Stephen Campanelli, SOC – “The Maze Runner”
Stephen Campanelli bought a steadicam in the late 80’s and it changed his life! He was the first to combine “A” Camera operating and steadicam and in doing so unlocked an entirely new filmmaking perspective that quickly peaked the interests of some of Hollywood’s top directors, including Stephen’s boyhood idol: Clint Eastwood. Stephen first joined Clint on the Oscar nominated “Bridges of Madison County” and has remained Clint’s most trusted camera operator ever since. Spanning over 20 years and not missing one movie, which include the Oscar winning: “Million Dollar Baby” “Mystic River” along with“Gran Torino”, and last years, “Jersey Boys”,and the latest “American Sniper” all shot under Stephen’s visual, experienced eye.
Stephen won the SOC Camera Operator of the Year in 2012 for his work on “J.Edgar”, as well as giving Clint the Lifetime Acheivement award to his mentor that night.
Working on Mazerunner was an exciting, hard experience. It was with a first time director, it was in Louisiana in the middle of the summer, and we had to deal with poisonous snakes and humidity etc. The director was very collaborative, and with my experience he listened to the knowledge that I could bring to him. It was a very physical job, I kind of figured it would be, with the word “runner” in the title haha! I was chasing kids that were less than half my age, through mazes and tunnels and fields but somehow I managed to keep up with them. Some of the toughest challenges were working with the weather conditions, and also running through the maze, which twisted and turned, and I was running at full speed. It was very rewarding in the end, as I feel that the film turned out to be a very visually exciting, taught thriller.