From interview for DP/30

[2011]

                

 JOHN BAILEY   ASC

Born: 10 August 1942, Moberly, Missouri, USA, as John Ira Bailey.

Education: University of Santa Clara, Calif.; Loyola University, Chicago; University of Vienna; Graduate School of Cinema [2 years] of the University of Southern California [USC].

Career: During his junior year [1962-63] at Loyola University he traveled to Innsbruck and Vienna to study German language and culture. Here he became influenced by the Nouvelle Vague [New Wave] films of the 60's. 'What I sensed in the French New Wave was a sense of freedom and spontaneity that caught me totally off-guard. I found a sort of crazed new spirit happening - everywhere really, but especially in the French New Wave - and somehow it just spoke to me in terms of its energy and its sense of breaking loose. And yet the themes it was dealing with were the same themes most novelists were trying to deal with. It was the beginning of a lot of experimentation in the literary form. Given my bent toward literature, I just saw it as a new kind of writing. When I entered film school at USC, I thought I would get into an area of criticism or writing or film aesthetics and history. When I took a beginning camera course, that changed my whole perspective: I really saw the camera primarily as the writing instrument.' At USC [his teachers were Sherwood Omens & Gene Peterson] he ph some student films. After graduation his initial jobs were in post production, e.g. filling lab orders for stock shots for the American Airlines library. He joined the camera union in 1969 and spent 11 years apprenticing as a crewmember [assistant for 7 years and operator for 4 years] with David Shore, Gregory Sandor, Don Peterman, Ric Waite, Vilmos Zsigmond, Nestor Almendros, Charles 'Chuck' Rosher Jr., a.o.

Ph commercials dir by Jeff Gorman, a.o. Ph music videos.

Married film editor Carol Littleton in March 1972. Member of the ASC since 1985. Member of the jury of the Venice FF [1987] and the Aspen shortsfest [2006].

Appeared in the doc 'Visions of Light: The Art of Cinematography' [1991] and the PBS-tv series 'American Film'.

Awards: Cannes FF 'Best Artistic Contribution' [1985; shared] for 'Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters'; Independent Spirit Award nom [1988] for 'Tough Guys Don’t Dance'; Camerimage 'Golden Frog' nom [1999] for 'Forever Mine'; Santa Fe FF 'Luminaria Award for Lifetime Achievement in Film' [2007].


About scripts: 'There are several issues that I've spent most of my career with and one is gratuitous violence or incendiary violence that's only meant to inflame people and doesn't have a dramatic or sociologically responsible context. That's always bothered me and has been the strongest determining characteristic when I read a script. A kind of parallel to that, of course, is violence oriented toward women or misogynistic, violent material. I've always had trouble with that and I try to avoid it as much as I can. The thing that I am always looking for - the thing that attracts me the most and will make me say 'yes' more than anything else - is at least one intensely focused relationship, where there's something that stays between two people. It doesn’t matter the genre, although I'm highly attracted to films that deal with nuclear families in crisis like 'Ordinary People' or 'The Accidental Tourist' and, in an off way, even 'As Good As It Gets'. But any film that has a relationship of that kind jumps out at me and says 'this has importance or urgency.' [From 'MovieMaker', Vol. 2, Issue #8.]



 FILMS

1970

[Joe Cocker:] Mad Dogs & Englishmen [Robert Abel, Pierre Adidge & Sid Levin] MegaScope/c; concert film/117m; co-addph; ph: David Myers; filmed 27 & 28 March (New York)

1970

Premonition/The Impure/Head [Alan Rudolph] c; sfx ph (+ co-c.asst): Jan Kiesser

1972

Open Window [Richard Patterson] c; short/12m

1973

End of August [Gary Young] cs/b&w

1975

Legacy [Karen Arthur] 16mm-35bu/b&w

1976

Winter Kills [William Richert] p/c; addph (+ c.op): ph: Vilmos Zsigmond; production halted, but resumed in December 1978

1978

Boulevard Nights [Michael Pressman] c

1979

American Gigolo [Paul Schrader] c

1979

Ordinary People [Robert Redford] c

1980

Honky Tonk Freeway [John Schlesinger] c; 2uc: Jim Lucas

1980

Continental Divide [Michael Apted] c; 2uc: Rick Anderson, Joe Valentine & Steve Yaconelli

1981

Cat People [Paul Schrader] c; New Orleans ph: Paul Vom Brack; 2uc: Jeffrey Kimball

1982

Without a Trace [Stanley R. Jaffe] c

1982

That Championship Season [Jason Miller] c

1982

The Big Chill [Lawrence Kasdan] c

1983

Racing with the Moon [Richard Benjamin] c; uncred addph: Allen Daviau

1983

The Pope of Greenwich Village/Village Dreams [Stuart Rosenberg] c

1984

Mishima - A Life in Four Chapters [Paul Schrader] p/b&w-c; 4 chapters: 1. beauty - "Temple of the Golden Pavilion", 2. art - "Kyoko's House", 3. action - "Runaway Horses" & 4. harmony of pen and sword

1984

Silverado [Lawrence Kasdan] sts/c

1985

Crossroads [Walter Hill] c

1985

Brighton Beach Memoirs [Gene Saks] c

1986

Light of Day [Paul Schrader] c; 2uc: Gregory Lundsgaard

1986

Swimming to Cambodia [Jonathan Demme] p/c; perf (by Spalding Gray) + doc footage/85m; filmed 6-8 November (The Performing Garage, New York City)

1987

Vibes [Ken Kwapis] c; ph New York: Daniel Ducovny; vfx ph: Neil Krepela

1988

The Accidental Tourist [Lawrence Kasdan] p/c

1989

Hollywood Mavericks [Todd McCarthy & Michael Henry Wilson] 16mm/c; doc/90m; cph: Frederick Elmes, Steven Wacks, Steve Baum, Mead Hunt, a.o.

1989

My Blue Heaven [Herbert Ross] c

1990

A Brief History of Time [Errol Morris] c; doc/84m; cph: Stefan Czapsky

1990

The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe [John Bailey] c; one-woman show/114m

1992

Groundhog Day [Harold Ramis] c; 2uc: James Blanford & George Kohut

1992

In the Line of Fire [Wolfgang Petersen] p/c; campaign unit ph (+ 2uc): Mark Vargo

1993

Desert Passion [Carlo C. Gustaff] c; 2uc; ph: Mark Melville

1993

Nobody's Fool [Robert Benton] c; 2uc: Gábor Kövér

1994

Below 30 - Above 10,000 [P. James Keitel] c; cph: Duane Manwiller & Brad Rushing

1996

Extreme Measures [Michael Apted] p/c; aph: Philip Pastuhov

1996

As Good As It Gets/Old Friends [James L. Brooks] c; 2uc: Alex Nepomniaschy

1997

Living Out Loud/The Kiss [Richard LaGravenese] p/c; 2uc: Phil Abraham

1997

Ringside [Norman Mailer] announced with actress Halle Berry and actor Brendan Fraser; status unknown

1998

The Out-of-Towners [Sam Weisman] c

1998

For Love of the Game [Sam Raimi] p/c; 2uc: Phil Abraham & Gábor Kövér

1999

Forever Mine [Paul Schrader] p/c

1999

Michael Jordan to the Max [Don Kempf & James D. Stern] IMAX-70mm/c; sports doc/46m; ph Jordan shoot; ph (+ co-Steadicam op): James Neihouse; addph: David Kessler & Rodney Taylor

2000

AntiTrust/Conspiracy.com [Peter Howitt] p/c; 2uc (+ c.op 'b' cam): Richard Walden; aph: Hans Bjerno; VistaVision ph: Patrick Loungway

2000

The Anniversary Party [Alan Cumming & Jennifer Jason Leigh] DVcam-to-35mm/c

2000

Digital Babylon [Shari Roman] dv/c; doc/?m

2001

The Cinematographers' Test [Laura Anne Edwards & Kevin Stofer Smith] 35mm+HD-to-35mm; cph: Aaron Schneider & James Chressanthis; this test film (22m) compares 35mm and HD 24p

2001

The Kid Stays in the Picture [Nanette Burstein & Brett Morgen] c; doc/94m

2001

Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood [Callie Khouri] p/c; aph: Brian Heller

2001

Naqoyqatsi [- Life as War] [Godfrey Reggio] 35mm+HD-to-35mm/b&w-c; doc/89m; guest ph; ph: Russell Lee Fine

2001

Auto Focus [Paul Schrader] declined Schrader's offer to be the doph; ph by Fred Murphy

2002

The Fig Rig [Shari Roman] dv/c; doc/8m

2002

How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days [Donald Petrie] c; 2uc: David M. Dunlap & Will Arnot

2003

ADM: DOP (Anthony Dod Mantle - Director of Photography) [Shari Roman] dv/c; doc/12m

2003

Cursed [Wes Craven] started filming in March, but put on hold; resumed in November with ph Robert McLachlan

2003

Incident at Loch Ness [Zak Penn] dv+16mm-to-35mm/c; mockumentary/94m; 2uc: Tanja Koop; + small part; this mockumentary shows the making (by J. Bailey as dir/ph) of the doc 'Herzog in Wonderland' which follows dir Werner Herzog (and ph Gabriel Beristáin, prod Zak Penn, a.o.) preparing and shooting the (unfinished) doc 'Enigma of Loch Ness' (a film-within-a-film-within-a-film)

2004

The Cutting Edge: The Magic of Movie Editing [Wendy Apple] b&w-c; doc/98m; ph London: Chris Morphet; addph: Philip D. Schwartz

2004

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants [Ken Kwapis] p/c; uwph: Ian Seabrook

2004

Must Love Dogs [Gary David Goldberg] p/c

2005

10 Tricks [Rick Pagano] c

2005

The Producers [Susan Stroman] p/c; cph: Charles Minsky (replaced J. Bailey after 2 months filming)

2005

The Architect [Matt Tauber] HD (Sony F900)-to-35mm/c; 2uc: Manuel Billeter

2005

The Death and Life of Bobby Z [John Herzfeld] s35/c/V; uncred

2006

License to Wed [Ken Kwapis] p/c

2006

Over Her Dead Body/How I Met My Boyfriend's Dead Fiancée [Jeff Lowell] p/c

2006

Brief Interviews with Hideous Men [John Krasinski] p/c

2007

Mad Money [Callie Khouri] s35/c; 2uc: Robert Foster

2007

He's Just Not That Into You [Ken Kwapis] p (+ D-Cinema)/c

2008

When in Rome [Mark Steven Johnson] p (+ D-Cinema)/c; 2uc: Manuel Billeter, Patrick Capone & Chuck Cohen

2008

The Greatest [Shana Feste] p (+ digital)/c; 2uc: Mauel Billeter & Petr Hlinomaz

2008

Looking at Animals [Marc Turtletaub] HD (Genesis)/c; short/25m

2009

Ramona and Beezus [Elizabeth Allen] s35 (+ D-Cinema)/c; 2uc: Karl Herrmann

2010

Country Strong/Love Don't Let Me Down [Shana Feste] s35 (+ D-Cinema)/c; 2uc: Alex Nepomniaschy

With Ken Kwapis - "Big Miracle" - photo by Darren Michaels

2010

Big Miracle/Everybody Loves Whales [Ken Kwapis] s35 (+ D-Cinema)/c; 2uc (+ 2ud): Peter Lyons Collister; uwph: Pete Romano

2012

A.C.O.D./Adult Children of Divorce [Stu Zicherman] HD (ARRI ALEXA)/c

2012

Snake and Mongoose [Wayne Holloway] HD (ARRI ALEXA)/c

2012

The Way, Way Back [Nat Faxon & Jim Rash] HD (ARRI ALEXA)/c

2012

The Angriest Man in Brooklyn [Phil Alden Robinson] HD (ARRI ALEXA)/c; remake of 'Mar Baum' (1997, Assi Dayan; ph: Avi Koren)


 TELEVISION

1968

The New Cinema [Gary Young] doc/24m; co-addph; ph: G. Young

1978

Battered [Peter Werner] tvm

1979

City in Fear/Panic on Page One [Alan Smithee (= Jud Taylor)] tvm

1989

Time Flies When You're Alive [Roger Spottiswoode] tvm

1996

Passion [James Lapine] tvm (filmed stage prod); ep PBS-tv series 'American Playhouse'

1996

Frankenstein and Me [Robert Tinnell] tvm; 2uc; ph: Roxanne di Santo

1997

Always Outnumbered [Michael Apted] tvm

1999

Via Dolorosa [John Bailey] tvm/dv-to-s16

2002

Searching for Michael Cimino [?] doc/?m


 FILMS AS CAMERA ASSISTANT/OPERATOR

1971

Two-Lane Blacktop [Monte Hellman] c.asst; ph: Gregory Sandor

1976

The Late Show [Robert Benton] c.op; ph: Chuck Rosher

1976

3 Women [Robert Altman] c.op; ph: Chuck Rosher

1976

Days of Heaven [Terrence Malick] co-c.op; ph: Nestor Almendros

1976

Welcome to L.A. [Alan Rudolph] c.op; ph: Dave Myers

1976

Winter Kills [William Richert] c.op (+ addph): ph: Vilmos Zsigmond; see Films

1977

The Initiation of Sarah [Robert Day; tvm] c.op; ph: Ric Waite

1977

Forever [John Korty; tvm] c.op; ph: David Myers

1977

A Question of Guilt [Robert Butler] c.op; ph: Ric Waite


 MISCELLANEOUS

1977

The Mafu Cage/Don't Ring the Doorbell/Deviation/My Sister, My Love [Karen Arthur] c; visual cons (+ co-ed); uncred ph: Willy Kurant

1986

Tough Guys Don't Dance [Norman Mailer] c; visual cons; ph: Michael Moyer; addph: Danny Ducovny

2000

*NSync - Bigger Than Live - The Concert Film [John Bailey] + camera dir; see Films as Director


 FILMS AS DIRECTOR

1990

The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe [+ ph] see Films

1990

China Moon [feature] ph: Willy Kurant

1995

Mariette in Ecstasy [feature] ph: Paul Sarossy

1999

Via Dolorosa [tvm; + ph] see Television

2000

*NSync - Bigger Than Live - The Concert Film [concert film] IMAX-70mm/c; concert film/48m; + camera dir; ph: Matthew Williams; filmed 18 July (Pontiac Silverdome, Pontiac, Michigan)