Roy H. Wagner ASC

Roy H. Wagner ASC

Master Filmmaker
Staff member
I broke in to Hollywood when it was impossible. Cinematographers were 80 years old and had been installed since the silent era. The Unions were locked. The dream of supporting narrative filmmaking didn't exist for a kid from the midwest with no family in the business. I realized, never ever give up on your dreams. It took me 13 years to get into the union. It was a dreadful period of my life and yet as I look back I realize that I was forced into many jobs that I would never have participated in. I was a projectionist, a script reader at MGM, PA, writer, documentarian, and still photographer's assistant and friend to virtually every master Hollywood cinematographer. Granted the still photographer was very famous. Granted the Hollywood cinematographers were the finest in the world and had won more Academy Awards than anyone else. My job was to wash their cars and do the dirty little jobs. No chance to garner more than the 29 days of the 30 required to get into the Union. At least they discovered how passionate I was and gave me personal advice that none of their crew members ever got. I never gave up on my dream. After being the most unreleased cinematographers on countless low budget films: documentaries, industrials, beach party films, ninja films, horror films...I did one of Ed Woods last films. We shot it in three days. Finally I stumbled upon a project that got released and I got recognized. I swore I'd never stand in the way of anyone following their dream. Here I am, hoping to advise and assist anyone thinking that the great masters never make mistakes. I've made them all at least once. I'm here to tell you that if I can succeed you have every opportunity to do better. Student Filmmakers is the dream of another man and his team hoping to make a difference in your life. I hope to be of assistance to you in this forum and the magazine. Ask the hard questions. Seek for solutions to make filmmaking attainable to everyone.

Jared Isham

Awesome! Thanks for sharing and keeping us motivated. Would love to hear more of your story!

Maybe we will cross paths in person again in the near future. Will definitely shoot some hard questions your way. Can't wait to learn.