Steven Spielberg Pays Tribute To E.T. Cinematographer Who Died Due To COVID-19

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

Last week, the film world was shocked and saddened to hear of the passing of cinematography legend Allen Daviau, who died at 77 due to complications from COVID-19. The celebrated cinematographer was noted for his many films, but he’s arguably known best for his collaborations with Steven Spielberg. Now, Spielberg has spoken out on Daviau’s passing, and he’s paid tribute to him in the best possible way.

Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment recently shared a message from the director, who praised the legacy of Allen Daviau. The post also included a vintage still of Spielberg and Daviau working together on set. You can check out the sentimental message and cool photo down below:

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I think most would agree that Steven Spielberg’s words are a fitting tribute to Allen Daviau and more than sum up his feelings about him. When you’ve done the kind of work that they’ve done together, it’s easy to form a bond and, together, they have plenty to be proud of.

It’s also fitting that Amblin Entertainment would be the one to release the statement. This isn’t just because it’s owned by Spielberg but because his and Daviau’s first collaboration was Spielberg’s first short film, Amblin’.

From there, the two would collaborate on E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, which would bring Daviau major recognition. Many of Daviau’s shots in the film are among the most recognizable in cinema and, for his work, he received an Academy Award nomination for Best Cinematography. The shot of E.T. and Elliot flying in front of the moon as they soared across the sky became particularly popular, so much so that Spielberg made it the logo for Amblin Entertainment.

Daviau and Spielberg reteamed again for Twilight Zone: The Movie, The Color Purple and Empire of the Sun, with the last film earning Daviau another Oscar nod.

And Steven Spielberg isn’t the only person to pay tribute to Allen Daviau in the last few days. E.T. actress Dee Wallace remembered the late cinematographer on social media, and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom director J.A. Bayona, a longtime admirer of Daviau's work, also paid his respects.

It can definitely be said that Allen Daviau and Steven Spielberg have had one of the most successful working relationships in the history of cinema. Without them, we would be missing some pretty notable moments.

But it’s also clear that the two men formed a bond and friendship that went way past the lens of a camera. Many collaborations aren’t easy, but it’s a rare thing when you can find a true collaborator and lifelong friend at the same time. Given this, one can totally understand why Spielberg would take the time to remember his late friend.

We here at CinemBlend continue to extend our thoughts to the family, friends and loved ones of Allen Daviau at this time.

Erik Swann
Senior Content Producer

Covering superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. I eat more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.