Arthur Provis

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Arthur Provis
BornArthur John Provis
(1925-03-10)10 March 1925
Reading, Berkshire, England, United Kingdom
Died17 May 2016(2016-05-17) (aged 91)
England [1]

Arthur John[2][3] Provis (10 March 1925[4] – 17 May 2016[5]) was an English cinematographer and producer, best known for co-founding AP Films ("Anderson-Provis" Films) with Gerry Anderson.

As a former Navy photographer forging a career operating rostrum cameras, he met Anderson filming a series called You've Never Seen This about unusual circus acts. Finding a shared interest in film-making, Provis teamed with Anderson creating AP Films with the original intention to make commercials.[6] As a result of an advert featuring a puppet, the company was approached in 1957 by Roberta Leigh to create a children's series The Adventures of Twizzle for Associated Rediffusion.[6][7] This led to AP Films' early puppet shows including Twizzle, Torchy the Battery Boy and Four Feather Falls, although Provis left the company amicably in 1959, he was cautious, and Anderson was adventurous. Provis was worried about the amount of film stock him and Anderson were using. He was also neurotic about the company going bust, in contrast to Anderson, who was determined to get the best possible result, even if it meant the company did go bust.[8][9]

Whereas Anderson went on to produce his own puppet ("Supermarionation") programmes (including Supercar, Stingray and Thunderbirds, the last credited to AP Films), Provis continued his association with Roberta Leigh, producing and filming the puppet series Adventures of Sara and Hoppity (1961) and Space Patrol (1962-3).

A colour pilot episode for another puppet series called Paul Starr: Space Agent about a James Bond-style action hero failed to be commissioned, as did a 1967 live-action science fiction series The Solarnauts, for which Provis filmed the model sequences.[6][10][11][12] Following this, Provis went back to filming commercials.[6]

He died on 17 May 2016 at the age of 91.[13]


  1. ^ Obituaries in the Performing Arts, 2016. 11 August 2017. ISBN 9781476629124.
  2. ^ His name is "ARTHUR J. PROVIS" on a Pentagon Films Ltd. business card shown during Filmed in Supermarionation
  3. ^ "Arthur John Provis - Woking GU22 - full address -". Retrieved 1 August 2018. It is reasonable to assume this is the same Arthur Provis
  4. ^ [1][dead link]
  5. ^ "Arthur Provis has died - Gerry Anderson News". Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  6. ^ a b c d Interview with Arthur Provis Archived December 15, 2010, at the Wayback Machine at Space Patrol - The Website, URL accessed 20 September 2010
  7. ^ 2002 video interview, URL accessed 20 September 2010
  8. ^ Gerry Anderson: The Authorised Biography by Simon Archer and Stan Nicholls, p40; ISBN 0-09-978141-7
  9. ^ Thunderbirds: A Complete Guide to the Classic Series
  10. ^ Paul Starr, URL accessed 20 September 2010
  11. ^ The Solarnauts Archived December 9, 2010, at the Wayback Machine at Space Patrol - The Website, URL accessed 20 September 2010
  12. ^ The Solarnauts, URL accessed 20 September 2010
  13. ^ "Filmed in Supermarionation". Retrieved 1 August 2018.

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