(written from a Production point of view)
|Birth name:||Matthew Frank Leonetti, Sr.|
|Date of birth:||31 July 1941|
|Place of birth:||Los Angeles, California|
Matthew "Matt" Frank Leonetti, Sr., ASC (born 31 July 1941; age 73) is an American cinematographer who was Director of Photography on Star Trek: First Contact and Star Trek: Insurrection for director Jonathan Frakes. His father, Frank Leonetti, worked as a lighting technician at MGM Studios. His brother, John Robert Leonetti, is a director and cinematographer. Educated at Loyola University in Chicago, Illinois and having served in the US Army, Matthew Leonetti has been working in the film industry for nearly four decades. He started out as a camera assistant on the Robert Scheerer-directed drama Adam at Six A.M. (featuring Richard Derr) and as a photographer on TV commercials.
Leonetti's first work as a cinematographer was the 1974 horror film, The Bat People (starring Stewart Moss, Michael Pataki, and Paul Carr), for which Leonetti also served as executive producer. Throughout the remainder of the 1970s, he worked as a cinematographer on a large number of made-for-TV movies and a few feature films, including 1979's Breaking Away, which starred Dennis Christopher and Paul Dooley.
In 1981, Leonetti directed photography on the horror film Poltergeist and the comedy Fast Times at Ridgemont High, both of which became box office hits during their release the following year. The first film featured stuntman Allan Graf and music by Jerry Goldsmith, the latter featured four Star Trek: The Next Generation alumni in the cast: Ray Walston, Vincent Schiavelli, Scott Thomson and Hallie Todd. Leonetti's subsequent film credits in the 1980s included the 1984 drama The Buddy System (starring Wil Wheaton), the 1985 fantasy comedy Weird Science (featuring Michael Berryman), the 1985 thriller Jagged Edge (featuring Michael Dorn and Biff Yeager), the 1985 action hit Commando (featuring Branscombe Richmond and music by James Horner), the 1986 action comedy Jumpin' Jack Flash (starring Whoopi Goldberg and Stephen Collins and featuring Michael McKean), and 1987's Dragnet (featuring Christopher Plummer, Bruce Gray and Meg Wyllie).
Leonetti was Director of Photography on four films for director Walter Hill: 1987's Extreme Prejudice (which featured Clancy Brown and Tommy "Tiny" Lister, Jr. and music by Jerry Goldsmith), 1988's Red Heat (featuring Ed O'Ross, Allan Graf and music by James Horner), 1989's Johnny Handsome (with Allan Graf), and Paramount Pictures' Another 48 Hrs., the 1990 sequel to the 1982 hit 48 Hrs. In addition to star Eddie Murphy, Another 48 Hrs. featured Bernie Casey, David Anthony Marshall, Ed O'Ross, Page Leong, Rex Pierson, Victor Brandt, Allan Graf, Biff Yeager, Benjamin W.S. Lum, Shauna O'Brien and Kevin Tighe in supporting roles, stunts by Patricia Tallman and a musical score by James Horner.
Leonetti was also cinematographer on action star Steven Seagal's second film, 1990's Hard to Kill, which also starred William Sadler and the aforementioned Branscombe Richmond. Throughout the rest of the 1990s, Leonetti was the cinematographer on such hit films as Disney's 1994 remake of Angels in the Outfield (featuring Christopher Lloyd and Neal McDonough), the 1994 crime comedy A Low Down Dirty Shame (featuring Salli Elise Richardson, Michael Bofshever and Gregory Sierra), the 1995 science fiction thriller Strange Days (produced by Steven-Charles Jaffe, the 1996 action thriller Fled (featuring Robert Hooks and Ken Jenkins), the 1997 video game adaptation Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (starring Brian Thompson and Musetta Vander), and the 1998 science fiction sequel Species II (featuring James Cromwell).
More recently, Leonetti's films have included Paramount's 2001 crime thriller Along Came a Spider (featuring Anton Yelchin and music by Jerry Goldsmith), the 2001 action comedy sequel Rush Hour 2 (featuring Harris Yulin and Saul Rubinek), the 2003 action thriller 2 Fast 2 Furious (co-edited by Dallas Puett), the 2004 science fiction thriller The Butterfly Effect (edited by Peter Amundson), and Zack Snyder's 2004 remake of Dawn of the Dead (featuring Matt Frewer). He later directed photography on two romantic comedies for the Farrelly brothers: 2005's Fever Pitch (featuring Willie Garson, Jack Kehler, and James B. Sikking) and 2007's The Heartbreak Kid.
Leonetti has since worked on the 2008 comedy What Happens in Vegas, in which Michelle Krusiec appeared. His most recent film was the 2008 comedy Soul Men.