It is with great sadness that we received the information about the death of Michael Chapman, an outstanding American cinematographer, director and music video maker. Director of photography of Raging Bull and Taxi Driver among others, died at the age of 84 on Sunday, September 20 of congestive heart failure.

    Pobierz obrazkiMichael Chapman at CAMERIMAGE in 2016,
    photo by fotografowie.com

    Michael Chapman was a frequent guest of the CAMERIMAGE Festival. From 2005, when he first visited us, he was a member of various juries: from the president of jury of the Student Etudes Competition, to jurying in the Main Competition, and finishing with being two-times jury member in the Documentary Films Competition.

    Pobierz obrazkiMichael Chapman with his Golden Frog for a Lifetime Achievement,
    photo by Paweł Skraba

    In 2016, Michael Chapman was awarded the Golden Frog for Lifetime Achievement. As part of his retrospective, we showed our audience The Last Detail by Hal Ashby, The Last Waltz and Raging Bull by Martin Scorsese, The Fugitive by Andrew Davis and Primal Fear by Gregor Hoblit. Together with the planned retrospective, we have created an album honoring his life and work. During the award ceremony, the audience had the opportunity to watch the legendary music video for the song Bad by Michael Jackson, for which Michael Chapman was responsible for the cinematography. The presentation of music video was awarded with a few minutes of standing ovation.

    We will remember Michael Chapman as an extremely warm and open person, distinguished by incredible cordiality. Goodbye, our dear friend. We will remember your work during meetings at the next editions of the festival.

    Pobierz obrazkiMichael Chapman with his wife Amy at CAMERIMAGE in 2016,
    photo by Paweł Skraba
    Michael Chapman, born in 1935, did not initially associate his life plans with cinema, but his father-in-law, Joseph C. Brun, who himself was a cinematographer, changed his mind. Initially, he was taken under wings of Gordon Willis, for whom he was a camera operator on such film sets as The Godfather and Klute. Michael Chapman made his debut as an independent cinematographer in 1973 on set of Hal Ashby's The Last Assignment. He quickly became an associate of Martin Scorsese, with whom he made four films in a five-year span. The effect of this collaboration was Michael Chapman's first Oscar® nomination for Raging Bull. The two artists met again in 1987 to create together the legendary music video for Michael Jackson's song Bad.
    Since the 1980s, Michael Chapman dedicated himself to genre films, directing photography for such films as Joel Schumacher's The Lost Boys, Ivan Reitman's Ghostbusters II, Joe Pytka's Space Jam, and Andrew Davis’ The Fugitive, for which he received his second Academy Award® nomination. Michael Chapman also successfully tried his hand at directing, including the sports drama All the Right Moves, starring Tom Cruise.
    In his last years, Michael Chapman retired and devoted himself to educational activity, training the next generation of cinematographers. His last film was the cult classic Bridge to Terabithia by Gabor Csupo.
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    Last modified on 05-10-2020