As an 83-year-old emerging artist, I am working with long-practiced concepts and skills from my cinematography days, where color, composition, and the play of light and shadow were my daily companions to story telling. In my new creative life I sometimes begin with objects ("Everyday-Things") and sometimes with street scenes ("Time-Flows.") And then I start to play.
I grew up in New York City and escaped the confines of the Eisenhower years as quickly as possible, moving to Beirut, Lebanon, in 1957 and then to Paris, France, where I learned French, studied filmmaking, and worked as a fledgling assistant director for American film productions shooting in France, including Jules Dassin’s Phaedra and Stanley Donen’s Two for the Road.
In 1967 I moved to Berkeley. On the strength of a couple of my expressionistic black-and-white documentaries, I was hired at KQED in 1968 as a filmmaker to shoot and edit daily assignments for the game-changing Newsroom under Editor Mel Wax and Producer Dave Grieve. When then-president Nixon cut PBS funding to the bone, I was let go along with most of my colleagues.
The two following years in Los Angeles were two years too many. I returned North to Berkeley, found and married the love of my live, Victoria, and began establishing a reputation as a Bay-Area cinematographer shooting commercials and high-end corporate films.
Currently I continue to teach film and video lighting to grad and undergrad film students at the Academy of Art University via online classrooms. I also shoot the food photographs for the blog (www.wisekitchen.com) of my wife, cookbook author Victoria Wise.
On January 31, 2019, we moved from Oakland to Amador City, California.