STEVEN FIERBERG   ASC

Born: ?, Detroit, Michigan, USA.

Education: Stanford University [as a National Merit Scholar]; American Film Institute [MFA in Directing, June 1997].

Career: 'I liked photography a lot, but never considered going to film school. My best friend in high school got a Super 8 camera. He showed me a short film that he made, and I thought it was really cool. After that, we made some short films together, including one while we were vacationing in New York. By then I was in college. I scripted and directed it. We both acted and shot parts of it. It was a black-and-white film that won a student award at the Ann Arbor Film Festival in Michigan. [...] I went to Stanford University. I had to make a big decision about what I was going to major in. I didn't know anyone in the movie business or any of the arts. Thinking that I could become a filmmaker was like a fantasy. Everyone I knew in Detroit was in the automotive industry. Then, a miracle happened. I was trying to decide what I wanted to do when a student I knew got me a job as a P.A. on a graduate film project about the Chinese New Year. Basically, I carried the tripod. But, I was very excited to be a filmmaker, and everyone thought we were cool. One day, we were setting up to do some interviews, and I saw Francis Ford Coppola getting ready to shoot a scene with Gene Hackman. They were shooting a scene for 'The Conversation'. That was a moment of truth in my life. I remember thinking that if I didn't try to become a filmmaker I'd end up regretting it for the rest of my life. [...] During my senior year, I was in an exchange program in England that dealt with both British drama and documentaries. I saw four or five plays a week and wrote my final paper on Harold Pinter, a great English screenwriter. It was a great experience for me, because I was a guy from Detroit where I wasn't exposed to that much culture other than music. [...] I went to New York and looked for work. At first, I worked in a camera store and took a lighting course at NYU. Nick Smith gave me my first job as a janitor at Mother's Sound Stage in New York. He taught me how to build sets and use electricity without killing myself. After two years, he did me a favor by firing me so I could collect unemployment; this allowed me to survive while working on micro-budget films as a camera assistant. [...] My first job was working for Nancy Schreiber on a documentary about women comediennes. I made up for not knowing anything by working for free. [...] Someone else I knew at Stanford got me a job as an electrician on a Roger Corman film called 'Rock 'n' Roll High School'. The plane ticket to Los Angeles cost me $620. They paid me $150 a week, and it was a four-week shoot, so I actually lost money. But, it was the smartest thing I ever did because Dean Cundey was the cinematographer. I was pretty good with cables because I had worked on the stage in New York, but everything had a different name. At first, they thought I was the dumbest electrician there ever was, but I learned the lingo. I worked for free as a cinematographer on some low-budget films in New York and was paid for working as an electrician and eventually as a gaffer in Los Angeles. I always chose what I thought was the more creative experience over money. Dean Cundey once offered me a paid job as an electrician and I turned him down because I was going to shoot a movie for free. I lived on a very frugal budget for many years. I remember that it was a big deal the year that I earned $10,000.' [From a conversation with Bob Fisher on the KODAK OnFilm website and 'American Cinematographer' magazine, July 2006.]

Ph commercials. Ph music videos with a: Dr. Dre, Fab Five Freddy, Queen Latifah, David Lee Roth, F. Gary Grey, Snoop Dogg, a.o.

Taught workshops for almost a decade at the Maine Photographic Workshops [Maine Media Workshops; was instructor on a number of short films, e.g. 'Spotless' (dir: Rogier; ph: James, Dolly & John; dv/b&w-c/4m)], as well as guest classes at Idyllwild High School, NYU & the AFI.

His brother Andrew is a prod & dir.

Appeared in the doc 'Cinematographer Style' [2005, Jon Fauer; ph: J. Fauer, Jeff Laszlo, Brian Heller & David Morgan].

Awards: ASC TV Award [2002] for 'Attila'.

Website: Steven Fierberg



 FILMS

1978

Home Movies/The Maestro [Brian De Palma] c; addph; ph: James L. Carter

1981

Forty Deuce [Paul Morrissey] c; cph: François Reichenbach & Stefan Zapasnik; + assoc prod

1982

The First Time/Doin' It [Charlie Loventhal] c

1982

In Our Hands [Robert Richter & Stanley Warnow] 16mm/c; doc/90m; cph: Ed Lachman, Oliver Wood, Thomas Sigel, Tom Hurwitz, Don Lenzer, Alicia Weber, a.o.

1982

Vortex [Scott B. & Beth B.] 16mm-35bu/c

1983

Storytelling [Kay Armatage] 16mm/c; doc/57m; cph: Mark Irwin & Christopher Lowry

1983

Not for Publication [Paul Bartel] c; 2uc; ph: George Tirl

1984

Cocaine/Mixed Blood [Paul Morrissey] c; addph (+ prod); ph: Stefan Zapasnik

1984

Streetwalkin'/City Streets/Cookie [Joan Freeman] c; 2uc: Abe Schrager & Richard Brooks

1985

Double Negative [Sam Irvin] c; short/17m; cph: Maryse Alberti

1985

Seven Minutes in Heaven [Linda Feferman] c; 2uc: Oliver Wood & Robert Chappell; addph: Judy Irola

1985

Sid and Nancy [Alex Cox] c; uncred addph; ph: Roger Deakins

1987

Spike of Bensonhurst/Throw Back! [Paul Morrissey] c

1988

A Nightmare On Elm Street 4: The Dream Master [Renny Harlin] c; 2uc: Christopher Tufty; 3uc: Russell Carpenter

1988

Scenes from the Class Struggle in Beverly Hills [Paul Bartel] c; addph: Martin Schaer & Paul C. Babin

1989

Hell High/Raging Fury [Douglas Grossman] c

1989

Nightbreed [Clive Barker] c; ph Los Angeles; ph: Robin Vidgeon

1990

29th Street [George Gallo] c

1991

Diary of a Hitman [Roy London] c; addph; ph: Yuri Sokol

1992

Aspen Extreme [Patrick Hasburgh] c; cph: Robert Primes; 2uc: Jan Kiesser & Edgar Boyles

1992

Boxing Helena [Jennifer Chambers Lynch] c; addph; ph: Frank Byers & Bojan Bazelli

1995

Blah, blah, blah [Julie Delpy] 16mm-35bu/c; short/12m

1998

The Joyriders [Bradley Battersby] p/c; 2uc: Richard Benda & Yiannis Samaras

1999

Red Letters [Bradley Battersby] c

1999

Moulin Rouge! [Baz Luhrmann] c; co-addph; ph: Donald McAlpine

2001

Secretary [Steven Shainberg] c; 2uc: Richard Benda, John Foster, Scott Kevan & Sonja Rom; + small part

2003

Meet Market [Charlie Loventhal] HD/c; + small part; shown in January 2004 as a work-in-progress at the Sarasota FF; released on DVD in 2008 (78m)

2003

The Californians [Jonathan Parker] c

2004

Pray for Tucson [Bruce Ferber] c; doc (about Howard Dean's campaign for the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination)/27m; add cam: Katherine Lowry

2005

Good Morning Baby [Lisa Leone] c; short/13m; ep 'Glamour Reel Moments'-series

2005

Euthanasia [Adrian Grenier] c; short/17m

2005

Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus [Steven Shainberg] c; addph; ph: Bill Pope

2006

Suburban Girl [Marc Klein] c

2006

Waiting on Fountain [Evan Hoyt Wasserstrom] c; short/4m16s

2007

Searchers 2.0 [Alex Cox] dv/b&w-c; + small part

2007

Days of Wrath [Celia Fox] s35/c

2007

The Wisdom of the Pretzel [Dani Menkin] USA adaptation of 'Hochmat HaBeygale' (2002, Ilan Heitner; ph: Oded Kirma); scheduled to start filming in Spring 2008; status unknown

2008

Teenage Paparazzo [Adrian Grenier] b&w-c; doc/94m; cph: Bill Megalos, Jason Banker, David Serafin, a.o.; addph: Daniel Sharnoff

2008

Rage [Sally Potter] HD (Panasonic)-to-35mm (+ D-Cinema)/c

2009

Repo Chick [Alex Cox] RED/c

2009

Stone [John Curran] s35/c; interim doph; ph: Maryse Alberti

2009

Twelve [Joel Schumacher] RED-to-35mm (+ D-Cinema)/c

2009

Love and Other Drugs [Edward Zwick] s35-to-35mm (+ D-Cinema)/c; aph: David B. Nowell & Dino Parks (add); plate unit ph: Jacek Laskus

"The Oranges"

2010

The Oranges [Julian Farino] RED-to-digital/c

2010

10 Years/Ten Year [Jamie Linden] RED/c; addph: Keith Dunkerley

2012

El cielo es azul [Andrew Fierberg] s35/c; Steven Fierberg: 'I was amazed by how quickly we could shoot a one-camera movie. We could do it well and inexpensively. [The film was] made with the director standing right next to the camera. You're not wasting time with the video village, with the director away from the camera. We're all within five feet of each other. The actors do the performance, he likes the performance, I say it looks good, and we move on - next shot. The set-up time with two cameras is longer, that's all there is to it. I'm trying to light for two angles, and we're set dressing for two angles. Of course for certain shots, and for certain movies, using two cameras is an asset and the right way to work. But it was eye-opening. I'd forgotten just how quick it can be with a single camera. It's a very focused, elegant, quiet, yet fast way to work.' [From the ASC website, October 23, 2013.]

2012

Land of the Free [Thomas Burstyn] pre-production

2012

You're Not You [George C. Wolfe] c

2013

Dear Eleanor [Kevin Connolly] HD (ARRI ALEXA) scope/c

2014

Entourage [Doug Ellin] c; aph: Patrick Longman


 TELEVISION

1983

Hellfire [John David Coles] tvm/27m; for PBS-tv

1983

Tales from the Darkside [pilot 'Trick or Treat' dir by Bob Balaban] pilot (1983) & 89-part series, 1984-88

1983

The Brass Ring [Bob Balaban] tvm; 2uc: Jonathan David

1986

Little Miss Perfect [Marsha Mason] tvm/45m; a CBS-tv 'Schoolbreak Special'

1986

Tonight's the Night/The Game of Love [Bobby Roth] tvm

1986

The Gift of Amazing Grace [Thomas Schlamme] tvm/60m; an ABC-tv 'Afterschool Special'

1987

Sharing Richard [Peter Bonerz] tvm

1988

Original Sin [Ron Satlof] tvm

1990

Criminal Justice [Andy Wolk] tvm

1994

Texas Justice [Dick Lowry] 2-part tvm

1994

A Horse for Danny [Dick Lowry] tvm

1996

All Lies End in Murder/Behind Every Good Man [Andy Wolk] tvm

1997

Two Came Back [Dick Lowry] tvm

1998

Atomic Train [David Jackson & Dick Lowry] 2-part tvm/v; miniature ph: Betzy Bromberg

2000

Attila - The Hun [Dick Lowry] 2-part tvm; 2uc: Richard Benda

2001

Follow the Stars Home/A Second Chance [Dick Lowry] tvm

2002

Little John [Dick Lowry] tvm; ep #318 'Hallmark Hall of Fame'-series

2002

Kingpin [5 ep dir by various] 6-part series, 2003; other ph (pilot): Tim Ives

2002

The Lone Ranger [Jack Bender] tvm

2003

Miss Match [pilot dir by Darren Star] 18-part (7 unaired) series, 2003; other ph: Ron García & Russ Alsobrook

2004

Entourage [ep #2 'The Review' dir by Julian Farino (JF), #3 'Talk Show' dir by JF, #4 'Date Night' dir by Daniel Attias, #5 'The Script and the Sherpa' dir by Adam Bernstein, #6 'Busey and the Beach' dir by JF, #7 'The Scene' dir by David Frankel & #8 'New York' dir by JF] 96-part series, 2004-11; 1st season, 2004; other ph: Anghel Decca (pilot)

2005

Entourage [13 ep dir by various] 2nd season, 2005; see 2004

2006

Entourage [ep #23 'Aquamom' dir by Julian Farino (JF), #24 'One Day in the Valley' dir by JF, #25 'Dominated' dir by JF, #27 'Crash and Burn' dir by Patty Jenkins & #29 'Strange Days' dir by Mark Mylod] 3rd season, 2006-07; see 2004

2007

Football Wives [Bryan Singer] pilot; for ABC-tv

2008

How to Make It in America [pilot dir by Julian Farino] 16-part series, 2010-11; 1st season/s35-to-HD, 2010; other ph: Tim Ives

2011

Once Upon a Time [pilot dir by Mark Mylod] series/HD (ARRI ALEXA), 2011-present; 1st season, 2011-12; other ph: Stephen Jackson

2011

40 [Julian Farino] pilot/HD; for HBO-tv

2013

Pulling [Jason Moore] pilot; for ABC-tv

2013

The Affair [pilot dir by Mark Mylod] series/HD; for Showtime-tv


 MISCELLANEOUS

1978

Rock 'n' Roll High School/Girls' Gym [Allan Arkush & (uncred) Joe Dante & Jerry Zucker] electrician; ph: Dean Cundey

1979

The Fog [John Carpenter] co-electrician; ph: Dean Cundey

1979

Am I Normal?: A Film About Male Puberty [Debra Franco & David Shepard; comm short] c.asst; ph: Nancy Schreiber

1980

Seed of Innocence/Teen Mothers [Boaz Davidson] best boy; ph: Adam Greenberg

1981

Eating Raoul [Paul Bartel] add gaffer; ph: Gary Thieltges

1983

China Lake [Robert Harmon; short] co-electrician; ph: R. Harmon

1986

My Demon Lover [Charlie Loventhal] 2ud New York; ph: Jacques Haitkin

1987

Walker [Alex Cox] co-add c.op; ph: David Bridges

1988

Voices of Sarafina! [: Songs of Hope and Freedom] [Nigel Noble; mus doc/85m] co-c.op Theater prod unit; ph (+ cph American doc unit): John Hazard

1997

The Alarmist/Life During Wartime [Evan Dunsky] 2ud; ph: Alex Nepomniaschy

2004

Category 6: Day of Destruction [Dick Lowry; 2-part tvm] visual cons & 2ud; ph: Neil Roach; 2uc: Charles Konowal

2008

Stand [Tavis Smiley] HD/c; doc/95m; co-c.op; ph: Jacek Laskus

2009

Virgin Galactic [Scott B.] 4-part doc series (2010); co-c.op; ph: Scott B.; aph: Greg Harrington; for National Geographic Channel


 FILMS AS DIRECTOR

1989

Voodoo Dawn/Strange Turf [feature] ph: James McCalmont

1994

Sea Life [short/b&w/15m] ph: Bill Megalos