Jeff Cronenweth: Path to Cinematographer

From American Cinematographer, Anarchy in the U.S.A. by Christopher Probst (November 1999)

Commenting on the path he took to his first feature film, he relates,

"I knew that both John Schartzman and Robert Brinkmann had started shooting documentaries, industrials, and whatnot right out of film school, while I was a camera assistant working my way up the ladder in a more traditional sense. Even though I wasn't shooting, I was working on $30 million and $40 million pictures. Interestingly enough, we all sort of arrived at the same place in almost the same amount of time. There's always sort of a toss-up between which is the better way to go. Obviously, the sooner you start shooting, the sooner you gain experience that you cannot get as an assistant. But, at the same time, how does someone who has done documentaries, industrials or even music videos deal with the scope of a $60 million film? I suppose it ultimately depends upon what your goals are and how you want to achieve those goals. Is it important to you to gain the knowledge that you get working up the system, or are you anxious to get in there and do it yourself?"

- Jeff Cronenweth, ASC

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