Friday 27 November 2015

Carry On Hero of the Week: Alan Hume

The whole idea of this new series of blogs is to flag up specific individuals who, in my humble opinion, really made the Carry On films what they were. So many of the actors and crew turned up at Pinewood again and again, working closely over the years to produce such a fine body of work. This week it's the turn of legendary cinematographer Alan Hume.

Alan Hume was a master of his craft. It was mainly down to him that the Carry On films were so beautifully shot. Working on a shoestring budget, Hume's excellence behind the camera meant the films often looked a good deal better than they otherwise might have done. The lighting, camera angles and set ups were all superb under Hume and us fans owe him a huge amount of gratitude for all his hard work.

Alan was involved in the series right from the very beginning, working as a camera operator in the early black and white films before graduating to cinematographer or Director of Photography on later efforts. He also worked on many other Rogers and Thomas films including Bless This House, The Big Job, Nurse On Wheels and Watch Your Stern. He was quite simply world class as is shown by the other films he worked on. During a lengthy career he worked on Star Wars, four of the Roger Moore era James Bond pictures and other classics like A Fish Called Wanda, Shirley Valentine and Stepping Out.

Despite being on the crew of these big pictures, Alan kept coming back for more Carry On fun, which says a great deal both about the man himself and the people he worked with at Pinewood. He always seemed very modest and down to earth, despite his great success. I know all the Carry On actresses loved Alan because he took such great care to make them look their very best in front of the camera. He was also, by all accounts, a terrific audience regularly having to stuff a handkerchief into his mouth to stop his laughter during takes!

Alan continued to work up until the late 1990s, his last main contribution being cinematographer (and interviewee) in the What's A Carry On? documentary in 1998. Alan had four children, all of whom have followed him into the film industry. Sadly, Alan Hume passed away in July 2010 at the age of 85.

So there you have it, my Carry On Hero of the Week this week is the fantastic Alan Hume.

You can follow me on Twitter @CarryOnJoan 

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