Dean Cundey
Dean Raymond Cundey

(1946-03-12) March 12, 1946 (age 78)
Alhambra, California, United States
Years active1973–present
OrganizationAmerican Society of Cinematographers
AwardsNominated for:
Academy Award for Best Cinematography
BAFTA Award for Best Cinematography

Dean Raymond Cundey, A.S.C.[1] (born March 12, 1946) is an American cinematographer and film director. He is known for his collaborations with John Carpenter, Steven Spielberg, and Robert Zemeckis, as well as his extensive work in the horror genre, in addition to numerous family and comedy films. His filmography as a cinematographer includes Halloween (1978), The Fog (1980), Escape from New York (1981), The Thing (1982), the Back to the Future trilogy (1985–1990), Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988), Jurassic Park (1993), Apollo 13 (1995), and Garfield: The Movie (2004).

Cundey was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Cinematography for his work on Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and has been nominated for numerous BAFTAs and BSC Awards.

Life and career

Cundey was born in Alhambra, California, United States. As a child, he used to build model sets, suggesting an interest in films from an early age. Cundey already had several low-budget films when he met Debra Hill, who in 1978 recruited him to work on Halloween, a film she co-wrote with director John Carpenter.

Having Cundey work on a film brought considerable advantages. In addition to his considerable skill as a cinematographer and director of photography, he also had the advantage of owning most of his own equipment packed in a large van, referred to by Debra Hill as the "movie van".[2]

Cundey's work on Halloween is cited by many fans as being among his best as director of photography. In addition to his lighting skills, particularly in the famous hallway scene where the hidden face of Michael Myers is slowly revealed by way of a blue light next to the mask, he was among the first cinematographers to make use of a recent invention called the steadicam, or panaglide.

The panaglide allowed the camera operator to "wear" the camera and obtain shots that were previously deemed too difficult or even impossible. In Halloween, the panaglide was used as a point of view reference for Michael Myers, allowing the audience to see what he saw.[3]

Other noteworthy films

Cundey would go on to work with Carpenter and Hill again on the films The Fog (1980), Escape from New York, Halloween II (both 1981), The Thing (1982), and Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1983).[4] He would also return to work with Carpenter for the last time on the 1986 big budget science fiction/comedy adventure Big Trouble in Little China. Cundey also served as director of photography on the 4D film Honey, I Shrunk the Audience!, which ran in five Walt Disney theme parks around the world.

Later work

In addition to his work with Carpenter, Cundey would lend his talents to the films Psycho II (1983), Romancing the Stone (1984), the Back to the Future trilogy (1985–1990), Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988), Road House (1989), Jurassic Park (1993), Apollo 13 (1995), What Women Want (2000), and Garfield: The Movie (2004), among others. In 1997, he made his directorial debut with the direct-to-video sequel Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves. He recently worked in Canada on Camp Rock, one of several movies that he has filmed outside the United States, including Who Framed Roger Rabbit which was filmed primarily in England. In 2011, Cundey shot the comedy film Jack and Jill, which involved extensive split-screen and motion control effects to create the illusion of actor Adam Sandler interacting with multiple on-screen personas.



Year Title Director Notes
1973 The No Mercy Man Daniel Vance
1973 Brother on the Run Edward J. Lakso
Herbert L. Strock
1974 So Evil, My Sister Reginald Le Borg
Where the Red Fern Grows Norman Tokar
1975 That Girl from Boston Matt Cimber
1976 The Witch Who Came From the Sea
Creature from Black Lake Joy N. Houck Jr.
Black Shampoo Greydon Clark
Ilsa, Harem Keeper of the Oil Sheiks Don Edmonds
The Human Tornado Cliff Roquemore credited as Gene Condie, co-cinematographer with Bob Wilson
1977 Satan's Cheerleaders Greydon Clark
Charge of the Model T's Jim McCullough Sr.
Bare Knuckles Don Edmonds
1978 Hi-Riders Greydon Clark
Goodbye, Franklin High Mike MacFarland
Halloween John Carpenter 1st collaboration with Carpenter
1979 Angels' Brigade Greydon Clark
Rock 'n' Roll High School Allan Arkush
Roller Boogie Mark L. Lester
1980 Without Warning Greydon Clark
The Fog John Carpenter
Galaxina William Sachs
1981 Separate Ways Howard Avedis
Jaws of Satan Bob Claver
Escape from New York John Carpenter
Halloween II Rick Rosenthal
1982 The Thing John Carpenter
Halloween III: Season of the Witch Tommy Lee Wallace
1983 Psycho II Richard Franklin
D.C. Cab Joel Schumacher
1984 Romancing the Stone Robert Zemeckis 1st collaboration with Zemeckis
1985 Back to the Future
Warning Sign Hal Barwood
1986 Big Trouble in Little China John Carpenter
1987 Project X Jonathan Kaplan
1988 Big Business Jim Abrahams
Who Framed Roger Rabbit Robert Zemeckis Nominated – Academy Award for Best Cinematography
Nominated – BAFTA Award for Best Cinematography
1989 Road House Rowdy Herrington
Back to the Future Part II Robert Zemeckis Shot back-to-back
1990 Back to the Future Part III
1991 Nothing but Trouble Dan Aykroyd
Hook Steven Spielberg Nominated – ASC Award for Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography
1992 Death Becomes Her Robert Zemeckis
1993 Jurassic Park Steven Spielberg Minor film appearance as a boat crew member (credited as "Mate")
1994 The Flintstones Brian Levant
1995 Casper Brad Silberling
Apollo 13 Ron Howard Nominated – ASC Award for Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography
Nominated – BAFTA Award for Best Cinematography
Nominated – CFCAA for Best Cinematography
1997 Flubber Les Mayfield
1998 Krippendorf's Tribe Todd Holland
The Parent Trap Nancy Meyers
2000 What Women Want
2003 Looney Tunes: Back in Action Joe Dante
2004 Garfield Peter Hewitt
2006 The Holiday Nancy Meyers
2007 Whisper Stewart Hendler
2009 Shannon's Rainbow Frank E. Johnson
2010 The Spy Next Door Brian Levant
2011 Jack and Jill Dennis Dugan
2013 Crazy Kind of Love Sarah Siegel-Magness
2014 Walking with the Enemy Mark Schmidt
2015 Diablo Lawrence Roeck
The Girl in the Photographs Nick Simon
2017 Slamma Jamma Timothy A. Chey
Home Again Hallie Meyers-Shyer
2020 Anastasia: Once Upon a Time Blake Harris


TV series

Year Title Director Notes
1981-84 Tales of the Unexpected Ray Danton
John Peyser
4 episodes
1989 Tales from the Crypt Robert Zemeckis Episode "And All Throgh The House"
2001 Religion & Ethics Newsweekly 1 episode;
Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Cinematography
2005 The West Wing Christopher Misiano 2 episodes
2022 The Book of Boba Fett Steph Green
Kevin Tancharoen
2 episodes
2023 The Mandalorian Rick Famuyiwa
Lee Isaac Chung
Carl Weathers
3 episodes

TV movies

Year Title Director
1983 The Invisible Woman Alan J. Levi
1984 Amazons Paul Michael Glaser
It Came Upon the Midnight Clear Peter H. Hunt
Invitation to Hell Wes Craven
2008 Camp Rock Matthew Diamond
2010 Scooby-Doo! Curse of the Lake Monster Brian Levant

Other credits


2nd unit director

Additional photography

2nd unit director of photography

Awards and recognition

Cundey is a member of the American Society of Cinematographers. His work on Who Framed Roger Rabbit earned him an Academy Award nomination. On February 2, 2014, he was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award by The ASC; John Carpenter introduced him.[5]


  1. ^ Dean Cundey Biography (1946?-)
  2. ^ The Fog feature length commentary with Debra Hill and John Carpenter
  3. ^ Interview with Dean Cundey on the DVD documentary Halloween, A Cut Above The Rest
  4. ^ "Shadowvision: "THE FOG"". Archived from the original on 2015-03-06. Retrieved 2015-03-03.
  5. ^