David Watkin

Active - 1955 - 1999  |   Born - Mar 23, 1925   |   Died - Feb 19, 2008   |   Genres - Drama, Comedy, Romance

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Biography by Hal Erickson

The number of British cinematographers who started out as studio messenger boys would probably fill Albert Hall. One such cinematographer was David Watkin, who went from gopher to documentary cameraman in 1955. His work on dramatic films has demonstrated a rare versatility; Watkin was equally adept at the "mod" silliness of Help (1965) and The Knack (1966) as he was at the sweaty asylum agonies of Marat/Sade (1967). Some of his best work concentrated on period films, taking full advantage of the extreme color contrasts (from purple pageantry to murky mud) of days gone by: The Devils (1971), The Three Musketeers (1973), The Four Musketeers (1974), Robin and Marian (1976), Yentl (1983), Hamlet (1990), and many others. David Watkin won an Academy award for his lush, lavish work on the Oscar-winning Out of Africa (1985). Watkins died in 2008.

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