UK camera operator dies filming stunt scene on BBC/Netflix drama
BY TOM GRATER 20 NOVEMBER 2017
UK camera operator Mark Milsome has died filming a stunt scene for upcoming BBC and Netflix drama The Forgiving Earth. He was 54 years old.
UPDATE: BBC/Netflix series ‘The Forgiving Earth’ suspended after camera operator death
Milsome’s agent confirmed the news to Screen. The Guild of British Camera Technicians has issued a statement to its members.
The incident took place during a night shoot on location in Ghana on Saturday (Nov 18). Milsome was working as a camera operator on a car stunt sequence when he was killed. London-born Milsome is survived by a wife and daughter.
The news has prompted an outpouring of condolences on social media from people who have worked with Milsome, including one UK-based cinematographer who said that he was “one of the kindest, funniest, most talented people I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with”.
In a 30-year career, Milsome worked as a DOP, camera operator and assistant on features including Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan, James Bond feature Quantum Of Solace and Oscar winner The Theory Of Everything. His TV credits included episodes of Game Of Thrones for HBO and Sherlock for the BBC.
His most recent work included as a B camera operator on war romance Bitter Harvest. The Forgiving Earth – previously titled Black Earth Rising – is a Netflix, BBC2 and Drama Republic project co-produced by Eight Rooks Production. The series is a crime thriller focusing on a black Anglo-American family.
Milsome’s agent Sarah Prince at UK-based agency Princestone, which reps creative and technical film personnel, commented to Screen:
”We have been utterly devastated by the death of our lovely Mark Milsome – camera operator and more recently DoP. Mark was one of the nicest, kindest, incredibly talented cameramen but completely humble with it. A gentle gentleman, forever positive, a delight to work with, he will be so greatly missed by us all. An investigation into the circumstances is under way, we all need answers to this dreadful tragedy. Mark was devoted to his wife and daughter; they are broken, as are his mother and father, Doug Milsome.”
The BBC released the following statement to Screen: “We are deeply shocked and saddened to hear this terrible news. Mark Milsome was hugely talented and a much respected colleague. Our thoughts are with Mark’s family and friends at this incredibly difficult time.” The Guild of British Camera Technicians (GBCT) added: “The GBCT Board and its membership are absolutely devastated by this tragic news. Mark Milsome was not only an incredibly talented camera operator, he was also one of the kindest and sweetest of human beings. Thoughts and prayers are with Mark’s family at this awful time.”
Director Hugo Blick and production outfit Drama Republic commented: “It is with huge sadness that we confirm the death of Mark Milsome, a camera operator who was working with us on the Netflix /BBC production The Forgiving Earth. We are all completely devastated. Mark was such a wonderful, kind and generous person. All our thoughts and condolences are with Mark’s family and his close friends at this tragic time. Giving them our support and focus is our number one priority.”
Industry professionals to have responded to the news include Nocturnal Animals cinematographer Seamus McGarvey, who said on Twitter that he was ”shocked and saddened”.