Nigel Lesmoir-Gordon

NIGEL LESMOIR-GORDONI came into this world in the midst of the Second World War, appearing among the soaring academic towers of Cambridge – the last outpost of ‘civilisation’ before the black-soiled, windswept fens ran their endless way up to King’s Lynn and The Wash. I grew up in the austere and reactionary spirit of post-war England. People felt lucky to be alive. So many had died and there were shortages. Most of our ships had been sunk and we lived under the heavy-hanging threat of nuclear annihilation. By the time I had made it into my teens Cambridge had blossomed and become prosperous and I grew up in a privileged world. I was 13 when I went off to board at Oundle School and Elvis Presley’s Heartbreak Hotel burst incandescently upon the world. I began writing at Oundle and published poems and short stories in the UK, the USA and in France. I toured the UK performing with my poetry & jazz group. My interest in film took me to the London School of Film Technique in 1965. When I left Cambridge to go to the school I moved into a flat in Cromwell Road, South Kensington – the infamous ‘101’. When David Gale wrote about 101 in The Independent he recalled: “As the 60s began to generate heat, I found myself running with a fast crowd. I had moved into a flat near the Royal College of Art. I shared the flat with some close friends from Cambridge, including Syd Barrett, who was busy becoming a rock star with Pink Floyd. A few hundred yards down the street at 101 Cromwell Road, our preternaturally cool friend Nigel was running the hipster equivalent of an arty salon. Between our place and his, there passed the cream of London alternative society - poets, painters, film-makers, charlatans, activists, bores and self-styled visionaries. It was a good time for name-dropping: how could I forget the time at Nigel’s when I came across Allen Ginsberg asleep on a divan with a tiny white kitten on his bare chest? And wasn't that Mick Jagger visible through the fumes? Look, there's Nigel's postcard from William Burroughs, who looks forward to meeting him when next he visits London!”During a weekend spent in Cambridge with old friends as part of my experimental work at film school I shot the now cult-movie classic Syd Barrett’s First Trip. When I joined the industry as an editor I worked for Hugh Hudson, director of Chariots of Fire, on TV commercials and documentaries. The film Performance was produced from his Chelsea studios. In 1968 I was commissioned by Mick Jagger to co-write a screenplay with Christopher Gibbs (the set designer on Performance) called The Quest. Marianne Faithfull writes about this project in her biography Faithfull. Mick, Keith and Marianne were already cast and keen to make it. The script we wrote drew on Arthurian legend, Celtic mythology and romantic poetry. Donovan had been writing music for the film and was disappointed when the project stalled due to other Rolling Stones commitments. To make up for this he suggested that I produce and direct a film of him making music sailing through the islands of the Aegean Sea with a small acoustic band. The band was called Open Road and the completed 30-minute film was There is an Ocean. I then moved to the BBC as an editor, cutting dramas and documentaries for two years. I went on to work with Pink Floyd, 10cc, Squeeze, Rainbow, Joe Cocker, Big Country, Wings, Paul Nicholas and Leo Sayer amongst others in the 70’s.I concentrated on commercials and corporate videos throughout the 80s. I wrote and directed Regiment a documentary about the Royal Air Force’s Infantry Regiment before I made the award-winning television documentary The Colours of Infinity, presented by Sir Arthur C. Clarke with music by David Gilmour of Pink Floyd in 1993. The Colours of Infinity has been broadcast in over fifty territories. It brought the Mandelbrot set and the subject of fractals to the attention of the general public for the first time.I also directed The Bobby Charlton Story


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