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                                                  behind the camera
 I f Daf Hobson hadn’t been sacked from his theatre job as a ‘Follow Spot Operator’ all those years ago, it’s just possible the industry might
have missed out on one of its
more distinguished and dis- tinctive cinematographers.
Okay, it’s probably a very big ‘if’. Oddly enough, though, it was actually film that got him fired - aged all of 20 - from his crucial lighting post at the Leeds Playhouse where he worked in the evenings after art college.
Hobson, Daf (as in Dafydd Llewelyn, son of an English father and Welsh-speaking mother) had met Chris Clough in the student union at the city’s university where the fledging producer, who was studying English, told him he wanted to film the Three Witches scene from Macbeth.
Young Hobson, always up for a challenge - then as now - provided actresses (from the local Poly drama society) and some gas lights, as well as obliging with the sound recording, for the rain-lashed night shoot up on nearby Ilkley Moor. He was ill the next day, turned up late at the Playhouse – “something you don’t do in the the- atre” – and was swiftly given his marching orders.
More than 30 years later, it’s per- fectly obvious that stage’s loss is film and television’s gain when a quick glance at Hobson’s credits reveal two BAFTAs (Othello, Family), three RTS awards (Othello, The Tenant Of Wildfell Hall, Bramwell) and an IFTA (Eureka Street). Not to mention his other acclaimed small screen work on dra- mas like The Lakes, Sword Of Honour and Births, Marriages And Deaths.
Then there’s the matter of his intermittent big-screen career: curious- ly, just two films (1997’s Welcome To Sarajevo and the current release, Suzie Gold). And what about those dozen rather more unsung years at the coal- face of the new Welsh-language TV net- work S4C throughout the 1980s?
All this, as well as his nearly seven- year-long project to build a dream home on the coast of Anglesey and an inclination for inventions, suggest that Hobson hasn’t exactly been marking time since his ignominious Playhouse exit way back at the turn of the 70s.
Despite its immediate aftermath, that miserable night up on the Moor gave him his first taste for film and he followed it up by signing on for a com- plementary film course at college.
He recalls: “As with every other student who came in begging to do
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