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Adrian Biddle


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#1 Jon Kukla

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Posted 07 December 2005 - 04:55 PM

Was passing through Pinewood Studios and heard that Biddle had died suddenly and unexpectedly today of a heart attack while he was riding in a car. He was 53. RIP.
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#2 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 07 December 2005 - 06:18 PM

Heard it today at a party myself. Sad indeed - I knew his daughter briefly.

R.I.P. Adrian.
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#3 Jonathan Spear

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Posted 08 December 2005 - 08:37 AM

:(

A sad day. He'll be missed. What an impressive career:

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000939/

Edited by TSM, 08 December 2005 - 08:38 AM.

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#4 John Holland

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Posted 08 December 2005 - 11:25 AM

:(

A sad day. He'll be missed. What an impressive career:

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000939/

Cant take that in i was chatting to him at b.s.c equipment show at Elstree a few months ago ,christ he was a year younger than me , but never stopped working ,poop . john holland.
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#5 fstop

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Posted 09 December 2005 - 07:43 PM

I am absolutely gutted to hear this. :(

I never worked with Biddle, I don't know what he was like on-set, how he worked, etc but of the work I saw and knew it was all wonderfully inspiring and close to my heart. He was certainly regarded as one of the top five in-demand name DPs in the UK, and he really had a voice of his own. I know he was never talked of on an academic level like a Roger Deakins, but I feel his work was in every bit as as interesting and skillfully constructed.

Adrian Biddle was for many years the apprentice of underwater DP Egil Woxholt and I believe the great Harry Waxman (although I may have my facts wrong there). From those older generation DPs he seemed to adopt their neutral medium grey exposures, never overexposing the negative and making it denser, richer- there was grain in Biddle's work, something rugged and often gritty. You can always see detail and blemishes in the skin, even on high key movies like the 101 Dalmations movies, Mel Smith's The Tall Guy or Bridget Jones 2. This approach was certainly unique because it avoided obvious gloss and sheen, but seemed to walk the fine line between what was photogenic and "muddy". The dirt was always there, so when he had to accept more stylised direction (Thelma and Louise, The Mummy) or fantasy genre movies (Princess Bride, Willow), you often got a sense of an alternate verisimilitude within the aesthetic trickery. You can see the rusting metal on LV426 and Mega City One, there's eye shadow running across Thelma's face but she still looks gorgeous! There was grit and murk, and Biddle would use it to add rich visual detail and texture to a lot of very conventional, big Hollywood pictures. Again, this wasn't bold in the Owen Roizman/Gordon Willis/Brice Surtees sense, but it added a unique dimension to his work that you could spot a mile away.

Biddle was from the mid seventies to the early eighties a focus puller for Ridley Scott associates and served as first AC on The Duellists and Alien for Ridley Scott, who he then photographed dozens of commercials for.

I think Adrian Biddle became particularly legendary for replacing Dick Bush on Aliens. The young DP stepped in and said yes to a crazy shedule and a fierce, hands-on auteur's demanding and precise vision. Biddle didn't make a big to do about image clarity or the limitations of the fast film stock, the spherical cameras or the compromised exposure. Instead, he just gave the director what he wanted. I seriously doubt I am the only twenty something who frequents this forum to consider the visuals of Aliens to be a much loved part (or chapter!) of their childhood.

Most importantly, I think Adrian Biddle's RANGE is something every single wannabe to working DP on this forum envies TIMES INFINTY. Even at age 53, he had done EVERYTHING!!: Intimate drama (The Dawning, The Tall Guy, the Butcher Boy) Historical drama (1492: Conquest of Paradise) Genre (Aliens, Event Horizon, Judge Dredd) Fantasy (The Mummy, Reign of Fire, Willow) Comedy (Fierce Creatures, The Holy Man, Bridget Jones 2, City Slickers 2) Thriller (Weight of Water, Thelma and Louise) and a Bond (The World is Not Enough)!!!!!! Neither hard nor softlight ever took a favourist priority throughout Biddle's body of work, yet he was incredibly well versed when it came to both. I guess he was unashamedly old fashioned in the sense that he never found one technique/style suits all in an age where soft lit naturalism is what is worshipped. As for format: Anamorphic or spherical? It never mattered.

I would really like to go into depth on this, but it's still a stage of shock. You see a recognisable name for many years on posters and title sequences and you love the work. The movies may not have been all wonderful but there was something always dependable and characteristic, whatever the quality of the film as a whole. Biddle kind of reminds me of the wonderful Jerry Goldsmith in this respect, whose passing was also an incredible, sad shock.

Thankyou very much for the inspiration, Mr. Biddle. Your images obviously say it much better than I can:

Posted Image
Posted Image
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:(
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#6 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 09 December 2005 - 09:38 PM

He apparently didn't like to stray to far from home and never pursued a career in Hollywood, despite many offers. He remained mainly a European-based DP, although he did the occasional foray into US production. He did often light big American productions over here though - maybe the best of two worlds? He will be missed.

Edited by AdamFrisch, 09 December 2005 - 09:45 PM.

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#7 Ignacio Aguilar

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Posted 09 December 2005 - 10:09 PM

Rest in peace, Mr. Biddle. The European industry will miss you.

The last week I went to Sevilla (Spain), where parts of "1492" where shot using real locations (the cathedral and some palaces), and I found really shocking how inventive and good looking was his lighting considering the arquitecture of those places...
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#8 Eric Steelberg ASC

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Posted 21 February 2006 - 12:37 AM

Just found out about his passing. So unfortunate. His work was inspiring and unique. I will truly miss seeing his light. He was my first favorite British DP...and still is one of my all time favorites.
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