Congratulations to Joe Dunton
It was nice to see the Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema award at the BAFTAs this year going to camera expert Joe Dunton MBE. He was presented with the Award on Sunday night by Terry Gilliam.
Joe's career spans a long career in the British film and television industry. His formal training began with Pye, the television broadcasting equipment manufacturers. From there, he went as a sound engineer to Samuelson Film Services and later co-founded their R & D department. One of his main projects at that time was developing the video assist which was first used on Oliver in 1967. He worked with Samuelsons on the whole of this production with legends such as Sir Carol Reed, Ossie Morris and Honor White. This was followed by a further 10 years of production after production, ranging from The Olympics to the first Glastonbury.
Originating from the technical side, he developed a keen interest in the whole film system and became a member of the ACTT, BKSTS, RTS and SMPTE.
Around 1976, Joe decided to start a new company renting and specialising in film and television cameras. Funded by Lee Electric Lighting, this company became JDC. This partnership lasted a happy 10 years, leading up to the flotation of JDC within the Media Technology International group.
In 1987 he pulled out of the Lee Group to continue research and development and start a smaller camera lens rental operation both here in the UK and USA Wilmington, North Carolina.
Recent years have seen Joe honoured with an MBE, lifetime achievement awards from the Cine Gear Expo and the Society of Camera Operators, and now this recognition from BAFTA. He says: “Not only do I want to help filmmakers harness future technology to tell their stories, I also want to remind them of the past so that they understand the grandeur and gift that is the silver screen.”
Joe sits on many committees, is Vice President of the British Society of Cinematographers, Chairman of the Cine Guilds of Great Britain, a Governor of the London International Film School and a founder member of the Duke University N.C. Film Department.