Michael Chapman began at the end of the 60s as an assistant cameraman then as a cameraman for films as famous as The Godfather, Husbands or The Teeth of the Sea. He participated very early in New Hollywood by working with the director Hal Ashby for The Owner ( as cameraman) and The Last Corvée, his first photography director.
In 1976, he collaborated for the first time with Martin Scorsese on Taxi Driver, then a few years later on the documentary The Last Waltz, the clip Bad by Michael Jackson and Raging Bull, whose luscious black and white earned him an Oscar nomination. He will receive a second in 1994 for the photograph of The Fugitive, by Andrew Davis with Harrison Ford. During his career, he also worked with Philip Kaufman (Les Seigneurs), Paul Schrader (Hardcore), Martin Ritt (Le Prête-nom) or Joel Schumacher (Lost Generation).
Chapman also tried his hand at directing, making three feature films, the best known of which is Team Spirit with Tom Cruise, released in 1983 in the United States. He will also direct Le clan de la cave des ours (1986) and The Viking Sagas (1995), which are now largely forgotten. However, there will remain of Chapman sublime plans thanks to the talent he brought to works of venues of timeless classics. He was 84 years old.