Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Rory Peck Awards

Channel 4 are presently previewing the finalists for the 2012 Rory Peck awards which will be presented at London's British Film Institute on 28th November. These awards were established some fifteen years ago. Their aim is to showcase the work of freelance camera professionals.

Rory Peck, (or to give him his full styling, Rory Forbes Arbuthnot Peck) , after whom the awards are named, was a freelance camera man who was shot dead in October 1993 whilst he was filming a gun battle outside the Ostankino television centre in Moscow. For almost the last forty years the Peck family home has been at Prehen House Londonderry.

I cannot claim to have known the man well, but I did meet him on several occasions. There was a slight military bearing to his manner. He also seemed to be slightly anxious, which is perhaps not unnatural considering the vocation he had ultimately chosen to follow. He was a man who appreciated fine wines as can be vouched by his large circle of friends.

He was married twice. His first wife was Lady Jane Alexander, daughter of the 6th Earl of Caledon, whom he married in 1981. They had two sons, James Julian Peck and Alexander Nicolas de Graevenitz Peck. This marriage was dissolved in 1991. He subsequently married Juliet Crawley the widow of Dominique Vergos a French journalist. There was one child of this second marriage, a daughter, Lettice. Juliet Peck herself died of cancer in 2007.

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