted Samuels in charge of practicals on the floor. Peter Harman was his cameraman with Brian Loftus, Geoff Stevenson, and my self as assistants. John Mackie with BobCuff was about to leave to join Les Bowie and later start Abacus. The main matte artist was Doug Ferris with Gerald Larn, Brian Evans and Peter Melrose assisting. Films from this period at Shepperton included Vampire Killers, Best House in Town, Casino Royal, Oliver, and many more, not all had matte paintings as we also did transitions, Split Screens and titles.
Studios in early days employed everybody splitting their operation up in to various departments this was the case when I joined Shepperton Special Effects in the mid 60s, from Kodak. Other studios like Pinewood and Elstree operated in the same way so you tended to work only on the films that the studios got in, but because the work was specialised you knew most of the people in other studios and on large projects you would co-operate.
When the studios went four wall in the late 80s &90s various people set up on their own, so we went where the work was working for companies like O.F.E. & Peerless Camera Co & Magic Camera Co."
The other main English painters at this time where Ray Caple trained
by Les Bowie assisted by Liz Lettman at Bray and Cliff Culley assisted
by Lee Took at Pinewood.
My early days at Shepperton where a very happy time. I joined a departtment housed in M stage which had a large matte painting studio employing several matte painters, a model shop, a small shooting stage and optical rooms, the walls displayed many matte paintings and models from earlier films, sadly most lost today.
1967 - Wally leaves Shepperton to work on 2001
1967 - Brian Loftus Leaves to work on 2001
Doug Ferris, Peter Harman and myself remain at Shepperton working on pictures like Dr Faustus.
1968 - Shepperton closes for film making as property developers tries to build houses on site but does not totally succeed.
1974 - Wally sets up at Bray Studios. Doug Ferris & Peter Harman join him.
1976 Shepperton reopens and Wally hires new premises just across from M stage, feels like coming home. Doug and Peter join him, I join them for a picture called The Keep with Roy Carnell and Stuart Galloway as camera assistants.
1982 Wally Veevers died.
1983 Doug and Peter and I join Roy Field and Peter Watson at Pinewood OFE to work with Martin Body on Santa Claus, Supergirl and Last Days of Patten.
1986 – I formed JJ Images to work with Bob Cuff and Doug Ferris on various projects such as Princess Bride, Baron Munchausen and Eric The Viking.
1989 – Bob Cuff retired.
1990 – Joined Magic Camera Company with Doug Ferris to work on various projects.
1997 – Last matte painting done by Doug Ferris – Seven Years in Tibet.
-Enigma (2001) (digital film scanner and recordist: Mill Film)
-Chocolat (2000) (digital film scanner and recordist)
-Pitch Black (2000) (digital film scanner)
-Shakespeare in Love (1998) (digital film scanning)
-The Avengers (1998) (film scanning and recording: model unit)
-Lost in Space (1998) (digital film scanning: The Magic Camera Company)
-The Borrowers (1997) (digital film scanner: The Magic Camera Company)
-The Wind in the Willows (1996/I) (visual effects)
-Judge Dredd (1995) (matte cameraman: The Magic Camera Company)
-Enfant lion, L' (1993) (matte painter)
-Batman (1989) (additional matte cameraman)
-The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1988) (matte camera)
-The Princess Bride (1987) (matte supervisor)
-Best house in London Town (1968)
- Fearless vampire killers (1967)
- Casino Royale (1967)
- Oliver (1967)
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