Saturday, December 19, 2009

KARL E. DeVOS 1972-2009

Karl DeVos, my cameraman for Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, died on December 12, 2009. He was 37.

Words fail. I'm still absorbing the shock of the news.

When we embarked on the adventure of Jekyll and Hyde earlier this century, digital filmmaking was an iffy proposition. Festivals and distributors weren't embracing them. Karl's background was in commercials and industrials as a shooter and an editor. He embraced the mad notion of doing a period feature film, and gave it everything he had. He created beautiful images on a tight schedule and budget. One of the greatest compliments I ever heard regarding the look of the film came from filmmaker and artist Frank Dietz, who saw the film projected at the State Theater in Modesto, California. After the screening Frank wondered if the film was shot on 35mm film.

Karl researched and plotted the light design carefully. He studied classical American film composition of the 1940's based on my design notes. Karl fought with the primitive composite software that was available to us to create images, designed the main titles and edited the montage sequences for the film. Karl was responsible for researching and assembling our first edit suite at the studio. His contributions were enormous and invaluable.

I enjoyed every moment of our collaboration. We worked on other feature projects together, as well as a few industrials and informational films for other clients. Karl loved old movies. He collected vintage cameras. He loved my mother's fried chicken.

Watching this trailer on a computer doesn't do his work justice or show it in the proper "light', but I put it here as homage and thanks. Because words fail.

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