Pat O’Neill (born in 1933 in Los Angeles, California) is an American independent experimental filmmaker and cinematographer who has also worked in the special effects industry. Despite working with an extremely wide technical and aesthetic scope, O’Neill is mostly known for his unique film compositions which intertwine surrealism and humour, all while mastering the optical printer. His works explore the complex clashes between the natural world and human civilization. A part from filmmaking, he has also worked with drawing, collage, sculpture, installation and other artistic mediums
Some of his early 16mm films include ‘Runs Good’ (1970), and ‘Down Wind’ (1973). He later made 35 mm films, such as: ‘Water and Power’ (1989), ‘Trouble In The Image’ (1996), and ‘The Decay of Fiction’ (2002). His film ‘Water and Power’ was added to the National Film Registry in 2008.
O’Neill’s films are exhibited in a number of different archives and museums around the world. His complete collection can be found at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Film Archive, where many of his shorts have been preserved.
He has taught at the California Institute of the Arts and influenced many CalArts students, including: Adam Beckett, Robert Blalack, Chris Casady, and Larry Cubas, who then worked on the special effects of the original Star Wars.
A DVD with 3 fims by Pat O'Neill