Jack Cardiff: Cameraman

Press kit image for CameramanLast night I watched a documentary (for the second time) about Jack Cardiff, one of the most influential cameramen of the 20th century. If you work with film and photography and have never heard of him, you owe it yourself to see this movie.

Cardiff was an innovator, master of cinematography and one of the first to adopt the Technicolor system. His work spans over 5 decades and has inspired some of the biggest directors in the business. Scorsese? Coppola? Hitchcock? All fans. His lighting was inspired by Vermeer and his painting skills were masterful. His ability to solve problems and take chances was legendary. Need to create a moody fade-in transition? Cardiff breathed on the lens to fog it up, rolled film and let the fog dissipate. Genius. For the film Western Approaches, he crammed a full-sized Technicolor camera into a small boat to document the Merchant Navy on the high seas. Sort of akin to putting a pony in a wheelbarrow. Well done, Jack. Thanks for the inspiration!