March 12, 1946
Los Angeles County, California, United States
Director of photography, Director, Actor
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American cinematographer Dean Cundey, noted for his work on special effects-laden Hollywood extravaganzas, debuted with "Where the Red Fern Grows" (1974) and shot similarly undistinguished films until teaming with writer-director John Carpenter for "Halloween" (1978), a smashing success and a modern horror classic. Here he displayed his flair for composing evocative images of terror on a modest budget by using as little light as possible. Cundey went on to lens a series of films directed or produced by Carpenter ("The Fog" 1980; "Halloween II" 1981; "Escape From New York" 1981; "The Thing" 1982; "Halloween III: Season of the Witch" 1982; "Big Trouble in Little China" 1986). He worked on Richard Franklin's surprisingly good sequel, "Psycho II" (1983), and shot several TV-movies and pilots, including Wes Craven's "Invitation to Hell" (ABC, 1984).Cundey also enjoyed a successful collaboration with Robert Zemeckis beginning with "Romancing the Stone" (1984) and continuing through the "Back to the Future" trilogy (1985, 1989, 1990), "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" (1988) and "Death Becomes Her" (1992). Mastering the technical difficulties of lighting and shooting the complex human/'toon interactions of "Roger Rabbit" earned Cundey an Oscar nomination. Steven Spielberg called upon his expertise for his lavish fantasy, "Hook" (1991), and again for "Jurassic Park" (1993), arguably his most complex project to date, and he did a nice job seamlessly blending effects work with normal scenes for Ron Howard's "Apollo 13" (1995). Cundey made his directorial debut with "Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves" (1997), Walt Disney Home Video's first live-action, direct-to-video release, and since then has worked almost exclusively for Disney as a director of photography on "Flubber" (also 1997), "Krippendorf's Tribe." "The Parent Trap" and as a second unit director on Stephen Sommers' "Deep Rising" (all 1998).