Edit

Biography

Jump to: Overview (2) | Mini Bio (1) | Trivia (16)

Overview (2)

Born in Breslau, Silesia, Germany [now Wroclaw, Dolnoslaskie, Poland]
Died in New York City, New York, USA

Mini Bio (1)

Eugen Schüfftan moved from his motherland, Germany, to France in 1933 to escape the rising Nazi movement. He moved to the US in 1940 and became a member of Local 644, the East Coast cinematographers chapter of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE). He invented the Schüfftan Process for optical special effects that was used until it was replaced by the simpler matte method. He received the Academy Award for black and white cinematography in 1962 for The Hustler (1961).

For a variety of reasons, Schufftan did not receive proper screen credit for many films he photographed. Director Edgar G. Ulmer, who worked with Schufftan on several films, said it was because he wasn't in the ASC (American Society of Cinematographers) and therefore wasn't allowed to take screen credit. Ulmer said that on one or two of the films he made with Schufftan he was forced to credit Jockey Arthur Feindel, the camera operator, as the cinematographer because of that.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Artemis-9 (v's & corrections by A. Nonymous)

Trivia (16)

When Schüfftan moved to the US, he became a member of Local 644, the East Coast cinematographers chapter of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE). He received the Academy Award for black and white cinematography in 1962 for "The Hustler." He did not receive proper screen credit for many films he photographed.
Inventor of the Schüfftan Process for optical special effects, used until it was replaced by the simpler matte method.
He moved to France in 1933 to escape the Nazis.
He moved to the United States in 1940.
One innovation was called after him "Schüfftan-Verfahren" which he invented together with Ernst Kunstmann. This invention made it possible to save a lot of money for huge scenery by using a mirror trick which combines two pictures to one. In this way small models appeared like giant buildings.
After the war Eugen Schüfftan became an international cinematographer who worked regularly in the USA, France and Switzerland in the next years. Only for a pure German production he didn't work again in those years.
He became established as a cinematographer in the 30s but his career in Germany came to an abrupt end with the rise of the National Socialist. As a Jew he was no longer able to work from 1933. He emigrated to France where he continued his film career in France as well as in England.
Eugen Schüfftan became a cinematographer himself and his first movie in this position was "Jagd auf dich" (1929).
When he met the architect Hans Poelzig who was an important art director in the film business, Eugen Schüfftan came in touch with the film as well. Because he was especially interested in pictures he was fascinated by the camera and its creative possibilities. Therefore he began to contrive how to create fantastic pictures for the film and one result was the already mentioned "Schüfftan-Verfahren".
Besides his activity as a cinematographer he remained busy as a special effect artist as well and in this function he was responsible for the productions "The Dark Mirror" (1946), "The Magnetic Monster" (1953), "Ulisse" (1954) and "Marianne de ma jeunesse" (1955).
He also realised few movies as a director.
He invented the Schüfftan process, a special effects technique that employed mirrors to insert actors into miniature sets. One of the first uses of the process was for Metropolis (1927), directed by Fritz Lang. The technique was widely used throughout the first half of the 20th century until it was supplanted by the traveling matte and bluescreen techniques.
Before Eugen Schüfftan made a career in the film business he studied at a art college and became a successful painter. Later he was active as an architect and an ornamental painter.
The cinematographer Eugen Schüfftan was not only famous as a cinematographer but also for his technical innovations of special effects.
When France became occupied as well the seemingly secure harbor of his escape ended and he went to the USA in 1940. There he was able to continue his film career in the same year. Till the end of World War II he shot the movies "Hitler's Madman" (1943), "It Happened Tomorrow "(1944), "Bluebeard" (1944) and "Strange Illusion" (1945).
His collaboration with the director Marcel Carné led to very impressive results.

See also

Other Works | Publicity Listings | Official Sites | Contact Info

Contribute to This Page