Thomas Loizeaux

Thomas Jacques Loizeaux, a cinematographer whose recent work included the movies Syriana and Wedding Crashers, died of a heart attack Saturday while visiting his daughter in Louisville, Ky. The Mount Washington resident was 61.

Born in Baltimore and raised in Towson, he was a 1963 graduate of Towson High School. His studies at what is now Towson University were interrupted by service in the Army in the Vietnam War.


He later took courses in filmmaking at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and earned his bachelor's degree in art at Towson while working as a photographer's assistant at the old BF&J; Productions in Park Heights.

He was a cinematographer at the Maryland Center for Public Broadcasting for six years and helped make documentaries on shipbuilding on the Eastern Shore before going to Los Angeles and earning his master of fine arts degree at the American Film Institute.


In the mid-1970s, he was director of photography for Desperate Living, a John Waters film shot in an unheated Fells Point loft.

"The whole movie cost $60,000 to make, and Tom was certainly a team player throughout the agony of making it," Mr. Waters said yesterday. "He was a kind, nice man - a major loss in the film community,"

Mr. Loizeaux went on to film throughout the world, but remained based in Baltimore. He was second unit and camera operator on more than two dozen feature films including Step Up, Syriana, Wedding Crashers, Ladder 49, Gods and Generals, Something the Lord Made and Guarding Tess.

He often informally shared his knowledge of filmmaking.

"Tom was a compulsive perfectionist who aspired to assist us in seeing what was possible," said Richard Chisolm, a fellow cinematographer and close friend. "He quietly and selflessly taught me everything I could possibly absorb about the craft of camera work. He helped us see that capturing the beauty of an image was a noble and rewarding act."

Mr. Loizeaux was director of photography on numerous commercials, including ads for Head skis and Crown Central gasoline, and did promotional film spots for WJZ-TV. He also worked on 1999 episodes of the TV drama series The West Wing.

He had recently filmed David Carradine for a Yellow Book ad and created another spot for Advance Business Systems. He was director of photography for the recent documentary Manuel Barrueco: A Gift and a Life and the 1990 work Memory & Imagination: New Pathways to the Library of Congress.

Mr. Loizeaux enjoyed working with wood, and preserving and repairing vintage audio equipment.


A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Feb. 3 at Towson Unitarian Universalist Church, 1710 Dulaney Valley Road.

Survivors include his wife of 30 years, Victoria Eugenie Crenson; a daughter, Lilian Eugenie Loizeaux of Louisville; a son, Andrei Kotov Loizeaux of Baltimore; two sisters, Carol Johnson of Sykesville and Claire Nolan of White Marsh; and three nephews. Another son, Jeffrey Andrew Loizeaux, died in 2000.

For the record

An obituary for Thomas Jacques Loizeaux in yesterday's editions omitted the names of his three surviving brothers, Alfred Loizeaux, Robert Loizeaux and David Loizeaux, all of Baltimore. It also left unclear his role in the Army during the Vietnam War, when he was a military police officer at Fort Sill, Okla. The Sun regrets the errors.