cinematographer, lighting designer, lighting director
David Landau began his lighting career as an intern with academy award winning cinematographer Haskell Wexler on the film “Coming Home” and as a master electric at the JI Rodale regional theater. In his senior year at Ithaca College, where he earned a BS in Cinema studies and Photography, he served as the cinematographer on “They Showed Us Love”, a 16mm documentary about the Gateway Juvenile Detention Center for the IC Film Unit, and on the 16mm low budget feature film “Die A Little”, written and directed by an Ithaca faculty member and produced with an entire student crew. Immediately after graduation David worked as a camera assistant on the TV series “American Outdoorsmen” produced by Glen Lau Prods and freelanced as an AC on documentaries and industrial films. He worked as a production assistant at commercial production houses and a lighting electric on non-union commercials while also doing lighting designs for off-off Broadway theater shows.
In 1979 he joined NABET 15, the Associated Film Craftsmen union, as both a 2nd AC and a 2nd electric and worked for the next ten years on the lighting crews of TV commercials with such chloe award winning companies as Bill Fertik prods, Jenkins Covington and Henry Sandbank as well as on the first season of the CBS TV series “Nurse” and TV movies such as being gaffer for the CBS Afterschool movie “Diary of a Teenage Shoplifter” and rigging gaffer on “TrackDown; Finding the Goodbar Killer”. He also worked as Lighting Director for various production companies such as PrimaLux Video, lighting such diverse things as an aerobics video to a poetry reading series at the Museum of Modern Art with Alan Ginzberg and William Burroughs; Neil Marshad Prods – lighting the XVI Superbowl trophy, Milk Man parody commercials for Nickelodeon, a music video for Richard Kline TV special and comedy shorts for Saturday Nite Live; Hurrah productions – commercials for Lego Toys, Fortune magazine and Sports Illustrated; Leodus & Arbusto Prods - commercials for Abraham & Strauss stores, Vanity Fair Tissues, Argentine cigarettes; Tim Devitt Prods – commercials for Arid Extra Dry, Dermal Skin Cream, Luvs; as well as being the LD on industrial videos for Exxon, J.C.Penny, Bloomburg News and New York Life.
In 1990 he became a member of IATSE local 52, but soon took a leave of absence from production to help raise his family and opened a dinner theater in NJ. He continued his passion for lighting by doing lighting designs for community theater, working as an LD for Warner Lambert video, being a cinematographer for Collaborations prods and being a gaffer for Merrill Lynch video network and HBO First Look episodes, for which he lit such stars as Goldie Hawn, Drew Barrymore and Martin Short .
In 2002 he discovered the joy of mentoring and giving inspiration to students and started teaching lighting and cinematography at Fairleigh Dickinson University and being a guest instructor at the NYU graduate film program in DP Peter Stein's 2nd year cinematography class. David became the resident lighting designer for FDU's theater productions as well as doing lighting design for Monmouth University, the Harmonia Opera company, the Montclair Academy of the Performing Arts and the Bickford Theater. During the summers and college breaks David renewed working as a local 52 lighting crew member on various features and TV shows, then as a gaffer on such things as the documentary “Brace for Impact” on Discovery channel, and Lifetime’s “Project Runway”, "Project Runway Accessories” and “Project Runway Allstars” TV series. As a cinematographer David has worked for Verizon, Roche Labs, Bank of America, Clarke Communications, on several music videos and festival shorts, and was the Director of Photography on the independent feature films “Dark Tarot” – produced by DGW Films and “Stray” - produced by Nena Eskridge Prods.
David is the author of the new textbook “Lighting for Cinematography” by Bloomsbury Press and the editor of their new CineTech Guides to the Film Crafts series as well as being a five time Telly Award winner for lighting and cinematography.