Ean Wood: Film editor, screenwriter and incisive biographer

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The Independent Online

Ean Wood read maths at Hertford College, Oxford, but was already expressing an interest in cinema.

He did not complete a degree but enrolled in the newly-founded London School of Film Technique. Attempting a career in the film industry, he worked for a while as a grill cook, and wrote his first screenplay for an Anglo-Portuguese feature about white slavery and sardine fishing, which seemed to equip him for a job with the National Coal Board Film Unit, for which he both wrote and directed for its Mining Review series.

I met Wood when he was working as assistant sound editor on Far From The Madding Crowd (1967) and I later asked him to write the screenplay for my sexploitation feature, The Loving Game, which he did under the pseudonym of James Pillock. Wood delighted in creating dialogue for such veteran actors as Vincent Ball and James Hayter, and especially revelled in a Kipling-esque aphorism that he wrote for character actor Bill Shine: "After all, a woman is only a woman, but a good cigar is a smoke."

Wood worked on a run of British features, largely in the horror genre. Cry of the Banshee (1970) and Joan Crawford's last feature film of the same year, Trog, were followed by The Vault of Horror (1973). Wood also took pleasure in assisting fellow jazz afficionado Peter Tanner on The Beast Must Die (1974).

As sound editor, he worked on Derek Jarman's Edward II (1991) and also the William Hurt vehicle Second Best (1994). After divorcing Frazer, he left London for the Isle of Man, where he developed a recording production company. He produced several anthology series of classic jazz. His first book was Born To Swing: The Story Of The Big Bands (1996), followed by The Josephine Baker Story (2001); Dietrich: A Biography (2002) and Headlong Through Life: The Story Of Isadora Duncan (2006). His latest book, published this year, was the cumulation of a lifetime's fact hoarding, entitled A Cheerful Book Of Misfortunes.

Ean Wood, author, film editor, screenwriter, record producer: born Isle of Man 4 September 1937; married first Frazer Downey (divorced); second Myra Forsyth; died Isle of Man 27 October 2010.