Academy Award winning cinematographer Dean Semler has achieved international recognition for his work on numerous critical and commercial hit films. Mr. Semler has been shooting feature films for over three decades, photographing some of the most iconic and recognizable faces on the planet. He recently lensed the horse racing drama ‘Secretariat’ in addition to Angelina Jolie’s directorial debut ‘An Untitled Love Story’.
Jason: When and how did you first get your break into the film industry?
Dean Semler: I was born in Renmark, a small country town in Australia on the fringe of the outback. I’d not even seen television when I applied for a position as a props boy at Rupert Murdoch’s newly opened television station in Adelaide, the state capital. I had no idea what the position entailed but I took a bus to the city and went to the interview. For some reason I’ll never know I got the job and was thrown into this fantastic, exciting new world. Within a year I was operating a studio camera because there were very few people who’d had any experience at all and opportunities were plenty over the next couple of years. I always envied the two news camera men who at the end of each day would pass through the studio with light meters around their necks and film rolls tucked under their arms. As luck would have it I would soon join them as the third newscamerman, I was 19. There was no film school and my only film experience was making a few little 8mm home movies, I had a lot to learn, and two great mentors. Pat Mcewan, and Trevor Rose took me under their wings and guided me in those early years. Pat would shoot solid and steady, using a tripod, filters, no flares, wheras Trevor would shoot wild and woolly, handheld, no worries. I am embedded to them both for their mixed teachings. One of the first events I covered was THE BEATLES explosive visit to Adelaide, the crowds, the traffic jams, the press conference filmed on an Auricon sound camera, and of course their spectacular frenzied concert with the hysterical screaming fainting crowds. (more…)