Destroying a film print (Mike Williams)

Mike Williams interviewed by Richard Wallace

Projectionist Mike Williams tells the story of how he accidentally destroyed a print of A Woman in a Dressing Gown.

Clip

Show Transcript
And I’ll tell you a little story now about the day I destroyed A Woman in a Dressing Gown starring Yvonne Mitchell, one of the black films in the ‘60s about suburban life, if you like. We were going to have a press show of it, and we were told we were having a green copy, brand new copy, and it was arriving on the so and so train from Paddington. Pick it up, get it over. So I was sent across to pick up the copy of Woman in a Dressing Gown. Now you know film cans as they used to come in a lead sealed box. I went across and I signed at the parcels office for this box of film and I started to stroll across to the Olympia which was about a mile, three quarters of a mile walk. And it was a heavy box. And it was raining. So I thought of an easy answer to this. Now instead of changing hands all the time I opened the film box took two cans of film out and tucked them under my arm. Easy. Same weight on both sides. Dropped the film in the rain, in the middle of Queen Street, the main thoroughfare. It cost a lot of money apparently to replace two reels of a green copy of Woman in a Dressing Gown and I wasn’t very popular for a day or two. But they let me get over it. It was never held against me. But it was quite a sight to see endless footage of this film unrolling in the rain in Queen Street. One of those things, one of those things. These accidents happen in life, you know.

Title

Destroying a film print (Mike Williams)

Description

Projectionist Mike Williams tells the story of how he accidentally destroyed a print of A Woman in a Dressing Gown.

Source

Interview with Mike Williams

Publisher

The University of Warwick

Date

04/12/2015

Format

.mp3

Language

English

Type

Sound recording
interview extract

Coverage

1956-1964

Interviewer

Richard Wallace

Interviewee

Mike Williams

Date of Interview

25/08/2015

Location

Cardiff

Transcription

And I’ll tell you a little story now about the day I destroyed A Woman in a Dressing Gown starring Yvonne Mitchell, one of the black films in the ‘60s about suburban life, if you like. We were going to have a press show of it, and we were told we were having a green copy, brand new copy, and it was arriving on the so and so train from Paddington. Pick it up, get it over. So I was sent across to pick up the copy of Woman in a Dressing Gown. Now you know film cans as they used to come in a lead sealed box. I went across and I signed at the parcels office for this box of film and I started to stroll across to the Olympia which was about a mile, three quarters of a mile walk. And it was a heavy box. And it was raining. So I thought of an easy answer to this. Now instead of changing hands all the time I opened the film box took two cans of film out and tucked them under my arm. Easy. Same weight on both sides. Dropped the film in the rain, in the middle of Queen Street, the main thoroughfare. It cost a lot of money apparently to replace two reels of a green copy of Woman in a Dressing Gown and I wasn’t very popular for a day or two. But they let me get over it. It was never held against me. But it was quite a sight to see endless footage of this film unrolling in the rain in Queen Street. One of those things, one of those things. These accidents happen in life, you know.

Original Format

One-to-one interview

Duration

00:01:36

Bit Rate/Frequency

320kbps

Cinema

ABC (Olympia) Cinema, 67 Queen Street, Cardiff

Citation

The Projection Project, “Destroying a film print (Mike Williams),” Projection Project, accessed July 19, 2019, https://projectionproject.warwick.ac.uk/items/show/386.

Allowed tags: <p>, <a>, <em>, <strong>, <ul>, <ol>, <li>