Isidore Mankofsky
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Cinematographer Isidore Mankofsky (b. September 22, 1931) may have been involved in more academic films than any individual in his profession.  His work for Encyclopaedia Britannica was exacting, inventive, more than occasionally extraordinary (note the gargantuan human hand on the beach in 'Beach: River of Sand').  After shooting hundreds of academic titles, he went on to a noted career in feature films ('Somewhere in Time').  He passed away on March 11, 2021. Read filmmaker Tom Smith's reminiscences of his years working with Mankofsky.

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Isidore Mankofsky, ASC, received his formal photographic training at the Ray Vogue School of Photography and the Brooks Institute of Photography and counts forty-three years as a cinematographer. His early career as a still photographer and cinematographer covered eclectic assignments including TV specials, documentaries, sports, industrials, news and nine years with Encyclopedia Britannica Films as staff cameraman. While at Encyclopedia Films he shot more than two hundred classroom films, covering a broad range of subjects. Since then, as a freelance Director of Photography his work encompassed features, commercials, television and special venue 3-D films.

Isidore‘s credits as Director of Photography on feature films include ‘The Muppet Movie’, ‘Somewhere In Time’, ‘The Jazz Singer’, ‘One Crazy Summer’, ‘Better Off Dead’ and ‘Skin Deep’, among others. Included in the TV credits are ‘The Burning Bed’, ‘Broadway Bound’, ‘The Heidi Chronicles’, ‘The Oxsana Baiul Story’ and many more. Network credits included the BBC-NBC joint production 'The Inventing of America' (1976, directed by Claude Whatham, hosted by James Burke and Raymond Burr). He  received the ASC cinematographers’ award for ‘Love, Lies and Murder,’ and four Emmy nominations.

He was an active member of the American Society of Cinematographers, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers.

Isidore’s own personal history is fascinating. One of twelve children of Russian immigrants (only eight made it beyond infancy), his first name was left off his birth certificate, and his name was finally formalized upon his joining the military. While filming the massive EB chemistry series project in 1959, he used the name "Bill Mann", on the advice of a producer, who warned him of anti-Jewish bias in the state of Florida at the time. With a deep appreciation for film history, Mankofsky had the foresight to collect props, scripts, and other artifacts from his years at EB (1959-1968). At the time of his passing, he was finishing a book on his work as a still photographer.


Filmography in academic film

Films on which Isidore Mankofsky worked for Encyclopaedia Britannica

* Mankofsky is not sure if he worked on films denoted with an asterisk, but surmises he did. This information will be updated on a periodical basis.
** A working title. Actual title upon release has yet to be identified.

‘Chemistry: Introductory Course’ a series of 161 films, prod. Dave Ridgway, advised by Dr. John F. Baxter, University of Florida, for EB. These films are not listed individually in the filmography below.

* Airplane Trip, prod. Bill Varney
Airport in the Jet Age, dir. Larry Yust
Art of Huck Finn, The, dir. Larry Yust
Atomic Energy - Inside the Atom, dir. Stan Croner, prod. Larry Yust
Automobile in America, The
Beach A River Of Sand, prod. Warren Brown w/John Shelton (possibly Buddy Botham on other camera)
Bible as Literature, The, Part I: The Old Testament, dir. John Barnes
Boats and Ships, prod. Stan Croner
Care Of Pets, prod. Larry Yust
Careers in the Office: Communicating with the Public (1971, dir. Gregory Heimer)
** Chemical Pollution
Choosing Up (dir. Frederic Goodich)
City Bus Driver, dir. Isidore Mankofsky
Cloth, prod. Bill Kay
Controversy Over Industrial Pollution, dir. Chuck Finance
Controversy Over the Moon, dir. Chuck Finance
Electrons at Work, prod. Larry Yust
Energy and Work, prod. Larry Yust
Erosion - Leveling The Land, dir. Bill Varney
Evidence for Molecules and Atoms, prod. Stan Croner
Evidence for The Ice Age, dir. Chuck Finance
Explaining Matter: Atoms and Molecules, prod. Larry Yust
Flowering Plants and their Parts, dir. Chuck Finance
Forces, dir. Stan Croner, prod. Larry Yust
Free Press vs. Fair Trial By Jury – the Sheppard Case, prod. Stan Croner
Freedom of Religion, dir. Dennis Azzarella
Freedom to Speak: People of New York vs. Irving Feiner,  dir. Robert Q. Lovett
Frontiers in Space: Exploring the Universe with Telescopes, prod. David Bennett
Gold Rush, The, dir. Stan Croner
Great Plains: Land of Risk, prod. Stan Croner
Hospital, The, dir. Kenneth M. Rosen
How Level is Sea Level, prod. Larry Klingman
How Solid Is Rock, prod. Chuck Finance
How To Bend Light, prod. Larry Yust
How to Measure Time, prod. Larry Yust
How to Produce Current With Magnets, prod. Larry Yust
Huck Finn & the American Experience, dir. Larry Yust
Huckleberry Finn: What Does It Say?, dir. Larry Yust
** Introduction to Insects, dir. Larry Yust
** Introduction to Heliography, prod. Larry Yust
** Introduction To The Cathode Ray Oscilloscope, prod. Larry Yust
In Case of Fire (dir. Larry Yust)
Investigating With Green Plants, prod. James R. Christensen
Lemonade Stand, prod. Tom Smith
Life In a Tide Pool
Life Story of the Ladybird Beetle, prod. Tom Smith
Light and Color, prod. Larry Yust
Looking At Molecules, prod. Tom Smith
Magnetic, Electric and Gravitational Fields,  prod. Larry Yust
Making the Desert Green, dir. Warren Brown
Mammals, dir. Tom Smith
Manuel from Puerto Rico, dir. Maclovia Rodriguez
Magic Prison: Emily Dickinson, dir. John Barnes
Maps for a Changing World, dir. Larry Yust
Newspaper Story, prod. Tom Smith
Physical Environment, prod. David Bennett
Population Ecology, prod. Stan Croner
Poultry on the Farm
Railroad Builders, prod. Stan Croner
Regulating Body Temperature, dir. Chuck Finance
Rocks That Form On The Earth’s Surface, dir. Chuck Finance
Rocks That Originate Underground, prod. Chuck Finance
Safety in The Home, prod. Bill Varney
Safety on The Streets, prod. Bill Varney
Sand Dollar
Santa Fe and the Trail, prod. Stan Croner
Seaport, The, prod. Larry Yust
Settlement of the Great Plains (prod. Stanley Croner)
** Shippers: Moving Our Goods, dir. Jim Reilly (sp?)
Space: Exploring the Universe with Telescopes, dir. David Bennett
Standing Waves And The Principle Of Superposition, prod. Larry Yust
Story Of Palomar, The
Tugboat Skipper, dir. John Barnes
Vibrations, dir. Stan Croner,  prod. Larry Yust
Water, prod. Chuck Finance
Waves and Energy, dir. Stan Croner
Waves on Water, prod. Chuck Finance
What Do We Still Have Mountains, dir. Warren Brown
What is Electric Current, prod. Larry Yust
What Is Space, prod. Larry Yust
What Is Uniform Motion, prod. Larry Yust
What Makes Clouds, prod. Warren Brown
What Makes the Wind Blow, dir. Warren Brown
Why Do We Still Have Mountains, dir. Warren Brown
Work Of the Heart, prod. Tom Smith
Your Environment

EB’s ‘Short Story/Short Play Showcase’, all directed by Larry Yust

Discussion of Bartleby
A Discussion of The Crocodile
Dr. Heidegger's Experiment
Discussion of Dr. Heidegger's Experiment
Lady or The Tiger
Discussion of The Lady Or The Tiger
Long Christmas Dinner
Discussion of The Long Christmas Dinner
Acting For Film (Larry Yust discusses acting in Wilder’s ‘Long Christmas Dinner’)
Lottery, The
Discussion of The Lottery
My Old Man
Discussion of My Old Man
The New Tenant
A Discussion of The New Tenant
Directing a Film (Larry Yust discusses directing Ionesco’s ‘New Tenant’)
Secret Sharer
Discussion of The Secret Sharer
Well of The Saints
Discussion of The Well Of The Saints
Editing a Film (Larry Yust discusses editing Synge’s ‘Well of the Saints’)

Films made for Wexler Films, directed by Larry Yust

(Great) Big Dinner Table
Food and Energy
Food for Life
Food for a Modern World
How a Hamburger Turns Into You
Measuring with Meters - or - How to Weigh a Gold Brick with a Meter Stick
Vitamins From Food
What’s Good to Eat?
Wondering About Things

Other academic films:

Appointment with Pablo (a film for Elizabeth Arden) prod. Bill Davis & Jim McGinn
Business, Behaviorism, and the Bottom Line (CRM, with B.F. Skinner)
Business: What It's All About (1975, FilmFair, dir. Ilene Kahn)
Cell: a Functioning Structure (CRM), dir. Steve Katten
Conversation with B.F. Skinner (CRM)
Development and Differentiation (CRM) prod. Steve Katten
Embryo Development (CRM)
Energetics of Life, prod. Mallory Pearce (Media Guild)
Fellow Citizen, A. Lincoln (1973, prod. Southern Baptist Radio & Television Commission)
Fruit Fly, The: A Look at Behavior Biology (CRM) prod. Steve Katten
Georgia Sea Island Singers (1963). Made for the Anthropology Department at San Fernando Valley College, this film  presents spirituals as sung during the 19th century on St. Simons Island, off the Georgia sea coast. Mankofsky shot the San Fernando sequences, Archer Goodwin the Georgia sequences. Produced  by Beth Lomax Hawes.
I Only Want You To Be Happy (CRM) prod. Steve Katten
Invisible Cold Invaders, prod. John Matlock (Media Four Productions)
L.A. is My Lady (E.G. Davidson Productions, dir. Emily Davidson)
Lincoln Heritage Trail (1964), Made for Walter Harrison Smith Company
Nature of Matter, The: An Atomic View (CRM) prod. Steve Katten
Peptic Ulcers (made for PRI Films, Wakeford/Orloff, dir. Dan Bessie)
Progress in Cancer Research (American Cancer Society)
Proteins: Structure & Function, prod. Mallory Pearce (Film Fair)
Sex Role Development (CRM), dir. Barbar Jampel
States of Matter (CRM), prod. Larry Logan
Token Economy (CRM, with B.F. Skinner), dir. Peter Jordan

People on Market Street (1977), a series of seven films directed and produced by Terry Kahn:

Market Clearing Price
Property Rights and Pollution
Scarcity and Planning
Wages and Production

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