Native Californian Ernest Haller came to the old Biograph Studios as an actor in 1914 -- just in time for the death of Biograph after the studio let D.W. Griffith slip through its fingers. As a freelancer, Haller lost interest in performing and drifted towards cinematography. By 1920, he was a full director of photography, spending the rest of the twenties manning the camera for such films as Stella Dallas (1925), The Dancer of Paris (1926), and the early Frank Capra feature For the Love of Mike (1927). Associated almost exclusively with prestige films in the '30s, Haller closed out the decade winning the "best color photography" Academy Award for Gone with the Wind (1939). Haller continued in his craft, contributing excellent camerawork to such A-pictures as Mildred Pierce (1945) and Humoresque (1946), until retiring after 1964's Dead Ringer, a minor melodrama distinguished by first-rate split screen photography. Six years later, Ernest Haller was dead, the victim of a car accident.