An article about Camera Man Peter Jackson provided by Nik 2004
Frost bound - and happy to be so
In these freelance days your typical film crew perceives itself as a bunch of skilled individuals who band (and bond) transiently for a specific job, the making of a film, and then disperse. There are exceptions. Peter Jackson BSC, GBCT, and his crew are currently (autumn 1998) shooting the sixth series of A Touch of Frost, for Yorkshire TV, with no permanent change of personnel. For this to happen in Yorkshire, where fools are not suffered gladly, somebody is doing something right. Probably they all are.
Peter and cinematography first came together in his late teens over a clockwork 9.5 mm PathÃ©. Hooked from then on, it was a few years later (1958) that he got his start as a trainee assistant editor with a small documentary company in London's New Bond Street. "I later moved to another company; one so small that almost immediately you became a cameraman/director working with a client. This not only gave me the chance to shoot but also to follow the job through editing and sound-dubbing. It was very interesting and very good training."
Sufficient training indeed that, on moving back north, he leaped the loader/focus stages to become a newsreel stringer for Granada and ABCTV. Then came a spell with a Bradford commercials production company before, in 1968, he joined Yorkshire TV as they started their film unit.
“. . . the speed and accuracy with which retakes and reverses were shot emphasised the benefits . . . of having experienced crews and casts who are well-accustomed to working together. I was certainly the first cameraman there, because I unpacked their three new Arri BL 16s which were all they then owned. Initially, YTV camera work was news or documentaries. Docs had always been on film. Alan Whicker also joined YTV in 1968, and I did a couple of trips with him to Hollywood and a European tour and worked a lot with Antony Thomas (Death of a Princess). I went with him to the Middle East, to Japan and twice to Africa, doing a series of personalised travel documentaries.
YTV Drama then was studio-based and tape-originated, but we were soon being sent out to shoot taxis drawing up, and people getting out. Then, when we'd got really good at that, we were allowed to do taxis drawing up right-to-left. Slowly they got more ambitious and put whole sequences out to film but these still had to cut back into studio stuff, usually giving a horrible match because 16mm stock wasn't a patch on what we have today. Finally, in the early 1970s, they became brave enough to do whole productions on film and TV drama had arrived."
Since then for Peter, it has been largely TV drama all the way. "I stayed with YTV until October 1995, which makes me one of their longest-serving inhabitants. I stuck with them because they kept offering me assignments which were as good as I could have got anywhere.”
Peter Jackson - Cinematographer & Filmography
By Nik, August 2004
Peter Jackson appeared to start his career with Follyfoot, judging by the list of his later work, the series was very fortunate to have had him!
The Second Quest (2004) (TV)
Shipman (2002) (TV)
The Quest (2002) (TV)
Hamish Macbeth (1995) TV Series
The Wanderer (1994/I) TV Series
Stalag Luft (1993) (TV)
A Touch of Frost (1992) TV Series (episode "Nothing to Hide")
The Darling Buds of May (1991) TV Series
Missing Persons (1990) (TV)
A Day in Summer (1989) (TV)
The Beiderbecke Connection (1988) (mini) TV Series
Out of the Shadows (1988) (TV)
The Attic: The Hiding of Anne Frank (1988) (TV)
The Beiderbecke Tapes (1987) (TV)
Comeback (1987) (TV)
Cloud Waltzing (1987) (TV)
May We Borrow Your Husband? (1986) (TV)
Romance on the Orient Express (1985) (TV)
The Beiderbecke Affair (1984) (mini) TV Series
One Summer (1983) TV Series
The Racing Game (1979) (mini) TV Series
Follyfoot (1971-73) TV Series.
Click here for Peter Jackson Obituary
Click here for filmography of Director Jack Cardiff
Director Stephen Frears
Click here for IMDb filmography
Director Michael Apted
Click here for IMDb filmography