Michael Chapman, a two-time Oscar-nominated cinematographer for Raging Bull and The Fugitive whose dozens of credits also include fellow Best Picture nominees The Godfather, Taxi Driver and Jaws, has died. He was 84. His wife Amy Holden Jones said on social media that he died Sunday but offered no other details.
A 2004 recipient of the American Society of Cinematographers’ Lifetime Achievement Award, Chapman worked on such memorable movie moments as the bone-crunching boxing action in Martin Scorsese’s Raging Bull (1980), blood-curdling shark attacks in Steven Spielberg’s breakout smash Jaws (1975), the heart-stopping train crash in The Fugitive (1987), the soul-stirring final concert by the Band in Scorsese’s The Last Waltz and the playful pairing of Michael Jordan and Looney Tunes characters in Space Jam.
Born in New York City on November 21, 1935, Chapman had some 30 credits as director of photography, ranging from the 1974 Jack Nicholson pic The Last Detail to 2006’s Hoot. He served as a camera operator earlier in his career, working pics including The Godfather and Klute. His DP credits also include Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Wanderers, The Lost Boys, Scrooged, Kindergarten Cop, Six Days Seven Nights, Personal Best and the Steve Martin starrers Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid and The Man with Two Brains.
He also was the DP on Michael Jackson’s extended music video for “Bad,” the second of five straight No. 1 singles from the King of Pop’s 1987 album of the same name. It was the late singer’s follow-up album to the record-shattering Thriller.
Chapman also had small roles in more than a dozen films, most of which he also shot, and directed the 1983 Tom Cruise film All the Right Moves and Daryl Hannah starrer The Clan of the Cave Bear (1986). He also helmed the concert pic Peter Gabriel: Live in Athens 1987, which was filmed at the height of the ex-Genesis singer’s solo popularity but not released until 2013.