A large congregation – including cinematographers, actors, studio, post-house and laboratory heads, former colleagues, as well as family and friends – gathered at St Peters Church, Rickmansworth, on 14th February 2017 to celebrate the life of Roger Sapsford, who passed away on 16th January.
One of the industry’s great characters, Sapsford started in the industry in 1967, with a three-year apprenticeship at Rank Organisation. After spells at Bucks Laboratories, Technicolor and Universal, where he helped to build labs and generate sales though his personable skills as a contact man, he spent 16 years at Fujifilm Motion Picture UK, expanding the company’s market share by working directly with cinematographers, directors and producers on high-profile productions such as John Madden’s Shakespeare In Love (DP Richard Greatrex BSC) Merchant Ivory’s The Remains Of The Day (DP Tony Pierce-Roberts BSC). Sapsford was renowned for his passion in championing the next generation of filmmakers too, often turning-up on location, at weekends, with short-ends in the boot of his car to ensure they completed their shoots.
After Fujifilm, his career also took in spells at i-Lab and ITFC Ltd (now Deluxe Media Europe) in Soho. Among his many achievements, Sapsford was awarded a BAFTA Teddy Oscar Award in 2004 for outstanding contribution to filmmakers and, in 2005, The BSC ARRI John Alcott Award for lifetime services to the film industry. Experienced, hard-working, with strong technical knowledge and one of the industry’s most affable characters, he will be sorely missed, but fondly remembered.