L. D. Clawson

Lawrence Dallin "Dal" Clawson (October 5, 1885 – July 18, 1937) founded the American Society of Cinematographers.[1]

L. D. "Dal" Clawson
Clawson in 1917
Lawrence Dallin Clawson

(1885-10-05)October 5, 1885
DiedJuly 18, 1937(1937-07-18) (aged 51)
Cause of deathintestinal malady
Other namesDal Clawson
TitleA.S.C. founding member
RelativesElliott J. Clawson (brother)


He was born around October 4, 1885, in Salt Lake City, Utah, to Stanley Clawson and Mary Jones.[1]

His first known feature credits as a cinematographer are for director Lois Weber at Bosworth, Inc., and Universal in 1914–15. This was after graduating from the University of Utah as a mechanical engineer. He also worked for the American Film Company and Ince-Triangle-KayBee, where photographic superintendent and future director Irvin Willat would remember Clawson as “sort of like a news cameraman” who was not especially noted for his lighting style. He also worked around the world, even being decorated by the King of Siam for his work. His book on this adventure was entitled How I Shot the King of Siam.

By the early 1920s, Clawson was chief cinematographer for popular star Anita Stewart at Louis B. Mayer Productions, but later in the decade, he often worked as a second cameraman. He was lead cinematographer on the early talkie Syncopation, but his few remaining published credits are for expedition films such as Hunting Tigers in India (1929) and low-budget East Coast productions such as The Black King and The Horror (both 1932).

A resident of Northvale, New Jersey, Clawson died at a hospital in Englewood, New Jersey, on July 18, 1937, of an intestinal malady. He died within an hour of his own mother's death.[1]



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