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Web of Stories Presents Oscar-Winning Cinematographer Billy Williams Sharing His Incredible Experiences, Including Working with Screen Siren Ava Gardner

Anniversary of Ava Gardner’s death on 25th January 1990. Would have been her 90th Birthday this year (b. 24th December 1922). Billy Williams talks about working with Ava on the film "The Ballad of Tam Lin". Robert Burns (Scottish poet), the author of the poem that the film is based on, was also born on January 25th - the same date Ava Gardner died. "The Ballad of Tam Lin" was directed by Roddy McDowall and produced by Alan Ladd Jr. and Stanley Mann.

London, United Kingdom, January 26, 2012 --( Relish a rare peek behind the scenes of Hollywood as Oscar-winning cinematographer Billy Williams shares his incredible experiences, including working with screen siren Ava Gardner.

This week is the anniversary of American screen legend Ava Gardner’s death on 25 January 1990 and, to mark the occasion, why not visit Web of Stories to watch Oscar-winning cinematographer, Billy Williams sharing his experience of working with the Hollywood great?

Williams made his name by shooting films such as Women In Love, On Golden Pond and the epic Gandhi, which won him an Oscar in 1982. He shot The Ballad of Tam Lin in 1969, a story based on a Robert Burns poem, starring Ava Gardner.

In his own words, Williams describes how he was tasked with ensuring the actress looked as luminously beautiful as she had in her earlier films: "I was introduced to Ava Gardner who was 47 and was certainly showing the effects of her lifestyle and I, of course, remember Ava from so many of those earlier pictures...she was one of the most beautiful woman on the screen...It was really sad to see how her beauty was fading away..."

In a rare in-depth look behind the scenes of movie making, Williams explains the tricks of the trade: "I found that when I was shooting her in the studio, by careful lighting and a certain amount of diffusion, she looked pretty good...When we got onto location it was quite a different problem because, depending on the light...the visual quality of the face can vary enormously...I was soon to find out with Ava Gardner that the only way I could make her look good was by eliminating the top light."

Williams’ career spanned decades and won him countless accolades. He was appointed President of the British Society of Cinematographers and was awarded the Camera Image Festival’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000. He was also named as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2009 Birthday Honours,

To share memories of his illustrious career, Williams devoted time to telling his stories in fascinating detail. The result is hours of recorded commentary which can be watched as a number of captivating short stories ranging in length between one and seven minutes with a fully searchable transcript.

The stories range in subject from how Williams began his career in movies, sharing his experience of working with screen icons such as Elizabeth Taylor and Katharine Hepburn, as well as adopting new technologies along the way. And no commentary would be complete without Williams talking about his most famous films, Women In Love, On Golden Pond and Gandhi.

All the videos of Billy Williams are easy to share with friends and are also free for embedding into personal blogs and websites.

Notes for Editors

About Web of Stories
Everyone has a story to tell. Over time many stories become forgotten, but now Web of Stories offers members of the public the chance to tell their stories for future generations to enjoy.

Web of Stories began as an archive of life stories told by some of the great scientists of our time. As the number of stories grew, it became obvious that some were on related topics and a web was slowly being created of connected stories. After a while we also invited famous people outside the field of science to tell their life stories.

Web of Stories is also open to the public to record their stories for the world to view and share. The project is built on the belief that we all have wonderful stories to share, and have family and friends whose tales we would like to hear. The great thing about Web of Stories is that anyone can come and talk about virtually anything they like. Just like our famous speakers, it is an account of their experiences as they remember them.

We hope to provide lasting, first-hand accounts of people’s experiences. Imagine that in a hundred years’ time your grandchildren or great grandchildren will be able to watch you telling stories about your life today.

For more information on Web of Stories or any other video interview with Web of Stories please contact the Press Desk on +44(0)20 7323 0323 or email

Science Navigation Group, Web of Stories Ltd, Middlesex House, 34-42 Cleveland Street, London W1T 4LB

Contact Information
Web of Stories Ltd
Reena Takhar
+44 (0)20 7323 0323

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