Dean Cundey

Dean Cundey
Born Dean Raymond Cundey
(1946-03-12) March 12, 1946
Alhambra, California
Occupation Cinematographer

Dean Raymond Cundey, A.S.C.[1] (born March 12, 1946) is an American cinematographer. He is perhaps best known for his collaborations with John Carpenter and Robert Zemeckis. He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Cinematography for his work on Who Framed Roger Rabbit and has been nominated for numerous BAFTAs and BSC Awards.

Life and career

Cundey was born in Alhambra, California, United States. As a child, he used to build model sets, suggesting an interest in films from an early age. Cundey already had several low-budget films when he met Debra Hill, who in 1978 recruited him to work on Halloween, a film she co-wrote with director John Carpenter.

Having Cundey work on a film brought considerable advantages. In addition to his considerable skill as a cinematographer and director of photography, he also had the advantage of owning most of his own equipment packed in a large van, referred to by Debra Hill as the "movie van".[2]

Cundey's work on Halloween is cited by many fans as being among his best as director of photography. In addition to his lighting skills, particularly in the famous hallway scene where the hidden face of Michael Myers is slowly revealed by way of a blue light next to the mask, he was among the first cinematographers to make use of a recent invention called the steadicam, or panaglide.

The panaglide allowed the camera operator to "wear" the camera and obtain shots that were previously deemed too difficult or even impossible. In Halloween, the panaglide was used as a point of view reference for Michael Myers, allowing the audience to see what he saw.[3]

Other noteworthy films

Cundey would go on to work with Carpenter and Hill again on the films The Fog, Escape From New York, The Thing, Halloween II, and Halloween III: Season of the Witch.[4] He would also return to work with Carpenter for the last time on the 1986 big budget science fiction/comedy adventure Big Trouble in Little China. Cundey also served as Director of Photography on the 3D movie "Honey, I Shrunk the Audience" which ran in five Walt Disney theme parks around the world.

Later work

In addition to his work with Carpenter, Cundey would go on to lend his talents for the films Psycho II, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, the Back to the Future trilogy, What Women Want, Apollo 13, Jurassic Park, Romancing the Stone, Roadhouse, and Garfield to name a few. In 1997, he made his directorial debut with the direct-to-video sequel Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves. He recently worked in Canada on Camp Rock, one of several movies that he has filmed outside the United States, including Who Framed Roger Rabbit which was filmed primarily in England.

Awards and recognition

Cundey is a member of the American Society of Cinematographers. His work on Who Framed Roger Rabbit earned him an Academy Award nomination. On February 2, 2014, he was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award by The ASC; John Carpenter introduced him.[5]



Year Title Notes
1973 The No Mercy Man
Brother on the Run
1974 So Evil, My Sister
Where the Red Fern Grows
1975 That Girl from Boston
1976 The Witch Who Came From the Sea
Creature from Black Lake
Ilsa, Harem Keeper of the Oil Sheiks
1977 Satan's Cheerleaders
Charge of the Model T's
Bare Knuckles
1978 Hi-Riders
Goodbye, Franklin High
Halloween First collaboration with John Carpenter
1979 Angels' Brigade
Rock 'n' Roll High School
Roller Boogie
1980 The Fog
Without Warning
1981 Escape from New York
Separate Ways
Jaws of Satan
Halloween II
1982 The Thing
Halloween III: Season of the Witch
1983 Psycho II
D.C. Cab
1984 Romancing the Stone First collaboration with Robert Zemeckis
1985 Back to the Future
Warning Sign
1986 Big Trouble in Little China
1987 Project X
1988 Big Business
Who Framed Roger Rabbit Oscar-nomination for Best Cinematography

BAFTA-nomination for Best Cinematography

1989 Road House
Back to the Future Part II
1990 Back to the Future Part III
1991 Nothing But Trouble
Hook ASC Award-nomination
1992 Death Becomes Her
1993 Jurassic Park
1994 The Flintstones
1995 Casper
Apollo 13 BAFTA-nomination for Best Cinematography

ASC Award-nomination

1997 Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves Directorial debut
1998 Krippendorf's Tribe
The Parent Trap
2000 What Women Want
2003 Looney Tunes: Back in Action
2004 Garfield
2006 The Holiday
2007 Whisper
2008 Camp Rock
2009 Shannon's Rainbow
2010 The Spy Next Door
Scooby-Doo! Curse of the Lake Monster
2011 Jack and Jill
2013 Crazy Kind of Love
2014 Walking with the Enemy
Sophia Grace & Rosie's Royal Adventure
2017 Where is Daniel?[6]


  1. Dean Cundey Biography (1946?-)
  2. The Fog feature length commentary with Debra Hill and John Carpenter
  3. Interview with Dean Cundey on the DVD documentary Halloween, A Cut Above The Rest
  4. Shadowvision: “THE FOG”
  6. Hall, Peter (July 6, 2016). "Daniel Morcombe movie cinemtoagrphaer coming to Queensland to work on Where is Daniel?". The Courier-Mail. News Corp Australia. Retrieved July 6, 2016.

External links

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