Vincent Saizis

Active - 1957 - 1979  |   Born - May 24, 1920   |   Died - Feb 17, 2001   |   Genres - Drama, Comedy, Crime, Action, Romance

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Southern cinematographer Vincent "Vince" Saizis was always up for a challenge. Born in Birmingham, AL, in 1920, Saizis joined the motion picture industry at the age of 37 when he collaborated with his older brother, Ted, on photography for Harold Daniel's picture Poor White Trash (1957). The low-budget flick was shot on location in the dank, viscous Louisiana bayou. The conditions were deplorable, but the Saizises thrived -- its tawdry, wet atmosphere made Poor White Trash a drive-in classic. The brothers soon formed an Alabama-based location cinematography team that specialized in shooting in adverse conditions (for example, bad weather) and in difficult situations (such as violence and confusion). They conquered Kentucky for Irvin Kershner's road movie The Flim Flam Man (1967), starring George C. Scott. They filmed stunts for the James Bond spoof, In Like Flint (1967). Director of photography Burnett Guffy called them to Texas to film the shootouts and car chases in Bonnie and Clyde (1967). They forged through forest and rain to capture the combat sequences in the John Wayne classic The Green Berets (1967) for cinematographer Winton C. Hoch. The twosome worked on difficult shoots straight through the '70s and past Vincent's 60th birthday, filming Tay Garnett's Delta Factor and numerous other action movies. Yet, what made the Saizis brothers most proud was their contribution to several small, unreleased documentaries and industrial films -- the productions that they feel benefited the most from their unique skills. Always a family man, Vincent Saizis joined his other relatives in a restaurant venture after retiring from movie work. He died at home in Alabama on February 17th, 2001, at the age of 80.

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