Born: 17 May 1959, Tashkent, Uzbekistan, USSR, as Aлик Сахаров. Grew up in Moscow.

Career: 'One of the ways that my parents devised to keep me off the streets when I was growing up in Moscow was to enroll me in a photography course. It was an after school program. I was 12 at the time. We studied sensitometry and printing techniques. I should mention that when I was 15 or 16, my mom gave me enough money to purchase an 8mm camera when my brother was born. She said, your goal is to document his life. I had limited amounts of film, but it was quite a lot of fun. I brought a lot of my still photography experience to making movies. […] Growing up in the Soviet Union, I was only exposed to a certain type of cinema, because it's pretty much controlled by what the government thought you should see. There was very strong censorship, so you were normally only exposed to cinema that was produced in Russia. But, what was good about Soviet cinema was that even within the confines of censorship, Russian filmmakers were always trying and discovered something very profound and poetic.'

Emigrated to the USA in 1981. Worked as a watchmaker until 1984. 'I was able to save enough money to buy a 16mm Éclair camera and 3/4-inch professional video equipment with the purpose of making a documentary about Russian immigrants in Brighton Beach. By 1985 I shot, directed and wrote 'The Russian Touch'. Believe me, it was a very primitive documentary, but it did give me a window into the world of cinema in the United States. I showed it around, and got lucky - somebody from Manhattan Cable noticed and broadcasted it. After that, I got a phone call from a production coordinator at a television studio in New York. It was called J.C. Penney Communications. They had three television studios in New York City. They asked if I was interested in being a freelance camera operator and lighting designer. They said they could probably guarantee me two or three days of work a week for $150 a day. I said, yes, I was absolutely interested. They started calling me, so I quit my job as a watchmaker and began working as a freelance lighting director and video camera operator for a few years. In 1989 or 1990, I got a phone call from Dennis Maneri, a producer. Dennis and I had worked on J.C. Penney productions for a number of years. He told me he was going to produce a film for a friend who is a Hollywood writer. He would like to use a young cinematographer who knows what he's doing. The film was called 'Big and Mean'. It was a 35mm film to be shot with Panavision cameras. When he asked me to shoot his friend's film, I was honored and touched. I said of course. It was a wonderful, rewarding experience photographing a film in 35mm format and seeing projected dailies.' [From interview on the KODAK OnFilm website.]

Ph numerous commercials. Ph music videos dir by Scott Kennedy, a.o.

Awards: AFI [USA] TV Program of the Year [2002] for 'The Sopranos' [for the creative ensemble]; AFI [USA] TV Program of the Year [2004] for 'The Sopranos' [for the creative ensemble]; ASC TV Award nom [2004] for 'The Sopranos' [ep #64 'Long Term Parking' dir by Tim Van Patten]; 'Emmy' Award [2007] for 'Rome' [ep #13].



The Russian Touch [Alik Sakharov] v/c; doc/30m; cph: Frank Holdampf; + prod/co-scrpl/co-ed


Big and Mean [John Raffo] c; short/22m


Páusa [Alik Sakharov] 16mm/b&w; short/17m; + scrpl


Midnight Edition [Howard Libov] c


A Walk with Death [Ron Gorton Sr.] v+16mm/b&w-c; doc/90m


Comfortably Numb [Gavin O'Connor] c


Ayn Rand - A Sense of Life [Michael Paxton] b&w-c; doc/120m (tv-version) & 145m; addph (Los Angeles): Jeffrey Hoffman


Love! Valour! Compassion! [Joe Mantello] c


Animals with the Tollkeeper/Animal Attraction [Michael Di Jiacomo] b&w-c


Ideal [Michael Paxton] b&w/V; short/57m


Lulu on the Bridge [Paul Auster] c


Nothing But the Truth [Rod Lurie] s35/c


Straw Dogs [Rod Lurie] s35+ts-to-35mm scope (+ D-Cinema)/c; 2uc: Robert Foster; new version of film (1971, Sam Peckinpah; ph: John Coquillon)




New York News [pilot dir by Michael Apted + ep dir by various] 13-part (5 unaired) series; cph (pilot): Lauro Escorel


Jack Reed: Death and Vengeance [Brian Dennehy] tvm


The Repair Shop [Phillip Noyce] pilot; for CBS-tv


The Sopranos [pilot 'The Sopranos' dir by David Chase + 6 ep dir by various] 86-part series/s35, 1999-2007; 1st season, 1999; other ph: Phil Abraham


Hopewell [Rod Holcomb] pilot; for CBS-tv


The Sopranos [8 ep dir by various] 3rd season, 2001; other ph: Phil Abraham; see 1998


The Third Degree [Steve Miner] pilot; for FOX-tv


Sex and the City [ep #57 'Sex and the Country' dir by Michael Spiller (MS), #58 'Belles of the Balls' dir by MS, #63 'Change of a Dress' dir by Alan Taylor (AT) & #64 'Ring a Ding Ding' dir by AT] 94-part series/16mm, 1998-2004; 4th season, 2001-02; other ph: John Thomas & Michael Marzovilla


The Sopranos [6 ep dir by various] 4th season, 2002; other ph: Phil Abraham & (Italy) Enrico Lucidi; see 1998


The Sopranos [6 ep dir by various] 5th season, 2004; other ph: Phil Abraham; see 1998


Rome [ep #1 'The Stolen Eagle' dir by Michael Apted (MA), #2 'How Titus Pullo Brought Down the Republic' dir by MA, #3 'An Owl in a Thornbush' dir by MA, #5 'The Ram Has Touched the Wall' dir by Allen Coulter, #7 'Pharsalus' dir by Tim Van Patten, #10 'Triumph' dir by Alan Taylor (AT) & #12 'Kalends of February' dir by AT] 20-part (BBC-tv) & 22-part (HBO-tv) series/s35, 2005-07; 1st season, 2005; other ph: Marco Pontecorvo (cph ep #1-3; ph ep #4, 6, 9 & 11) & Martin Kenzie (cph ep #1-3; ph ep #8); filmed 2004-05


The Sopranos [6 ep dir by various] 6th season, 2006 & 2007; other ph: Phil Abraham; see 1998


Rome [ep #13 'Passover' dir by Timothy Van Patten & #15 'These Being the Words of Marcus Tullius Cicero' dir by Alan Poul] 2nd season, 2007; other ph: Marco Pontecorvo (ep #14, 16, 18, 20 & 22) & Jonathan Freeman (ep #17, 19 & 21); see 2004


The Sopranos [5 ep incl final ep (#86) 'Made in America' dir by David Chase] 6th season, 2006 & 2007; + 2ud (ep #86; 2uc: Bill Coleman); other ph: Phil Abraham; see 1998


1% [Alan Taylor] pilot; for HBO-tv


The Wonderful Maladys [Alan Taylor] pilot/s35; for HBO-tv


Game of Thrones [ep #1 'Winter Is Coming' dir by Timothy Van Patten (TVP), #2 'The Kingsroad' dir by TVP, #9 'Baelor' dir by Alan Taylor (AT) & #10 'Fire and Blood' dir by AT] series/HD (ARRI ALEXA), 2011-present; 1st season, 2011; other ph: Marco Pontecorvo (6 ep) & Matthew Jensen (cph 3 ep)


True Blue [Peter Horton] pilot/HD; 2uc: Don McCuaig; for ABC-tv




Little Man [Howard Libov; short] special thanks; ph: Ben Wolf


The Sopranos [ep #36 'To Save Us All from Satan's Power' dir by Jack Bender] played the part of Agron; + ph; 3rd season, 2001; see Television (1998)