From 1944 through 1949, California-born Robert Burks headed the Special Photographic Effects division at Warner Bros., specializing in forced-perspective miniatures. A full director of photography by 1949, Burks worked with Alfred Hitchcock on the director's fourth Warners production, Strangers on a Train. Hitchcock liked Burks' crisp, clean, deep-focus visual style, retaining the cameraman's services for the rest of his Warners films. When Hitchcock moved to Paramount, Burks moved along with him, winning an Academy Award for 1955's To Catch a Thief. When Hitchcock set up shop at Universal in the early 1960s, Burks collaborated on such pictures as The Birds (1963) and Marnie (1964) -- both of which were heavily reliant on the sort of miniature and process work in which Burks specialized in his earliest Warner Bros. days. Robert Burks died along with his wife in a fire at his Los Angeles home in July of 1968.