John Bean: Cinematographer

John Bean was a consummate cinematographer. One who the ACS were proud to have as a member of our Society.

He embodied all the qualities that make a great cameraman.

Instinct: Beanie knew where to be to get the best shot. His timing was impeccable.

Eye: He had a fantastic eye for composition and light.

Character: He was a man you could talk to, and he listened. He was a great thinker, both of images and words. His images were a real part of his character.

Technique: There weren’t many better. With a camera in his hand, he owned the world. It was truly an extension of himself.

Craft: He was a true craftsman, he knew what the camera could do and then he pushed it further, and further. He knew his lenses backwards and he knew the limitations of technology. But this craft, his craft had a real humanity about it.

Humanity: Beanie was a man with great integrity. He cared about all those in front of his lens and he wept with them, felt compassion for them, laughed with them, went into bat for them. He was as honest as the day is long, particularly with his images.

Team: He was a great team player and everything he shot was for the greater good.

I spoke to John on many occasions when he would call into my office on Riverside Drive. Many of those times it was to enter his work into the ACS Awards. Even then it was as though John was doing this for everyone, not just himself. He would talk about wanting to do “better stuff” as he put it, I’d let him know he was already doing better stuff. He’d smile, broadly and say, “You know what I mean.” John was so good, it will certainly be a loss not to look at his beautiful and thought provoking images.

I have no trouble comparing Beanie to Damian Parer and Neil Davis, he was cast in that mould.

He possessed a great generosity of spirit and was always prepared to have a yarn and to share the knowledge. He was a fine cinematographer, but more than that he was a fine man. One I’m proud to have known and shared a few, albeit brief moments with

Ron Johanson ACS

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