Dean Semler


Director Of Photography

About

Birth Place
Australia

Biography

Semler gained his training as a camera operator at a local TV station in his native Australia. Within months, he had begun to work as a cameraman, shooting news stories for the station, which, in turn, led to a nine-year stint at Film Australia. Not only did Semler work as a documentary filmmaker but he also shot anthropological films for educational and research purposes.Semler shot his...

Family & Companions

Annie Semler
Wife

Biography

Semler gained his training as a camera operator at a local TV station in his native Australia. Within months, he had begun to work as a cameraman, shooting news stories for the station, which, in turn, led to a nine-year stint at Film Australia. Not only did Semler work as a documentary filmmaker but he also shot anthropological films for educational and research purposes.

Semler shot his first film, Chris Noonan's "Stepping Out" (1980). He garnered attention in his homeland for his stunning work on "Hoodwink" (1981), which imbued the beauty of the Outback with symbolism. International attention came the same year for his kinetic depiction of arid, detritus-strewn wastelands in George Miller's "The Road Warrior." He went on to shoot the equally bleak landscape for "Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome" (1985). Semler was also responsible for the thrilling camerawork on Simon Wincer's "The Lighthorseman" (1987), the innovative look of the Australian comic Western "Bullseye" and the tension-inducing beauty of isolation of Philip Noyce's "Dead Calm" (both 1989).

Hollywood beckoned in 1988 with Roger Donaldson's pleasant but forgettable "Cocktail" and Christopher Cain's revisionist Western "Young Guns." Semler won further praise for his work on John Milius' "Farewell to the King" (1989) and garnered some of the best notices of his career and a 1990 Oscar for Best Cinematography for the stirring images (breathtaking landscapes, battle sequences and a buffalo stampede) of Kevin Costner's autumnal Western "Dances With Wolves." Subsequent work has included Ron Underwood's "City Slickers" (1991), the video game universe of "Super Mario Brothers," the cartoon-like world of "The Last Action Hero" (both 1993) and a return to the "Mad Max" post-apocalyptic look in Kevin Reynolds' "Waterworld" (1995).

Despite his big screen success, Semler has still worked on TV projects, including the Australian soap operatic miniseries "Return to Eden" (syndicated, 1984) and the Joseph Sargent- directed American TV-movie, "Passion Flower" (CBS, 1986). He has also acted as 2nd unit director on two epic miniseries: Simon Wincer's Western "Lonesome Dove" (CBS, 1989), which included numerous scenes of a cattle drive; and "Son of the Morning Star" (ABC, 1991), which recreated the Battle of Little Bighorn.

Filmography

 

Director (Feature Film)

The Patriot (1998)
Director
Firestorm (1998)
Director
Super Mario Bros. (1993)
Director

Cast (Feature Film)

Cinematographer Style (2006)

Cinematography (Feature Film)

The Last Witch Hunter (2015)
Director Of Photography
Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 (2015)
Director Of Photography
Maleficent (2014)
Director Of Photography
Heaven is for Real (2014)
Director Of Photography
Grudge Match (2013)
Director Of Photography
Parental Guidance (2012)
Director Of Photography
Date Night (2010)
Director Of Photography
Secretariat (2010)
Director Of Photography
2012 (2009)
Director Of Photography
Bedtime Stories (2008)
Director Of Photography
Get Smart (2008)
Director Of Photography
Appaloosa (2008)
Director Of Photography
I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry (2007)
Director Of Photography
Apocalypto (2006)
Director Of Photography
CLICK (2006)
Director Of Photography
Just My Luck (2006)
Director Of Photography
The Longest Yard (2005)
Director Of Photography
Stealth (2005)
Director Of Photography
The Alamo (2004)
Director Of Photography
Bruce Almighty (2003)
Director Of Photography
Dragonfly (2002)
Director Of Photography
D-Tox (2002)
Director Of Photography
We Were Soldiers (2002)
Director Of Photography
XXX (2002)
Director Of Photography
The Adventures of Pluto Nash (2002)
Director Of Photography
Heartbreakers (2001)
Director Of Photography
Nutty Professor II: The Klumps (2000)
Director Of Photography
The Bone Collector (1999)
Director Of Photography
Trojan War (1997)
Director Of Photography
Gone Fishin' (1997)
Director Of Photography
Waterworld (1995)
Director Of Photography
The Cowboy Way (1994)
Director Of Photography
Super Mario Bros. (1993)
Director Of Photography
Last Action Hero (1993)
Director Of Photography
The Three Musketeers (1993)
Director Of Photography
The Power of One (1992)
Director Of Photography
City Slickers (1991)
Director Of Photography
Impulse (1990)
Director Of Photography
Dances With Wolves (1990)
Director Of Photography
Young Guns II (1990)
Director Of Photography
Dead Calm (1989)
Director Of Photography
Farewell to the King (1989)
Camera Operator
Farewell to the King (1989)
Director Of Photography
K-9 (1989)
Director Of Photography
Young Guns (1988)
Director Of Photography
The Lighthorsemen (1988)
Director Of Photography
Cocktail (1988)
Director Of Photography
Going Sane (1986)
Director Of Photography
Passion Flower (1986)
Director Of Photography
Bullseye (1986)
Director Of Photography
The Coca-Cola Kid (1985)
Director Of Photography
Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985)
Director Of Photography
Undercover (1984)
Director Of Photography
Razorback (1984)
Director Of Photography
In Memory of Malawan (1983)
Director Of Photography
Kitty and the Bagman (1982)
Director Of Photography
Hoodwink (1982)
Director Of Photography
The Road Warrior (1982)
Director Of Photography
The Earthling (1981)
Camera Operator
Stepping Out (1980)
Director Of Photography
Let the Balloon Go (1976)
Director Of Photography

Special Thanks (Feature Film)

Babe (1995)
Special Thanks To

Misc. Crew (Feature Film)

Playing with Fire (2019)
Dp/Cinematographer
Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 (2015)
Dp/Cinematographer
The Last Witch Hunter (2015)
Dp/Cinematographer
Maleficent (2014)
Other
Maleficent (2014)
Dp/Cinematographer
Parental Guidance (2012)
Dp/Cinematographer
Secretariat (2010)
Dp/Cinematographer
Bedtime Stories (2008)
Dp/Cinematographer
Get Smart (2008)
Other
I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry (2007)
Dp/Cinematographer
Apocalypto (2006)
Dp/Cinematographer
Just My Luck (2006)
Other
The Longest Yard (2005)
Other
Stealth (2005)
Dp/Cinematographer
The Alamo (2004)
Dp/Cinematographer
Bruce Almighty (2003)
Dp/Cinematographer
Nutty Professor II: The Klumps (2000)
Dp/Cinematographer
The Bone Collector (1999)
Dp/Cinematographer
Waterworld (1995)
Dp/Cinematographer
The Three Musketeers (1993)
Dp/Cinematographer
Super Mario Bros. (1993)
Dp/Cinematographer
Super Mario Bros. (1993)
Other
Last Action Hero (1993)
Other
The Power of One (1992)
Dp/Cinematographer
City Slickers (1991)
Dp/Cinematographer
Impulse (1990)
Other
Dead Calm (1989)
Dp/Cinematographer
Farewell to the King (1989)
Dp/Cinematographer
K-9 (1989)
Dp/Cinematographer
Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985)
Dp/Cinematographer

Director (Special)

The Patriot (1999)
Director

Cinematography (TV Mini-Series)

Lonesome Dove (1989)
Director Of Photography
Return to Eden (1984)
Director Of Photography

Misc. Crew (TV Mini-Series)

Return to Eden (1984)
Dp/Cinematographer

Life Events

1976

First credit as director of photography on a fiction film, "Let the Balloon Go", shot for public TV

1981

First collaboration with George Miller, "The Road Warrior"

1981

First theatrical feature, "Hoodwink"

1985

Shot Miller's "Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome"

1986

American TV-movie debut, "Passion Flower"

1987

Was director of photography for Simon Wincer's "The Lighthorseman"

1988

First film shot in US, "Young Guns"

1988

First US production, "Cocktail"

1989

American TV miniseries debut, "Lonesome Dove", directed by Wincer

1990

First collaboration with Kevin Costner, "Dances With Wolves"

1995

Was cinematographer on "Waterworld", starring Costner

1998

Feature directorial debut, "Firestorm"

1999

Shot "The Bone Collector"

2000

Was cinematograper on "Nutty Professor II: The Klumps"

2002

Garnered praise for lensing "We Were Soldiers"

Companions

Annie Semler
Wife

Bibliography