Louis Clyde Stoumen

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Louis Clyde Stoumen
Born (1917-07-15)July 15, 1917
Springtown, Bucks County, Pennsylvania
Died September 13 or 20, 1991
Sebastopol, California
Occupation Film director
Film producer
Years active 1950–1964

Louis Clyde Stoumen (July 15, 1917 – September 13, 1991), known as Lou Stoumen, was an American photographer, film director and producer. He won two Academy Awards; the first in 1957 for Best Documentary Short Subject (The True Story of the Civil War), and the second in 1963 for Best Documentary Feature (Black Fox: The Rise and Fall of Adolf Hitler).

Stoumen was born in Springtown, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and died in Sebastopol, California.[1][2] After graduating from Lehigh University in 1939, he worked as a freelance journalist and photographer in New York. Many of the photographs of Times Square he made were published in the 1985 book Times Square: 45 Years of Photographs.[3]

Stoumen taught at UCLA Film School. He spoke of his innovation in The True Story of the Civil War. He invented a track for the camera to move back and forth over historic photos and paintings. It also tracked up and down (in and out). The technique is often referred to today as the "Ken Burns effect".[citation needed]

Stoumen received Colin Higgins' master's thesis, a screenplay called Harold and Maude. Stoumen spoke of his enjoyment of the writing, but doubted it would ever be produced. He wasn't unhappy when proven wrong by the film's success.

Stouman married Lini De Vries in 1943; the couple divorced in 1949.

After his death in 1991, the Stoumen Estate gifted the entire archive of Stoumen's work, including copyright, to the Museum of Photographic Arts. MOPA created a special exhibition and catalog entitled Seduced by Life: The Art of Lou Stoumen in celebration of acquiring the Stoumen Archive. Copyright for Stoumen's work is currently administered by the Museum of Photographic Arts.[citation needed]

The Academy Film Archive preserved The True Story of the Civil War and T Is for Tumbleweed by Stoumen.[4]

Selected filmography[edit]


External links[edit]