Eric Harrison on his director’s training in 1959

The way of training, all they needed to say was the fact that you went… it was like learning to swim – you went in the deep end. My “trainer” – in inverted commas – was a man called Eric Price, who came from New Zealand. He allowed me to do two rehearsals for a local programme before, and on the third day he said, Right, you’re on your own.” And he stood behind me for the rest of the week, and then the following week – this is People and Places – the following week he said, “Right, I’m watching it from the office.” And he watched it on a monitor in the office. And that was my training, basically – it’s what I picked up working with people like Silvio Narizzano and so on. At the other end as a cameraman, because you’re on headphones, the thing you knew, the thing you would not do, is to shout and rave and rant, because it was guaranteed to upset anybody. So that was the way you were taught, and you literally did every type of programme on local programmes.

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