I became aware of Conrad Hall’s work early on when I was struggling to understand the various processes of film. Conrad (Connie was a nickname that I never tried to use) lit the show STONEY BURKE in a manner that I had never seen before, extreme, bold contrasts. His work resonated with me in subsequent films like THE PROFESSIONALS, COOL HAND LUKE, then to the wonderful BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID. Conrad’s work has always edified the material that he was given and seemed to always surpass it. I cannot see any of his films being better than how he saw them. His work was another character in the film (as it should be).
I had the privilege of working with him once. I needed several crews to film a Michael Jackson video, DIRTY DIANA. Conrad was between films and he consented to work with me. I always used several cameras when Michael performed because he was so spontaneous that you had to be sure to capture the magic when it happened.
Conrad’s team was impressive, sharp, precise, professional, like Navy Seals. I knew then that I had the essence of the piece covered and that I could improvise at will.
Conrad continued to do fine work until his very end. His spirit stays with me always.