Claire Lewis on learning filmmaking from the best!

I came as a journalist on Granada Reports. Off-screen journalist. And I’d only been at Granada six or eight weeks doing my basic filmmaking training, going out on stories, working with a film crew. I’d done a lot of radio, so I’d done a lot of radio reporting, so that wasn’t an issue. So I knew how to do that. But I had never had any journalistic training apart from on newspapers, which was good, but then I was learning about filmmaking from all the cameramen I went out with. But two things were very important in those days. Firstly, they were making Brideshead Revisited at the time and there was a big strike. And what happened was, was that all the fancy cameramen, the most wonderful cameramen who were working on Brideshead, were laid off and they all got put on news. So I spent the first six weeks of my career working with cameramen, making films, who were there because they had to work and they didn’t really want to do it. But they’d been laid off because of this strike on Brideshead Revisited. Learning my trade with some of the best cameramen I’ve ever worked with. And it was absolutely wonderful. It was fun, it was exciting, they taught me everything I knew, and they went and did shots that no other cameraman would have done. You know, the old bog standard news cameramen would have just stood and complained, whereas this lot were amazing.

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