Vilmos Zsigmond

Director of photography, Still photographer, Lab technician
Along with Laszlo Kovacs, a fellow student who also fled Hungary in 1956, Vilmos Zsigmond rose to prominence in the 1970s.

The son of a well-known Hungarian soccer player Zsigmond became interested in photography at ... Read more »

Born: 06/15/1930 in Hungary

Filmography

Camera, Film, & Tape (63)

Bolden 2014 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

God the Father 2014 (Movie)

(Cinematographer)

Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks 2014 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Compulsion 2013 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

The Mindy Project 2012 (Tv Show)

Director of Photography

Summer Children 2010 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger 2010 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Cassandra's Dream 2008 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Surrender Dorothy 2005 - 2006 (TV Show)

Director of Photography

The Black Dahlia 2006 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Melinda and Melinda 2005 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Jersey Girl 2004 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Bank Ban 2002 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Life As A House 2001 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

The Body 2001 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Ljuset Haller Mig Sallskap 1999 (Movie)

cinematography (Cinematographer)

Playing By Heart 1998 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

The Ghost and the Darkness 1996 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Assassins 1995 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

The Crossing Guard 1995 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Intersection 1994 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Maverick 1994 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Sliver 1993 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

The Bonfire of the Vanities 1990 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

The Two Jakes 1990 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Fat Man and Little Boy 1989 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Journey to Spirit Island 1987 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

The Witches of Eastwick 1987 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Real Genius 1985 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

No Small Affair 1984 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

The River 1984 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Table for Five 1983 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Blow Out 1981 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Jinxed! 1981 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Flesh and Blood 1979 - 1980 (TV Show)

Director of Photography

Heaven's Gate 1980 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

The Deer Hunter 1978 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

The Last Waltz 1978 (Movie)

cinematography (Cinematographer)

The Rose 1978 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Winter Kills 1978 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Close Encounters of the Third Kind 1977 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Obsession 1976 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Dandy, the All American Girl 1975 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Death Riders 1975 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

The Sugarland Express 1974 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Cinderella Liberty 1973 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Scarecrow 1973 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

The Girl From Petrovka 1973 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

The Long Goodbye 1973 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Deliverance 1972 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Images 1972 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Horror of the Blood Monsters 1971 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

McCabe & Mrs. Miller 1971 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Red Sky at Morning 1971 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

The Hired Hand 1970 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

The Gun Riders 1969 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

The Name of the Game Is Kill 1968 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Deadwood '76 1965 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

The Time Travelers 1963 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

The Sadist 1962 (Movie)

(Director of Photography)

Stalin (TV Show)

Director of Photography

The Mists Of Avalon (TV Show)

Director of Photography
Actor (8)

Side by Side 2012 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Cinematographer Style 2005 (Movie)

(Actor)

Ljuset Haller Mig Sallskap 1999 (Movie)

(Actor)

Big Guns Talk: The Story of the Western 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

Maverick 1994 (Movie)

Albert Bierstadt (Actor)

Visions of Light: The Art of Cinematography 1993 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)
Producer (2)

The Maiden Danced to Death 2010 (Movie)

(Producer)

Torn from the Flag 2006 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)
Director (1)

The Long Shadow 1991 (Movie)

(Director)

Biography

Along with Laszlo Kovacs, a fellow student who also fled Hungary in 1956, Vilmos Zsigmond rose to prominence in the 1970s.

The son of a well-known Hungarian soccer player Zsigmond became interested in photography at a young age. He earned a degree from the State Academy of Motion Picture and Theatre Arts in Budapest and spent five years working at a film studio in Hungary, working his way up to director of photography. With the Russian invasion in 1956, he fled to the USA where he found work in the film industry difficult to obtain. After spending nearly seven years copying insurance documents on microfilm, operating a portrait photograph studio and working in a custom photo lab, Zsigmond landed work on independent features. Between 1963 and 1970, he shot 14 pictures under the name William Zsigmond (including the documentary "Mondo Mod" with Kovacs in 1967). He is known for his fluid camerawork and vivid use of color, often tailoring the cinematography to the specific project thereby evoking a particular mood and ambiance. Zsigmond won acclaim for his work on two Robert Altman features "McCabe and Mrs. Miller" (1971) and "the Long Goodbye" (1973), Steven Spielberg's first feature "The Sugarland Express" (1974) and his sci-fi classic "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" (1977), which earned Zsigmond an Oscar. Zsigmond has also worked with directors John Boorman ("Deliverance" 1972) Brian De Palma ("Obsession" 1976; "Blow Out" 1980), Michael Cimino ("Heaven's Gate" 1980), Mark Rydell ("The River" 1984) and Sean Penn ("The Crossing Guard" 1995).

Relationships

Bozena Zsigmond

Mother

Julia Zsigmond

Daughter

Susi Zsigmond

Daughter

Elizabeth Fuzes

Wife
divorced

Vilmo Zsigmond

Father

EDUCATION

Academy for Theater and Film Art

Budapest 1951

Milestones

2006

Received an Oscar nomination as Best Cinematographer for "The Black Dahlia"

2001

Earned an Emmy nomination for his work on "The Mists of Avalon"

1996

Was the cinematographer for "The Ghost and the Darkness"

1992

Earned an Emmy for his work on the TV-movie "Stalin"

1990

Was the cinematographer for the Jack Nicholson directed "The Two Jakes"

1990

Again worked with Brian De Palma on "The Bonfire of the Vanities"

1981

Was the cinematographer on the Brian De Palma thriller "Blow Out"

1980

Again worked with Michael Cimino on "Heaven's Gate"

1978

Earned an Oscar nomination for Best Cinematographer on Michael Cimino's "The Deer Hunter"

1977

Won an Oscar for his work as the cinematographer on Steven Spielberg's "Close Encounters of the Third Kind"

1976

Worked with Brian De Palma on "Obsession"

1973

Again worked as the cinematographer on Robert Altman's "The Long Goodbye"

1970

First feature with director Robert Altman "McCabe & Mrs. Miller"

1963

First feature as director of photography, "The Sadist/Profile of Terror"; credited as William Zsigmond

1962

Was camera operator on "The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies"

1956

Immigrated to US along with Laszlo Kovacks; brought footage of the Budapest uprising of October

Worked as stills photographer and cinematographer of educational films, then on commercials

Began directing first feature in late 1990, the Israeli-Hungarian co-production "The Prodigal Father/The Prodigal Son"

Bonus Trivia

.

"I think that every picture has its own world and I want to create a look for that particular picture each time I'm doing one. My mind only starts working when I read the script and see the sets. Then you start creating that world." --Zsigmond quoted in "Masters of Light: Conversations with Contemporary Cinematographers" by Dennis Schaefer and Larry Salvato (Berkley, CA: University of California Press, 1984).

SIMILAR ARTICLES