A native of New Jersey, cinematographer Victor Kemper attended that state's Seton Hall University. His first show business job was as an engineer at New York's Channel 13, which in the late 1950s was a commercial outlet located in Newark and owned by National Telefilm Associates. After laboring away on such programs as Open End and Play of the Week, Kemper secured a position as an engineering executive at Screen Gems, the Hollywood-based TV subsidiary of Columbia Pictures. He was given his first director of photography credit on director John Cassavetes' Husbands (1970). Kemper's later movie assignments covered a wide range of subject matter, permitting him to display his vast visual versatility: the documentary-style The Candidate (1972), the sweltering crime drama Dog Day Afternoon (1975), the 1930s period piece The Last Tycoon (1976) and the sports saga Slap Shot (1977). Victor Kemper's keen-eyed camerawork has also brightened up (in every sense of the word) many a zany comedy, including The Jerk (1978), National Lampoon's Vacation (1983) The Lonely Guy (1984) Pee-wee's Big Adventure (1985), Beethoven (1992) and Fat Chance (1995).
Victor J. Kemper