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Geoffrey Unsworth
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Filmmaker
    (May 26, 1914-October 28, 1978)
    Born in Atherton, Lancashire, United Kingdom
    Birth name was Geoffrey Gilyard Unsworth
    Member of the British Society of Cinematographers
    Worked on close to 90 film projects over a 40 year-period
    Best known for his work on ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ (1968), ‘Cabaret’ (1972) and ‘Superman’ (1978)
    Also worked on ‘The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp,’ ‘A Matter of Life and Death,’ '300 Spartans,' ‘Becket,’ ‘Murder on the Orient Express,’ ‘Return of the Pink Panther,’ ‘A Bridge Too Far,’ and ‘Tess’
    He turned down an offer from George Lucas to light 'Star Wars' because he was already committed to 'Superman' (hey, that didn't stop John Williams!)
    He was passed over for an Oscar nomination for his work on '2001: Space Odyssey,' apparently because many mistakenly attributed the film's look to director Stanley Kubrick (who won his sole Oscar that year for Special Effects).
    While working on the set of 'Superman,' he liked to exclaim 'quiet! I'm lighting the lady!' when arranging the shots for Margot Kidder (who was extremely flattered by the attentiveness).
    His untimely death while working on the 'Superman' sequel was quintessential 'bad timing' - occurring just as director Richard Donner had been pushed out by the Salkinds in favor of Richard Lester (basically dooming the 'Superman' film franchise before it could even take form).
    He received five British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) between 1965 and 1982.
    He won Oscars for Cinematography for his work on 'Cabaret' and 'Tess,' awarded posthumously (1973; 1981).
    He received three awards from the British Society of Cinematographers for his work as a director of photography.
    He was awarded the Honor of OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) by Queen Elizabeth II, in 1976.
    'Superman' and 'The First Great Train Robbery' are both dedicated to his memory.
    He started out as a camera assistant at Gaumont-British Shepherds Bush studios, and later Technicolor, debuting as a full cinematographer in 1946.
    He shot the lighting for the Royal National Theatre's 1965 production of 'Othello' with Laurence Olivier and Maggie Smith.
    Richard Donner credited his ability to realistically integrate cinematography lighting with special effects - breaking from the awkward 'bluescreen' technique of the day - as helping audiences to 'believe that a man could fly' in 'Superman' (so much so that Donner unsuccessfully petitioned to have him nominated for a posthumous Oscar, which would take another year to happen).

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair


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