Poland Jr., ASC, whose work graced productions ranging from
"cheapies" such as Fireball Jungle (1969) and Wild Rebels (1967)
to high-concept adventure pictures such as Around the World Under
the Sea (1966), died on April 17, 2008, at the age of 91.
Born Aug. 1,
1916, in Memphis, Tenn., Poland grew up around the photography
business. His father owned a commercial still-photo and
motion-picture studio, where young Clifford began his
apprenticeship. In 1941, he joined the camera guild, then known as
IATSE Local 666, and one year later, he was direct-commissioned as
a first lieutenant in the Signal Corps. From 1944-1946, he served
as the officer in charge of the Motion Picture School section of
the Signal Photographic Center in New York. During that period, he
accompanied the Joint Chiefs of Staff and photographed the Quebec
Conference, the Yalta Conference and the official Japanese
surrender aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay.
In 1947, after
he was honorably discharged at the rank of captain, Poland became
a staff cameraman and bureau manager for Warner Path� News. For
the position, he relocated to Miami, Fla., the city that would
remain his home for the next three decades. With Warner Path�, he
contributed regularly to a twice-weekly theatrical newsreel, and
he set a record when three of his stories were used in the same
week. He won a Newsreel Critics Award, and when he wasn't
photographing the latest in news, fashion, sports, short subjects
and featurettes, he shot background footage for such Warner Bros,
films as Key Largo (1948) and A Streetcar Named Desire'(1951).
In 1953, Poland
left Warner Pathe to strike out as a freelance cinematographer. He
was an experienced helicopter and fixed-wing cameraman, capable of
working with both the Tyler mount and the Dynalens; he was an
expert in underwater photography and scuba-diving, skills he would
put to use photographing 47 episodes of Flipper (1964-1967); and
he was a natural choice for background photography,
rear-projection and blue-screen work.
recommendation of Joseph Biroc, ASC, Poland became an active
member of the Society on Jan. 5, 1970. His credits included the
features Hello Down There(1969), Mission Mars (1968) and The
Aquarians (1970), as well as the series Everglades (1961-1962). In
1981, after nearly half a century in the industry, he retired and
moved back to Tennessee with his wife, Juanita.
survived by three daughters, Charlene Holt, Sheila Poland and
Linda Poland; six granddaughters; and three great-grandchildren.
- Jon D. Witmer
Published in The American Society of
Cinematographers, August 2008.