A dear old friend, Scott Ward, passed away last week. I met Scott on the first day I stepped foot in Edinburgh nearly 21 years ago. He was once described as ‘the big man with the smiley face’, and that’s how I’ll always remember him.
Scott worked at the Cameo Cinema when I joined there back in 1992. But this was to pay the bills, his real passion was photography and film and these were the formative years to what was to become a fruitful career as a cinematographer.
I edited many films that Scott shot over the years, but it was the earlier period that I got to know him best. My introduction to the film world was in the camera department, and I can recall many weird and wonderful days assisting Scott. From a runner to a focus puller it was all the same when Scott was there – an unspoken film language. A look across the room, I’d nod ‘gotcha’, and the lens would be changed or the dolly moved. Working with Scott wasn’t about bravado, for a big man he was the quietest and most calm on set, and that restraint and composure spread to us all.
I remember that first night in Edinburgh, a pint after work in the International Bar. I sat bemused as these Scottish folk babbled and cackled in a foreign language that I just couldn’t understand. But when Scott spoke directly to me, I would ‘ken’ every word. For me this sums up Scott. Over the years working on film shoots and living together, I often thought Scott talked gobbledygook. It wasn’t until we had those discussions on a one to one – over a pint or a country walk – that what he was talking about became clear, interesting and often inspirational.
That was what Scott was good at, one to one, and I imagine that’s why so many people are so fond of him, that big man with the smiley face.