#1: From interview [Plus Camerimage, 2011]

#2: "The Butcher's Shop" - photo by Andy Subratie

 

   


SEAN BOBBITT   BSC

 

Born: 29 November 1958, Corpus Christi, Texas, USA, as Sean Francis Bobbitt.

Education: St George's College, Weybridge, Surrey, UK; University of California, Santa Clara [south of San Francisco] [Humanities and Television Directing].

Career: His family moved to Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, and then Weybridge, UK. Went back to the USA to study. Freelanced as a cameraman while in the Bay [San Francisco] area before returning to London, England, in the early 1980s to work as a news cameraman for CBS-tv.
Ph commercials dir by Steve McQueen [for 'Mr. Burberry', 2016], a.o.

Is a visiting tutor at the NFTS.

Awards: RTS Award 'Lighting, Photography and Camera - Photography [Drama]' [2003/04] for 'Canterbury Tales' [ep 'The Man of Law's Tale']; BAFTA TV Award 'Best Photography and Lighting [Fiction/Entertainment]' nom [2005] for 'The Long Firm'; 'Emmy' Award nom [2008] for 'Sense & Sensibility' [for Part 1]; BIFA 'Best Technical Achievement [Cinematography]' [2008] for 'Hunger'; RTS Yorkshire 'Camerawork of the Year' Award nom [2009] for 'Unforgiven'; BIFA 'Best Technical Achievement [Cinematography]' nom [2011] & European Film Awards 'Carlo Di Palma European Cinematographer Award' [2012] for 'Shame'; BAFTA TV Craft Award 'Photography: Factual' nom [2012] for 'Crack House USA'; ASC Film Award nom [2013], BAFTA Film Award nom [2013] & Film Independent Spirit Award 'Best Cinematography' [2014] for '12 Years a Slave'.


 

 FILMS

1995

Cock and Bull [Nigel Barker] c; short/28m & 50m (festival version)

1998

Wonderland [Michael Winterbottom] s16-35bu (scope)/c

2000

Maisie's Catch [Dan Weldon] c; short/13m

2000

Chunky Monkey [Greg Cruttwell] HD (Sony HDCAM)/c; first feature in the UK shot entirely on HD; released in 2003

2000

State of the Party [Richard Heslop] 35mm feature; unfinished

2000

Lawless Heart [Neil Hunter & Tom Hunsinger] s16-35bu/c; 2uc: Adam Suschitzky & Nic Lawson

2001

Dog [Andrea Arnold] c; short/10m; also ep of BBC2-tv 5-part series 'Ways to Leave Your Lover' (2003)

2001

Ladies Night [Caroline Hicks] c; short/20m

2001

Embrassez qui vous voudrez/Summer Things/See How They Run [Michel Blanc] c

2003

Touch of Pink [Ian Iqbal Rashid] c; addph UK; ph: David A. Makin

2004

Kidulthood [Menhaj Huda] s35/c; addph; ph: Brian Tufano

 

"Cargo"

 

2005

Cargo [Clive Gordon] s35/c; 2uc: Nic Lawson

2005

The Situation [Philip Haas] s16-35bu/c; 2uc: Nic Lawson

2005

United 93 [Paul Greengrass] s35/c; co-2uc; ph: Barry Ackroyd; filmed 2005-06

2006

Normal for Norfolk [Gareth Lewis] s16/c; short/10m; + co-prod

2006

The Baker/Assassin in Love [Gareth Lewis] s35/c; 2uc: Nic Lawson

2006

Mrs. Ratcliffe's Revolution [Bille Eltringham] c; 2uc: Nic Lawson

2006

Weddings and Beheadings [Amir Jamal] c; short/9m

2007

Everyday/Seven Days/Here and There [Michael Winterbottom] c; cph: Marcel Zyskind, James Clarke, Annemarie Lean-Vercoe & Simon Tindall; filmed a few weeks at a time over a period of 5 years (2007-11); premiered in 2012

2007

Genova [Michael Winterbottom] HD (Sony F750 & HVR-V1E)-to-35mm scope/c; co-addph UK; ph: Marcel Zyskind

2007

Hunger [Steve McQueen] ts (+ D-Cinema)/c

2007

Oxygen [Lisle Turner] scope/c; exp short/7m

2008

An Englishman in New York [Richard Laxton] 16mm/c; addph London, UK; ph: Yaron Orbach

2009

The Killer Inside Me [Michael Winterbottom] s35/c; addph; ph: Marcel Zyskind

2009

Crack House USA [Anthony Wonke] b&w (archive, 2005) + c; doc/90m

2010

Africa United [Debs Gardner-Paterson] ts (+ D-Cinema)/c; 2uc (+ op 'b' cam): Kate Reid

2010

Hysteria [Tanya Wexler] s35 (+ D-Cinema)/c

 

With dir Steve McQueen - "Shame"

 

2011

Shame [Steve McQueen] ts (+ D-Cinema)/c

2011

Trashed [Candida Brady] HD (Sony PMW-500)/c; doc/97m; addph: Titus Ogilvy & Peter Ditch

2011

The Place Beyond the Pines [Derek Cianfrance] ts (+ D-Cinema)/c; addph: Reed Morano

2011

Byzantium [Neil Jordan] HD (ARRI ALEXA Plus)-to-35mm scope (+ D-Cinema)/c; 2uc: Nic Lawson; filmed 2011-12

2012

12 Years a Slave [Steve McQueen] s35 (+ D-Cinema)/c

2012

Oldboy [Spike Lee] ts+s16+s35 (vfx)+s8+HD (Sony PMW-F3 + GoPro Hero)-to-35mm scope (+ D-Cinema)/c; remake of 'Oldeuboi/Old Boy' (2003, Chan-wook Park; ph: Chung-hoon Chung)

2013

Kill the Messenger [Michael Cuesta] ts+s16+DigiBeta (Sony DVW-790)-to-35mm scope (+ D-Cinema)/c; splinter unit ph: Bob Gorelick

2014

Rock the Kasbah [Barry Levinson] HD (ARRI ALEXA XT Plus)-to-D-Cinema (scope)/c; 2uc (+ c.op 'b' cam): Nic Lawson; ph Afghan unit: Jacob Simkin

2015

Queen of Katwe [Mira Nair] c

2016

Stronger [David Gordon Green] c; addph (+ c.op 'b' cam/Steadicam op): David Chameides

2016

On Chesil Beach [Dominic Cooke] c; addph: Nic Lawson

2017

Widows [Steve McQueen] c; addph (+ c.op/Steadicam op): David Chameides

 

 TELEVISION

1990

The Second Russian Revolution [David Ash, Mark Anderson, Oren Jacoby & Angus MacQueen] 6-part doc series (aired May-July 1991) + 2 follow-up programs (aired November 1991); cph: Michael Lange, a.o.; filmed 1989-90; for BBC/The Discovery Channel

1991

To Sell a War [Neil Docherty] doc/28m (1992); cph: Michael Savoie & Colin Allison; ep Thames-tv series 'This Week'

1992

The Kennedys [various] 2-part doc/b&w-c/169m; co-camera; ph: John Hazard; ep PBS-tv series 'American Experience'

1993

Spies in the Sky [prod: Paul Lashmar] doc/50m; ep BBC2 historical doc series 'Timewatch' (1994)

1993

The War Against the Mafia [Marnie Inskip & Tim Shawcross] 3-part doc series; cph: Sam Somwaru, Richard Gibb & David Haylock; ep ITV doc series 'Network First'

1994

Watergate [Mick Gold] 5-part investigative series; for BBC2

1994

The Windsors [Kathy O'Neil (ep #1, 2 & 3) & Annie Fienburgh (ep #4)] 4-part doc series for ITV; re-transmitted by Channel 4 (2000) with add footage; ep #4 was also repeated in 2003 (+ extra add footage)

1995

The Death of Yugoslavia [Michael Simkin (ep #1), Angus MacQueen (ep #2 & 5) & Paul Mitchell (ep #3 & 4)] 5-part doc series + follow-up ep (1996) and compilation (1999); for BBC2

1995

Entertaining Angels [Sue Mallinson] doc/60m; ep ITV doc series 'Network First'

1995

Voices of Victorian London [Jonathan Miller] doc/50m; ep BBC2 historical doc series 'Timewatch' (1996)

1995

The Churchills [Greg Lanning] 3-part doc series (1996); cph: Peter Chappell, Jeff Kleinman, a.o.

1996

Desmond Morris' The Human Sexes [exec prod: Michael Rosenberg & Sandra Gregory] 6-part doc series; cph: Simon Everson & Philip Bonham-Carter; for The Learning Channel (1997)

1996

A Man of Honour [Greg Lanning] doc/58m (1997); cph: Peter Nelson; ep BBC1-tv series 'Everyman'

1996

The Fifty Years War: Israel and the Arabs/Israel and the Arabs: The 50 Year Conflict [Michael Simkin (ep #1 & 5), Charlie Smith (ep #1 & 5), Dai Richards (ep #2 & 4) & David Ash (ep #3 & 6)] 6-part doc series; filmed 1996-97; for BBC2 (1998)

1997

Versace [Nick Reed] doc/60m; ep Channel 4 series 'Secret Lives'

1998

Ancient Inventions [Phil Grabsky (ep #1) & Daniel Percival (ep #2-3)] 3-part doc series; cph: Graham Smith & Peter Hayns; for BBC/The Discovery Channel

1998

Diana the Wrong Crusade? [Nick Read] doc/60m; for Channel 4

2000

The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby [Stephen Whittaker] 2-part tvm/16mm (2001)

2001

Sweet Revenge [David Morrissey] 2-part tvm/16mm

2001

Spooks/MI-5 [ep #3 'One Last Dance' dir by Rob Bailey (RB) & #4 'Traitor's Gate' dir by RB] 86-part series/s16, 2002-11; 1st season, 2002; other ph: Sue Gibson

2002

Jeffrey Archer: The Truth [Guy Jenkin] tvm/16mm; 2uc: Nic Lawson

2002

Second Generation [Jon Sen] 2-part tvm/16mm (2003)

2003

Canterbury Tales [ep #3 'The Knight's Tale' dir by Marc Munden & ep #6 'The Man of Law's Tale' dir by Julian Jarrold] 6-part miniseries/16mm; other ph: Tim Palmer (ep #1 & 4) & David Odd (ep #2 & 5)

2004

The Long Firm [Bille Eltringham] 4-part miniseries/16mm; 2uc: Nic Lawson

2007

Sense & Sensibility [John Alexander] 3-part miniseries/s16-to-HD; for BBC1 (2008)

2007

The Things I Haven't Told You [Marçal Forés] pilot/60m; for BBC3 (2008)

2008

Unforgiven [David Evans] 3-part miniseries/HD (ARRI D-21); 2uc: Nic Lawson; addph: Fabian Wagner; for ITV1 (2009)

2009

Game of Thrones [pilot dir by Tom McCarthy] this 'first draft' of the pilot was later reshot and re-edited by Tim Van Patten as 'Winter Is Coming'; filming started on 26 October in Northern Ireland

2010

Game of Thrones [ep #1 'Winter Is Coming' dir by Tim Van Patten] series/HD (ARRI ALEXA), 2011-present; 1st season, 2011; addph; ph: Alik Sakharov

2014

Codes of Conduct [Steve McQueen] pilot; for HBO-tv

 

 FILM INSTALLATIONS

2002

Western Deep [Steve McQueen] s8-to-?/c; exp film/29m; the film journeys into the physical interior of the deepest gold mine in the world, the Tautona mines near Johannesburg, South Africa, and takes the viewer into the darkness and claustrophobia of the lifts and shafts, the dust and the noise. Intended to be shown together with "Caribs' Leap" (2001; ph: Robby Müller) in a two screen presentation. Prod for Documenta XI, Kassel, Germany (2002).

2004

Charlotte [Steve McQueen] 16mm/c; exp film/?m; actress Charlotte Rampling's eye and surrounding skin are filmed in large red-tinted close-ups, teased and touched by the artist's (S. McQueen) finger. These sequences, both sensual and aggressive, culminate when the artist touches the surface of the eye.

2006

Gravesend [Steve McQueen] 35mm-to-HD/c; exp film/18m (2007); semi-abstract film about savage capitalism, neo-imperialism and the ways that multinationals mine riches from war-ridden, corrupted and otherwise ravaged countries, here the Congo and the mineral coltan.

2008

Butchers, Dragons, Gods & Skeletons [Philip Haas] 5 film installations based on selected works in the permanent collection of the Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, Texas, USA; commissioned and exhibited (July 18 - October 25, 2009) by the Kimbell Art Museum; the films are between 7 and 20 minutes in length and are running continuously.

'The Butcher's Shop' (HD [ARRI D-21]/c) is based on the painting by Annibale Carracci (1560-1609). Presented on two screens facing each other, the installation conjures up the world of the butchers, the world of the artist, and the encounter leading to the painting. The images on one screen show the scene in the painting. On the other screen we see the artist. He has set up an easel to paint the butchers at work, accompanied by a boy assistant. 'The Butcher's Shop' had its debut at the Sonnabend Gallery in New York in April 2008.

'Arhat Taming the Dragon' is vertical in format like the scroll that was its inspiration, and projected on a screen inside the same wooden shrine that appears in the film.

'Skeletons Warming Themselves' is based on a painting by James Ensor (1860-1949). The installation takes us inside the experiences, memories, and obsessive imagination of Ensor. The scene shifts from the artist lying dead in his studio to episodes in which he appears as an old man, a young man, a boy, and a baby in the care of his heavy-drinking father. In the installation, it unfolds on four screens within a giant skull, suggesting the idea that we are entering into the very mind of the artist.

'The Death of Pentheus' is based on the paintings on an ancient Greek wine-cup (or kylix). Like the paintings on the cup, the film is in tondo format - sometimes a single image, sometimes a central image ringed by others. It is projected on a screen in the form of a disk that seems to hover above the floor.

'Apollo and the Continents' is based on a sketch for a large fresco ceiling by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (1696-1770). In the most elaborate and technically challenging of his installations, Haas combines filmed images projected on both walls and ceiling with real architectural elements, responding in his own terms to the spectacular, playful illusionism of a Tiepolo ceiling.

2009

Giardini [Steve McQueen] c; exp film/30m; two films screened side by side showing images of Venice's public gardens - a quiet, subtle, and beautiful view of the pavilions that host the Biennale, minus the art world ruckus. Prod for the British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2009.

2009

Static [Steve McQueen] c; exp film/7m (continuous loop); shot from a helicopter and stars the Statue of Liberty. The camera circles around the monument, alternating between breathtaking distance shots that show the statue looming over docks and buildings and riveting close-ups that seem to capture every detail, from the striated rust of the gown and limbs to the tiny people standing in the crown. Prod for the Marian Goodman Gallery, New York (2010).