|Henri Alekan||Richard Angst||Michael Ballhaus||Joseph Biroc||Dean Cundey||Adam Greenberg|
|Jerry Hirschfeld||Fred J. Koenekamp||Bruno Mondi||Owen Roizman||Freddie Young|
When people speak about film, normally only names of actors/actresses
and directors at best are mentioned. But a movie is dependent on many other
film workers, whose participation of the creation is as important as that
of actors and directors.
One of these "skipped" jobs is that of a cameraman. He has the difficult job to capture the demanded atmosphere on the screen.
The gage of a film worker is undoubtedly the Oscar, especially for the English and American artists. That also applies to the cinematographers. The Oscar for the best cinematographer is awarded since the foundation of the Academy in 1928. One of the most successful cameraman is - when people take the number of nominations as a gage - Charles Bryant Lang jr. (1902-1998) with 18 Nominationen (but he only won one Oscar in 1933); the one with the most awarded statues is Joseph Ruttenberg (1898-1983) with a total of four Oscars in 1938, 1942, 1956 and 1958.
It is very rarely that a movie will be shot by a single cameraman, normally there is a whole team around the chief cameraman (who is taken into consideration for an Oscar) and responsible for the realization of a director's idea on celluloid. Than there is the first assistant who is responsible for the detail, and the second assistant who supervises the focus. Then there are some more employees who are responsible for the camera vehicle and so on.
Important photographically innovations were often the result of productive
cooperation between director and cameraman. Good examples are Eugen Schüfftan
(1893-1977) along with Fritz Lang (1890-1976), for whose movie „Metropolis“
(26) he developed the Schüfftan-Verfahren into perfection, then Geoffrey
Unsworth (1914-1978) along with Stanley Kubrick (1928-1999) or John Alcott
(1931-1986), also along with Stanley Kubrick.
The most well-known pioneering feat created Gregg Toland (1904-1948) in movies like „Citizen Kane“ (41) and „The Best Years of Our Lives" (46), where he became the specialist for extreme depth of focus with self-constructed wide-angle lens .
Usually a cameraman achieves only rarely appreciation from a wide public. A film wisdom says, that the best cinematographers are also the most adaptable ones, and that they are able to transfer different wishes of directors into optimal pictures.
There is probably no other area in film business where so few women
who could make a name for themselves like for camerawork. It is difficult
to say why this is so. We can hope that women are able to get a look-in
at big movies in the near future and open new perspectives through their
female view and perhaps set new impusles for the movie.