Russell Paul Carpenter
December 9, 1950
|Other names||Russ Carpenter|
|Spouse(s)||Donna Ellen Conrad|
|Awards||Academy Award for Best Cinematography (1997) for Titanic; Lifetime Achievement Award (2017) from the American Society of Cinematographers|
Russell Paul Carpenter, ASC (born December 9, 1950) is an American cinematographer and photographer with a long career as Director of Photography of theatrical motion pictures. He was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Society of Cinematographers.
He shot the 1997 Best Picture-winning film Titanic, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Cinematography. Much of his work as director of photography has been in blockbuster films, including: True Lies, Ant-Man, XXX: Return of Xander Cage, This Means War, Monster-in-Law, Charlie's Angels (2000), its sequel Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, and many more. In addition, some of his work has been in independent and genre cinema with films, including: Parched, The Lawnmower Man, and Hard Target. His documentary cinematography includes George Harrison: Living in the Material World, directed by Martin Scorsese. It earned six nominations at the 64th Primetime Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Cinematography for Nonfiction Programming for the cinematography team.
Carpenter also shot the Michael Jackson music video, Ghosts, directed by Stan Winston.
He has had a long collaborative relationship with director/writer/producer James Cameron as well as with directors Robert Luketic and McG.
The grandson of a film sound engineer, Carpenter was born in Van Nuys, California in 1950 to a family of six. After his parents divorced in 1960, he moved with his mother and three siblings to Orange County, where he took up Super 8 films as a hobby. He enrolled in San Diego State University to study television directing, but later changed his major to English. To pay for school, he worked at a local public broadcasting channel, where he learned the ropes of documentary filmmaking. After graduating, he moved back to Orange County, where he shot educational films and documentaries.
Carpenter is most widely known for his early work in horror and genre cinema and for his collaborations with directors James Cameron, McG, and Robert Luketic. His first major project as Director of Photography was the 1988 horror-comedy Critters 2: The Main Course, written and directed by Mick Garris. The Los Angeles Times criticized the film but praised Carpenter's cinematography.
Carpenter had earlier worked as a Director of Photography (DP) on numerous low-budget horror films like Sole Survivor and Cameron's Closet. In 1983, he shot The Wizard of Speed and Time, a special effects-laden experimental film directed by animator Mike Jittlov. His first major studio film was Critters 2: The Main Course. Two years later, he shot his first science fiction film, Solar Crisis, and his first action film with Death Warrant starring Jean-Claude Van Damme. After shooting several episodes of the television series The Wonder Years, he worked on The Lawnmower Man.
During the production of the John Woo-directed action film Hard Target, Russell Carpenter and James Cameron met at the home of Edward Furlong, during his 15th birthday party. Russell was the DP for Furlong's movie Pet Semetary 2. Carpenter and Cameron collaborated on the 1994 Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jamie Lee Curtis action comedy True Lies, Their next collaboration, Titanic, which carried away eleven Oscars in 1997, including Best Picture. Carpenter's work on Titanic earned him nine industry awards and a nomination for a BAFTA Award.
Carpenter is an alumnus of Van Nuys High School and San Diego State University. He is a member of the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC).
Carpenter is married to Donna Ellen Conrad and has one son, Graham (from a previous marriage), a stepson Zak Selbert, daughter-in-law Gaudia Correia, and two granddaughters.
|Denotes films that have not yet been released|
|1983||The Wizard of Speed and Time||Mike Jittlov|
|1984||Sole Survivor||Thom Eberhardt|
|1988||Lady in White||Frank LaLoggia|
|Cameron's Closet||Armand Mastroianni|
|Critters 2: The Main Course||Mick Garris|
|1990||Solar Crisis||Richard C. Sarafian|
|Death Warrant||Deran Sarafian|
|1991||The Perfect Weapon||Mark DiSalle|
|1992||The Lawnmower Man||Brett Leonard|
|Pet Sematary Two||Mary Lambert|
|1993||Hard Target||John Woo|
|1994||True Lies||James Cameron||1st collaboration with James Cameron|
|1995||The Indian in the Cupboard||Frank Oz|
|1996||T2 3-D: Battle Across Time||James Cameron
|Theme park attraction|
|1997||Money Talks||Brett Ratner||Co-cinematographer with Robert Primes|
|Titanic||James Cameron||Academy Award for Best Cinematography|
ASC Award for Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography
Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Cinematography
Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award for Best Cinematography
Nominated- BAFTA Award for Best Cinematography
Nominated- BSC Award for Best Cinematography
Nominated- Satellite Award for Best Cinematography
|1998||The Negotiator||F. Gary Gray|
|2000||Charlie's Angels||McG||1st collaboration with McG|
|2001||Shallow Hal||The Farrelly Brothers|
|2003||Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle||McG|
|2005||Monster-in-Law||Robert Luketic||First collaboration with Robert Luketic|
|2009||The Ugly Truth|
|2011||A Little Bit of Heaven||Nicole Kassell|
|George Harrison: Living in the Material World||Martin Scorsese||Documentary film|
Co-cinematographer with Robert Richardson & Martin Kenzie
|2012||This Means War||McG|
|2013||Jobs||Joshua Michael Stern|
|2014||Return to Sender||Fouad Mikati|
|Beyond the Reach||Jean-Baptiste Léonetti|
|2017||XXX: Return of Xander Cage||D. J. Caruso|
|2022||Avatar: The Way of Water||James Cameron||Post-production|
|1997||Michael Jackson's Ghosts||Stan Winston|
|2009||Down and Out||Matthew Mebane||Segment of Locker 13|
|2014||Sins of the Father||Rachel Howard|
|2016||The Final Adventure of John & Eleanor Greene||Matthew Mebane|
Additional photography credit
|1986||Critters||Stephen Herek||Tim Suhrstedt||Additional photography|
|1988||Lucky Stiff||Anthony Perkins||Jacques Haitkin|
|A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master||Renny Harlin||Steven Fierberg|
|1989||Puppet Master||David Schmoeller||Sergio Salvati|
|A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child||Stephen Hopkins||Peter Levy||Second unit photography|
|Pet Sematary||Mary Lambert||Peter Stein||Additional photography|
|2003||The Human Stain||Robert Benton||Jean-Yves Escoffier|
|1985||The Lemon Grove Incident||Documentary special|
|1987||Rolling Stone Presents Twenty Years of Rock & Roll|
|1988||CBS Schoolbreak Special||Episode: "No Means No"|
|1991||The Wonder Years||4 episodes|
|1993||Attack of the 50 Ft. Woman||TV movie|