Born and raised in Newark, New Jersey
Served in the US military during WWII
Worked as a TV engineer at Channel 13 in Newark, NJ, operating a sound boom and working as a sound mixer, floor manager and technical director in the late 1940s and early 1950s
Briefly worked in partnership with a cousin, operating a hat manufacturing factory in Florida
Returned to Newark and work in TV production
Spent his own money for a two-week course in Ampex videotape systems when his employer wouldn't pay for the class
Employed by EUE, a commercial production company, as technical supervisor
Served as vice president of engineering at General Television Network, NYC
Operated his own video production company in Manhattan, VJK Productions
Apprenticed with Arthur J Ornitz, working as assistant cameraman and later camera operator
First credit as camera operator, "A Midsummer Night's Dream", shot by Ornitz
Operated the camera for Michael Nebbia on "Alice's Restaurant"
Hired to replace Aldo Tonti as cinematographer for John Cassavetes' "Husbands" (film released in 1970)
First Hollywood picture "The Last of the Red Hot Lovers"
Won praise for his work on "The Candidate"
Served as director of photography for Sidney Lumet's "Dog Day Afternoon"
Shot the hockey comedy-drama "Slapshot"
TV-movie debut as director of photography, "The Prince of Central Park" (CBS)
Was cinematographer for "The Jerk"
Provided the memorable look to "The Four Seasons"
Collaborated with Tim Burton on "Pee-wee's Big Adventure"
Shot the acclaimed TV-movie "The Atlanta Child Murders" (CBS)
Garnered an Emmy nomination for his work on the TV-movie "
Was director of photography on "Crazy People"
Appeared as one of the interviewees in the documentary "Visions of Light: The Art of Cinematography"
Served as president of the American Society of Cinematographers
Served as cinematographer for "Jingle All the Way"