A record number of 272 guests – BSC members, patrons and friends – gathered at the Langham Hotel, for the 64th annual BSC Operators Night, held on November 27th.
The Langham is one of the largest grand hotels in London and the exterior has featured in a number of movies including GoldenEye (1995) when it doubled as the St. Petersburg Grand Hotel Europe with a night exterior lit for DP Phil Méheux by gaffer, the late Terry Potter, and help from AFM Lighting.
Members and their guests were welcomed with glasses of Prosecco and regaled with a video loop, courtesy of Gwyn Evans, of clips from feature and television work done by the evening’s awards nominees.
Amongst the honoured guests were visiting cinematographers Don Burgess ASC, shooting Conjuring 2, accompanied by his son, camera operator, Michael Burgess, along with Steve Yedlin ASC, shooting Star Wars: Episode VIII, and Danish cinematographer Stephan Pehrsson, who was nominated for BSC Best Cinematography of a TV Drama. The BSC also hosted operators Tomasz Nowak from Poland, nominated for feature operating on Ida, and Ciaran Barry ACO, from Ireland, nominated for television drama operating on Ripper Street.
Amongst BSC members, Robin Browne BSC made his usual trek from Michigan, USA, with irrepressible honorary members Wolfgang Suschitzky BSC, at age 103, and Sir Sydney Samuelson also in attendance.
For the first time at Operators Night a master of ceremonies, Peter West, was called on to introduce president Barry Ackroyd BSC, who opened the proceedings fresh from shooting in Berlin on the fifth Jason Bourne series. He presented membership certificates to newly-elected members Balasz Bolygo, James Aspinall, Mike Spragg, Tony Slater-Ling and George Richmond, and to associate member Ben Wilson. Governor Derek Suter BSC gave the traditional toast to the operators and Tony Jackson Associate BSC gave the response.
After dinner, governor and past president, John de Borman BSC took to the stage to list the nominees for the BSC Award for Best Cinematography of a TV Drama, engraved by Bob Evans of Panavision. The winner was Gavin Finney BSC for Wolf Hall (Episode 2 – Entirely Beloved).
Governor and past president Phil Méheux BSC read the nominees for camera operating. The awards committee, comprising of members from the BSC, ACO and GBCT, was chaired by Mike Southon BSC, who launched a new award for Television Drama Operators.
Barry Ackroyd read the nominations for ACO/BSC/GBCT Feature Operating Award, sponsored by Panavision. The winner was Chris Haarhoff for Birdman: or (The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance). As Haarhoff was shooting in the US, the award was collected by Peter Cavacuiti Assoc BSC ACO.
The ACO/BSC/GBCT TV Drama Operators Award, sponsored by Ronford Baker, was won by Sean Savage Assoc BSC ACO GBCT, David Morgan ACO, Ben Wilson Assoc BSC ACO and David Worley Assoc BSC ACO GBCT for Game Of Thrones (Series 5 – Episodes 8 & 9 – Hardhome and The Dance Of Dragons).
President Barry Ackroyd wound up the evening before Judith Evans of ARRI Rental and Robin Vidgeon BSC came on stage to oversee the raffle, which raised £3,160.00 for the Great Ormond Street Hospital For Children and the Cinema And Television Benevolent Fund. Report by BSC governor Phil Méheux BSC.