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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Karl W. Freund, A.S.C. (January 16, 1890-May 3, 1969) was a cinematographer and film director. Born in Dvůr Králové (Königinhof), Bohemia, his career began in 1905 when, at age 15, he got a job as an assistant projectionist for a film company in Berlin where his family moved in 1901. He worked as a cinematographer on over 100 films, including the German Expressionist films The Golem (1920), The Last Laugh (1924) and Metropolis (1927). Freund emigrated to the United States in 1929 where he continued to shoot well remembered films such as Dracula (1931) and Key Largo (1948). He won an Academy Award for Best Cinematography for The Good Earth (1937). In 1937, he went to Germany to bring his only daughter, Gerda Maria Freund, back to the United States, saving her from almost certain death in the concentration camps. Karl's ex-wife, Susette Freund (née Liepmannssohn), remained in Germany where she was interned at the Ravensbrück concentration camp and eventually taken in March, 1942 to Bernburg Euthanasia Center where she was murdered. Between 1921 and 1935, Freund also directed ten films, of which the best known are probably The Mummy (1932) starring Boris Karloff, and his last film as director, Mad Love (1935) starring Peter Lorre. Freund's only known film as an actor is Carl Dreyer's Michael (1924) in which he has a cameo as a sycophantic art dealer who saves the tobacco ashes dropped by a famous painter. At the beginning of the 1950s, he was persuaded by Desi Arnaz at Desilu to be the cinematographer in 1951 for the televisions series I Love Lucy. Critics have credited Freund for the show's lustrous black and white cinematography, but more importantly, Freund designed the "flat lighting" system for shooting sitcoms that is still in use today. This system covers the set in light, thus eliminating shadows and allowing the use of three moving cameras without having to modify the lighting in-between shots. And where Freund did not invent the three camera shooting system, he did perfect it for use with film cameras in front of a live audience. Freund and his production team also worked on other sitcoms produced at/through Desilu such as "Our Miss Brooks". Description above from the Wikipedia article Karl Freund, licensed under CC-BY-SA, full list of contributors on Wikipedia.
January 16, 1890, Königinhof, Bohemia, Austria-Hungary [now Dvur Kralove, Czech Republic]
May 3, 1969
1920 The Golem: How He Came into the WorldDirector of Photography 1924 The Last LaughDirector of Photography 1927 MetropolisDirector of Photography and Camera Operator 1930 All Quiet on the Western FrontDirector of Photography 1931 DraculaDirector of Photography 1932 The MummyDirector 1932 Murders in the Rue MorgueDirector of Photography 1936 The Great ZiegfeldDirector of Photography 1937 CamilleDirector of Photography 1937 The Good EarthDirector of Photography 1937 ConquestDirector of Photography 1939 BalalaikaDirector of Photography 1942 Tortilla FlatDirector of Photography 1946 UndercurrentDirector of Photography 1948 Key LargoDirector of PhotographyLimited to the 15 most popular items