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32 Years in British Films and TV...

Hollywood meets Popcorn!

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Hiya folks I spent most of my life working as an extra / bit player in films and tv..
If you want to ask me any questions I'll do my best to answer them on here..
In life we all have to work to earn a living and I found a job I loved.
I tell all about it on here, http://www.harryfielder.co.uk
Enjoy your life because ''You pass this way but once''

People call me.....

Aitch (H)

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noobywoobyscooby
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Working with the Master....

1972

FRENZY…Director…Alfred Hitchcock…
I am now working with the Master of filming.
Where I was born in Islington London, there was a huge warehouse type building on the corner of the Grand Union Canal in New North Road. (Very near the North Pole Pub)
It was in fact a film studio. As a kid in the forties I used to swim in the canal as it cost nothing entrance fee. (You had to watch out for the large Mocking birds floating on top of the water)
I think the studio was called Gainsborough and as a kid I remember strangely dressed people popping into the pub on the corner of New North Road and Elizabeth Avenue. (Supporting Artists of the past)
Anyway, that’s where Alfred Hitchcock made many of his films.
(I could have bumped into him while I was going swimming and he was popping in for a swift half. It’s a small world)
ONTO THE FILM…
I was now the not so proud owner of an old Bedford van and was booked by the 2nd A.D. on Frenzy to report to Covent Garden fruit market for the start of a weeks work...
There must have been fifty supporting artists working that week as market porters.
It was thirty years ago but some people still come to mind, like Big Mo Dunster who was stand/in on films for Donald Sutherland. Jimmy (the crow) Hammilton, Eddie Dillon And Bill (the body) Hemmings.
I remember the day that Donald Sutherland came down to speak to Mo about a private matter and got into one of the shots.(Everyone wants to be in a Hitchcock movie)
Mo has done well for himself and now lives in the U.S.A. looking after the Sutherland clan. Best wishes Mo, love Boysie.
Mr. Hitchcock was not very well while he was directing this film and would line up all the shots he wanted and leave the running around to his 1st A.D. (Colin Brewer, I think)
We filmed all around the market for the next week or so loading vans and unloading vans (Including my old Bedford) but I was more interested in watching the Master at work. Then near the end of the shoot in the market it happened.
The Master looked at me then at the 1st A.D. and said…
‘’Tell that man to climb up on that lorry and start unloading it’’
(‘’That man’’) he said my name, I was being directed by the great man himself.
We shot a lot of the inside of the film at Pinewood. Then some stuff with the Bedford Following a potato lorry up and down major roads and that was it.
I was sorry to see the end of the filming but it’s one film I will never forget.
If you’re looking down from that great studio in the sky Mr. Hitchcock ‘’That Man’’ will say hello when he gets there.
Aitch,
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Great post, one of his more in your face films. I was watching Psychoville on Thursday night, and realised it was a spoof of Rope, based on a play by one of my favorite 1930s writers, Patrick Hamilton.




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Being a film extra could sometimes be a tough job.... :nono:

1971

THE DEVILS…Director…Ken Russell…
Oliver Reed…Vanessa Redgrave…Dudley Sutton…
I worked for about sixteen weeks on this film standing/in for Dudley and doing every crowd scene possible..
From the first day on set I could not believe what I was seeing.
A bevy of young girls dressed as Nuns walking around the set topless.
Reg Prince, who was Oliver Reeds stand/in said to me ‘’Stop looking Aitch, or you’ll go blind’’
I said ‘’I’ll risk one eye’’.
After the first couple of days it was back to looking at the Racing Post.
I thought this film was Dudley’s finest performance. How he could remember all those very long speeches was beyond me.. (That’s the difference between an actor and a supporting artist)
As I said, I got involved in many of the crowd scenes. Some days we had six Crowd Artists and another time six hundred.
After a couple of months Ted Morley the 1st A.D. said ‘’Come in at six in the morning Aitch, Ken’s got a little job for you’’ (Be wary of Ken’s little jobs)
I’m in the make up room bright and early the next day standing in just my underpants. (Not a pretty sight at six in the morning)
I’m painted off/white and grey and have rags tied about certain parts of my body.
One of the make up girls pours some rice crispies into a bowl. (I’m thinking it must be breakfast time.)
Then glue is applied one side of my face, shoulders and body and the rice is stuck on.
After that they’re painted yellow, red and a few other colours and it looks like I’ve got the plague. (That was the plan in the first place)
It’s nearly eight o clock now and I’m told I can go over to the Pinewood canteen and have a quick breakfast then go straight onto the set which was on the back lot..
The canteen was packed when I entered but within seconds I had a table to myself. (I wonder why?)
Later on at the back lot they’ve dug a huge crater and filled it up with raggedly dressed dummies and I’m going to lay on the top.. This is the plague pit and I’m starring. Murrey Melvin was blessing our poor disfigured bodies.
I had a smoke while they were lighting the set and it reminded me of that cigar advert Where the man is all at peace with his lot.. I thought to myself ‘’Is this it Aitch, on the scrap heap at thirty one years old’’
Another of Ken’s little jobs was to dress me up as a giant crow and to get drowned in the Pinewood pond. (Under the supervision of Peter Braham, Stunt Director)
Now in theory it’s quite easy to do. You float in the pond then sink into three foot of water whilst holding a plastic bottle of air in one hand and another one of blood in the other hand…(Simple)
As you sink you squeeze the bottles and the air and blood rise to the surface.
(Now here’s the rub)
The giant crows feathers wont let me sink.
After about ten minutes the brains on the film come up with plan B.
They will drop a huge weight with a steel ring in it to the bottom of the pond, then tie a rope around my waist under the feathers then through the steel ring.
Pass the rope To the three prop men standing on the other side of the pond and they will pull me under the water. (It gets worse)
By now I’ve been in the water for nearly an hour and I’m getting cold. The fish in the pond have got the hump with me and have started nibbling at the feathers and certain other parts of my anatomy. A couple of large brandies help with the cold and we’re Ready for a take. (Let’s do it) (now here’s the plot.)
I’m floating on the top and on a cue the prop men will pull me down to the bottom
As I’m releasing air and blood.. (Big thought) What about my own air supply.???
How will the prop men know when I’ve run out of air to breathe so that they can release the rope. Another large brandy and it’s decided that when I pull on the rope they will release it their end.
Well to cut an even longer story short the idea worked and after about six takes (And Six more brandies) Ken got what he wanted.
.
The moral of this story is, don’t mix brandy and water. (Oh happy days)

The Devils was a great film to work on and I’d like to thank all the cast and crew for making it such a fun time.
I’d like to say a very special thanks to the wonderful 2nd A.D. Mr. Vincent Winters.
Vincent was a child actor and his great claim to fame was the film ‘’THE KIDNAPPERS’’ Made in the fifties. He played the younger of the two brothers who find a baby on the Scottish Moors and want to call it Rover... (A wonderful film)
I had a row with him twenty years later and never got to say sorry.
Vincent has since died and I’m still sorry. (God bless)

Aitch,
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THE MACKINTOSH MAN…Director John Houston…
Paul Newman…
We were at Pinewood for a couple of weeks filming the prison escape scenes.
There must have been a couple of hundred Supporting Artists on the set everyday. Central Casting were at their best for this casting.
Broken noses, scars, cauliflower ears, pug ugly (And that was just the women). :rofl:
Some of the best known ‘’faces’’ from north and south of the river (Thames) were teamed up in a mock up of a prison yard.
Let me mention some that I can remember.
The Cardews, the Tippets, Bobby Ramsey, Jack Kid Berg and many many more.
I wish my memory was better. (I’d better remember Gypsy Tom) Hello Tom.
I’m sure we’ll get a full list of the people in these scenes when we read Scott Palmers book.
Some of the quieter faces Eric Kent, Trevor Wedlock, Gordon Hann and myself would find a quiet corner and play cards in between set ups.
Trevor and his dog Yogi went to Ireland to hunt for Mr Newman.
Yogi was a BIG Rottweiler. (And I mean BIG)

Aitch,


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Morning Aitch! - great stuff!! :)

-----|0| None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free. |0|-----

"Capitalism profits from War - Humanity profits from Peace."

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:eek: Bloody Hell I remember seeing the Devils when it first came out! Very naughty film but lots of films were naughty in those days. I loved Olly Reed. :oops:



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Dolls wrote::eek: Bloody Hell I remember seeing the Devils when it first came out! Very naughty film but lots of films were naughty in those days. I loved Olly Reed. :oops:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLgL_P5uacA

Aitch,


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RAGTIME…Director Milos Forman…
Cast Inc… JAMES CAGNEY…Pat O’Brien…Donald O’Connor…
This cast is a blast from the past…
We film for a few days at Oxford and for me it doesn’t get any better than this.
The scenes are interior of a big office and I’m dressed as a US cop.
Pat O’Brien came onto the set first and shook hands with many of the Supporting Artists (Including me) ‘’How are you son, you look good’’ he said..
Well that’s the best way for me to start the day because now I felt good that this man had taken time to welcome all of us.
Pat moved around the room chatting to cast and crew alike and we were all waiting for the main man to arrive on set..
The noise was quite deafening until someone said ‘’He’s here’’.
You could have heard a pin drop as the main man entered the set.
Everyone stood and applauded and waited for James Cagney to take his position on the set before silence resumed.
There they were in front of me my two heroes of the black and white days of cinema.
I think I’ve seen every film that James has made (Some of them many times)
I feel sorry for the kids of today that never got to see he’s early films and think a good film today has to be bombarded with special effects to make it work.
Let me list some of films of James Cagney to let the kids of today and tomorrow know what they have missed.
The Public Enemy (1931), Scarface (1932), Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942), White Heat (1949). Then in the 50s Love Me Or Leave Me (With Doris Day), Mr Roberts. (With a young Jack Lemmon).
I could watch all these films again and never tire.
This was to be James Cagney’s last film and I would like to say, thank you Mr Cagney for entertaining me for so many years.

Aitch,


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I've been busy writing fo the last few months as there could be a book deal on my bio about the films and tv that I worked on from 1966--1998.
You can view my updates on my web.....It's a long read.....

Aitch,


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noobywoobyscooby
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Good to cya Harry!!! :thumb: Hope you are well Sir!!!

-----|0| None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free. |0|-----

"Capitalism profits from War - Humanity profits from Peace."

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smeggypants wrote:Good to cya Harry!!! :thumb: Hope you are well Sir!!!


I'm fine and will be happy when I finish my book. People send me screen grabs from shows I'd forgotten about until I see the grab then I have to include the the story onto my web / book.
I'll get there.......http://www.harryfielder.co.uk

Aitch, :cheers:


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Evenin' :)

-----|0| None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free. |0|-----

"Capitalism profits from War - Humanity profits from Peace."

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Hi Harry

You need to update your thread on IMDB, they are missing your best films

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0276092/

The best facial is a daily facial.

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I love McVicar, great movie





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