BendFilm Festival 2021

FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF A DP Conversation with John J. Connor and John T. Connor

Enter the livestream and chat at any time
Stream began October 13, 2021 11:00 PM UTC
Already unlocked? for access

Give as a gift

$0After unlocking, the October 13th at 11:00 pm UTC livestream can be viewed at any time. Need help?

John J. Connor has worked on many iconic films as a director of photography and camera operator including Top Gun, E.T., Maverick, Rocky IV, and Flashdance. His son John T. Connor has a growing resume as a camera operator and assistant camera on films such as Top Gun: Maverick, The Revenant, and Her

Find out about their experiences working on the films in their impressive filmographies as well as the relationship between DPs and directors from a DP's perspective. They’ll answer: What does a director need to provide a DP in terms of direction? What are the communication best practices and do's and don'ts when working on small to big-budget films? The two will also discuss how the industry has changed over the last few decades for DPs and how to build and sustain a career in cinematography in Hollywood. 

John J. Connor began his career as an apprentice camera assistant in Chicago in 1968. In 1972, he was on his first feature film, Deliverance, working with DP Vilmos Zsigmond who later won the Academy Award for Close Encounters. His next movie would be Steven Spielberg’s first feature, Sugarland Express. With Zsigmond's mentorship, he worked with DPs such as Haskell Wexler (Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf), Jordan Cronenweth (Blade Runner), James Crabe (China Syndrome, Rocky), Allen Daviau (E.T.), and Conrad L. Hall (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid) on many commercials. In 1978, he became camera operator on Charlie's Angels and continued to work for Vilmos as his operator and 2nd unit DP until his passing in 2016. Though Top Gun was the last film he was a camera operator on, John has gone on to work as a DP on many other TV projects and features including the TV Show The Sentinel where he also directed some episodes.

John T. Connor has been around film sets since birth, from Deliverance in the 70s to Top Gun in the 80s. John first worked as a production assistant on commercials and small movies, eventually joining the union as a camera "film" loader and later working with his father in the fast-paced episodic TV world. He moved up the ladder to assistant cameraman, trained by some of the top camera crews before working in the feature world and eventually moving up to focus puller. John then spent the next 20 years working on multiple films with Tony Scott, David Fincher, and J.J. Abrams, among many others. John now uses his years of experience and second-nature working style as a cinematographer on music videos, commercials, and documentaries. His recent passion has been short films and he is now headed to his first full-length feature, Run the Tide. In 2018, John was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award as a Camera Technician from the Society of Camera Operators (SOC).