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Biography #2 (for The Gathering Storm)

Richard Loncraine was born in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire in 1946. His film career started at the Royal College of Art Film School where he went after studying sculpture at the Central School of Art. To help pay his way through college he began selling antique pub mirrors and 'hot' and 'cold' cufflinks made from taps in Carnaby Street. This later led to the formation of Loncraine Broxton, with his partner Peter Broxton, a company which makes executive toys including Newton's Cradle and Aquabatics and for whom Loncraine's designs have won a number of Design Council Awards.

The two disciplines fused together when he was involved in the making of John Schlesinger's SUNDAY, BLOODY SUNDAY for which he designed and made the various sculptures and being the model for Murray Head's lifestyle in the film (in which he also made a very brief appearance).

Loncraine's first directing job, while still at film school, was with Alan Whicker in a film of THE MOST BEAUTIFUL HOTEL IN THE WORLD for Yorkshire Television. Only eighteen, this made him the youngest director to have a networked program on the air.

He left the Royal College and joined the BBC in 1967 where he worked on the original TOMORROW'S WORLD series and HORIZON.

After three years with the BBC, Loncraine left to direct commercials and his own 'death cult' pictures, which were 16mm films of records. On the strength of these producer David Puttnam asked him to direct RADIO WONDERFUL, a film about disc jockeys to go out on release with THAT'LL BE THE DAY.

His first feature film FLAME, about the pop group Slade, was made in 1974 for producers David Puttnam and Sandy Leiberson.

Then followed a year setting up Harry Saltzman's ill-fated MICRONAUTS developing a unique system of first generation matting which would allow actors and insects to be combined on the same original negative.

Loncraine then returned to work in television where his credits include Mary O'Malley's OYVAY MARIA, a social comedy for BBC's Play for Today; Robert Holmes' THE VANISHING ARMY, a film about life in the British Army in Northern Ireland for BBC's Play of the Week; and SECRET ORCHARDS FOR Granada, a film based on the life of Roger Ackerley, the Fyffes' banana king starring Freddie Jones and Judy Parfitt.

His next film in 1978 was the first to be made in Britain under the Anglo-Canadian co-production treaty, FULL CIRCLE, starring Mia Farrow and Keir Dullea.

In 1980 he was nominated for a BAFTA award as Best Director for BLADE ON THE FEATHER, one of a Dennis Potter's trilogy for London Weekend Television starring Donald Pleasance, Denholm Elliot and Tom Conti.

He then directed the film of Dennis Potter's BRIMSTONE AND TREACLE, a controversial black comedy starring Denholm Elliot, Joan Plowright, and Sting.

He followed this in 1983 with THE MISSIONARY for Hand Made Films, a gentle period comedy starring Michael Palin, Maggie Smith, Denholm Elliot, Michael Hordern, and Trevor Howard.

BELLMAN AND TRUE, which started as a three-part TV series for Euston Films, was bought by Hand Made films and aired Spring 1999.

For the past eighteen years he has also been a highly successful director of commercials and has won numerous prizes for his work in this field and in particular when effects and technical complexities are involved, as in the British Airways MANHATTAN commercial.

He is also director and co-founder of Kaleidoscope Cameras Ltd., a company set up to develop advanced camera lenses and equipment, including a snorkel lens and the Hothead, a remote control camera (recently nominated for a technical 'Oscar') which has now become a standard piece of equipment for the film industry.

Bio courtesy HBO for "The Gathering Storm" (01-Jan-2000)


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