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                                          35mm, 16mm, tape or string. We tell stories. It’s more to do with the fact that TV is institutional. I felt in a safer environment in TV than I did in film at that time.
“It doesn’t even relate to the way stuff looks bar one thing: framing. I would shoot everything in Cinemascope if I could, not because there is perhaps a perception that Cinemascope is grand or some kind of artistic higher ground.
“It’s the fact that the human eye sees horizontally. We are not aware of the ceiling or the floor. It’s the way, by using the width of the frame, you should be able to render any story photographically because that’s the way life actually looks. It is so much
more fulfilling than doing it in a square TV frame or even 1:85:1.
“For me, it was also connected with personal stuff about growing up, about properly coming to terms with different conditions of working.
“As head of department in this industry you have to face an awful lot of difficulties. The best training would be a few years in the SAS, after which I’m sure being a film cameraman would be a lot easier.”
In between his film assignments – both perhaps not un-coincidental- ly shot anamorphic – there has been some dazzling TV which have tested both his mettle and his ingenuity. He would pick 1996’s The Tenant Of Wildfell Hall, directed by Mike
Barker, as one of his own personal highlights.
“It’s so easy to romanticise period drama. Tenant was a good example of how no individual can make a com- plete film in isolation from everyone else around them. For guys like me to do their best work, there has to be inspiration; it can come quite sudden- ly, out of the chemistry between the director, the cameraman, the designer and well-cast actors. The whole thing then ferments. Like me, Mike wanted to break the rules too.”
He also cites his work with Adrian Shergold (Births, Marriages And Deaths, Eureka Street, Swallow, Early Doors) who was, unwittingly, responsible for the now infamous Wonkycam, one of
self-confessed ‘anorak’ Hobson’s cine- matographic inventions.
Wonkycam, which even boasts its own website ( was born out of an earlier, discarded brainchild bearing the distinctly ambiguous handle, Pussycam. No, don’t ask.
For Swallow, Shergold wanted a particularly complex and at times visually distressing shot in a tight domestic location which involving tracking through windows and consid- erable panning round rooms, up stairs and across faces.
“That shot couldn’t be achieved with Steadicam because it was a real location and not a build. So I went home and built this Heath Robinson rig which Adrian ended up using for lots of shots throughout the seven- week shoot. It eventually got for- malised into a piece of sophisticated equipment with accessories, fittings and options.”
His ingenuity has also been much in demand as he finally took over responsibility for building his dream home, a self-confessed “enormous dis- traction” over the past few years.
Hobson’s recent bread-and-butter has been short stints doing second unit on films like Millions and Alfie along with an episode of a new Trial & Retribution (which he’s shooting on Fujicolor Reala 500D 8692 as well as being re-united with producer Chris Clough after 10 years). He admits that his domestic pre-occupation distract- ed him a bit too much.
But he wouldn’t have had it any other way. “Building a house is like producing a movie. A small audience? Certainly not. There’s my wife and our two children, which is the biggest audience there can be.” ■ QUENTIN FALK
Suzie Gold was originated on 35mm Fujicolor F-500T 8572 and the upcoming Trial & Retribution VIII was originated on 16mm Fujicolor F-64D 8622, F-250D 8662, F-500T 8672 and Reala 500D 8692 Motion Picture Negative
 Fuji Motion Picture And Professional Video • Exposure • 23

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