Sad news to report…Gilbert Taylor, the world-renowned cinematographer who shot an incredible array of classic films including Dr. Strangelove, The Omen, Frenzy, A Hard Day’s Night, and Star Wars, died at the age of 99 on Friday surrounded by his family.
Perhaps best known for his work on Star Wars, Taylor had a contentious relationship with director George Lucas. In an interview with The ASC, Taylor had this to say about Lucas: “George avoided all meetings and contact with me from day one, so I read the extra-long script many times and made my own decisions as to how I would shoot the picture. I took it upon myself to experiment with photographing the lightsabers and other things onstage before we moved on to our two weeks of location work in Tunisia.” Taylor also disagreed about Lucas’ desire to use heavy filtration, winning the battle when 20th Century Fox backed him up.
In addition to his memorable work on Star Wars, I’ve found a few clips that, for me, are just as iconic.
I’m a Kubrick nut so of course this is an all time fave:
The opening to A Hard Day’s Night is always fun to watch:
And I would have to add Frenzy to our list of underrated Hitchcock movies. Makes a great double feature with Peeping Tom. This reverse tracking shot has become a creepy classic.
As a founding member of the British Society of Cinematographers, Taylor received the lifetime achievement award in 2001. He also won the ASC’s International Award in 2006.
R.I.P. Gilbert Taylor…your life’s work has truly left us all inspired.
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