Lee Garmes, ASC, DGA, ISPA, began his film career in 1916 with the New York Motion Picture Company and joined Thomas H. Ince on the West Coast afterward.
With 111 feature films to his credit (14 for producing and directing and 97 for cinematography), Mr. Garmes is one of the most prolific and accomplished filmmakers in history. Among his film credits are THE GRAND DUCHESS & THE WAITER (Mal St. Clair and Adolph Menjou), THE JUNGLE BOOK, SINCE YOU WENT AWAY, DUEL IN THE SUN, LAND OF THE PHARAOHS, MOROCCO, DETECTIVE STORY, the original SCARFACE, CRIME WITHOUT PASSION, ANGELS OVER BROADWAY, THE SCOUNDREL, THE PARADINE CASE, THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY.
He directed the photography on six films that have been nominated for an Academy Award, won an Academy Award for SHANGHAI EXPRESS and has received the Eastman Kodak Award twice. Mr. Garmes, a brilliant experimenter who was not afraid to let risk factors govern his life, was an industry pioneer: He was the first to introduce incandescent lighting (then called mazda lights) to American movie sets (which cut lighting costs by 75%). He produced and directed the first 3-D movie (HANNAH LEE); photographed the first 70mm feature in Super Panavision (THE BIG FISHERMAN) and produced the first feature shot entirely on videotape and transferred to 35mm negative (WHY?). Long before satellite technologies could make possible the Turner Broadcasting Network, for instance, Mr. Garmes could be heard predicting, if not specifying, such possibilities for the future to his wide circle of friends and associates.
American Cinematographer Magazine of November 1978 (page 1094) reports, "Although officially unaccredited, Lee Garmes photographed a considerable portion of GONE WITH THE WIND. Many consider the famous railroad yard sequence among his finest cinematic efforts."
Always surrounded by an entourage of young, aspiring talents, Mr. Garmes was one of the most generous filmmakers with his time, money and wisdom that ever lived. He serves as an example to other celebrities and professionals who have reached a similar status in the motion picture industry.
Lee was lovingly married to well-known actress Ruth Hall for many years before he passed away in 1978. Lee Garmes was a mentor to producer/director James Jaeger.
See Producer's Perspective
James Jaeger's Audio Interview of LEE GARMES
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