The Production Office LIVE tonight, with ‘CAMERAMAN: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff’

Knowledge UPDATE! In tonight’s LIV E competition win The Knowledge, £100 production bible for UK film makers – we use the Knowledge on EVERY film we make. AWESOME!

What a show we have lined up for you tonight… I can’t wait to get to chat to film maker and old film school buddy of mine, Craig McCall. He has spent the last decade making this extraordinary documentary about cinematographer Jack Cardiff, trailer above (and in HD so make it full screen). Craig was given amazing access to Jack, his life, his friends and his archives. For any film maker, the documentary is like a masterclass in the art of cinema.

Camera And check out those cameras! REALLY! Next time you have ANY complaint about a camera you are using, just remember this photo of Jack and that he managed to shoot some of the most beloved footage and films using it. On the flipside is the story of how he shot ‘The African Queen’ with just two lights and a minimal crew, all on location in Africa.

Here’s what the press pack says about the film…

Cameraman illuminates a unique figure in British and international cinema, Jack Cardiff, a man whose life and career are inextricably interwoven with the history of cinema spanning nine decades of moving pictures’ ten. The phrase “legend” is all too frequently used in Hollywood, yet Jack Cardiff’s story surely proves him truly worthy of that title.

On March 25, 2001, fifty-four years after winning his first Oscar® for his stunning Technicolor cinematography on Black Narcissus, Jack Cardiff was the first Cinematographer ever presented with an Honorary Oscar® for:

“exceptional distinction in lifetime achievement; exceptional contributions to the state of motion picture arts and sciences; and for outstanding services to the Academy.”

In this unique insight into Jack’s life and work, the master himself explains how he helped elevate cinematography to an art form and made history with his groundbreaking vision and technical wizardry in A Matter Of Life And Death, The Red Shoes, The African Queen, The Vikings and many others.

Maralyn Amongst many fascinating revelations and anecdotes in the film, Jack relates what it was like to work with Hollywood’s greatest icons, Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart, Kirk Douglas and Sophia Loren.(Jack photographed many of his leading actresses as a kind of hobby – pictured here is Monroe)

Martin Scorsese passionately guides us through Jack’s films and tells us why they have had such an influence on him. “I began to have a very strong affinity towards British Cinema, because of my recognition of Jack Cardiff’s name.”

Jcpine004-craig-mccall-jack-cardiffPacked with stunning High Definition clips from classic movies and over twenty original interviews with the world’s greatest actors, directors and technicians, Cameraman explores Jack’s life and work in compelling detail, scope and intimacy.

Red Carpet The film is not only a unique and valuable testimony to British and international cinema history; it’s a humorous and informative one too — an amazing story about an exceptional life.

I met Craig in Cannes this year where the film was in Official Selection, and he will tell us all about the wild ride that he enjoyed this year.

Right, don’t forget, the show is tonight, 7.30pm UK time! Here on the blog and on our Livestream page at

Below are two more clips from the film.

ABOVE – Truly amazing insight into the making of ‘The African Queen’ (with Jacks 16mm behind the scenes footage) and in many ways a masterclass in micro budget film making. He had just two lights! TWO!

ABOVE – Amazing and intimate photographs of the worlds most beautiful women… Jack spent a lifetime shooting and collecting these iconic images.

See you at 7.30 for the BEST SHOW YET!

Onwards and upwards!

Chris Jones, Film Maker and Author

One Response to The Production Office LIVE tonight, with ‘CAMERAMAN: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff’

  1. Mohammed Tahir June 10, 2010 at 1:37 pm #

    I was lucky enough to meet Jack Cardiff before he died. There was a special screening of “A Matter of Life and Death” in Saffron Walden which is where I lived a few years ago. I didn’t realise at the time that he was living a few doors away! Then we moved to Ely and discovered, after his death, that he’d been living here!

    I remember at the screening that there were a few problems with the projector, and every now and again, Jack Cardiff would turn around and crack a joke. I met him at the end of the Q&A session and told him how much I admired his films.

    I would say that Jack Cardiff and Freddie Young were the best in the business.

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