'Star Wars' cinematographer Gilbert Taylor dies at 99

Aug. 24, 2013 at 12:04 PM

ISLE OF WIGHT, England, Aug. 24 (UPI) -- Gilbert Taylor, the cinematographer who shot the original "Star Wars" film, died at his home on Britain's Isle of Wight, his wife said. He was 99.

The cause of Taylor's death Friday wasn't reported.

Taylor served with Britain's Royal Air Force during World War II and began his career in film by filming the aftermath of bombing raids on Germany, Screen Daily reported Friday.

He went on to work on "A Hard Day's Night" and Alfred Hitchcock's "Frenzy," the newspaper said. Taylor said he was most proud of his work on "Dr. Strangelove."

"Gilbert's work truly stands the test of time," said George Lucas, via StarWars.com. "I had long admired his work on films such as 'A Hard Day's Night' and 'Dr. Strangelove' and I had the privilege of working with him on 'Star Wars.' He was a true expert in his craft. Gilbert's inspired work will live on in the many films he contributed to throughout his long career."

In an interview with Star Wars News Blog, Taylor said he wanted to give "Star Wars" a unique visual style that distinguished it from other movies.

"I wanted Star Wars to have clarity because I think space isn't out of focus, also I was mindful that there was an enormous amount of process work to be done in America with [John] Dykstra after we had finished shooting in England, and a crisp result would help this process," he said.

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