John Bailey (cinematographer)

John Ira Bailey, ASC (born August 10, 1942) is an American cinematographer and film director known for his collaborations with directors Paul Schrader, Lawrence Kasdan, Michael Apted, and Ken Kwapis. In August 2017, Bailey was elected president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.[1] He was succeeded by casting director David Rubin in August 2019.[2]

John Bailey
President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
In office
August 8, 2017  August 7, 2019
Preceded byCheryl Boone Isaacs
Succeeded byDavid Rubin
Personal details
John Ira Bailey

(1942-08-10) August 10, 1942
Moberly, Missouri, U.S.
Carol Littleton (m. 1972)
EducationUSC School of Cinematic Arts
OccupationCinematographer, film director

Life and career

He earned a graduate degree from the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts in 1968.[3] He spent 11 years apprenticing as a crew member with cinematographers such as Vilmos Zsigmond and Néstor Almendros, working on Two-Lane Blacktop, The Late Show, 3 Women, Winter Kills, and Days of Heaven. He earned his first credit as director of photography for Boulevard Nights, followed by Ordinary People and American Gigolo.

In 1985, Bailey shared the Cannes Film Festival Best Artistic Contribution Award with Eiko Ishioka and Philip Glass for Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters. He was nominated for the Independent Spirit Award for Best Cinematography for Tough Guys Don't Dance and the Camerimage Golden Frog Award for Best Cinematography for Forever Mine. He is a member of the American Society of Cinematographers and member of the jury at the Venice Film Festival in 1987.[4] He worked on numerous comedy films such as Groundhog Day, As Good as It Gets, and The Producers. He is a veteran documentary cameraman.

Bailey's credits as a director include The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe, China Moon, Mariette in Ecstasy, and Via Dolorosa. Bailey has been married to film editor Carol Littleton since March 1972.


As director of photography

Year Title Dir. Notes
1971 Mad Dogs & Englishmen Pierre Aidige Additional photography
Photographed by David Myers
1972 Premonition Alan Rudolph
1979 Boulevard Nights Michael Pressman
Winter Kills William Richert Additional photography
Photographed by Vilmos Zsigmond
1980 American Gigolo Paul Schrader
Ordinary People Robert Redford
City in Fear Jud Taylor
1981 Continental Divide Michael Apted
Honky Tonk Freeway John Schlesinger
1982 Cat People Paul Schrader
That Championship Season Jason Miller
1983 Without a Trace Stanley R. Jaffe
The Big Chill Lawrence Kasdan
1984 Racing with the Moon Richard Benjamin
The Pope of Greenwich Village Stuart Rosenberg
1985 Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters Paul Schrader Cannes Festival Award for Best Artistic Contribution
Silverado Lawrence Kasdan
1986 Brighton Beach Memoirs Gene Saks
Crossroads Walter Hill
1987 Swimming to Cambodia Jonathan Demme
Light of Day Paul Schrader
Tough Guys Don't Dance Norman Mailer Nominated- Independent Spirit Award for Best Cinematography
1988 Vibes Ken Kwapis
The Accidental Tourist Lawrence Kasdan
1990 My Blue Heaven Herbert Ross
1991 A Brief History of Time Errol Morris
1993 Groundhog Day Harold Ramis
In the Line of Fire Wolfgang Petersen
1994 Nobody's Fool Robert Benton
1996 Passion James Lapine
Extreme Measures Michael Apted
1997 As Good as It Gets James L. Brooks
1998 Always Outnumbered Michael Apted
Living Out Loud Richard LaGravenese
1999 The Out-of-Towners Sam Weisman
Forever Mine Paul Schrader Nominated- Camerimage Golden Frog
For Love of the Game Sam Raimi
2000 Michael Jordan to the Max Don Kempf
James D. Stern
2001 Antitrust Peter Howitt
The Anniversary Party Jennifer Jason Leigh

Alan Cumming

2002 The Kid Stays in the Picture Nanette Burstein
Brett Morgen
Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood Callie Khouri
Naqoyqatsi Godfrey Reggio Additional photography
Photographed by Russell Lee Fine
2003 How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days Donald Petrie
2004 Incident at Loch Ness Zak Penn
2005 The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants Ken Kwapis
Must Love Dogs Gary David Goldberg
The Producers Susan Stroman
2006 The Architect Matthew Tauber
2007 The Death and Life of Bobby Z John Herzfeld
License to Wed Ken Kwapis
2008 Mad Money Callie Khouri
Over Her Dead Body Jeff Lowell
2009 The Greatest Shana Feste
Brief Interviews with Hideous Men John Krasinski
He's Just Not That into You Ken Kwapis
2010 When in Rome Mark Steven Johnson
Ramona and Beezus Elizabeth Allen Rosenbaum
Country Strong Shana Feste
2012 Big Miracle Ken Kwapis
2013 The Way, Way Back Nat Faxon
Jim Rash
A.C.O.D. Stu Zicherman
Snake and Mongoose Wayne Holloway
2014 The Angriest Man in Brooklyn Phil Alden Robinson
The Forger Philip Martin
2015 A Walk in the Woods Ken Kwapis
2016 Burn Your Maps Jordan Roberts
2017 How to Be a Latin Lover Ken Marino
2018 An Actor Prepares Steve Clark
2019 Phil Greg Kinnear Upcoming

As director

Year Title Notes
1991 The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe CableACE Award for Dramatic or Theatrical Special
Nominated- CableACE Award for Directing in a Comedy Special
1994 China Moon
1996 Mariette in Ecstasy
2000 Via Dolorosa
2001 NSync: Bigger Than Live Short film

Awards and nominations




Non-profit organization positions
Preceded by
Cheryl Boone Isaacs
President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
Succeeded by
David Rubin
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