The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols from Kings College, Cambridge, was first held on Christmas Eve 1918. Its fame grew after the service was heard on radio in 1928 and, with the exception of 1930, it has been broadcast at home and abroad ever since. In 1954 Christmas Carols from Kings was televised on Christmas Day as part of a live exchange of programmes with other countries with Midnight Mass coming from Paris on Christmas Eve and Winter Games from Switzerland on Boxing Day.
Davis, who has more than three decades’ experience in television lighting, discussed some of the major royal events he has covered in his talk, “Four weddings and a funeral”.
He began with the 1999 wedding of Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys-Jones at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle. The lighting director spoke about the challenges of trying to match the bright light flooding through the stain glass windows against the unforgiving light-soaking dark wood lining the aisle.
Bernie Davis started life in the BBC TV Outside Broadcasts to become one of their senior lighting directors. Since leaving the BBC Bernie has become has been an established TV Lighting Designer for over twenty-five years working on many of the highest-profile programmes ranging from events in cathedrals and palaces, to concerts and light entertainment shows, plays, opera and ballets from The National Theatre and Covent Garden.
Alleycats head of production Judy Wilson kicked off the season with the session, “How to manage a production”. Over almost five years at the indie, she has worked on many projects, including the BBC NI/ RTÉ documentary, How to Defuse a Bomb: The Project Children Story.
Ryan Kernaghan, the director of photography on revenge thriller Bad Day for the Cut, offered a crash course in camera and lightning techniques, explaining to the students in the audience how they should prepare for a shoot.
Lighting is key to camera work, says cinematographer Laurie Rose. It’s essential to establishing a look or mood for a scene. “The important thing is to tell a story and create mood using light,” he explains.
Between them Laurie and cinematographer Matt Gray have credits on shows as varied as Peaky Blinders, Broadchurch and Riviera.
The panel discussed their careers, current technology and how to say “no” to directors, as well as offering advice on breaking into the industry.
As a child, cinematographer Stuart Harris spent his lunch money on Sight and Sound magazine and admission to the latest art-film releases. Following school, he became a mail boy, before working as a runner on Roger Corman’s 1964 film The Masque of the Red Death and then as a clapper loader.
Chris Ramage is a lighting and cameraman for Emmerdale.