Cat no. 226522

British Cinema History Research Project Oral Histories: Bill Welsh (sound effects props)


Bill Welsh
Interviewed by Jim Shields

Bill Welsh worked from the mid 1950s to the mid 1970s as the props man at the Gate Sound recording studios at Elstree. He worked on a number of the highest profile British productions of the period, including 'Lawrence of Arabia' and several early Bond films.

In this interview with Jim Shields he talks about his career creating sound effects for films such as 'Lawrence of Arabia' (1962), 'Bridge on the River Kwai' (1957) and 'Thunderball' (1965). Welsh discusses working with Maurice Askew (dubbing mixer) and discusses the difficulties of working with directors, and the importance of not letting them see how the sounds are produced! Welsh compares the production of sound effects at the Gate Studios involving improvisation with what he calls “my rubbish” with more cumbersome techniques in studios with large props departments, using the actual object displayed on the screen - a
method which Welsh suggests often results in a less convincing sound fit.