Caleb Deschanel Biography, Age, Family, Oscar, Cinematography And Net Worth

Caleb Deschanel Biography

Caleb Deschanel (born Joseph Caleb Deschanel) is an American cinematographer and director of film and television. He has been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Cinematography six times. He is a member of the National Film Preservation Board of the Library of Congress, representing the American Society of Cinematographers.

Caleb Deschanel Age

Joseph Caleb Deschanel was born on 21st September, 1944 (74 years) as of 2018.

Caleb Deschanel Family

Deschanel was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Ann Ward and Paul Jules Deschanel. His father was French, from Oullins, Rhône, and his mother was U.S.-born.
He attended Severn School, for his high school, and later attended Johns Hopkins University from 1962 to 1966, where he met Walter Murch, with whom he staged “happenings,” After graduating, he followed Murch to the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts, where he graduated in 1968. During this time, he was a member of a band of film students called “The Dirty Dozen;” this group attracted attention from the Hollywood system. Following his graduation, he attended the American Film Institute (AFI) Conservatory and graduated in 1969 as a member of its first class.

He joined the American Society of Cinematographers, or A.S.C., in 1969, the same year he graduated AFI Conservatory.

Caleb Deschanel Wife

On 8 July 1972, he married Mary Jo Deschanel. They have two daughters, Emily Deschanel (born 1976) and Zooey Deschanel (born 1980)

Caleb Deschanel Net Worth

He has an estimated net worth of around $5 million.

Caleb Deschanel Cinematography

Filmography As Director



2005Law & Order: Trial by Jury
1991Rhythm of My Heart
1990-91Twin Peaks
1982The Escape Artist

As Cinematographer




2018Never Look AwayFlorian Henckel von Donnersmarck
2017UnforgettableDenise Di Novi
2016Rules Don’t ApplyWarren Beatty
2014Winter’s TaleAkiva Goldsman


Abraham Lincoln: Vampire HunterTimur Bekmambetov
Jack ReacherChristopher McQuarrie


Dream HouseJim Sheridan
Killer JoeWilliam Friedkin
2009My Sister’s KeeperNick Cassavetes


KillshotJohn Madden
The Spiderwick ChroniclesMark Waters
2006Ask the DustRobert Towne


National TreasureJon Turteltaub
The Passion of the ChristMel Gibson


The HuntedWilliam Friedkin
TimelineRichard Donner
2000The PatriotRoland Emmerich


Anna and the KingAndy Tennant
Message in a BottleLuis Mandoki
1998Hope FloatsForest Whitaker
1996Fly Away HomeCarroll Ballard
1994It Could Happen to YouAndrew Bergman
1985The Slugger’s WifeHal Ashby
1984The NaturalBarry Levinson
1983The Right StuffPhilip Kaufman


Being ThereHal Ashby
More American GraffitiBill L. Norton
The Black StallionCarroll Ballard


Caleb Deschanel Oscar

Caleb Deschanel has been nominated for the 91st Academy Awards  for Best Cinematography 2019 · Never Look Away.

Caleb Deschanel Young

Caleb Deschanel
Caleb Deschanel

Caleb & Mary Jo Deschanel

Caleb Deschanel with Daughters
Caleb Deschanel with Daughters

Caleb Deschanel Never Look Away

Caleb Deschanel Interview

Six top cinematographers from ‘Silence’, ‘La La Land’, ‘Fences’, ‘Arrival’ and more reveal the secrets that take their craft beyond “beautiful pictures” — and their off-duty camera of choice (“Yeah, I use my iPhone”).

When you’re working with a director for the first time, what kind of initial conversations do you have?

LINUS SANDGREN I like to listen a lot to the director, to hear him out and find out what his vision is. And that usually builds images and ideas in your head. With Damien [Chazelle on La La Land], we met at his office, and he played me the music, which was very emotional. I was surprised how I reacted to it, actually. And he was like a volcano in how he talked about the film and how he saw it. So it was very easy for me to get inspired by him. To me, that’s the best — when you work with directors who have a strong vision and who want to inspire the crew.

CALEB DESCHANEL The reality is that you really want to go in and meet a director and have him draw you into their excitement and enthusiasm for the project they’re doing. You need to have that because to make a movie, you have to have an incredible drive and enthusiasm for something.

CHARLOTTE BRUUS CHRISTENSEN Sometimes that conversation also starts one step ahead of the story. It’s just about, do we get along with each other? Do we connect in terms of understanding a visual language? And then that whole part of listening. I’ve had a couple of interviews where it’s been about three hours of, “Who are you and where do you come from?”

BRADFORD YOUNG I kind of got into this as a venture in community building. So my requirement is that after we go through this, can I break bread with you at my table with my kids and my wife?

What do you mean by community building?

YOUNG My entryway into a lot of things is music, especially jazz. So I always thought that filmmaking would be as collaborative as that. I was looking for an opportunity to freely associate myself with other artists who are interested in a certain, particular result, and who are really more interested in the process of coming up with the result. I’m interested in working with folks that are trying to explore their craft in the same way. For me, the community building thing comes out of the desire to collaborate. But at the end of the day, I want — I know this may sound lame — I want to be your friend, your comrade.

So what was it like working with Denis Villeneuve on Arrival?

YOUNG I was a big fan. I felt like I knew his writing on the wall really well, so I felt like I had a brother there, a kindred spirit. The difficult part was just really us as two individuals — who have our own sort of taste and our own sort of temperament around telling a story — finding a way to be ourselves in this heavily visual effects environment. We’ve made very low-fi films. I had never even shot a blue screen before, so to know that I would have his support was really important to me.

What’s it like working with a director who’s also starring in the film like Denzel Washington in Fences and Warren Beatty in Rules Don’t Apply?

DESCHANEL Warren has been a movie star for I don’t know how many years and then started early on being a producer and then a writer and then, of course, he directed Reds, which is an amazing movie. With Warren, I used to joke that if I would disagree with him about something, I’d say, “Let me talk to the writer Warren instead of the director Warren.” I just found it really exciting to work with him. When he would perform in front of the camera, he would never take the time to look at it played back. He would just do the scene, three or four times, and then he’d go, “That’s it,” and we’d move on. He was really respectful of all the other actors in the film, and it really helped them that he was not taking time with himself. He knew this story so well because he had been working at it for so long.

BRUUS CHRISTENSEN I’m not totally sure that Denzel ever stepped out of character. Having done the play, he knew it so well. Sometimes I had the feeling that because he knew the character so well, it was almost his character watching, because his character knew exactly how that was going to be. So it was very intense work. And even though he wanted to go back to the monitor and get a feel for it, he wasn’t in and out [of character]. He was staying with it. For certain scenes, we stepped back, placed the camera in a wide shot where the audience [would have seen it] at the play. Let’s not put everything into making it cinema. Let’s just once in a while go back and look at that angle.

The new technology allows you to capture more information in a frame, but there are a lot of classic movies that use shadow to withhold information. Caleb, a lot of Rules Don’t Apply uses shadow very intentionally. How do you feel about this push toward more information in an image?

DESCHANEL Well, I think they can use it sparingly — the way you light it and the way you photograph something. I’ve used lots of filtering under things at times. And put things in the shadow. In the case of Warren’s movie, it was just the reality that the character that Warren played, Howard Hughes, was always in the dark. And that creates its own kind of problems. Over the years, we’ve had film develop from 35 millimeter, and then there is 65 millimeter film. And films like Lawrence of Arabia in 70 millimeter, and it was really phenomenal. We’ve always been striving toward making things much clearer and much sharper, bigger and more exciting so you see more detail. But I think you have to use it sparingly and think about how you want to use it. A problem I have with digital is photographing faces, because you have to be really careful about how sharp an image is. But John shooting [Billy Lynn] at a high frame rate and projected at high frame rates and 3D — that’s what artists do, they take a technology that somebody brings to them and they explore it and see what they can do with it. And sometimes you succeed remarkably. And sometimes you fail. But that’s the process.

How do you decide whether to shoot on film or go digital?
DESCHANEL It’s great to have all the tools. It’s great to have film. It’s great to have digital. It’s great to have different size formats, you know? Each one gives you something different. And how you use it is what you bring to the film that makes it exciting and interesting.

Do you ever watch a finished film you’ve worked on and think, “Gee, they picked the wrong take there. I would have gone for something else”?


DESCHANEL It’s really interesting about the right take. Initially, a director will pick a certain take. And then you get in the editing room, and as the scene evolves, you find that actually another take has a certain kind of emotion that you want more. And you didn’t realize it at first. It’s a very fluid process.

Since images can be changed dramatically in post production, when the digital intermediate is created, how involved are you in post?

DESCHANEL That’s a really important part of the process, especially today. In the old days, when you just had film, you basically had three printer lights, and that was it. And you would always light something as perfectly as you could possibly do it. But now, when you go into the digital medium …

BRUUS CHRISTENSEN It’s not so simple. (Laughter.)

When you’re not working, do you carry a camera with you or do you pull out an iPhone for quick shots?

YOUNG Yeah, I use my iPhone. I have a few cameras, but they all seem too cumbersome nowadays. I’m shooting my kids a lot, so that for me is the quickest way to get close to them.

TOLL I still use cameras, but I probably don’t carry them around as much as I used to. And I will whip out the iPhone and use it.

DESCHANEL On the last film I did with Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, [Werk ohne Autor], he wanted me to take stills that were then used as paintings in the movie. And I started using my Leica camera again with film. I hadn’t used it in [a long time] and there are places you can still get [the film] processed. It’s really exciting because it has that mystery, you know?

PRIETO I use my professional cameras only for work — for scouting and for when we are shooting some things. But actually in life, I do use my phone to take photos. I’ve become kind of a fan of Instagram, because it has become a hobby.

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