Engineer Perry Mitchell is presented with Honorary Membership of the GTC
On Sunday 29 June, engineer Perry Mitchell was presented with Honorary Membership of the Guild of Television Cameramen by GTC President Dick Hibberd. Perry has been a very prolific and much valued contributor to the GTC's email Forum for many years. Also there for the presentation was GTC Vice President, John Henshall, who has know Perry for many years (see below).
Dick (who was one of the founders of the GTC in 1972) explains how Perry's generosity in sharing his vast knowledge and experience epitomises one of the very greatest strengths of the GTC:
At the inception of the Guild of Television Cameramen over 40 years ago, it was my dream that one day cameramen and camerawomen the world over would be able to speak with each other. This was long before the invention of the Internet. You can imagine my daily delight then in seeing this happen, as each day I read every posting on the GTC Forum.
Last Sunday GTC Forum member Perry Mitchell drove from his home in Farnham to Pinewood Studios so that the GTC Council could show their appreciation of his massive contribution in imparting his vast knowledge to other GTC members via the Forum. I had the pleasure of presenting Perry with his certificate of Honorary GTC Membership during a meeting of the GTC Council.
Perry has exemplified the generosity of spirit, which has become the hallmark of the exchange of information between cameramen since the Guild's inception. Ever since the GTC Forum was initiated on 3 January 2001, Perry has contributed with always detailed and well-informed posts and in that time has posted more than 2800 messages. These have always been of great assistance to those who have asked for help, and often very educational to those of us who read the GTC Forum postings daily.
Thank you Perry, may you long continue with your assistance to so many of us.
GTC Life President 0001
About Perry Mitchell
by GTC Vice President John Henshall
Perry Mitchell left BBC Television Outside Broadcasts and joined Sony Broadcast in Basingstoke in 1980. Bob Coles and myself were setting up Tarn Ltd, one of the first lightweight camera units and bought a Sony BVP330P camera, together with Hi-Band U-Matic and one-inch ‘C’ format portable recorders. Perry was the man we dealt with.
Our office in Kew Road was adjacent to the A316 Richmond roundabout and Perry would stop off for a drink with us on his way home from selling the latest gear to the West End facilities companies. Bob and I had the engineering basics, thanks to BBC training, and Perry was a great help in increasing our engineering knowledge and setting up and running our new unit. We benefited immensely from Perry’s unique skills in explaining the most complicated engineering matters in words of one syllable which we cameramen could understand.
Perry booked me to light the Sony booths at IBC, in Brighton and later Amsterdam, and at Montreux, and we worked together on these shows for many years. We also organised a joint meeting of the GTC, STLD, BSC and GBCT at Mentmore, introducing members to Sony’s emerging high definition system.
In the mid-eighties Perry went to the Seychelles, not on holiday but to start their television service. Before he left Sony he appointed Ian Sheldon from Link Electronics – another fine engineer who can also speak plain English to cameramen.
In the 1980s there was much discussion about the relative merits of film and television pictures and this was further complicated with the advent of solid state (CCD) sensors. In 1988, after he had returned from the Seychelles, Perry addressed this head-on by commissioning us to make comparative tests.
The shoot was designed to compare 16mm and 35mm film with the latest tubed (BVP350) and the new CCD (BVP5) video cameras. Film camera operator Gerry Anstiss operated the ARRI 16SRII and ARRI 135BL4 cameras, while Steve Jellyman operated the video cameras. Joe Dunton mounted all four cameras on a single Moy geared head and we shot drama, location and night scenes with all the cameras running at the same time. The results were later shown running simultaneously to the heads of film from the various television companies.
Perry Mitchell is one of the most experienced and knowledgable engineers in the history of television. He understands the subject inside out and has the ability to impart his knowledge in a unique easy-to-understand way. His generosity in always being available to share this knowledge has become a major benefit of GTC membership and we will always be grateful to him for his contribution to our knowledge and understanding.