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'REEL LIFE', a Memoir by Tony Sloman
Producer, Director, Film Editor, Sound Editor, Writer. Tony Sloman has done it all.

The 70mm Newsletter
Written by: Thomas Hauerslev Date: 23.09.2021
Readers familiar with the original Widescreen Weekend, Bradford, England are no doubt also familiar with the amazing Tony Sloman and his fantastic introductions to a long line of classic 70mm films.

• Go to in70mm.com review of 'REEL LIFE': Reel Life grips and engages from the start

I met Tony in 1997 in Bradford, and almost every year onwards, we spent a "widescreen weekend" together with beers, wine and PLENTY of vintage classics on the curved screen. Always a pleasure and an inspiration to be with Tony. Tony became a valued friend of Wide Screen Weekend, 70mm film - and myself. Few people - if any - can match Tony's colorful (and often very long and exciting) introductions, which would set the scene for the next large screen spectacular. Long forgotten stories about Ty Hardin in "The Battle of the Bulge", and the fact that by 2011 Director Michael Anderson was still alive at age 91, and lived in Toronto, when Tony introduced
"Operation Crossbow". I mean, who know these kind of things? Tony does - of course.

I have never met anyone with more knowledge about films, actors, directors, and the colourful back stories of movie production. From David Lean and Stanley Kubrick to Freddie Young - he (almost) met them all. The
"Human Movie Database" knowledge Tony possesses is staggering wealth of knowledge. He is accurately described as a true "child of the cinema", and a lifetime devotee of everything cinematic.

Amazingly, Tony must be at least 120 years old, as he have seen ALL 70mm film presentations in London when they came out originally more than 50+ years ago. Many times over the years we have talked about films in the bar - well, mostly Tony anyway, but he has the ability to entertain at the same time, which makes his stories really come to life.

I am pleased to say I was delighted by the news that Tony is about to launch a book with his memoirs about spending a life time in the British movie industry. Very soon on these pages, in70mm.com proudly presents a review of his book. Until then, GO BUY TONY'S BOOK!

Tony has given his kind permission to use a few things from the book, and what else could be more interesting for a 70mm audience than this?:

MGM at Borehamwood was the only studio in Europe to have its own laboratories and special fx department in the studio itself, and that department was under the great fx man Tom Howard, who had won his Oscars for Blithe Spirit and tom thumb.

I made an appointment to see the great man, and arrived at the laboratory on the MGM lot a little early. In the foyer, sitting at a table, were two young Americans, who introduced themselves as Doug Trumbull and Con Pederson, and they were over here for work on Stanley Kubrick’s new project, a space film called, tentatively, 2OO1. Stanley Kubrick! My hero!! (I didn’t say). I just asked them all about it, and they told me that, since it was an MGM picture, they would be doing it all here, at MGM Borehamwood. It would be cheaper, and there would be no Hollywood interference. Besides which, Stanley Kubrick now lived over here, after Dr. Strangelove and Lolita. I hadn’t really time to chat with them, but we exchanged pleasantries, and they invited me to look over some time at the sets they were building, which I eventually did.

I then went up the stairs to Tom Howard’s office, and noticed on the wall a large transparency of the funeral scene from Doctor Zhivago, where the young Yuri watches his father being buried. I’d seen the film only a couple of weeks before, at the Empire, Leicester Square, in the 70mm. opening print. The door opened to reveal Tom Howard, who saw me looking at the picture. “Hi,” he said, “I’m Tom Howard. You must be Tony.” Then, looking at the picture on the wall: “Like it?” “Yes,” I replied, “I’ve only just seen it.” “What do you think of the sky?” I looked at the picture. “Oh, David Lean’s skies are always ravishing--” Tom cut me off. “That’s not David Lean’s sky. That’s ours. He just shot the foreground.” And then I knew I was in a den of wonders, a secret world where everything might not be quite as it appeared. I was clearly in the right place to lose our cigarette packet from the fight scene, and nobody would ever notice, and I secretly thanked Val Guest and Bill Lenny for giving me this opportunity. How thankful I would be eventually to know, and be able to work with, the wonderful Tom Howard would greatly show in the next time that I was to work at MGM, on what was to become arguably the greatest, most original, filmed television series of all time, for I would be working virtually hand-in-hand with Tom Howard’s superb FX department on the television series entitled The Prisoner.


More in 70mm reading:

Review: Reel Life grips and engages from the start

Speech for Tony Sloman 2004

Widescreen Weekend, Bradford, England


How to get 'REEL LIFE', a memoir by Tony Sloman
Quoit Media Limited, UK

Tony Sloman in front of the CINERAMA red curtain in Pictureville cinema (Bradford, 2011), introducing "Operation Crossbow" in 70mm. Picture: Thomas Hauerslev

Quoit Media Limited is delighted to announce that 'REEL LIFE', a memoir by Tony Sloman, is now available to pre-order at a discount price of £9.99 (plus overseas P&P).

Producer, Director, Film Editor, Sound Editor, Writer. Tony Sloman has done it all.

Growing up in London's East End in the 1950s, Tony's dream was to work in the film industry. His career began assisting on blockbusters such as Hammer Films' mighty One Million Years B.C .. He then moved into television, spending 10 months working on the cult series The Prisoner and ITC's crime series Strange Report. His C.V. would go on to boast titles such as Wonderwall , Chitty Chitty Bang Bang , Orson Welles' Great Mysteries , The Bounty , and many more.

One of Europe's most respected movie aficionados, Tony was twice elected Members' Governor of the BFI and has been a film reviewer for Radio Times for over two decades.

Including compelling tales of life behind the scenes with such movie-makers as Michael Winner, Lindsay Anderson, Raquel Welch, Patrick McGoohan, Beatle George Harrison, and countless others, REEL LIFE is an insightful look at life on the other side of the camera.

For more information and to pre-order at the discounted price, click the link below:


Paperback, 304 pages with approx 40 photographs, ISBN: 978-1-911537-15-1

NOW AVAILABLE to pre-order at discounted pre-orde price:
PAPERBACK £9.99 (plus P&P IF OVERSEAS), full price will be £12.99

Click Quoit Media Limited to pre-order, depending on your location.
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Updated 30-06-22