Acclaimed cinematographer Andrew Lesnie ha passed away, he was 59.
The Australian native worked on numerous local productions after leaving film school, including horror flick Patrick and behind the scenes work on George Miller's 1981 feature Mad Max 2. He reconnected with Miller to shoot Babe and its weird sequel, and operated camera on everything from Dark City to Martin Scorsese's Rolling Stones doc Shine a Light.
But he will always be best known for his long-standing collaboration with Peter Jackson, which saw them work on a massive eight films together over a span of almost 15 years. Lesnie was responsible for helping to create the unique and incredible look of Jackson's Middle Earth saga - from the warm tones of Hobbiton to the terrors of Mount Doom. He developed new ways of working within the bounds of CG worlds but his best work in Middle Earth remains the wonderful Fellowship of the Ring from 2001 for which he earned an Academy Award for Best Cinematography.
His other work included 2007's I Am Legend and 2011's Rise of the Planet of the Apes, ensuring that almost everyone around the world has at least seen one of his wonderously lit images, and he also took the time to work on smalle productions in Australia like 2014's Healing. His last job was shooting The Water Diviner for Russell Crowe, with the actor heading to Twitter for this moving tribute.
The Australian Cinematographers Society (ACS) also paid tribute to one of their most outstanding members, with National President Ron Johanson posting on their official site:
"Words cannot express the absolute feeling of loss, particularly for his immediate family, Andrew gave us many personal cinema moments, moments that will live with us forever, and yet he has been taken from us way too early, and we are now left with those memories."
He also announced that the 2015 National Awards for Cinematography this weekend will be in honour of Lesnie.
Andrew Lesnie had been suffering from a serious heart condition for several months and died of a heart attack on Monday the 27th of April 2015. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.