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HomeMoviesBill Butler, 'Jaws' cinematographer, dies at 101 : NPR

Bill Butler, ‘Jaws’ cinematographer, dies at 101 : NPR


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Director Steven Spielberg, digicam operator Michael Chapman and cinematographer Invoice Butler on the set of the Common Photos manufacturing of ‘Jaws’ in 1975.

Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Photos

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Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Photos

Director Steven Spielberg, digicam operator Michael Chapman and cinematographer Invoice Butler on the set of the Common Photos manufacturing of ‘Jaws’ in 1975.

Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Photos

Oscar-nominated cinematographer Invoice Butler died Wednesday, simply days earlier than his 102nd birthday, in keeping with the American Society of Cinematographers. He was identified for taking pictures Jaws and different iconic movies.

As director of images, Butler collaborated with such administrators as Francis Ford Coppola, John Cassavetes, and Steven Spielberg. Actually, he shot two of Spielberg’s TV movies (One thing Evil and Savage) earlier than lensing the 1975 blockbuster Jaws.

For the shark thriller, Butler reportedly went all out, with cameras below and above the water.

“Psychologically, it received the viewers considering that the shark was simply out of sight,” Butler told MovieMaker Magazine. “You felt its presence on a unconscious degree. We had been additionally capable of dip simply barely into the water to indicate the viewers a scene from the shark’s perspective. The dangling legs of swimmers seemed like dinner to the shark.”

On location close to Martha’s Winery, Butler and his digicam operator shot from boats, getting regular photographs with hand-held cameras. A 1975 article in American Cinematographer journal famous that Butler saved footage from a digicam that sank throughout a storm.

Butler had a hand in lots of different legendary movies. He’d been a second unit photographer on the 1972 movie Deliverance, reportedly taking pictures stunt footage and the opening-title sequence. He additionally shot three Rocky sequels (Rocky II , Rocky III and Rocky IV) and footage together with Grease, The Dialog, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, for which he earned an Oscar nomination. (He shared it with cinematographer Haskell Wexler, who he changed halfway by means of manufacturing).


He additionally received Emmy Awards for taking pictures Raid on Entebbe and a TV model of A Streetcar Named Need.

Wilmer C. Butler was born in in Cripple Creek Colorado in 1921, and graduated from the College of Iowa with a level in engineering. He started as an engineer at a radio station in Gary Indiana. In Chicago, he operated video cameras and helped design the tv stations for the ABC affiliate and in addition WGN-TV.

In 1962, Butler started taking pictures documentaries for William Friedkin, beginning with The Folks vs. Paul Crump, a few younger African-American prisoner on dying row.

Butler’s cinematography profession spanned from 1962 to 2016. The ASC honored him with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003.


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