American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 88

Francis Kenny, ASC

When you were a child, what film made the strongest
impression on you?
As a kid I never watched movies or television. I became a cinematographer from growing up in the cockpit of a test plane
flown by my grandfather. The airplane is currently in the
National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. I've taken
my daughter to see it. It's called the Flying Laboratory.

Have you made any memorable blunders?
Blunders? Many. Not wearing sunblock, forgetting a birthday...
What is the best professional advice you've ever
received?
'How to walk the line between clever and stupid.' Through
discipline comes freedom.

Which cinematographers, past or
present, do you most admire?
[ASC members] Gregg Toland,
Conrad Hall, Owen Roizman, Vittorio Storaro, Haskell Wexler, Ed Lachman, Emmanuel 'Chivo' Lubezki -
there are many.

What recent books, films or
artworks have inspired you?
The book A Confederacy of Dunces,
Stanley Kubrick's 2001, Victor
Hugo's writings, Charles Dickens,
Tim Ferriss, the Joffrey Ballet, [ASC
associate] Jim Jannard.

What sparked your interest in
photography?
Traveling as a kid from one place to
another. Different states and different countries.

Do you have any favorite genres,
or genres you would like to try?
Something similar to One From the
Heart, where the transitions are live
and built into the sets.

Where did you train and/or
study?
Hofstra University.

If you weren't a cinematographer, what might you be doing
instead?
Inventing products for cinematographers to make their job easier,
which is what I've been doing
recently. Everything moves very fast
today. Smaller, lighter, more mobile
support gear for cameras will give
cinematographers more 'think' time
and help them get through the day
with less setup time.

Who were your early teachers or
mentors?
My professor, David Hoffman, won
the Critics Award at the Cannes Film
Festival at the age of 26. He decided
he hated the business, so he tried
teaching. He taught for one year,
then went back into the film business. I was his student, and he hired me right out of college.
What are some of your key artistic influences?
Rembrandt, Rothko and the Beatles. Robert Kennedy.
How did you get your first break in the business?
Kindness. I helped someone become an operator. Turned out his
best friend was about to direct a movie - Heathers - and I was
recommended.

Which ASC cinematographers recommended you for
membership?
Sandi Sissel, Robert Stevens and Sol Negrin.
How has ASC membership impacted your life and career?
I began to develop real friendships with fellow cinematographers. It's never about competition. It's the place to learn, listen,
teach, borrow, and share the insanity of what we do. The ASC
is a very special place.
‚óŹ

What has been your most satisfying moment on a
project?
Getting out of Afghanistan alive.

88

July 2015

American Cinematographer

Photo by Owen Roizman, ASC.

Close-up



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Cinematographer - July 2015

Contents
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - Cover1
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - Cover2
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 1
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 2
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - Contents
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American Cinematographer - July 2015 - Cover3
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