Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Ernie Day

I was very saddened to have read that Ernest Day had died this past November. Ernie was an INCREDIBLE cameraman, Director of Photography, and Second Unit Director.
I met Ernie in the summer of 1987 when I was in Montreal to start work on the film APRIL MORNING that was to Star Robert Urich and Tommy Lee Jones. Pretty much all of my two weeks on the picture was with second unit, and I got to know Ernie very well on the set. I couldn't believe I was working with the man who photographed LAWRENCE OF ARABIA, and I let him know it! We had a lot of laughs, and he was very giving of his time to me with all my questions about shooting a picture. A couple of days on the set when the rain poured down, he invited me to sit in the camera truck and we would discuss all the films he had worked on. He also gave me some really cool bits to do in the picture, and those are two weeks that I will always remember with great fondness. I wrote to him a couple of times after the movie ended, but, after time, as it is with many shows, the cast and crew drift apart. The last time I saw him was in the production office of the movie, and as I was leaving he said "I think we made a good one here!" I said something back like, "We'll do it again!" Well, we never did, and I never saw him again after that day.

I thought about him today, looked him up, and saw that he had passed away. A wonderful man. He was nominated for an Academy Award for A PASSAGE TO INDIA. Some of the films he photographed include BECKET, EXODUS, THE ROMAN SPRING OF MRS. STONE, LORD JIM, DOCTOR ZHIVAGO, YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE, RYANS DAUGHTER, NICHOLAS AND ALEXANDRA, A CLOCKWORK ORANGE, MOONRAKER, THE SPY WHO LOVED ME, RAMBO 3, APRIL MORNING, and MISSION IMPOSSIBLE, his final credited film.

So you've seen his work. Next time you see one of these pictures, know that they were shot by a good guy. a real good guy.