Cinematographer Caleb Deschanel will be honored at the Camerimage Intl. Film Festival of the Art of Cinematography in Bydgoszcz, Poland, with the fest’s lifetime achievement award, which recognizes “exceptional filmmakers… who changed the way movies are made with their creativity, visual skills and passion for their craft.”
The event, now in its 22nd year, runs Nov. 15–22.
Deschanel has been nominated for five Academy Awards over a career during which he helped shape the look of such films as Philip Kaufman’s “The Right Stuff,” Barry Levinson’s “The Natural,” Carroll Ballard’s “Fly Away Home,” Roland Emmerich’s “The Patriot,” Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ” and Timur Bekmambetov’s “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.”
In 2010, he was honored with a lifetime achievement award by the American Society of Cinematographers.
In a statement, Camerimage praised Deschanel for his pioneering work with the Steadicam, “one of the essential tools of modern cinematographers.” It also noted that he’s worked with practically every image acquisition system, including 16mm, Arri Alexa digital cameras, and 3D.
Along with David Lynch and Terrence Malick, Deschanel is a graduate of the first class of the American Film Institute Conservatory. He was one of the members of the original production team of American Zoetrope, together with Francis Ford Coppola and George Lucas, and learned the cinematography on the sets of John Cassavetes (“A Woman Under the Influence”) and George Lucas (“THX 1138”). He also interned with the late d.p. Gordon Willis, who would later shoot “The Godfather” trilogy.
Deschanel is the father of actresses Zooey Deschanel and Emily Deschanel.