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Best known as a film-maker for his intimate observational documentaries, (Gutted, This Mine is Ours, Me and My Face, Life's Too Short, Please Leave The Light On, etc.) the shooting of these films as a director-cameraman developed from his early years as a film-cameraman in the 1970s when he shot major documentaries for acclaimed producers like the BBC's Paul Hamann. The key observational skills were learned from working with the two early masters of the genre in the UK, Roger Graef and his cameraman, Charles Stewart.
David's wide-ranging experience as a cameraman could find him fuelled by adrenalin on the streets of Northern Ireland during the Troubles, or chasing World Rally cars from helicopters. Action and physical shoots became a speciality, including The Legend of Los Tayos in the Amazonian jungle, the last documentary made by Bill Forsyth before he embarked on his feature film career (Gregory's Girl, Local Hero).
On a more cerebral note, a number of arts films for cinema and television came with the talented Scottish film-maker, Murray Grigor, (The Hand of Adam, Frank Lloyd Wright, Blast!). Murray also had the vision to bring to the screen the first two films featuring Billy Connolly (Clydescope, Big Banana Feet).
The transition to directing and film-making came through the support and enthusiasm of producer Steve Clark-Hall, which included the great learning curve of delivering a weekly programme right from the opening days of Channel Four in 1982.
From then until he passed away he gained a wide range of experience in television, from making his single films as well as series-directing and producing many documentary strands.
In recent years he sought to pass on his knowledge and skills through training courses both within the BBC and on college courses.
David passed away on the 16th April 2012, he was 65. He is sadly missed.
New Book launches 27th September 2013:
David Peat: An Eye on the World