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Matthew F. Leonetti


Matthew Frank Leonetti A.S.C. (born July 31, 1941) is an American cinematographer. Accomplished and highly prolific, he has worked on dozens of well-known and acclaimed films spanning numerous genres, including Poltergeist, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Weird Science, Jagged Edge, Strange Days, and Star Trek: First Contact. He has collaborated with directors such as Tobe Hooper, Walter Hill, John Hughes, Kenneth Branagh, Kathryn Bigelow, Zack Snyder, and The Farrelly Brothers.


Leonetti was born in Los Angeles, California in 1941. His father Frank was a filmmaker and cinematographer who served as a gaffer and lighting technician on low-budget B-movies like The Violent Years, Frankenstein's Daughter, and Beyond the Time Barrier.


 Leonetti began his career working on a number of projects with his father, serving as a camera operator on films like Adam at 6 A.M. and The Organization. He soon fell in with Jerry Jameson, a prolific television director who dabbled in feature films.


His debut as a cinematographer was The Bat People, a horror B-movie directed by Jameson and starring Stewart Moss and Michael Pataki, on which he also served as an executive producer.


Though the film came and went with little fanfare, it did gain a minor cult following years later after being featured on an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000. Leonetti spent much of the 1970s shooting made-for-television films directed by Jameson


In the early 2000s, Leonetti shot a string of blockbuster thriller and action films; including Along Came a Spider, 2 Fast 2 Furious, Rush Hour 2, and The Butterfly Effect. He shot the 2004 remake of Dawn of the Dead, which served as the feature film debut of director Zack Snyder.


Since 2006, he has mostly worked on comedy films, many of which are directed by the Farrelly Brothers. In 2015, he was the recipient of a Special Honor Prize, the President's Award, from the American Society of Cinematographers.


Leonetti has a younger brother, John, who is himself a prolific cinematographer and occasional film director. He is a graduate of Loyola Marymount University.

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