Wilkie Cooper

Active - 1936 - 1971  |   Born - Oct 19, 1911   |   Died - Jan 1, 2001   |   Genres - Drama, Adventure, Comedy, War, Mystery

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Biography by Hal Erickson

British cinematographer Wilkie Cooper started out in films as a teenaged actor, but like most professional kids he was mesmerized by the technical end of moviemaking. Cooper's first assignment as a lighting cameraman was on the troubled Conquest of the Air, which began production in 1936 but didn't wrap until the middle of the war. Evidently draft-exempt, Cooper worked steadily during the war years on some of Britain's best and most popular films. Much of his fame rests on his long association with "dynamation" specialist Ray Harryhausen; Cooper expertly blended live action with stop-motion animation in such fantasy favorites as The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad (1957), Three Worlds of Gulliver (1960), Mysterious Island (1961), Jason and the Argonauts (1963), and One Million B.C. (1966). After his 1972 retirement, Wilkie Cooper occasionally kept his creative batteries charged by accepting work with independent filmmakers.

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