Magazine article American Cinematographer

In Memoriam: Don Malkames, ASC

Magazine article American Cinematographer

In Memoriam: Don Malkames, ASC

Article excerpt

Don Malkames, ASC, a leading cinematographer on the East Coast since the early 1920s, died November 23 in New York. He is survived by his son, Karl Malkames, ASC. of Scarsdale.

Don Malkames was born in Hazleton, Pennsylvania, April 7, 1904. In 1921 he was employed in a film lab in the East, and after a year he went to Hollywood where he worked as an assistant cameraman at Fox Film Corp. He then spent several years producing commercial films which achieved considerable attention from the Broadway critics for their unusual and artistic photographic treatment of machinery. He also photographed a dozen one-reel teaching films for Eastman Kodak in which microscopic cinematography was featured.

By 1930 he was active in theatrical films being produced in New York, such as the popular Lyman Howe's Hodge Podge reels, for which he did a great deal of visual effects and process photography. Although the lion's share of feature production moved to California during the early talkie era, Malkames elected to remain in New York, where he photographed features and, as he said in 1935, "numerous screen tests, background shots, and various short subjects which comprise most of the work available for a cinematographer in this territory."

In 1934 he wrote, directed and photographed a series of six Goofytone Newsreels for Universal. These onereelers were highly acclaimed by critics. He photographed the Seeing Wonders series for Lowell Thomas, the Master Art Melody Masters music shorts, the Gags and Gals Photocolor series with cartoonist Jefferson Machamer, and numerous others for Warner Bros. …

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