His impressive list of second-unit and additional photography feature credits include Terminator: Dark Fate; Black Panther; Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens; Star Trek; and more.
New ASC member Bruce McCleery’s path to Hollywood began in suburban Pennsylvania, where his mother — who worked as an English and humanities high school teacher — exposed him to art, literature, music and culture and took him to the cinema and theater as well as museums and sculpture gardens. “I was itching to expand my horizons, and that led me to a fantastic high school experience at a boarding school in New Hampshire, Phillips Exeter Academy,” McCleery says.
He enrolled at Vassar College, where he studied philosophy for two years before embarking on a year-long excursion around Europe and the U.S. He traveled with a Zeiss Contaflex SLR 35mm camera, which “shaped the way I see and interpret the world,” he shares. After spending a lot of time in the darkroom, “hovering over my prints,” he says, he returned to school to study film.
McCleery then pursed a graduate degree at UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television, where he served as a cinematographer on many student films. After graduation, he embarked on a successful career as a lighting technician and gaffer on pictures such as Independence Day (photographed by Karl-Walter Lindenlaub, ASC, BVK), Pleasantville (John Lindley, ASC) and Friday Night Lights (Tobias Schliessler, ASC).
With an ever-present pull toward cinematography, McCleery eventually transitioned into photographing short films, music videos and commercials as well as independent features and second-unit work.
His impressive list of second-unit and additional photography feature credits includes Terminator: Dark Fate (Ken Seng); Black Panther (Rachel Morrison, ASC); Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens (Dan Mindel, ASC, BSC, SASC); Tomorrowland (Claudio Miranda, ASC); Star Trek (Mindel); Star Trek Into Darkness (Mindel); Star Trek Beyond (Stephen F. Windon, ASC, ACS); Super 8 (Larry Fong, ASC); Mission: Impossible III (Mindel); and Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol (Robert Elswit, ASC), among many others.
He has also served as director of photography on the features Shoot First and Pray You Live (Because Luck Has Nothing to Do with It), Reservations, Don’t Fade Away and Sabotage.
His upcoming credits include second-unit work on the features Chaos Walking, Wrath of Man, Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins, and Samaritan.