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Caleb Deschanel

Caleb Deschanel, A.S.C.
Caleb Deschanel, 2009 in San Diego
Born Joseph Caleb Deschanel
(1944-09-21) September 21, 1944 [1]
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Alma mater
Occupation Cinematographer, director
Years active 1969–present
Spouse(s) Mary Jo Weir (m. 1972)

Joseph Caleb Deschanel, A.S.C. (born September 21, 1944)[2] is an American film cinematographer and film/television director. He has been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Cinematography five times.[3] He is currently a member of the National Film Preservation Board of the Library of Congress, representing the American Society of Cinematographers.[4]


  • Early life 1
  • Career 2
  • Awards 3
  • Filmography 4
    • As director 4.1
    • As cinematographer 4.2
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Early life

Deschanel was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Ann Ward (née Orr) and Paul Jules Deschanel. His father was French, from Oullins, Rhône, and his mother was American.[5] Deschanel was raised in his mother's Quaker religion.[6] He went to Severn School for high school. He attended Johns Hopkins University from 1962 to 1966, where he met Walter Murch, with whom he staged happenings, including a memorable one in which Murch simply sat down and ate an apple for an audience. Murch graduated a year ahead of him and encouraged Deschanel to follow him 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, a group that attracted the attention of the Hollywood system. Following his graduation, he attended the AFI Conservatory and graduated in 1969 as a member of its first class.[7]


Deschanel on the set of The Spiderwick Chronicles, April 2007

Deschanel's cinematography credits include A Woman Under the Influence (1974, John Cassavetes directing), Being There (1979, Hal Ashby directing), The Black Stallion (1979), The Right Stuff (1983), The Natural (1984), Fly Away Home (1996), The Patriot (2000), Timeline (2003), and The Passion of the Christ (2004, Mel Gibson directing).

He directed his first film The Escape Artist in 1982, and a second, Crusoe, in 1989. In 1990, Deschanel directed three episodes of the David Lynch series Twin Peaks. In 2007, he directed an episode of Bones, which stars his daughter Emily. He was the cinematographer in the 2009 film My Sister's Keeper. He was also the cinematographer for the 2011 thriller Dream House.

He was an original member of the Francis Ford Coppola.


He was awarded the ASC Lifetime Achievement Award[8] in 2010 by the American Society of Cinematographers.

He has been nominated for five Academy Awards, each time in the field of cinematography. The first nomination came in 1983 for the film The Right Stuff. His second was in 1984 for The Natural. A third came in 1996 for Fly Away Home, then a fourth in 2000 for The Patriot and finally a fifth for his work in The Passion of the Christ.

He also won the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) award for his work in The Patriot.


As director

As cinematographer


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  6. ^ "A passion to convey a director's vision - Los Angeles Times". 2005-02-27. Retrieved 2010-10-14. 
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  8. ^ "The American Society of Cinematographers". ASC. Retrieved 2010-10-14. 

External links

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