This director of photography created the muted, yet penetrating realistic look of Mike Figgis' acclaimed "Leaving Las Vegas" (1995) and again collaborated with the director on the romantic drama "One Night Stand" (1997). The son of Irish immigrants, Declan Quinn, along with his acting siblings Aidan, Paul and Marian, was raised in Chicago, Upon graduation from film school in 1979, Quinn left Illinois and headed for Ireland, where he found work at the Windmill Land Studios. There, Quinn joined forces with a rising band, U2, and became the cameraperson on their early music videos. He broke into Irish TV as director of photography on "Clash of the Ash" (1986). He also shot the TV-movie "Lapsed Catholic" (1989) for director Barry Devlin, who later hired Quinn as cinematographer on the feature "All Things Bright and Beautiful" (1994).
Quinn returned to the USA in the late 80s and began working on both features (Maggie Greenwald's "The Kill-Off" 1989) and TV ("Over the Limit," a 1990 "ABC Afterschool Special"). Quickly establishing himself with his knack for updated expressionism, he won the director of photography slot on such features as "Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare" (1991). Quinn demonstrated a keen ability to bring the sense of the outdoors to interiors, so the lighting and tones change subtly, as if guided by natural law. This was the case with "Cousin Bobby" (1992) Jonathan Demme's documentary about his cousin, Greenwald's Western "The Ballad of Little Jo" (1993) and especially Louis Malle's "Vanya on 42nd Street" (1994). In the latter, the line between real life and the rehearsal of the Chekhov play blurred and the decaying theater in which it was shot called for light to spray the actors as if from cracks in the ceiling rather than any stage design. Quinn also handled the warm lighting and prickly, sexual cinematography for Mira Nair's "Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love" (1997).
Like most cinematographers, Quinn has also shot commercials and TV campaigns, earning a Clio Award for his work on MTV's 1991 AIDS awareness series. His TV work has also included the PBS "American Playhouse" presentation "The Hollow Boy" (1991) and "Lies of the Twins" (USA Network, 1991), which featured his brother Aidan Quinn in the dual title roles.
Cinematography (Feature Film)
Producer (Feature Film)
Misc. Crew (Feature Film)
Moved to Ireland upon graduation from film school
Shot "Clash of the Ash" for Irish TV
Was director of photography on the independent feature "The Kill-Off"
Handled cinematography for MTV's Clio-award winning AIDS campaign
First collaboration with Mike Figgis, was director of photography on "Leaving Las Vegas"
Shot Mira Nair's "Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love" and Figgis' "One Night Stand"
Served as cinematographer on "One True Thing"
Another collaboration with director Mira Nair for the film "Monsoon Wedding"
Worked on the HBO film "Hysterical Blindness," also directed by Mira Nair
Served as the cinematographer for Jim Sheridan's semi-autobiographical film "In America"