[Left] with dir Todd Phillips - "Starsky & Hutch" [2003]





Born: ?, Alberta, Canada, as Barry F. Peterson.

Career: 'Peterson has a passion for the camera - a passion he discovered at a young age. As a kid growing up in Alberta, Canada, Peterson spent his summers behind the lens of a Super 8, building sets with his friends and making models for homemade movies that paid adolescent homage to 'Star Wars'. His love of special effects led him to work with Canadian effects houses where his passions were honed until he not only had the will but the skill to make the impossible possible.'

Moved to California, but after years in L.A., he became tired of the dog-eat-dog city and lifestyle. He missed Canada. So he, his wife and their two school-aged sons relocated to Edmonton in 2005.

Ph numerous commercials dir by Dale Fay, Hall Train, Kinka Usher [for Apple, Sony, Verizon, Firestone Tires, a.o.], Steve Chase [for Pizza Hut], Tim Burton [for Timex], Noam Murro [for Levi's, Adidas], Simon West [for Jeep], Traktor [for Pepsi Cola], Jason Smith [for Nike, Mitsubishi], Rob Cohen [for Mercedes], Stylewar [for Liberty Mutual], a.o. Ph music videos.

Awards: CSC Award 'Best Commercial Cinematography' [1996] for 'Duel' [for Pontiac]; Silver Clio Award [1998]; Cannes 'Golden Lion' [1998].

Website: Barry Peterson

For Barry Peterson, cinematography started out as a childhood hobby, but he always knew it would become his career. Peterson was 13 when movies like 'Star Wars' fuelled his dream of working behind the camera. "I was a kid with a Super 8 camera and it all evolved from there," he says.

Peterson's talent for cinematography, developed through working on commercials, has expanded to include work on feature films. He recently completed 'Dark Blue', a thriller directed by Ron Shelton and starring Kurt Russell. Set in 1992, 'Dark Blue' explores the L.A. riots that ensued in the days after the acquittal of four police officers charged in the beating of Rodney King.

Peterson says his commercial cinematography experience has given him skills that have been instrumental in his long-form work. Being trained to tell a story in 30 seconds introduced him to creative storytelling and lighting techniques. But he says that until quite recently it was difficult for a commercial cinematographer to make the jump to long form because of stigmas associated with commercial work.

"There was definitely a time when commercial DOPs were known as slow prima donnas," says Peterson, who encountered this attitude before starting work on his first feature film when film executives expressed concern that he might not be able to make his days. "But the whole commercial market's evolved so much. What's started to happen now is the commercial guys are starting to move more and more into movies."

Peterson has lived in L.A. for the past seven years, where he continues to do a lot of work with fellow Canadian, director Steve Chase. He comes to Toronto, where he started as a freelancer 10 years ago, about twice a year.

When he graduated from high school, Peterson moved to L.A. to work as an FX cameraman at the now-defunct FX studio Ultra Image in Burbank, CA, then moved to Toronto to become in-house DOP at the also-defunct FX studio, Light and Motion. He made the move back to L.A. in response to a changing FX scene. "I felt the effects I was in at that time were rapidly changing and if I didn't get out I wouldn't be shooting anymore."

Because Peterson came to cinematography as an FX cameraman, his craft as a cinematographer is very much self-directed. "If you work your way up as a camera operator or a camera assistant, you get to watch other cameramen and learn from their tricks and I didn't have the opportunity to sit behind someone and watch what they're doing."

For Peterson, the most important aspect of his approach to cinematography is effective communication with the director. "My job as a cinematographer is to communicate to my crew and everyone else on the set what the director's vision is, to quantify that in photographic terms." [From article by Laura Bracken on the 'Playback' website, May 2002.]




Millennium [Michael Anderson] c; cameraman (Light and Motion crew); ph: Rene Ohashi


Mustard Bath/Bain de moutarde [Darrell Wasyk] c


Baby Steps [Geoffrey Nauffts] c; short/25m


Coyote Ugly [David McNally] s35/c; co-addph; ph: Amir Mokri


Zoolander [Ben Stiller] s35/c


Orange County [Jake Kasdan] c; addph; ph: Greg Gardiner


Dark Blue [Ron Shelton] s35/c; addph: Mark Vargo


Hollywood Homicide/Hollywood Cops [Ron Shelton] p/c; 2uc: Paul Hughen; add 2uc (+ add 2ud): Alexander Witt; aph: David B. Nowell


Starsky & Hutch [Todd Phillips] p/c; 2uc: Paul Hughen; aph: David B. Nowell


Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story [Rawson Marshall Thurber] s35/c; co-addph; ph: Jerzy Zielinski


Jumper [Doug Liman] s35/c; 2uc: Paul Hughen; Ann Arbor ph: Lon Stratton; aph: Jeremy Braben & (Tokyo) Michael FitzMaurice; uwph: Peter Zuccarini; vfx ph: Dennis McHugh


21 Jump Street [Phil Lord & Chris Miller] HD (ARRI ALEXA)+s35-to-35mm scope (+ D-Cinema)/c; 2uc: Lukasz Jogalla & (uncred) Tyler Allison


The Watch/Neighborhood Watch [Akiva Schaffer] HD (ARRI ALEXA)-to-35mm scope (+ D-Cinema)/c; 2uc: Jonathan Taylor; aph: Hans Bjerno; filmed 2011-12


We're the Millers [Rawson Marshall Thurber] HD (ARRI ALEXA)-to-35mm scope (+ D-Cinema)/c; aph: Steve Koster


The Lego Movie [Phil Lord & Chris Miller] HD (ARRI ALEXA)-to-35mm scope (+ D-Cinema [also 3-D version])/c; anim/100m; live action ph; ph (2012): Pablo Plaisted


22 Jump Street [Phil Lord & Chris Miller] HD (ARRI ALEXA XT)-to-35mm scope (+ D-Cinema)/c; 2uc: Lukasz Jogalla & Tyler Allison; aph 2u: Phil Pastuhov; uwph 2u: Raphy Molinary


Sisters/The Nest [Jason Moore] HD (ARRI ALEXA XT)-to-D-Cinema (scope)/c; 2uc: Eric Robertson; aph: Patrick Longman; filmed 2014 & 2015


Vacation [John Francis Daley & Jonathan M. Goldstein] HD (ARRI ALEXA XT)-to-35mm scope (+ D-Cinema)/c; 2uc: Paul Hughen; aph: Michael Kelem


Central Intelligence [Rawson Marshall Thurber] HD (ARRI ALEXA)/c; 2uc: Jason Ellson; aph: Brian Heller


The Space Between Us/Out of This World [Peter Chelsom] HD (ARRI ALEXA) scope/c; 2uc: Daniel Gold; aph: Hans Bjerno


Just Getting Started/Villa Capri [Ron Shelton] HD (ARRI ALEXA Mini)-to-D-Cinema (scope)/c; ph Los Angeles (reshoots in 2017): Daniel Gold; aph: Steve Koster


Game Night [John Francis Daley & Jonathan M. Goldstein] HD (ARRI ALEXA XT)/c; 2uc (+ c.op 'a' cam): Jason Ellson


The Spy Who Dumped Me [Susanna Fogel] HD/c; 2uc (+ c.op 'a' cam): Jason Ellson


Goosebumps: Slappy Halloween/Goosebumps: Horrorland/Goosebumps 2 [Ari Sandel] HD/c




The Cape [pilot dir by Simon West] 10-part series/RED, 2011; aph (pilot): Kurt Soderling; other ph: John Newby & Michael Negrin


Brooklyn Nine-Nine [pilot dir by Phil Lord & Christopher Miller] series/HD, 2013-present; 1st season, 2013-14 (22 ep)


Good Session [John Hamburg] pilot/HD; for CBS-tv




Terror from Within [no dir credited] s8/c; short/6m; as actor/co-prod; no ph credited; restored in 2012