My Friend Neil

A Tribute To Neil Patience

It’s with immense sadness that I share the unjust news that my friend Neil Patience passed away yesterday evening (August 20th, 2014). I’ve only known Neil for just over four years; it began as a professional relationship when he reached out to discuss DSLR video. It was a collaboration of photographer turned film maker and a video editor at the top of his game; he was always looking to innovate and move forward with technological changes; a change which brought many photographers to also shooting video.

Neil Patience wearing his "Mankini" T-shirt (designed by me as a joke). Kew Grill, Kew. October 22, 2013. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Neil Patience wearing his “Mankini” T-shirt (designed by me as a joke). Kew Grill, Kew. October 22, 2013. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Very quickly though, in fact from Neil’s second email to me, I realised what a man of quality he was; funny, professional, honest and generous, and that I was going to really like him. Sure enough, I’m proud to say we became friends and I was introduced to his amazing family; Tara and little Millie, his sister Sara, along with his great circle of friends.

RNOH behind the scenes shots for filming of the fund raising film. Operating Theatre 4 with Prof Tim Briggs. Neil Patience prepares the professor for the interview. September 21, 2011. Photo: Nicola Taylor

RNOH behind the scenes shots for filming of the fund raising film. Operating Theatre 4 with Prof Tim Briggs. Neil Patience prepares the professor for the interview. September 21, 2011. Photo: Nicola Taylor

Our biggest collaboration, and a project of which I am so very proud was making a fund raising film for the RNOH (Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital). The hospital and an amazing surgeon, Professor Tim Briggs, had saved his life around ten years ago and Neil was keen to give back, donating his time for producing, co-directong and editing the film as his thank you. We were both very proud to screen the film at it’s premiere at St James’s Palace at an event hosted by the hospital’s patron, HRH Prince Andrew. I urge you to watch the film and go and make a small donation to the hospital charity. It will make Neil happy to know you helped.

Watching Neil video editing was like watching a concert pianist in full swing. His hands and fingers moving with speed and grace over the timeline, constructing narrative, making cuts, laying down audio and making it all flow and move like the work of the best composers. I learnt so much by spending a few days in the editing suite with Neil. A true master of his craft; an editor and colourist, and an amazingly generous and patient teacher.

Behind the scenes photographs of the filming of the appeal film. Producer and editor Neil Patience and ex-patient Phil Packer. RNOH, Stanmore. Photo: Nicola Taylor

Behind the scenes photographs of the filming of the appeal film. Producer and editor Neil Patience and ex-patient Phil Packer. RNOH, Stanmore. Photo: Nicola Taylor

Neil showed me what spirit was; the last ten years hadn’t been easy and even more so the last year and a half, had been particularly cruel to him. He never let this bother him, instead rising above it all and just moving forwards, great sense of humour intact. Neil was also completely selfless; laying in bed, a couple of days before losing consciousness, he turned to me and asked what I was going to do now; I knew he meant now that he will no longer be around. He was so concerned, out of compassion and love for what we did, that our collaboration, TAP TV would not cope. It will miss your immense talent my friend and will never be the same, but don’t worry about that 🙂

Editing the fund raising video for RNOH at New Day Pictures' editing suite in Surrey. Assistant Nicola Taylor and video editor Neil Patience at work.  November 08, 2011. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Editing the fund raising video for RNOH at New Day Pictures’ editing suite in Surrey. Assistant Nicola Taylor and video editor Neil Patience at work. November 08, 2011. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Having shed my tears over Neil leaving this world far too early, for he had projects and plans in mind, living life to the full, fighting and showing courage and determination, my tears and deep condolences go to his daughter Millie, wife Tara and sister Sara, followed by his circle of friends with whom he shared so many adventures.

I will miss you chief.

Addendum:

The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital Appeal have written this wonderful tribute for Neil.

3 responses to “My Friend Neil

  1. I’ve been sitting in front of a blank comment box for the last half an hour trying to figure out how I would express the immense sadness I feel today and I still have no idea what to say, except that Neil was one the most generous, most fun, most funny people I’ve ever met and I will miss him.

    It was a great privilege to work with him and I learned an incredible amount in the few short hours we spent in the editing studio together. I watch film and television entirely differently now, thanks to Neil, noticing the visual storytelling nuances that he so patiently explained to me.

    The days we spent making the RNOH Appeal Film were such great times and I’ve never been on another shoot where there was so much laughter – rather ironic given the seriousness of the subject matter. But even here, Neil’s generosity of spirit shone through, bringing a lightheartedness to proceedings that gave comfort to those of us in danger of being overwhelmed by such weighty stories.

    I will miss him greatly.

  2. we all miss him
    thanks for taking time to write this. Love to you all
    Robin Bextor

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