BSC Members Roster – Past Full Accredited

Denis Lewiston BSC

Category: Past Full Accredited

Role: Cinematographer

Website: IMDb

22.5.1934 – 8.6.2014


Denis Cornelius Lewiston was born in Walthamstow, London, to his mother Elsie, and father, Tiny Lewiston who was a highly respected and very successful furniture dealer.

Lewiston entered the Movie Industry in 1948 from the West Essex School of Art, England. He wished to be a painter, but he became interested in Film and joined the Film Producers Guild as a Cell Artist in animation. Needing something more creative and stimulating, Denis joined the Camera Department of British Lion Films at Shepperton Studios shortly after.

Starting as clapper boy on Stage Fright [1950] directed by Alfred Hitchcock and photographed by Wilkie Cooper BSC, he eventually graduated to focus pulling on films such as Cast A Dark Shadow [1955]; Two Way Stretch [1960] and The World Of Suzie Wong [1960].

In 1955, Denis married his teenage sweetheart, Joan, and their marriage lasted for the next 60 years travelling around the world on location “including Bermuda, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Africa, Manchester, and of course Hollywood. Each time Denny arrived somewhere, Joan would soon arrive with a dozen pieces of luggage to set up an instant home.” In the mid-60’s, as one of Britain’s “New Wave” Camera operators, he was fortunate to work beside the leaders of the movement: Jack Clayton, Tony Richardson, Karel Riesz, Richard Donner and Antonioni, everything from second units on Doctor Zhivago (1965 directed by David Lean and photographed by Freddie Young OBE BSC) and Blowup (1966 directed by Michelangelo Antonioni and photographed by Carlo di Palma) to The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) directed by Jim Sharman and photographed by Peter Suschitzky).

In 1974, Denis took up the meter for Swallows And Amazons directed by Claude Watham and from there he moved into shooting commercials and low budget films specialising in films for television such as ‘The Country Girls’, Night Games’, ‘The Thief of Baghdad’, ‘The Scarlet Pimpernel’, ‘The Lion of Africa’, ‘Proud Men’, ‘To Heal a Nation’, ‘A Man For All Seasons’, ‘Billy The Kid’, ‘Montana’, ‘People Like Us’, ‘The Great L.A. Earthquake’, for which he was nominated for an award by the American Society of Cinematographers in 1991.

Not satisfied with cinematography, Denis ventured into directing and script writing and formed his own company SUN CHARIOT, scripting and developing several original subjects for both movies and TV. It was in 1998 that Denny realised his dream, being both writer and director of his own movie. He was also able to call upon his experience and knowledge of his third love, horse racing, for the film ‘Shergar’ (photographed by David Lewis), which went on the win the jury award at Temecula Valley International Film Festival in 1999.  This was his last credit.