As well as creating layout artwork, Roy created a bunch of amazing cardboard contraptions over the years, some of which really ought to belong in a museum of cinema curiosities; all of them beautifully elegant solutions to the limitations of the pegbars on a rostrum camera (and in those pre-digital days everything had to work physically under the camera lens). I remember working all night with Richard Williams and Roy, trying to get a shot for The Thief ready for the camera by 9 a.m. the next morning... at about 3 a.m. I realised that there weren't enough panning pegs in the shot to keep all the separate artwork levels moving in correct perspective and registration, and I sank my head into my hands and felt like sobbing in defeat. Roy gave me a hearty slap on the back, and told me not to worry, he'd sort something out. And over the next few hours, fuelled by a few cups of coffee, he created an amazing 'floating pegbar' system with a few sheets of cardboard, a scalpel and sticking tape. It was entirely different to the system detailed in the link above, a completely bespoke solution to the problem of that particular shot. The artwork went down to camera at the appointed time, and was shot successfully first take.
Not the last time Roy was to save my bacon.
|Roy (in the foreground) talking cameraman John Leatherbarrow through his|
elaborate Last Belle background layouts. The rostrum camera stand is lit and
ready to shoot in the background.