It has been an absolutely tragic year for Hollywood and the below-the-line community with COVID taking so many away from us even above and beyond any normal year.
Sadly, Below the Line has been informed today that Still Photographer Wynn Hammer has passed away at the age on May 2, 2021, at the age of 97, although the cause of death has not been disclosed.
Born on March 6, 1925, Hammer was an associate member of the Society of Camera Operators (SOC), having received the group’s 1998 CAMMY, the SOC’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
Hammer moved to Los Angeles in 1942 at the age of 18 and soon began to study photography under Will Connell at the original ArtCenter on 7th Street in downtown L.A. (now called the ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena).
After a few months’ service in the Signal Corps in 1945, he returned to the ArtCenter.
His career began at National Screen Pacific Title (which became Pacific Title & Art Studio) where he shot titles for nine years. In 1955, he was initiated into IATSE Local 659 (now Local 600) and remained a proud union member the rest of his life.
Wynn’s first job as a set still photographer was at Universal Pictures under the aegis of Jerry Smith, on The Name of the Game, starring Joey Bishop. Soon, he was working full-time on both television and movie sets, with dozens of credits in both mediums. Notable among these are Oscar winner The Deer Hunter (1978), The Trial of Billy Jack (1974), Raid on Entebbe (1976), Carrie (1976), and two films for Paul Schrader, Blue Collar (1978) and Hardcore (1979). His personal favorite was Hal Ashby’s Bound for Glory (1976), working alongside distinguished cinematographer Haskell Wexler.
Hammer’s hobbies were sailing and sailboat modeling, owning a sailboat which he used for leisure as well as competitions.
He is survived by his three sons Loren, Steven and Joseph, their wives Liz Mazurski, Amy Hammer and Sayo Mitsuishi respectively, and a single granddaughter, Celeste Bouchard-Hammer.
You can read a selected list of Wynn Hammer’s motion picture credits below:
PAINT YOUR WAGON (1969)
THE TRIAL OF BILLY JACK (1974)
BOUND FOR GLORY (1976)
RAID ON ENTEBBE (1976)
AUDREY ROSE (1977)
BLUE COLLAR (1978)
INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS (1978)
THE DEER HUNTER (1978)
WILLIE PHIL (1980)
OH, GOD (1980)
BIG SHOTS (1981)
MAKING LOVE (1982)
CLOAK AND DAGGER (1984)
THE LAST STARFIGHTER (1984)
A FINE MESS (1986)