California-born cinematographer Stephen H. Burum matriculated from student to instructor at the UCLA film school in the 1960s. He applied his skills first to government films, then to public television, where he won an Emmy for his other-worldly special effects on the 1978 series Cosmos. On behalf of his onetime UCLA classmate Francis Ford Coppola, Burum wielded his camera on the second unit of The Black Stallion (1979) and as the cinematographer for Rumble Fish (1983). Since 1980, Burum has worked with directors ranging from Brian De Palma (The Untouchables, 1987) to Danny De Vito (War of the Roses, 1989). In 1992, he earned an Academy Award nomination for his work on Hoffa, another De Vito picture; he spent the remainder of the decade working on such high profile films as De Palma's Carlito's Way (1993) and Mission: Impossible (1996).