George Turner on filming distressing scenes

You were talking about filming in war zones and seeing very traumatic events. Did that take an emotional toll on you? Because obviously, it was probably physically tiring during that, but you recover from that, but seeing those kind of things and having to film them?

Well I think that it’s interesting now when you look at the footage, say for example, when Lee Rigby was murdered, those are pretty horrible scenes that were being shown almost as it happened. And the example I would give is when we went to Vietnam in 1970 and we were waiting for some unfortunate people that had been shelled, and the helicopter landed and the paramedics ran out and got them, and there was this young soldier who was making the most awful sounds of pain. And I know this is very gruesome, but he literally had just lost both legs just below the knee, and all I could see was bits of bone sticking out. Now, in those days, you would never have filmed that because people would have been in absolute bad taste. Now, I’ve got the memory of it because I remember it, but you film the faces. You can hear the sounds, that the man’s distressed, and you might see his face as well. Next minute, it’s all happened so quickly, and he’s into the hospital. Or the field hospital. So as I say, I’ve seen people that have been very badly mutilated, in fact, even so much so that they were set on fire and you could smell this horrible smell of burning flesh. And I think I was kind of- I’ve never had any nightmares with it or anything like that, but I do have some very graphic memories in my mind, of what I’ve been- I think slightly perversely, have actually filmed because I think it’s taught me some real good values about life and how you respect life and it’s not done me any harm at all.


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