John Alcott’s collaboration with Kubrick began with “2001: A Space Odyssey” when he took over from cinematographer Geoffrey Unsworth after the first six months of photography. Alcott continued as the cinematographer for “A Clockwork Orange,” “Barry Lyndon,” and “The Shining.” He won the Oscar and the BAFTA award for his work on “Barry Lyndon” and received many other honors in the course of his career.
About creating the look of “2001,” he said: “I remember the sequence in which William Sylvester goes towards the space station. At the beginning we used an f8 exposure and we ended up fixing it between f2.8 and f4. And the film’s brilliant, clear, white light is due to that range. I suppose it’s less noticeable today because all science-fiction films have adopted the same principle. The brightness extended even to the sets and corresponded to the feeling you’re supposed to have in space.”
Of Kubrick, Alcott said: “He’s capable of becoming an expert in every field. I remember that during the making of 2001 a technician was amusing himself by throwing a knife at a piece of wood. Within five minutes Stanley, who had probably never played at that in his life, hit the target dead center.”
Alcott was born in 1931 and died on July 28, 1986.