A Life In Cans

The sound recordist on a major film production is often thought of as simply one of the backroom boys - headphones permanently on head, speaking up only when extraneous noises spoil the shoot.

But what's different about the Oscar-winning Peter Handford is his concept of a complete soundscape, of painting pictures in sound.

His film career has run alongside his private passions, which include capturing in sound the last days of steam on the railways.

His special gift was for location recording, whether it be in a factory for the British New Wave cinema in the Sixties, recording gorillas and lions for top Hollywood movies or his beloved steam engines for The Railway Children and Murder on the Orient Express.

Neil Innes tells the story of Britain's greatest sound recordist whose career spans pre-war days when sound on film was still in its infancy, through wartime experience with the Army Film Unit, right up to the digital era.

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The sound recordist on a major film production is often thought of as simply one of the backroom boys - headphones permanently on head, speaking up only when extraneous noises spoil the shoot.

But what's different about the Oscar-winning Peter Handford is his concept of a complete soundscape, of painting pictures in sound.

His film career has run alongside his private passions, which include capturing in sound the last days of steam on the railways.

His special gift was for location recording, whether it be in a factory for the British New Wave cinema in the Sixties, recording gorillas and lions for top Hollywood movies or his beloved steam engines for The Railway Children and Murder on the Orient Express.

Neil Innes tells the story of Britain's greatest sound recordist whose career spans pre-war days when sound on film was still in its infancy, through wartime experience with the Army Film Unit, right up to the digital era.