It all started in the late 1970’s when David Claessen got introduced to the Film Community in his native Amsterdam, The Netherlands by accident.
After graduating from Nederlandse Televisie & Film Academie in the early 1980’s he worked in the vast Television Documentary market in Europe traveling all over the globe shooting film for the Dutch, French and British Television. He later worked as a Camera Operator under the legendary French Cameramen Henri Alekan [La Belle et La Bete by Jean Cocteau, La Belle Capitive by Robbe-Grillet, Wings of Desire by Wim Wenders] and Sacha Vierny [Hiroshima Mon Amour, L’Annee Derniere a Marienbad by Alain Renais, The Cook, His Wife & Her Lover by Peter Grenaway].
David Claessen started working as a Feature Film Director of Photography in 1983 when he got the opportunity to photograph the French Film Haute Mer for the Argentinean director Eduardo Cozarinsky. Since settling in the USA in
1986 he photographed The Telephone [Whoopi Goldberg] for Rip Torn [The Gary Shandling Show], Getting In [Matthew Perry, Callista Flockhart] for Doug Liman [Swingers, The Bourne Identity, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Fair Game]. In 1995 An Evil Town directed by Richard Sears won Best Short Film @ the Film Festival of Cannes, France. A few years later David won the Kodak Achievement Award for Best Cinematography for his work on Marc Chiat’s Every Dog Has It’s Day. While primarily working on commercials [Mercedes, Heineken, Nike, GMC] & Music Videos [Britney Spears, Snoop Dogg, Aaliyah, Brandy, Monica, BoyzIIMen, Jay Z] over the last 20+ years Claessen has completed several films with director Julie Dash [Daughters of the Dust, Love Song] including The Rosa Parks Story for which she was nominated by the DGA for best direction. Angela Bassett won an Emmy and an Image Award for her performance in this movie. With Tyler Perry’s Diary Of A Mad Black Woman Claessen scored his first # 1 Box Office Hit. Make It Happen reunited David with director Darren Grant [Diary Of A Mad Black Woman] and Bring it On: Fight to the Finish with Bille Woodruff. David Claessen is represented by Paradigm Agency in Los Angeles for Feature, TV & Commercial and makes his home in New York, NY and L.A., CA