William McDonald Named UCLA Film School Department Chair
McDonald received a Master of Fine Arts in Cinematography in 1986 from UCLA, the first cinematography degree awarded by the university. He then joined the faculty for three years as Head of the First Year Graduate Production Program. McDonald also served on the faculties of various film schools, including American University, Loyola Marymount University and USC’s School of Cinematic Arts Cinematography. In 1995, he returned to UCLA FTVDM as Visiting Assistant Professor, and was tenured in 1998 as Head of Cinematography.
The professional work of McDonald as cinematographer and producer include both documentary and dramatic films that have won numerous film festival awards. Among them are three independent documentaries produced with his wife Pamela Beere Briggs (UCLA BA ’80, MFA “90): Funny Ladies: A Portrait of Female Cartoonists, an award-winning series of profiles of leading female newspaper cartoonists; Women of Mystery: Three Writers Who Forever Changed Detective Fiction which examines the top female writers of contemporary crime fiction, Sara Paretsky, Sue Grafton and Marcia Muller; and Mysterious California: Four Authors, a rich visual journey through the distinctive California landscapes of four crime novels.