Saul at home © Tomas Leach



SAUL LEITER 1923-2013

As many of you may know, our friend Saul Leiter passed away on November 26th 2013 at his home in New York. He was 89. 

Saul was an incredible influence on me, both as a filmmaker and a person. I feel extremely privileged to have spent the time I did with him, to share the endless coffees and conversations. He had a unique way of looking at things and sitting with him always left me feeling invigorated and inspired. For that, and for letting me into his world of pleasant confusion, I'll be forever grateful. He was a very funny, intelligent and generous man, who liked to tease me about all sorts of things, but always with just the right grin on his face.

I set out to make this film because I fell in love with Saul's incredible work. I hope now that people get to find out about not only his work, but what a great person Saul was and that in some way he lives on through our small film. 

We'll miss him dearly.

There have been many touching tributes since Saul passed. Here are two that I thought were rather nice:

New York Times

The New Yorker

Tomas Leach, December 2013.


When I was given Early Color, I couldn’t believe that a photographer with such a unique eye had been hidden away so long. Here was a photographer who had a incredible sense of color and framing that felt fresh today, yet he was doing it in the 50s. What had he been doing all these years? Why wasn't he famous? Was there more of this stunning work?

I went to New York to try and speak with Saul and to see if he would consider making a film. He answered the door to me with the words "why do people always want something from me?". With that, he turned and walked back inside leaving me on the doorstop. I followed him in and he started to interview me. His curiosity, humour and perspective on life were so distinctive that I knew I had to get him to agree to the film.

A year and a half later he sort of said yes.

In the past 3 years I’ve been working with Saul on this film, we have become close. Even though he teases me about my dress sense, or my idiotic questions, he is fond of me I think. Our conversations swing between art, love, history, family, coffee, politics, television, religion, money, photography, human decency and New York itself - Saul can talk about anything. He can be grumpy and surly, but is mainly incredibly kind and thoughtful. Every time we speak I come away with my mind overflowing with thoughts and ideas.

I hope that people who see this film enjoy their time with Saul as much as I have.

Tomas Leach, 2012.