American Cinematographer Magazine

Fred LeRoy Granville
According to the Internet Movie Database and the 1917 Motion Picture News Studio Directory, Fred LeRoy Granville was born in Warnambool, Victoria, Australia, in 1896, and educated in New Zealand. The February 1, 1922, issue of American Cinematographer stated that he was “a bloody Britisher by birth” and “first saw the light at Worton Hall, Isleworth, Middlesex, England.” Granville became interested in photography as a boy. His first experience with cinematography came in 1913 under the guidance of James Crosby at the Selig Polyscope studio in Edendale, near downtown Los Angeles. Granville photographed the documentary Rescue of the Stefansson Expedition (1914) and a number of features and serials for Universal, including Liberty — A Daughter of the U.S.A. (1916) and The Heart of Humanity (1918). He also shot several of cowboy actor Tom Mix’s early Fox features.

In 1920, Granville went to England, where he worked as a cinematographer and director into the mid-1920s. He died in London on November 14, 1932, from complications related to Bright’s disease.

J.D. Jennings
Although he was one of the founders of the ASC and remained active in the motion-picture industry until his death, Joseph Devereaux Jennings appears to have left the Society sometime before 1922.

He was born in Utah on September 22, 1884, and graduated from the University of Utah. His film career began around 1910, and his earliest confirmed credits are with Thomas H. Ince’s unit of the New York Motion Picture Corporation. He later worked for Fox, photographing Fame and Fortune (1918), The Daredevil (1920) and other early Tom Mix features.

In the mid-1920s, he shot several Buster Keaton comedies, including The General (1926) and Steamboat Bill, Jr. (1927). The dawn of the sound era found Jennings at Warner Bros., where he photographed the early two-color Technicolor extravaganzas Bride of the Regiment and Golden Dawn (both 1930). He was also behind the camera on the classic gangster film Public Enemy (1931), but as the 1930s wore on, he began to concentrate on trick effects work. He finally settled at Paramount, where his brother, Gordon Jennings, headed the special-effects department. J.D. Jennings succumbed to cancer on March 12, 1952.

Robert S. Newhard
As early as 1922, Robert Sinclair Newhard was noted as being “one of the greatest aerial cinematographers in the world,” and it is not surprising that he eventually found his niche in the industry as a specialized cameraman.

He was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania, on April 28, 1884, and began his film career in 1910 by working with Fred Balshofer’s Bison Life Motion Pictures unit of the New York Motion Picture Company. He stayed with the NYMPC when Thomas Ince took over the production reins, and was behind the camera on several early William S. Hart Westerns, including The Bargain (1914) and On the Night Stage (1915).

After a five-year stint with Ince, Newhard worked for three years at Paralta Plays, Inc., and followed this engagement with tenures at Fox and Goldwyn. His last major credit is on Universal’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923) — although star Lon Chaney insisted that Virgil Miller, ASC photograph all of his close-ups on that film. Newhard would receive first-cinematographer credit on a handful of other films, ending with his only talkie, Party Girl (1930). By 1933, the ASC membership roster carried Newhard’s name under the category of Second Cinematographers. Newhard died in Los Angeles on May 20, 1945, from the effects of bladder cancer.

L. Guy Wilky
L. Guy Wilky’s stand for collective bargaining brought a sudden end to his career as a director of photography. He was born in Phoenix, Arizona, on October 12, 1888, and developed an interest in photography at the age of 10. After his junior year at the University of Arizona, Wilky took a job with the Philadelphia-based Lubin Manufacturing Co.’s southwest unit, which was in Tucson during the summer of 1912. “I went back to the university to get my B.S. in mining engineering,” Wilky recalled, “and after graduating, I joined Lubin again in Silver City, New Mexico. The director, Romaine Fielding, was having trouble with his cameraman and told me to learn as soon as possible so I could take over the job. We soon moved to Las Vegas, New Mexico, and it was there that I made my first picture, The Rattle Snake, in August 1913.”

Wilky left Lubin in October 1915, and came to California, where he worked briefly for Universal before taking a job with the American Film Company in Santa Barbara, where he worked with fledgling director Frank Borzage. “I was with American just about one year. Then eight companies were canceled one week because of the war situation … and the Borzage company was one of them. I didn’t get work again until January 1917, when I went to work for the Thomas Ince Company. I changed from one studio to another and finally got to Paramount, where I spent the best years of my career working with William C. and Cecil B. DeMille.”

Wilky was active in attempting to organize the International Photographers Union in the late 1920s, and his efforts led the major studios to blacklist him. After seven years at Paramount, his last credits as principal cinematographer were on a pair of low-budget pictures for Tiffany-Stahl in 1928. He traveled to the South Seas to work on the classic Tabu, and later shot a film in Ceylon. But in Hollywood, he was relegated to working second camera on six-day oaters, and he was forced to give up his ASC membership because he couldn’t afford the dues. He finally returned to the studios as a second-unit cameraman and camera assistant, finishing his career at Columbia in the 1950s.

Wilky was a member of the original Static Club but was dissatisfied with that organization. “It was just a social club without much interest in education. So a few of us … met at the home of one of the fellows and talked over the idea of a new and better club — that was the start of the ASC.” When he received a 50-year pin at the ASC’s anniversary dinner in 1969, Wilky considered the token “one of my prized treasures.” He died of a heart attack in Walnut Creek, California, on Christmas Day in 1971.

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© 2004 American Cinematographer.