H.F. Koenekamp

Active - 1918 - 1957  |   Genres - Drama, Comedy, Romance, Adventure

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Biography by Sandra Brennan

Cinematographer Hans F. Koenekamp was the innovator of numerous special effects. He got his start operating cameras for Keystone studio where he filmed such stars as Gloria Swanson and Charlie Chaplin, as well as the Keystone Kops. He then moved to Vitagraph where he primarily shot the films of comic Larry Semon that include the first filmed adaptation of The Wizard of Oz (1925). Koenekamp began working in the special effects department at Warner Brothers in 1927 and remained there through the late '50s. He was best known for his aviation special effects. His technical innovations include a motorized connection that allows a background projector and a camera to work in synch. Koenkamp's son, Fred J. Koenekamp also became a cinematographer and earned an Oscar for his work on The Towering Inferno (1974).

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