CALEB DESCHANEL studied at the USC School of Cinema and was in the first class at the American Film Institute. He made his first impression on cinema audiences with his camerawork on Carroll Ballard’s The Black Stallion and Hal Ashby’s Being There, which were both released in 1979. The Black Stallion was recognized for it’s Cinematography with nominations from the British Society of Cinematographers, and Bafta. It also won the cinematography award from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. His work on Being There won the award for best cinematography from the National Society of Film Critics. Several years later Caleb was honoured with his first and second Academy Award nominations for his cinematography on Phil Kaufman’s The Right Stuff (1983) and Barry Levinson’s The Natural (1984). His debut as a director came in 1982 with The Escape Artist, which starred Raul Julia, Griffin O’Neal and Joan Hackett. He also directed Crusoe (1988) with Aidan Quinn and several episodes of the TV series “Twin Peaks” and “Law & Order: Trial by Jury”.
He filmed Fly Away Home (1996) and was nominated for another Academy Award for his photography. He also received a nomination for Best Cinematography from the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC). He was behind the camera for Forest Whitaker’s Hope Floats (1998) and Luis Mandoki’s Message in a Bottle (1999) and won awards for his lavish camerawork on his next two projects: Anna and the King (1999) and Roland Emmerich’s The Patriot (2000). The latter landed him his fourth Oscar® nomination and was the winner of the ASC Feature Cinematography Award. In 2004 The Motion Picture Academy honoured Caleb with a fifth Oscar® nomination for his photography on Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ.
His filmography also includes such titles as National Treasure (2004) and The Spiderwick Chronicles (2008), Robert Towne’s Ask the Dust (2006) and Nick Cassavetes’ My Sister’s Keeper (2009). Caleb received a lifetime achievement reward from the ASC in 2010. More recently, he worked with William Friedkin on Killer Joe (2011) and Jim Sheridan on Dream House (2011). This was followed by Jack Reacher (2012) starring Tom Cruise, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012) and Akiva Goldsman’s A Winter’s Tale (2014). His more recent work was with Warren Beatty on Rules Don’t Apply (2016) and Denise DiNovi’s Unforgettable (2017).
Caleb was nominated for a Sixth Oscar® this past year for his haunting cinematography in Florian Henckel Von Donnersmarck’s Never Look Away, a film which was also an Academy Nominee for Best Foreign Language Film.