Behind The Scenes

Once again Neil has sent me a remarkable picture. This time it has been taken behind the scenes of the First Unit’s filming of Walt Disney’s Story of Robin Hood. Little John (James Robertson Justice) is shaking hands with Will Scarlet (Anthony Forwood) just after the fight scene over the bridge with Robin Hood (Richard Todd).

This was filmed on one of the huge sets, inside Denham Studios and leaning against the huge Technicolor camera, getting a view of the action is Ken Annakin the director.

The First Unit were:
Director:- Ken Annakin
Unit Manager:- Frank Sherwin Green
Director of Photography:- Guy Green
Camera Operative:- Dave Harcourt
Technicolor Technician:- Ian Craig
Asst. Technicolor Technician:- John Tiley
Clappers:- Derrick Whitehurst
1st. Assistant Director:- Peter Bolton
2nd. Assistant Director:- Peter Manley
3rd Assistant Director:- Kip Gowan
Continuity:- Joan Davis
Sound Mixer:- C.C. Stevens
Boom Operator:- Fred Ryan
Sound Camera:- K Rawkins
Floor Props:- Jim Herald
Floor Electrician:- Maurice Gillet
Floor Stills:- Frank Bellingham
Production Secretary:- Teresa Bolland

Ken Annakin had vivid memories of shooting in Technicolor at that time:

“It was the very elaborate three-strip system, with a very immobile camera. When you wanted to reload the camera in its very heavy blimp, you had to have it lifted on chains, and it took the first class Technicolor crew a minimum of eleven minutes to reload the camera. After every single shot the camera had to be opened and the gate had to be examined; the prism was the great thing because this was the light splitter which gave the registrations on the three strips.

For this reason if you were making a big picture like Robin Hood, you had to be very certain that you were not wasting setups or wasting shots, because it was a big industrial process every time to set up your camera.”


Clement of the Glen said...

Special thanks Neil for sending this remarkable picture.

If any one else has rare images like this please get in contact at

Neil said...

The comments made by Ken Annakin about the Technicolor camera is fascinating. It is amazing to read this and then see the film with the effortless pacing, the camera angles, and cutting which are so impressive considering the work involved in moving and loading the camera. To me the colour in this film is breathtaking and never bettered. The behind the scenes still I sent in is interesting in that it reveals just how many people and crew were around and so close. Also there is no water in the stream / lake when this is being filmed even though it was only a shot away from Little John being thrown in to the water. I try to look out for this type of still as they are so revealing.

Neil said...

Interesting to see Guy Green's name as he photographed and was responsible for lighting etc. on this film. He apparently ensured that even with the studio shots the lighting was so arranged as not to show multi shadows as on some films. Consequently even the studio 'outdoor' scenes look so realistic. As I have said before the colour photography on this film is breathtaking !

Clement of the Glen said...

Couldn't agree more Neil!