Lucien Ballard, the cinematographer best known for his collaboration with director Sam Peckinpah on such films as The Wild Bunch (1969), was born in Miami, Oklahoma. Ballard became a wanderer after dropping out of the Ivy League University of Pennsylvania and the University of Oklahoma, journeying to China in search of opportunity. When he returned to the United States after not finding any, Ballard gained employment in the lumber business, working in a mill sawing trees and surveying land.
Near the end of the decade known as the Roaring Twenties, Ballard visited a woman friend who worked as a script clerk at Paramount, and that was the connection that brought him into show business. He was hired by Paramount as a manual laborer loading trucks and worked his way onto a camera crew, starting as a camera assistant. He eventually served a five year apprenticeship, during which he moved his way up the hierarchy to camera operator, the member of the camera crew second-in-seniority… read more