Monday, August 14, 2017
"The Blair Witch Project" Cinematographer Neal Leslie Fredericks 2004 Westminster Cemetery
Neal Leslie Fredericks (July 24, 1969, in Newport Beach, California – August 14, 2004, in the Florida Keys) was an American motion picture cinematographer, most famous for The Blair Witch Project, noted and praised by critics for its distinctive cinéma vérité style of camera work. His other credits include Dreamers, Killer Me, The Stonecutter, Erosion, The Burkittsville 7, and Abominable.
During his life, Fredericks lived in California, Guam, Spain, Florida, and Maryland. He was a graduate of Montgomery College and Towson University, and shot several films for students at the University of Central Florida. Most of those involved with The Blair Witch Project were alumni of the University of Central Florida.
Fredericks died while filming scenes for the film CrossBones. A Cessna 206, the private aircraft he and the film's writer/director Daniel Zirilli were using to obtain aerial footage near the Dry Tortugas crashed into the sea when its engine failed. Though Zirilli, the pilot, and two other crew members were able to escape, Fredericks had tied himself into the airplane while he operated the camera. He was unable to free himself before the aircraft submerged.
Neal Leslie Fredericks is buried at Westminster Cemetery.