John M. Stephens
John M. Stephens
John Morley Stephens
November 17, 1932
|Died||June 18, 2015 (aged 82)|
Orange County, California, United States
|Occupation||Cinematographer, camera operator|
John Morley Stephens (November 17, 1932 – June 18, 2015) was an American cinematographer. He was noted for his innovative work on the 1966 film Grand Prix, for which he pioneered the use of a number of camera mounts and developed the first remotely operated pan-and-tilt-head camera. For this latter invention, he received a Technical Achievement Award from the Society of Operating Cameramen in 1994.
As a cinematographer, Stephens was known for his work on such films as Billy Jack, Blacula, Martin Scorsese's Boxcar Bertha, and William Friedkin's Sorcerer. He also shot the memorable bicycle chase for Steven Spielberg's E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, though he did not receive on-screen credit for his work. He was also the second unit director and cameraman for John Landis' comedy Three Amigos and the aerial photographer for Phil Alden Robinson's acclaimed Field of Dreams. From the late 1980s onward, he more prominently worked as a second unit director of photography, most notably on Martin Brest's Midnight Run and James Cameron's Titanic.
As camera operator
- Bus Stop (1956) - 2nd assistant cameraman (uncredited)
- South Pacific (1958) - 2nd assistant cameraman (uncredited)
- The Hallelujah Trail (1965) - second unit (uncredited)
- Seconds (1966)
- Grand Prix (1966)
- Ice Station Zebra (1968) - additional arctic photography
- Snowball Express (1972) - second unit
- The Fog (1980) - additional camera (uncredited)
- E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) - (uncredited)
- Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) - California unit
- Three Amigos (1986) - second unit; also second unit director
- Field of Dreams (1989) - aerial photographer
- Run, Angel, Run (1969)
- Billy Jack (1971)
- Bunny O'Hare (1971)
- Boxcar Bertha (1972)
- Blacula (1972)
- Sorcerer (1977)
- Ski Patrol (1990)
As second unit director of photography
- The Other Side of the Mountain (1975)
- Midnight Run (1988)
- Loose Cannons (1990)
- Major League II (1994)
- Conspiracy Theory (1997)
- Titanic (1997)
- Six Days Seven Nights (1998)
- Bandits (2001)
- Stone, Matt (2014). James Garner's Motoring Life: Grand Prix the movie, Baja, The Rockford Files, and More. North Branch, MN: CarTech, Inc. p. 37. ISBN 978-1613251362. Retrieved June 26, 2015.
- Twohy, Jennifer (7 February 2014). "Marilyn and Me, John Stephens on filming Bus Stop in Sun Valley". CanalBlog. SunValley.com (original). Retrieved 26 June 2015.
John Stephens has gone where the action is," said the Society of Operating Cameramen in 1994 when it gave him the Technical Achievement Award for developing the first remotely controlled pan and tilt head camera on the Oscar-winning Grand Prix. "A top second unit cameraman and director he has photographed some of the most exciting images ever recorded on film. From breaking new ground on Grand Prix to the exciting bicycle chase in Steven Spielberg's ET, John has photographed the action from virtually every kind of vehicle, from lear jets to helicopters. (He has survived three helicopter crashes).
- "John Morley Stephens - Obituary". Legacy.com. 23 June 2015. Retrieved 26 June 2015.