Cinematographer profile – Allan Leader - CSC

Allan Leader travels the world telling compelling stories for international documentaries, films, tv series, ad agencies, specialty channels, commercials and corporations. His travel experience reads like a National Geographic: Antarctica, China, Argentina, Indonesia, Croatia, USA, Bolivia, Yemen, Chile, Nigeria, Cayman Islands, Mexico, Ecuador, Panama, Japan & Vietnam, to name a few.

Allan brings 24 years of professional experience as a Cinematographer & visual storyteller in the television & film industry. He is member of the prestigious CSC- Canadian Society of Cinematographers, Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television, National Press Photographers Association & Alberta Media Production Industries Association.

As an award winning Cinematographer, Allan has been recognized by professional organizations such as The Gemini Awards, Canadian Society of Cinematographers, National Press Photographers Association, Houston International Film Festival, Western Canadian News Photographers Association, The Can-Pro Television Awards, The Southern Alberta Iris awards as well as Alberta Motion Picture Industry Association Awards.

As Director of Photography & Associate Producer, Allan recently completed the Theatrical Documentary, ‘Unclaimed’. He was awarded ‘Best Cinematography Non Fiction over 60 minutes’ for the film at the 2013 AMPIA awards. The story is the most compelling that Allan has ever told. ‘While working in Southeast Asia, a war torn veteran of the Vietnam War discovers a mysterious man claiming to be an American MIA. So begins his struggle to prove the lost soldier’s identity and reunite him with his American family’.
https://vimeo.com/68336079 www.movieunclaimed.com

Allan recently received 4 nominations for the Canadian Society of Cinematographers 57 Annual Awards:

2014 CSC nominations include:

Robert Brooks Award for Documentary Cinematography ‘Unclaimed’

Lifestyle / Reality Cinematography ‘Survival of the Fabulous’

Stan Clinton Award for News Essay Cinematography ‘Crystal Skulls’

Stan Clinton Award for News Essay Cinematography ‘Nutshellz’

Allan recently received two awards at the 2014 Alberta Television & Film Awards for Best Cinematographer Non- Fiction over 30 minutes ‘Survival of the Fabulous’ & Best News Feature ‘Crystal Skulls’.

Allan was Director of Photography for the 11 part series, ‘Hail Mary’. In 2013, the Canadian Society of Cinematographers honored Allan for Lifestyle / Reality series Cinematography for ‘Hail Mary’. The series received the ‘Platinum Remi Award’ for Cinematography at the 2013 Houston International Film Festival. The compelling documentary series focuses on rookie football players chasing their dream to play in the CFL. Lead by Allan Leader, our cameras document the raw truths inside their journey, following rookies across North America as some of their dreams are extinguished while a select few inch closer to realizing it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PR_0G6V2S5g

Allan recently completed principal photography on a 1 hour special for Discovery Channel’s ‘Mighty Ships’ on board the USS New York. Forged with steel salvaged from New York City’s collapsed Twin Towers, the USS New York is the most advanced Amphibious Assault vessel on the planet. Allan was embedded with the US Navy, US Air Force, US Marines and Allied Forces for during ‘Operation Bold Alligator’. Allan had unprecedented & unfettered access to the entire operation. Viewers get a
front row seat inside the cockpit of Cobra attack helicopters, hovercraft, floating tanks, Hummers, Weapons Control, and the intricate inner workings of
the USS New York. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jko194w6Wi8

Allan was the Cinematographer on ‘Titanic the 100 Year Anniversary.’ The television special for Discovery Channel focused on the sinking of the Titanic. The program recreates Titanic’s fateful last night at sea and provides startling new details which would have prevented Titanic from sinking.

In 2012, Allan was honored twice by the prestigious organization, Canadian Society of Cinematographers (CSC). He received the award for ‘Lifestyle / Reality Cinematography’ for the hit series ‘Mighty Ships’ for Discovery Channel. Allan spent three weeks in Antarctica filming. His journey on board the French ship LeBoreal on her maiden voyage into Antarctica was a cinematographers dream project. Navigating through breath taking icebergs, some exceeding 30 miles long and nearly 20
storeys high, and walking amongst over a million penguins will forever rank among one of Allan’s most memorable journeys which saw the ship face off with the notorious Drake passage and forge straight into the eye of a raging storm. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2YMoAhz46Cs

In 2012 the CSC also awarded Allan the ‘Stan Clinton Award for News Essay Cinematography’ for another Discovery Channel project. As a visual storyteller it was amazing to be asked to travel to the Salt flats of Utah to film drivers chasing their dreams on one of the flattest and fastest surfaces on the planet. Rookie driver Tegan Hammond did the near impossible. Having never before driven a race car engineered by her family of fellow racers, Tegan shattered land speed records and in a single day joined an exclusive few in the ‘300 mile per hour club’. Documenting this quest of the adrenaline charged rookie was truly an awe-inspiring experience.

In 2012 Allan was nominated for 5 Alberta Motion Picture Industry Association Awards including “Best News Feature” for ‘Rookie Driver,’ “Best Cinematographer Non-Fiction under 30 min” for ‘Dearly Departed,’ ‘Best Cinematographer Non-Fiction over 30 min’ for ‘Mighty Ships’ episode ‘LeBoreal,’ ‘Best Director Non-Fiction under 30 min’ for ‘Redemption’, ‘Best Director Non-Fiction under 30 min’ for ’Dearly Departed.’

In 2011 the Alberta Motion Picture Industry Association awarded Allan with the ‘Best News Feature’ for ‘Lemonade Stand Rivals.’ Allan produced, directed and photographed the feature. https://vimeo.com/15080491

In 2009, "X-Weighted" received a 2nd consecutive Gemini Award for "Best General / Human Interest Series". Allan was the series Director of Photography for all 5 seasons. "X-Weighted Families" focuses on a national
epidemic - overweight families. The series is eye opening, as it reveals the critical issues contributing to a national obesity epidemic. We follow the journeys of a cross-section of 13 courageous families coming to terms with their overweight reality.

In 2008, "X-Weighted", airing on "Slice Network" received a Gemini Award for "Best General / Human Interest Series". "X-Weighted" is an inspiring 13 x one hour documentary series showcasing the triumph of individuals losing weight through healthy lifestyles and extremely hard work.

In 2008, Allan received the Platinum Remi Award for Outstanding Cinematography at the Houston International Film Festival. Allan’s cinematography for The Discovery Channel feature, "Scissor Bridge" a military profile, earned the award.

In 2003, Allan's cinematography received a prestigious Gemini Award in the ‘Best Photography in an Information or Series category.’ Allan’s cinematography for The Discovery Channel feature on Opium research inside Canada’s only legalized grow operation for Daily Planet, earned the award.

In 2002, Allan received a Kodak Spectrum Award at the annual Gemini Awards for ‘Best Photography in an Information or Series category.’ The Discovery Channel project focuses on the artwork left on rocks by nomadic Hopi Indians traveling North America.

In 1994, the Western Canadian News Photographers Association recognized Allan as “Television Photographer of the Year.“ Allan was runner up in 1995.

Select credits:
• Theatrical Documentary -"Unclaimed"
• National Geographic -"Live from Space"
• The Nature of Things -"Survival of the Fabulous"
• Discovery Channel -"Titanic – 100th year Anniversary"
• Discovery Channel -"911” – Tenth Anniversary of the Terrorist Attacks" (1 hr)
• Discovery Channel -"The Hunt for the Mad Trapper" & Nerve Center
• Discovery Channel - daVinci "Unlocking The Genius"
• Omni Film Productions - "Wild Horses of the Nemiah" 1 hr documentary – CBC
• Discovery Channel - "Daily Planet" 2 hr special in Panama
• Discovery Channel – ‘Mighty Planes’, ‘Mighty Ships’, ‘Mega Speed’,
• Entertainment Tonight (USA)
• Amazing Race
• Dr Phil features (USA)
• Oprah "Split Seconds of Courage" (USA)
• ABC Primetime (USA)
• Discovery Channel - Hurricane Katrina features in New Orleans
• Travel Channel features for "Top Ten" series (USA)
• EPK – ‘Snow Dogs’, ‘Fear Itself’, ‘Shanghai Noon’, ‘Hell On Wheels’
• Etalk – Lilith Fair tour
• CTV – “Olympic features”
• CBC Sports - "Olympic Profiles"
• NHK - " Olympic Profiles" (Tokyo)
• Discovery Channel - "Daily Planet" HD features at NASA (USA)
• Slice Network – "Project Runway" & ‘X-Weighted’
• ABC - Good Morning America (USA)
• Food Network - "The Family Restaurant" series
• CMT - Various
• CTV - "Canadian Idol"
• The Score Network - "Hardcore Championship Fighting" series
• Toyota commercials
• Ford commercials
• Score Network – “Cabbie on the street” features
• TLC - "Makeover Story", "Reunion" & "A Wedding Story " (USA)
• MTV – “Win a Date” with Justin Bieber


Benjamin Ringe – Senior Vice President Development & Executive Producer NBC’s Peacock Productions
(212) 664-5932
[email protected]

Kelly McKeown – Executive Producer - Discovery Channel
(416) 384-4401
[email protected]

Shawn Visco – Director of Original Programming HGTV
(212) 895-0637
[email protected]

Michael Jorgensen – Filmmaker – Myth Merchant Films
(780) 974-9889
[email protected]

Mark Stevenson – Director
(416) 627-4944
[email protected]

Margaret Mardirossian – Executive Producer – Anaid Productions
(604) 982-9285
[email protected]

Connie Edwards – Producer / Director – Souleado Entertainment
(780) 490-4506
[email protected]

Neil Thomas – Director
(604) 999-0920
[email protected]

Demo, rates, equipment packages, client list:
Allan Leader – Cinematographer - CSC
[email protected]
Canadian cell 403.660.8364 USA cell 480.889.4196

Production Skills & Specialities

Aerial, Corporate, Documentary, Nature, Sports, Weddings, Disaster Coverage, Video Production, Spot News