Alan Hume, a prolific Cinematographer and Director
of Photography and veteran of four James Bond films,
died aged 85...
Alan Hume (1924-2010)
13th July 2010
A prolific Cinematographer and Director of Photography,
Alan Hume was born on 16th October 1924 in London, England. His
spanned six decades in the British film industry. Hume started
out as a clapper board loader at Denham Film Studios during World
War II. In his debut year in 1942, his first three
productions included some of the biggest stars of the screen:
David Niven in "Spitfire", James Mason in "Thunder
Rock" and Noel Coward, John Mills and Richard Attenborough
in "In Which We Serve".
He quickly graduated to the position of Focus Puller in 1943,
and had his first Camera Operator assignment after the War ended
with the second unit of "Great Expectations" in 1946
when he moved to the Cineguild Production company. After a few
years perfecting his craft with back-to-back productions as a
focus puller, he became a regular camera operator in 1953 and
rarely found himself with time between films.
The "Carry On" series of comedy films kept Hume steadily
employed from "Carry on Sergeant" in 1957 until the
series wound down in 1973 (he also returned for the 1992 big
screen one-off "Carry on Columbus"), working his way
up to the regular position of Cinematographer or Director of
Photography during this period. He worked on 99 productions under
this prestigious title between 1960 and his retirement in 1998.
Hume's first brush with 007 would come in 1977 when he worked
as DoP on the 2nd unit of "The
Spy Who Loved Me" capturing
the classic ski-jump stunt in the pre-titles sequence. When
the next film, "Moonraker",
moved its production to France, Hume stayed in Britain to work
Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing, and the biographical drama "Birth
of the Beatles".
Above: Alan Hume (photo courtesy
James Bond would come calling again in 1981,
when long-time editor John Glen was
elevated to director by EON Productions (now solely controlled
Broccoli) for the 'down to earth'
adventure "For Your Eyes Only" with Roger
his fifth outing as 007. Hume's role as DoP for Glen would continue
through "Octopussy" (1983)
View To A Kill" (1985).
Hume often worked with Alec Mills as his camera operator, and
it was Mills who succeeded him as DoP on Glen's two remaining
Bond movies "The Living Daylights" (1987)
To Kill" (1989).
Sir Roger Moore, who also filmed "Shout At The Devil" with Alan,
described him as being "one of the loveliest film professionals,
with such a lovely sense of
humour and it was joy to know and work with him. My thoughts
are with Sheila
and all his family. "
During his tenure with Bond, Hume also squeezed in the (then)
third Star Wars film "Return of the Jedi". According
to reports, he had a falling out with the producers because he
felt they were mistreating the director, the late Richard Marquand.
He was never officially sacked, but the photography during the
last month was handled primarily by his assistant Alec Mills.
After "Carry on Columbus" in 1992,
Hume's work moved to television, where he worked on the series "Laugh
with the Carry Ons", "Acapulco H.E.A.T", Space
Precinct" and "Tales
from the Crypt". Fittingly, considering the number of titles
in the franchise he worked on, Hume's last credit was the TV
special "What's a Carry On?" in 1998.
his Bond connections long after his work on the series, by regularly
attending special events and reunions. His
last appearance was at the "From
Pinewood With Love" event
held by BondStars.com in
August last year. Those lucky enough to have met Alan will
recall a kind, gentle and generous man who
countless fascinating stories and anecdotes from his incredible
Alan Hume died on Tuesday 13th July 2010.
He is survived by his wife Sheila and his four children - all
of whom have followed him into the industry. His eldest son Lindsey
(who died in 1967) was in the cutting rooms. Martin Hume is a
Camera Operator, Pauline Hume a Titles Designer and Simon Hume
a Focus Puller. Martin and Pauline have also worked on recent
Bond films. Of the next generation Lewis Hume (Simon's son),
is a Camera Assistant.