Richard BennettMy name is Richard Bennett, I have been active in the motion picture and television arts and sciences for more than four decades. My love of telling stories through pictures and sound has allowed me to be intimately involved with many of the specialties of the move making processes. Early on I had the extraordinary good fortune of meeting and being mentored by some of the most talented people in filmmaking, Linwood Dunn, Don Weed, Joe Westheimer, Jack Monroy, John Russell, and many others. These people actively encouraged my thirst for learning about filmmaking and, early on, helped me learn the technology behind the art. Through these experiences I became an innovator in the equipment used to produce special visual effects as well as live action production. I’ve designed and built Optical Printing equipment, Animation systems, Roto Scope systems, Film Handling systems, Motion Control systems, high speed camera systems, camera reflex conversions, Motion Graphics systems, and much more. While I love the equipment I have contributed to the science of filmmaking, one of my goals was to be deeply involved in the art of making movies as well.
As a member of the International Cinematographers Guild I have worked and I continue to work as an animator, visual effects artist, visual effects supervisor / producer, director of photography, production manager, and associate producer on motion picture and television projects. Over the past seven years I’ve had the privilege of working as Director of photography on several feature films. My firsthand experience in live action and in the production of special visual effects has given me expertise in the financial, creative and the technical areas of production. My background lets me bring the best, the most creative and the most cost effective production techniques to every project I am involved with.
As my career progressed and eventually through my companies, and in association with David Stipes Productions, Peter Anderson, Doug Trumbull, Ted Rae and others I have mentored and continue to mentor many up and coming filmmakers and I’ve been privileged to introduce many to the roots of the technology of filmmaking, keeping alive the very things and ideas that we built our industry on.
Currently I own and operate two businesses, Cinema Engineering Company LLC and CinemaGear.com. One of the goals of my businesses is to find, restore and preserve motion picture equipment that has had a significant role in creating, expanding, and perfecting the art of movie making. In these endeavors I’ve seen so much of the history of our business being lost to indifference and neglect, so I have taken on the task of finding and preserving the machines that made movie making the art form it is today. My companies restore these iconic pieces of equipment to working condition, we research their history and document how they were the stepping stones of the art and science of making films.
I am proud to be a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences History and Technology Subcommittee, and to have been one of the prime movers in the restoration of the Dykstra Flex for the Academy.