Jon Woods remembers working with cameraman Ray Goode

He was a lighting cameraman on Brideshead, and also a lighting cameraman on Jewel in the Crown, which is where I worked with him for two years, just short of two years. So I was a camera operator on Jewel in the Crown.

What was your opinion of Ray Goode?

I think Ray had learnt his trade in London, and was probably a little more old-fashioned in his approach to using brutes, you know, big lights, whereas the younger cameramen used slightly smaller kit and much more available natural lighting styles, you know. All of us talked about why you did something a certain way, but Ray’s approach was naturalistic to an extent, but in terms of his lighting style had a slightly more ‘washed’ feeling to it, as opposed to dark areas, you know?

 Was he demanding to work with?

I think what Ray wanted you to do was concentrate. These were long days,10 or 11 days on location, and he needed – as everybody did, the producers, the directors – everybody to work quite hard to fulfil the schedule. It wasn’t a flamboyant, easy-going schedule in most of the dramas at Granada. They were, not penny-pinching, but the certainly liked to get everything done on time and on budget. So Ray was a very good social friend, I knew his wife and children, my wife and children, we used to see each other and go to dinner at each other’s houses. So it was beyond work as well, but whilst we were working, he demanded that you concentrated and got it through well, and I don’t think anybody who has never done it, who has had to live through rushes sessions – this is on 16mm film, most of the stuff we shot – you shot it one day, it went to the labs that night, the next morning it came back as rush film, that evening, after you had finished filming, you would watch yesterday’s rushes – and to sit in a dubbing theatre, or a preview theatre, with the producer, the directors, most of the leading cast, Ray Goode, the sound men, and you’re the only person, as a film cameraman, who has ever seen it – because these are the days before video assists or monitors, so as a film cameraman, film camera operator, you were the only person looking through the viewfinder, and if you said, “Yes, that shot was great, this happened or this happened,” you’re the only person who had seen it. Had a boom come in or a shadow happened, and you missed it, everybody looked at you. So it was quite a challenging old deal to sit there for an hour watching yesterday’s rushes while everybody commented on it or took it apart.

More details of the programmes Ray Goode worked on here 

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