Gary Graver

Gary Graver (July 20, 1938 - November 16, 2006) was an American film director and cinematographer. He was a prolific film-maker but is perhaps best known as Orson Welles' final cinematographer. Under the pseudonym of Robert McCallum he also directed adult films.

Graver was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. In high school, he produced and starred in his own radio show, and had built a movie theatre in his parents' basement where he showed his own films.

At age 20, he moved to Hollywood to become an actor, but drifted into production when work as an actor was scarce. He was drafted into the U.S. military and was assigned to the Navy Combat Camera Group. Upon returning to civilian life, Graver made documentaries for a year before starting to work on larger budget features.

In 1970, Graver made an unannounced call on Orson Welles, saying he wanted to work with the director. Welles told Graver that only one other person had ever called him to say they wanted to work with him - and that was Gregg Toland who worked with Welles on Citizen Kane.

Soon after, Welles and Graver started work on the film The Other Side of the Wind, in addition to other projects Welles had in the works including F For Fake and Filming Othello.

Graver's work for Welles was unpaid, and during the shooting of one scene in The Other Side of the Wind, Welles used as a prop his 1941 Oscar that he won as the co-writer of Citizen Kane. When shooting was finished, he handed the statuette to Graver saying, "Here, keep this." Graver understood this to be a gift in lieu of payment for his work. Graver held onto the award for several years until he ran into financial trouble in the 1990s, and in 1994 he sold it for $50,000. The purchaser, a company called Bay Holdings, then attempted to sell it at auction through Sotheby's in London. When Welles' daughter, Beatrice Welles learned of the intended sale, she successfully sued both Graver and the holding company to stop the sale. She eventually took possession of the statuette before then selling it on herself.

Besides his work with Welles, Graver also worked for other notable Hollywood directors including Roger Corman, Fred Olen Ray and Ron Howard. The bulk of his output was B-movies since, as he put it, "I knew how to make a movie without much money."

Graver's work in the adult film industry resulted in more than 135 films including Unthinkable, which won the AVN Award for Best All-Sex Video in 1985. Graver was later inducted into the AVN Hall of Fame for his work.

Gary Graver died on November 16, 2006 at his home in Rancho Mirage, California after a lengthy battle with cancer. His widow, the former actress Jillian Kesner died of leukemia in December 2007. Gary Graver's memoir, Making Movies with Orson Welles, co-written by Andrew J. Rausch, was released by Scarecrow Press in 2008.

Other articles related to "gary graver":

The Other Side Of The Wind - Cast
... in the film, including Claude Chabrol, Norman Foster, Gary Graver, Curtis Harrington, Dennis Hopper, Henry Jaglom and Paul Mazursky, mostly playing Hannaford's ... Cinematographer Gary Graver tells a different story "We shot many, many scenes with him, and he was quite good in each of them...One day, completely out of the blue, Rich showed up with his ... Welles said he could not afford to pay his cinematographer Gary Graver, so instead gave him his 1941 Academy Award statuette for the script of Citizen Kane by way of thanks ...

Famous quotes containing the word graver:

    Hence poetry is something more philosophic and of graver import than history, since its statements are rather of the nature of universals, whereas those of history are singulars.
    Aristotle (384–322 B.C.)