A tribute to Gary Graver by Joseph McBride
Wellesnet mourns the passing of Gary Graver, who was not only a great friend and source of information for Wellesnet, but a truly wonderful person. Of course, Gary was Orson Welles's invaluable cameraman, and along with Oja Kodar, probably his most important collaborator since their first memorable meeting at the Beverly Hills Hotel in 1970. We send our deepest sympathies to Gary's wife, Jillian, and the entire Graver family.
Sadly, Gary who so tirelessly championed the completion of The Other Side of the Wind over the last 30 years, will now be unable to see it finished -- if the upcoming deal with Showtime should finally happen -- with all indications pointing to a deal being ready to be signed shortly.
Joe McBride wrote to tell me about the sad news, revealing that Gary passed away last night at his home in Rancho Mirage after losing his battle with cancer. In Joe's new book, he writes in some detail about Garys contribution to Orson Welles films from 1970 onward, and he has sent along this tribute to Gary, as well as some of Orson Welles own comments about the cameraman Welles fondly called Rembrandt.
A Tribute to Gary Graver
Gary Graver gave his life to movies and to Orson Welles. Without Gary, Orson would not have been working as a director for the last fifteen years of his life. Gary kept working for Orson until the end of his own life.
Gary was a great cameraman with a lyrical and poetic style, a true sense of beauty that he managed to communicate to the world in all he did.
He worked with everyone from Ed Wood to Billy Wilder in an astonishingly wide-ranging career that encompassed more than 300 films. And he was a great guy. I've never met anyone in the film business who was better liked by everyone he knew.
I was lucky to know Gary for 36 years and I will miss him a lot.
Orson Welles on Gary Graver:
Gary is an absolutely first-class cinematographer. He has a strong visual sense and the taste to go with it. He commands the highest degree of technical expertise, and I know of nobody who can lead a crew with more authority. His people always like him, and he knows how to get that extra degree of effort, and to maintain an atmosphere of enthusiasm on the set.
As a director-producer, I especially prize him for being such an exceptionally fast worker. You are always ahead of schedule with Gary Graver... Above all, he knows how to get it all up on the screen, to make every dollar count. This degree of efficiency and this combination of talent is rare indeed.