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March 23, 2011


David Van Taylor

AJ, here's another one.


David Van Taylor
Lumiere Productions

Brad Lichtenstein

Just yesterday I told my staff about seeing Leacock embrace new technology (at the time, hi-8) even as he reached his 80s. What a giant. His life inspired me and so many others. Rest peacefully, sir Leacock.

Geoff Bowie

In 1992, Ricky Leacock, Donn Pennebaker, and Terry Filgate all showed up at the National Film Board of Canada in Toronto for a great week-end documentary workshop called "What's Up Doc?" Leacock was very excited at the time about the new small format video cameras and editing systems. One of Leacock's great bits of advice was "stay away from anything that's being covered by television." Point of View, a Canadian magazine about documentary (issue #18) interviewed Leacock on this week-end.

Howard Weinberg

In 1965, I interviewed Ricky Leacock who said he thought of the original synchronization device to run both camera and tape recorder while watching Willard Van Dyke make a Bullova Accutron watch commercial. The earliest cinema-verite cameras had the watch face built into the camera body. Later just the tuning fork was used. Leacock said, "The electronic tuning fork makes it possible to get the speed of both film and tape accurate within five parts per million."

"Development of this equipment has been held up because practically every competent person in the country is in the missile industry," Leacock said. "No one will do any research that isn't government sponsored. Try to talk Bell and Howell or Eastman Kodak into doing any research. They look at you as if you're the ghost of the Ancient Mariner."


Thanks for posting this A.J. I heard the news from an M.I.T. colleague of Ricky's who had brought Ricky to Temple University when I was in the MFA program there. I had the great privilege of having Mr. Leacock himself tell me that my documentary about a barbershop was not as good as his own because my barber used clippers and his scissors. His barber was classier! I have since lost my hair.

Kamera Perekam

Richard “Ricky” Leacock Was 89. Ricky A nice compendium of the documentary pioneer's.
Good bye, Sir. May your soul rest in peace.

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