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Witold Sobocinski

Witold Sobocinski

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: October 15, 1929 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Poland Profession: director of photography, film instructor, musician

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

This leading Polish cinematographer has worked repeatedly with such distinguished directors as Jerzy Skolimowski, Andrzej Wajda, Krzysztof Zanussi and Roman Polanski. Witold Sobocinski trained as a cameraman at the Lodz Film School, graduating in 1956. Even before his graduation, he was working as a lighting director and camera operator with Lodz TV, and, from 1959-1964, he worked at Czolowka Film Studios. By 1962, he was a director of photography on feature films, although it was not until Jerzy Skolimowski's "Recy do Gory/Hands Up!" (1967) that Sobocinski headed down the path of cinematography full time. He has often handled period pieces with great vibrancy. Sobocinski worked with Skolimowski again on "The Adventures of Gerard" (1970), a visually stunning, bustling spoof of the Napoleon era, and on "Torrents of Spring" (1989), an adaptation of an Ivan Turgenev story, that was full of yellow palettes. Sobocinski shared credit on Andrzej Wajda's "Ziemia Obiecana/Land of Promise" (1975), which earned an Oscar nomination as Best Foreign-Language Film.Sobocinski graduated from the Lodz school a few years before Roman Polanski, but the two filmmakers had become acquainted. It was not until "Pirates"...

This leading Polish cinematographer has worked repeatedly with such distinguished directors as Jerzy Skolimowski, Andrzej Wajda, Krzysztof Zanussi and Roman Polanski. Witold Sobocinski trained as a cameraman at the Lodz Film School, graduating in 1956. Even before his graduation, he was working as a lighting director and camera operator with Lodz TV, and, from 1959-1964, he worked at Czolowka Film Studios. By 1962, he was a director of photography on feature films, although it was not until Jerzy Skolimowski's "Recy do Gory/Hands Up!" (1967) that Sobocinski headed down the path of cinematography full time. He has often handled period pieces with great vibrancy. Sobocinski worked with Skolimowski again on "The Adventures of Gerard" (1970), a visually stunning, bustling spoof of the Napoleon era, and on "Torrents of Spring" (1989), an adaptation of an Ivan Turgenev story, that was full of yellow palettes. Sobocinski shared credit on Andrzej Wajda's "Ziemia Obiecana/Land of Promise" (1975), which earned an Oscar nomination as Best Foreign-Language Film.

Sobocinski graduated from the Lodz school a few years before Roman Polanski, but the two filmmakers had become acquainted. It was not until "Pirates" (1986), however, that they worked together. Robust in its look, the film was made in the Panavision wide-screen process and was a visual treat. Sobocinski worked with Polanski again two years later on "Frantic" (1988), which seemed almost a new direction for the cameraman with its very controlled, almost taut look and feel. More recently, Sobocinski was DP on "Bronsteins Kinder/Bronstein's Children" (1991), in which warm light bathes a tormented Jewish family in post-war Germany.

Sobocinski is also known in Poland as a jazz musician and the drummer for the country's first jazz band, Melomani. He has taught at the Lodz film school and was the father of the late cinematographer Piotr Sobocinski.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

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Milestones close milestones

:
Before graduation, began professional training as a lighting director and cameraman with Lodz TV
1959:
Worked at Czolowka Film Studios as assistant cameraman, then cameraman on documentary films
1962:
First feature as cinematographer
1967:
First worked with director Jerzy Skolimowski on "Rece do Gory/Hands Up!"
1967:
First screen collaboration with Andrzej Wajda, "Everything for Sale/Wszystko Na Sprezedaz"
1971:
Shot Krzystof Zanussi's "Zycie Rodzinne/Family Cycle"
1975:
Was one of the directors of photography on Wajda's Oscar-nominated "Ziemia Obiecana/Land of Promise"
1986:
Worked with long-time acquaintance Roman Polanski on "Pirates"
1988:
Reteamed with Polanski on "Frantic"
1991:
Was director of photography on "Bronsteins Kinder/Bronstein's Children"
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Education

Lodz Film School: - 1956

Notes

In 1977, Sobocinski was awarded a prize by the Polish Ministry of Culture and Arts for his achievements in film.

Family close complete family listing

son:
Piotr Sobocinski. Director of photography. Born on February 3, 1958; died at age 43 on March 26, 2001.

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