David Jean Schweitzer, SOC, started developing film in a darkroom and shooting with a Super 8-mm movie camera when he was 11. His first job in the industry was as a film delivery boy. His philosophy as an imagist draws from personal contact with photographers Sokolsky, Payne, Bakht, and his late cousin, Jocelyn Benzakin. During his formative development he took part time entry-level jobs while attending the New School and rose up through the ranks of what turned out to be a historic intersection of fine art, pop music and motion pictures.
As his career path unfurled before him, he gained invaluable experience at Warhol’s Factory and David Bowie’s Main Man Productions before becoming personal assistant to Donald Cammell. Schweitzer worked as a camera assistant on documentaries. He was given considerable personal encouragement by Nicholas Ray and was mentored by David Quaid, ASC, and Mike Elliot of EUE/Screen Gems fame.
A music-video pioneer (having lensed the first contemporary video to play on MTV, You Better Run by Pat Benatar), Schweitzer has filmed more than 40 music videos and more than 200 commercials. Moving on to features, he has worked under masters Gordon Willis, ASC, Bruce Surtees, ASC, and Dariusz Wolski, ASC.
Schweitzer attends to color and contour with adoring purpose. While he works with all the latest digital technology, his lifelong passion is traditional film. His proficiency with large- and medium-format film cameras characterizes his consummate absorption with craft. In addition to his still and motion photography roles, David is a motion picture producer, director and animator. He speaks French and English and is a commercial multi-engine instrument rated airplane pilot, an avid cook and an outdoorsman.