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John Seale

John Seale

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: October 5, 1942 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Warwick, Queensland, AU Profession: director of photography, camera operator

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Often associated with the work of Peter Weir, both as a camera operator and director of photography, John Seale first earned his reputation as one of Australia's leading cinematographers before garnering international attention as one of the world's best directors of photography. His reputation is based on his striking feel for textures and colors of nature, as evidenced by such films as Peter Weir's "Witness" (1985), for which he was nominated for the Best Cinematography Academy Award and Anthony Minghella's "The English Patient" (1996), which earned him the Oscar. The former possessed striking contrasts between the big city of Philadelphia and the fields of the Amish Country, yet each created a full-bodied environment. For the latter, Seale had to accomplish the photography on three levels: the desert in which Ralph Fiennes and Kristin Scott Thomas have their romance, the war-torn zone of Italy, which required darker, bluer lighting, and the re-emergence of life within Juliette Binoche, which had to be gradually worked into the palette. (In 1988, he earned a third Oscar nod for his clean work on Barry Levinson's "Rain Man".)

Often associated with the work of Peter Weir, both as a camera operator and director of photography, John Seale first earned his reputation as one of Australia's leading cinematographers before garnering international attention as one of the world's best directors of photography. His reputation is based on his striking feel for textures and colors of nature, as evidenced by such films as Peter Weir's "Witness" (1985), for which he was nominated for the Best Cinematography Academy Award and Anthony Minghella's "The English Patient" (1996), which earned him the Oscar. The former possessed striking contrasts between the big city of Philadelphia and the fields of the Amish Country, yet each created a full-bodied environment. For the latter, Seale had to accomplish the photography on three levels: the desert in which Ralph Fiennes and Kristin Scott Thomas have their romance, the war-torn zone of Italy, which required darker, bluer lighting, and the re-emergence of life within Juliette Binoche, which had to be gradually worked into the palette. (In 1988, he earned a third Oscar nod for his clean work on Barry Levinson's "Rain Man".)

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Till There Was You (1991) Director

CAST: (feature film)

2.
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1962:
Was camera assistant in film department of Australian Broadcasting Company
1975:
First worked with director Peter Weir as camera operator on "Picnic at Hanging Rock"
1976:
Had first credit as cinematographer, "Deathcheaters"
1982:
Did second unit cinematography on Weir's "The Year of Living Dangerously"
1985:
Received first Oscar nomination for "Witness", directed by Weir
1986:
First film with Randa Haines, "Children of a Lesser God"
1988:
Received second Oscar nomination for "Rain Man"
1990:
Directed first feature, "Till There Was You"
1995:
First collaboration with Rob Reiner, "The American President"
1996:
Had banner year as director of photography on both "The Ghosts of Mississippi" (directed by Reiner) and "The English Patient" (directed by Anthony Minghella)
1998:
Served as cinematographer on "City of Angels", a loose remake of Wim Wenders' "Wings of Desire"
1999:
Reteamed with Minghella on "The Talented Mr. Ripley"
2000:
Served as director of photography on "The Perfect Storm"
2001:
Was cinematographer on "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone"
2003:
Served as cinematographer for the film "Dreamcatcher"
2003:
Teamed again with director Anthony Minghella for the film "Cold Mountain," received an Academy Award nomination for Achievement in Cinematography
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Notes

On "The English Patient" in AMERICAN CINEMATOGRAPHER, January 1997: "We wanted to feature the characters in the foreground, so we tended to use medium to long lenses. This helped to reduce distortion on the actors and 'pull up' the background. In this way we were able to surround the characters with the environment, keeping it a 'presence' rather than featuring it as another character or subject."

On "Rain Man" in ENCORE, April 27-May 10, 1989: "We weren't trying to shoot a beautiful picture. We were creating a frame around Charlie and Raymond. I wanted to wrap them in the reality of where they were."

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Louise Lee Mutton. Married in 1967.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Eric Clement Seale.
mother:
Marjorie Lyndon Pool Seale.
son:
Anthony Seale.
son:
Derin Seale.
daughter:
Brianna Lee Seale.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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