#1: From interview [by DPTV, 2010]

#2: 2000

 

   


SANDI SISSEL   ASC

 

Born: 9 August 1949, Paris, Texas, USA, as Sandra Sue Sissel.

Education: Southern Methodist University [BFA in 1971].

Career: 'My father was a still photographer who freelanced for UPI and AP. As a kid, I would go with him to the darkroom. In high school, I was a photojournalist for the school newspaper. I started college in 1967. My desire was to become a reporter, so I started studying journalism and television. By the end of my freshman year, I got an internship with the local ABC affiliate in Dallas. I would go out with news crews and shoot film. I had majored in what was called 'film art'. By the time I got out of college, I had done lots of small films, but my real desire was still in journalism. My husband and I moved to Wisconsin where I got a job teaching beginning film production, made educational films for the University of Wisconsin, and went to graduate school. [...] I went to New York and spent about a year freelancing. Sometimes I shot, sometimes I was an assistant. I became a member of the union [IATSE]. I got a phone call from NBC: Would I come in and work as vacation replacement? NBC employed me six days a week for the next three months solid. I made enough money to make a down payment on my own NPR camera. I got a call from ABC, who said: 'We'd like to put you on staff.' I did this up to 1982. I became more interested in manipulating the image and telling stories. Intermixed with directing a documentary called 'Chicken Ranch' and shooting a documentary about Mother Teresa, which lasted for about four years, I worked as an operator for various directors of photography [e.g. Robby Müller, Andrzej Bartkowiak, Ian Wilson, Mario Tosi] on commercials. Then Fred Elmes hired me to operate for him. Haskell Wexler directed some commercials and hired me to shoot.' [From 'Principal Photography: Interviews with Feature Film Cinematographers' by Vincent LoBrutto.]

Ph commercials dir by Ed Bianchi, Rob Muniot, Mary Lambert, Alek Keshishian, Haskell Wexler [1986; for the Los Angeles Times], Elaine Smith, a.o. Ph music videos dir by John Landis ['Black or White', 1991; a: Michael Jackson; 11m], a.o. Directed and ph CBS-tv promos ['Looking Good America', 1979].

Member of the ASC since 1994.

Is Associate Arts Professor teaching Advanced Cinematography at the Kanbar Institute of Film & Television, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University.

Her adopted son Raju Barnad [now Bernard Sissel] is a c.asst.

Appeared in the doc's 'Visions of Light: The Art of Cinematography' [1991] & 'Women Behind the Camera' [2001-2006, Alexis Krasilovsky].

Awards: Women in Film 'Kodak Vision Award' [1998]; BAFTA TV Award nom [2001, shared] for 'The Endurance'; Golden Satellite Award nom [2003; shared] for 'Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World'.


 

 FILMS

1977

Paul Jacobs and the Nuclear Gang [Jack Willis & Saul Landau] c; doc/58m; addph; ph: Haskell Wexler

1978

Attack of the Killer Tomatoes! [John De Bello] c; uncred ?; ph: John K. Culley

1979

The Wobblies [Stewart Bird & Deborah Shaffer] 16mm/b&w-c; doc/89m; cph: Judy Irola, Peter Gessner & Bonnie Friedman

1979

The Free Voice of Labor: The Jewish Anarchists [Steven Fischler & Joel Sucher] c; doc/55m; co-addph; ph: Judy Irola

1980

Traveling Hopefully [John G. Avildsen] b&w-c; doc/28m; cph: J.G. Avildsen, Richard Brooks, Jon Fauer, a.o.

1980

Cric-Crac [Margie Gold] ?; doc/?m

1981

Americas in Transition [Obie Benz] 16mm/c; doc/29m

1981

Anarchism in America [Joel Sucher & Steven Fischler] 16mm/b&w-c; doc/74m; co-addph; ph: J. Sucher; Mexico unit ph: Judy Irola

1981

Ventures in Mission [Al Cox] c; promotional doc/?m

1982

Before Stonewall [: The Making of a Gay and Lesbian Community] [Greta Schiller & Robert Rosenberg] 16mm/b&w-c; doc/87m; cph: Cathy Zheutlin & Jan Kraepelin; addph: Jeff Farber

1983

The Making of Piscator [Murray Grigor] 16mm/c; doc/17m; cph: Michael Coulter & David Peat

1983

Seeing Red [: Stories of American Communists] [James Klein & Julia Reichert] 16mm/b&w-c; doc/100m; cph: Stephen Lighthill & Martin Duckworth; addph: Nancy Schreiber & Gordon Quinn

1984

High Wire [Sandi Sissel] c; doc/30m; addph: Nancy Schreiber, Robert Leacock, Dyanna Taylor & Gordy Waterman; + co-prod

1984

Speaking Our Peace [Bonnie Sherr Klein] c; doc/55m; cph: Susan Trow

1984

Broken Treaty at Battle Mountain [Joel L. Freedman] c; doc/60m; see 1989

1984

Witness to War: Dr. Charlie Clements [Deborah Shaffer & Tom Sigel] 16mm/c; doc/30m; cph: T. Sigel

1985

Blood Circus [John Corso & Joseph Ryan Zwick] c; 2uc; ph: John Corso

1985

Garden State Raceway [Joe Butt] ?; doc/?m

1985

Senegal/CWS Africa Emergency [Al Cox] c; promotional doc/?m; for Church World Services

1985

Millions of Teens [Judy Rydell] ?

1985

Lily Tomlin [Joan Churchill & Nick Broomfield] c; doc/90m; co-addph; ph: J. Churchill

1985

The Global Assembly Line [Lorraine Gray] 16mm/c; doc/58m; cph: Baird Bryant & L. Gray

 

With Mother Teresa - photo by Debra Sargeant

 

1985

Mother Teresa [Ann & Jeanette Petrie] 16mm-35bu/b&w-c; doc/83m; cph: Ed Lachman; addph: Mitch Dubin, Peter Sturken, Claudio Tondi, a.o.; filming took 5 years

1986

Platoon [Oliver Stone] 35mm (+ 70bu)/c; uncred ph 'b' unit; ph: Robert Richardson

1986

McDonalds Hall of Fame [George T. Nierenberg] ?

1988

Krik? Krak! Tales of a Nightmare [Jac Avila & Vanyoska Gee] c; doc/82m; cph: Michael Anderson & John Douglas

1988

Salaam Bombay!/Chal, Bombay, Chal [Mira Nair] c; 2uc: Mitch Epstein

1988

Heavy Petting [Obie Benz & Josh Waletzky] b&w-c; doc/80m; + interviewee

1988

Calling the Shots [Holly Dale & Janis Cole] 16mm/c; doc/118m; cph: Judy Irola & John Walker

1988

Comic Book Confidential [Ron Mann] c; doc/90m; co-addph; ph: Robert Fresco & Joan Churchill

1989

To Protect Mother Earth (Broken Treaty II) [Joel L. Freedman] c; doc/59m; cph: Robert Fiore & Mark Peterson; sequel to 'Broken Treaty at Battle Mountain' (see 1984)

1989

Russian Diary [Bonnie Sherr Klein & Terre Nash] c; doc/27m; ep of 'Speaking Our Peace'-series

1989

Ethiopian Orthodox Church [Sandi Sissel & ?] ?; doc/?m

1990

Drop Dead Fred [Ate de Jong] c; co-addph; ph: Peter Deming

1990

No Secrets [Dezsö Magyar] c; addph: Greg Gardiner & Newton Thomas Sigel

1991

The People Under the Stairs [Wes Craven] c; 2uc: Tony Cutrono

1991

Blood in the Face [Anne Bohlen & James Ridgeway] 16mm/b&w-c; doc/78m; cph: Kevin Rafferty

1991

Thank You and Good Night! [Jan Oxenberg] 16mm/c; doc/83m; cph doc footage; ph: John Hazard; filming started in 1978

1993

Double Switch [Mary Lambert] vg

1993

Roommates [Peter Yates] c; co-addph; ph: Mike Southon

1994

Camp Nowhere [Jonathan Prince] c; addph: Greg Gardiner

1994

Dangerous Minds [John N. Smith] c; uncred 2uc; ph: Pierre Letarte

1997

Barney's Great Adventure [Steve Gomer] c; 2uc: Georges Archambault

1998

The Mod Squad [Scott Silver] c; 2uc; ph: Ellen Kuras

1998

Bowfinger [Frank Oz] c; addph; ph: Ueli Steiger

1998

A Conversation with Gregory Peck [Barbara Kopple] b&w-c; doc/97m; cph: Tom Hurwitz & Don Lenzer

1998

Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me [Jay Roach] s35/c; 2uc; ph: Ueli Steiger

1999

Yellow Card [John Riber] c

1999

The Endurance: Shackleton's Legendary Antarctic Expedition [George Butler] s16/b&w-c; doc/97m; addph: Tom Hurwitz, Scott Ransom (Antarctic) & Jeff Victor; also ep PBS-tv series 'Nova'

2000

Blow [Ted Demme] p/c; 2uc; ph: Ellen Kuras

2000

Rock Star [Stephen Herek] s35/c; 2uc; ph: Ueli Steiger

2000

Dance Cuba - Dreams of Flight [Cynthia Newport, Boris Iván Crespo & Barbara Kopple] HD/c; doc/105m; ?; ph: Don Lenzer, Roberto Chile & Tom Hurwitz

2000

Exit Wounds [Andrzej Bartkowiak] s35/c; 2uc; ph: Glen MacPherson

2000

R3 [Betty Thomas] DigiBeta/c/V; mockumentary/?m; addph; ph: Judy Irola

2000

Black Knight [Gil Junger] s35/c; 2uc; ph: Ueli Steiger

2001

Stealing Harvard/Stealing Stanford/Uncle [Bruce McCulloch] c; 2uc; ph: Ueli Steiger

2002

Daredevil/Daredevil: A Daring New Vision [Mark Steven Johnson] s35/c; efx ph New York City; ph: Ericson Core

2002

Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World [Peter Weir] s35/c; addph (+ co-2uc); ph: Russell Boyd

2003

Going Upriver: The Long War of John Kerry [George Butler] b&w-c; doc/87m; cph: Jules Labarthe

2003

Thin [Lauren Greenfield] c; doc/102m; uncred cph; ph: Amanda Micheli; premiered on HBO-tv (2006)

2003

The Ballad of Jack and Rose [Rebecca Miller] s16-35bu/c; addph; ph: Ellen Kuras

 

[Left] with Dennie Gordon - "New York Minute"

 

2003

New York Minute [Dennie Gordon] c; addph (+ 2uc Toronto); ph: Greg Gardiner

2003

Cellular [David R. Ellis] s35/c; 2uc (+ addph); ph: Gary Capo

2004

Mr. & Mrs. Smith [Doug Liman] s35/c; co-2uc; ph: Bojan Bazelli

2004

Roving Mars [George Butler] 35mm+65mm+dv-to-IMAX-70/c; doc/40m; cph: T.C. Christensen & Matthew Williams; addph: Reed Smoot & James Neihouse; filmed June/July 2003 & 2004; uses footage shot by the Mars Exploration Rovers

2006

The Lord God Bird [George Butler] c; doc/90m; 2uc: John Romeo; 1st film in a trilogy dealing with extinction

2007

One Heartbeat: Bobby Bowden and the Florida State Seminoles [George Butler] c; doc/100m; 2uc: John Romeo

2007

Meet the Browns [Tyler Perry] c; 2uc Atlanta (+ c.op 'b' cam): Jody Williams; 2uc Chicago: Michael Kohnhorst; aph: David Norris

 

Kushal Mookherjee [adv] - Bernard Sissel [c.asst] - Ganesh Natesan [prod] - SS -

George Butler [dir] - Pranabes Sanyal [adv] - "Burning Bright"

 

2008

Burning Bright [George Butler] work-in-progress; 2nd film (IMAX) in a trilogy dealing with extinction

2011

Free Angela & All Political Prisoners [Shola Lynch] HD/b&w-c; doc/101m; cph: Bradford Young (re-creations)

2012

Sao karaoke/Karaoke Girl [Visra Vichit-Vadakan] s16-35bu/c; cph: Chananun Chotrungroj

 

 TELEVISION

1977

Her Majesty's Brittania [?] ?

1978

Son of Sam [?] ?

1979

The Homosexuals [Helen Whitney] ep of doc series 'ABC Close-Up!'

1979

Greek Immigrants [Al Levin] doc/?m; for PBS-tv

1979

20/20 [16 seg dir by various] ABC-tv newsmagazine, 1978-present

1979

Prime Time Saturday [4 seg dir by various] NBC-tv newsmagazine, 1979-80

1980

[NBC's] Saturday Night Live [ep 'Orgasm Workshop' dir by Wendy Apple] comedy/variety series

1980

Women in Jazz [Burrill Crohn] 10-part series; for ABC Cable

1980

20/20 [6 seg dir by various] ABC-tv newsmagazine, 1978-present

1981

She's Nobody's Baby [Ana Carrigan] special/60m; for HBO-tv

1981

60 Minutes [2 seg dir by various] CBS-tv newsmagazine, 1968-present

1981

20/20 [6 seg dir by various] ABC-tv newsmagazine, 1978-present

1981

Big Blue Marble [3 ep dir by Ira Wohl] PBS-tv children's series, 1974-83

 

Nicholas Broomfield - ? - Sandi Sissel - "Chicken Ranch"

 

1982

Chicken Ranch [Nicholas Broomfield & Sandi Sissel] doc/84m; for Central-tv

1984

20/20 [4 seg dir by various] ABC-tv newsmagazine, 1978-present

1984

Beat This! A Hip Hop History [Dick Fontaine] doc/58m; addph; ph: Mike Southon; special BBC2-tv arts series 'Arena'

1985

Cowgirls [Sandi Sissel] doc/?m; for PBS-tv

1985

Grandpapa Hemingway [Jonathan Taplin] 4-part series; for Disney Channel

1985

Bugs Bunny/Looney Tunes 50th Anniversary [Gary Weiss & (anim dir) Chuck Jones] special/48m; cph: Tony Forrester, Joel Shapiro, a.o.; for NBC-tv

1985

Louise Brooks [Charles Chabot & Richard Leacock] doc (interview + film clips)/55m; ep BBC2-tv arts series 'Arena' (1986)

1986

Alice Walker and The Color Purple [Samira Osman] doc/60m; cph: Colin Case; ep BBC1-tv arts series 'Omnibus'

1986

A Stitch for Time [: The Peace Quilt Project] [Nigel Noble] doc/53m; cph: John Hazard; for PBS-tv

1987

Aretha Franklin: The Queen of Soul [Cathe Neukum] doc/b&w-c/60m; cph: William Megalos, a.o.; ep PBS-tv series 'American Masters'

1987

Frenzy of Renown [David Griffiths] special; for KCET-tv

1987

Home Fires [Michael Toshiyuki Uno] 2-part tvm; 2uc (+ c.op); ph: Newton Thomas Sigel

1987

Tales from the Hollywood Hills [Leon Ichaso, Paul Bogart & Robert C. Thompson] 4-part series; 2uc; ph: Newton Thomas Sigel; ep #4 dir by Michael Blakemore and ph by Bernd Heinl; for PBS-tv

1987

The Wonder Years [ep #4 'Angel' dir by Art Wolff, #5 'The Phone Call' dir by Jeffrey Brown & #6 'Dance With Me' dir by Arlene Sanford] 115-part series/16mm, 1988-93; 1st season, 1988; + c.op ep #2-3; other ph: Thomas Sigel

1988

20/20 [seg dir by Nola Safro] ABC-tv newsmagazine, 1978-present

1988

That Rhythm... Those Blues [George T. Nierenberg] mus doc/b&w-c/58m/16mm; cph: Francis Kenny, Ed Lachman, Gary Steele, Don Lenzer & Mitch Dubin; ep PBS-tv series 'American Experience'

1989

Chimps: So Like Us [Kirk Simon, Karen Goodman & Jane Goodall] doc/29m; cph: Buddy Squires; for HBO-tv

1989

The Drug Wars: Camarena/Drug Wars: The Camarena Story [Brian Gibson] 3-part miniseries

1990

Rising Son [John David Coles] tvm

1990

The Flash [pilot dir by Robert Iscove] 22-part series, 1990-91; other ph: John Newby (+ cph pilot), Francis Kenny & Greg Gardiner (+ 2uc pilot)

1991

For Richer, for Poorer/Father, Son and the Mistress [Jay Sandrich] tvm; addph; ph: Arthur Albert

1991

Keeping Secrets [John Korty] tvm

1992

It's Nothing Personal [Bradford May] tvm

1992

In the Company of Darkness [David Anspaugh] tvm

1992

Class of '96 [8 ep dir by various] 17-part series, 1993

1993

Philly Heat [John David Coles] pilot/60m; for ABC-tv (1995)

1993

Dragstrip Girl [Mary Lambert] tvm

1993

Full Eclipse [Anthony Hickox] tvm

1994

Dad, the Angel & Me [Rick Wallace] tvm; addph: Jules Labarthe

1995

Rock & Roll/Dancing in the Street - A Rock and Roll History [ep #9 (in UK #8) 'Punk/No Fun' dir by Hugh Thomson] 10-part (x 60m) mus doc series/b&w-c; as Sandy Sissel; cph: Colin Clarke, Tony Miller, Patrick O'Shea & Ian Salvage; for PBS-tv (1995) & BBC2 (1996)

1995

Educating Matt Waters [pilot dir by Kevin Rodney Sullivan] 6-part series; other ph: Tony Jannelli

1995

The Great Mom Swap [Jonathan Prince] tvm

1995

Radiant City [Robert Allan Ackerman] tvm

1995

Soul of the Game/Field of Honour [Kevin Rodney Sullivan] tvm/b&w-c

1996

Suddenly [Robert Allan Ackerman] tvm; cph: Walt Lloyd

1996

Night Sins [Robert Allan Ackerman] 2-part tvm

1996

Toothless [Melanie Mayron] tvm; ep 'The Wonderful World of Disney'

1996

The Reef/Passion's Way [Robert Allan Ackerman] tvm

1999

Gladiator Days: Anatomy of a Prison Murder [Marc Levin] doc/60m; ep HBO-tv series 'America Undercover'

1999

Young Americans [various] 8-part series, 2000; other ph: Robert Primes

1999

Wilder Days [Kevin Rodney Sullivan] pilot; for ABC-tv

2001

Nerve.com: Downloading Sex [seg 'Natacha Merritt' dir by Sandi Sissel] reality special/3 seg/60m; other dir: Beth B. & Tina Di Feliciantonio

2002

Saints and Sinners/In the Echo [Allison Anders] pilot/40m; for CBS-tv

2003

Chisholm '72: Unbought & Unbossed/Chisholm for President '72 [Shola Lynch] doc/77m/dv; 2nd camera: Gisselle Chamma, Kira Kelly & Bernard Sissel; ep PBS-tv series 'P.O.V.'

2005

Night Stalker [ep #8 'Into Night' dir by Fred Gerber (& un-produced ep #11 'Ascendant')] 12-part (2 un-produced & 4 unaired) series/HD (Genesis), 2005-06; other ph: Clark Mathis, Robert Primes & Rick Maguire

2007

Oswald's Ghost [Robert Stone] doc/90m; co-addph; ph: Howard Shack; ep PBS-tv series 'American Experience' (2008)

2011

Slavery by Another Name [Sam Pollard] doc + dram seq/86m/HD; co-add camera; ph: Andrew Young; for PBS-tv (2012)

 

 MISCELLANEOUS

1979

Best Boy [Ira Wohl; doc] co-c.asst; ph: Tom McDonough

1979

Fame [Alan Parker] c.op; ph: Michael Seresin

1979

[The Muse Concert:] No Nukes [Daniel Goldberg, Anthony Potenza & Julian Schlossberg] c.op; ph: Haskell Wexler

1980

Rush [Evelyn Purcell; doc] gaffer; ph: Joan Churchill & Alicia Weber

1980

The New Maid [Christine Burrill; tvm] c.op; ph: Fred Murphy

1982

Say Amen, Somebody - The Good News Musical [George T. Nierenberg; doc] c.op; ph: Edward Lachman & Don Lenzer

1985

Jumpin' Jack Flash [Howard Zieff] c.op; ph: Jan de Bont; H. Zieff, J. de Bont & S. Sissel were replaced after a few weeks

1985

Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold [Gary Nelson] co-c.op L.A.; L.A. ph: Fred Elmes; ph: Alex Phillips Jr.

1986

The Believers [John Schlesinger] c.op New York; ph: Robby Müller

1989

Fine Young Cannibals [- The Concert] [- Live at the Paramount] [Peter Care; concert film (Seattle)/60m] c.op; ph: Ed Lachman

1989

Songs for 'Drella by Lou Reed and John Cale [Ed Lachman; tv-concert film] co-c.op (as Sandy Sissel); ph: E. Lachman

 

 FILMS & TELEVISION AS DIRECTOR

1982

Chicken Ranch [co-d; + ph] see Television

1984

High Wire [+ co-prod/ph] see Films

1985

Cowgirls [+ ph] see Television

1989

Ethiopian Orthodox Church [co-d; + ph] see Films

2001

Nerve.com: Downloading Sex [dir/ph seg] see Television