'Alien' cinematographer VanLint dies

'Dragonslayer' also among his credits

TORONTO -- Derek VanLint, the cinematographer on Ridley Scott's 1979 sci-fi flick "Alien," died Tuesday in Toronto after a short illness. He was 78.

"Derek was truly an icon -- his talent and passion for the craft of cinematography knew no boundaries," VanLint's longtime agent Sesler & Co. said Wednesday.

VanLint's brooding photography in "Alien," where his camera in the movie's opening sequence slowly pans the corridors of a silent Nostromo vessel with its crew in stasis, was also on show in the 1981 fantasy adventure pic "Dragonslayer," directed by Matthew Robbins for Paramount Pictures.

Besides his film and TV work, British-born VanLint was a veteran commercial director, completing TV spots for international clients that included Guinness, Pepsi, British Airways and Levis.