#1: From the doc "Cinematographer Style"

#2: "Jarhead" [2004]

#3: 2004

 

   


ROGER DEAKINS   BSC/ASC

 

Born: 24 May 1949, Torquay, Devon, UK, as Roger A. Deakins, son of actress Josephine Messum & William Albert Deakins.

Education: Bath Academy of Art [Still photography]; National Film School [NFS], UK [1972-75; shot c. 15 films in 3 years].

Career: During the late 1970s, Deakins and a friend filmed 'Zimbabwe', a doc sponsored by the African National Congress. They did it under the guise of making a tourist film, but in reality they were recording what was going on during the civil war. His next doc was about an around-the-world yacht race. He spent a full year directing and shooting a film onboard the yacht ['Around the World with Ridgeway']. There were also films about other guerrilla wars and anthropological doc's. In-between these non-fiction films, Deakins was filming tv dramas, mainly for Channel 4.

Ph music videos, e.g. 'A Mess of Blues' [1983; a: Status Quo; d: Nigel Dick] and 'It's Only You, Mein Schmerz' [1983; a: Lene Lovich; d: Nigel Dick].

Member of the BSC since 1986 and the ASC since 1994.

Married to script supervisor Isabella James Purefoy Ellis [professionally known as James Ellis or James Ellis Deakins].

Appeared in the doc's 'In Search of Kundun with Martin Scorsese/À la recherche de Kundun avec Martin Scorsese' [1998, Michael Henry Wilson; ph: Jean-Jacques Flori & Frédéric Vassort], 'Behind the Camera' [2000, Richard Blanshard; for BBC-tv (10m)], 'The Coen Brothers' [2000, Andrea Miller; tv-doc (49m)], 'Who Needs Sleep? [2005, Haskell Wexler & Lisa Leeman] & 'Cinematographer Style' [2005, Jon Fauer; ph: J. Fauer, Jeff Laszlo, Brian Heller & David Morgan].

Awards: LAFCA Award [1991] & Independent Spirit Award nom [1992] for 'Homicide'; LAFCA Award [1991], NYFCC Award [1991] & NSFC Award [1992] for 'Barton Fink'; ASC Award [1995], Camerimage 'Bronze Frog' [1995] & 'Oscar' AA nom [1995] for 'The Shawshank Redemption'; BSC Cinematography Award nom [1994] for 'The Hudsucker Proxy'; Independent Spirit Award [1997], 'Oscar' AA nom [1997], ASC Film Award nom [1997] & BAFTA Film Award nom [1997] for 'Fargo'; BSFC Award [1997], NYFCC Award [1997], NSFC Award [1998], 'Oscar' AA nom [1998] & ASC Film Award nom [1998] for 'Kundun'; Camerimage 'Special Award' [2001; shared]; BSC Cinematography Award [2001], CFCA Award nom [2001], BAFTA Film Award nom [2001], ASC Film Award nom [2001] & 'Oscar' AA nom [2001] for 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?'; BSFC Award [2001], LAFCA Award [2001], AFI [USA] 'Cinematographer of the Year' [2002], 'Oscar' AA nom [2002], ASC Film Award [2002], BAFTA Film Award [2002], CFCA Award nom [2002] & Golden Satellite Award [2002] for 'The Man Who Wasn't There'; Evening Standard British Film Award [2005] for 'The Ladykillers' & 'The Village'; 'Oscar' AA nom [2007] & BSC Cinematography Award [2007] for 'The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford'; 'Oscar' AA nom [2007], BAFTA Film Award [2007] & BSC Cinematography Award [2008] for 'No Country for Old Men'; ASC Film Award nom [2008; shared], BAFTA Film Award nom [2008; shared] & 'Oscar' AA nom [2008; shared] for 'The Reader'; ASC Film Award nom [2008] for 'Revolutionary Road'; ASC Lifetime Achievement Award [2010]; BAFTA Film Award [2010] & 'Oscar' AA nom [2010] for 'True Grit'; ASC Film Award [2012] & 'Oscar' AA nom [2012] for 'Skyfall'; Commander of the Order of the British Empire [CBE] [2013]; ASC Film Award nom [2013] & 'Oscar' AA nom [2013] for 'Prisoners'; 'Oscar' AA nom [2014] & ASC Film Award nom [2014] for 'Unbroken'; ASC Film Award nom [2015] & 'Oscar' AA nom [2015] for 'Sicario'.

Website: Roger Deakins [+ forum]


'A Beautiful Mind' [2001]: Roger Deakins' favorite portion of the film is the section that takes place during Nash's salad days at Princeton. The visual concept, he says, was to create something a little nostalgic, without going too far. "We didn't want to go sepia," he explains. "We just wanted a softer, warmer, mellower and more textured image. It was meant to show the good times before the illness manifests itself." In order to achieve this effect Deakins shot Fuji's Super F Series 400T (8582) which he found to have "a really nice texture" and to be "a little bit more forgiving on the faces." Furthermore, all the film stock for this portion of the film was pre-flashed using a very warm light in order to flatten the contrast somewhat and provide overall warmth to the images. "Steve Blakely at DuArt personally flashed all the stock we shot. It was like flashing the stock with a light that had gone through a coral filter," he explains. "If you actually put a coral filter on the camera, you basically are biasing the whole negative to the warm side without affecting the contrast much at all. But this way, we were exposing the film to an overall fog level and filling in the shadows with these warm, yellow-brown tones and flattening the image a bit. It's a very specific look. Originally, I was only going to flash a few of the early sequences, but Ron [Howard] and I liked the look so much in dailies that we decided to use it for the whole first section." The contrast-reducing effect, Deakins adds, also helped him out in a practical way for some of the Princeton day exteriors involving extensive camera movement. "On some of those scenes it was hard to fill in," he points out. "There really wasn't any place to put a light or a reflector. The effect of the flashing brought down the contrast a bit so that wasn't a problem." Where required by circumstances, Deakins was also able to subtly reverse the effect by giving the negative slightly more exposure and timing down the denser negative, thus intensifying the blacks. "There were some interiors that might have been just too flat otherwise," he explains.

DuArt provided Deakins with timed dailies, which he found particularly valuable on this production. No fan of video or one-light dailies, Deakins felt fully timed film dailies were particularly important. "We were flashing the film and shooting on location in different weather at different times of the day," he says. "I was lighting interiors night for day quite a lot in situations where I would create daylight so you could see a lot of what was out the window even though it was pitch black outside. It's hard to keep it consistent in the negative when you're working in conditions like that so I like to get an idea of how it will work in the dailies. Obviously, you're not going to get it perfect, but timed dailies can give you an excellent indication of where you're going." [From the Fujifilm website.]


 

 FILMS

1974

Farmer's Hunt [Roger Deakins] c; doc/53m; prod NFS

1974

Horseboy [Jonathan Lewis] c; doc/20m; prod NFS

1975

Mother's Own [Ernest Abbeyquaye] c; doc/20m; prod NFS

1975

In the Penal Colony [Neil Leveson] b&w; short/15m; prod NFS

1975

Paolo - Some Paintings by Paolo Uccello [Alf Bower] ?; short/?m; prod NFS

1976

Take Three - A Film for the Schools Council Drama Project [John Michael Slater] 16mm/c; comm doc/64m; cph: Dick Pope

1976

Empty Hand [David Litchfield] 16mm/b&w-c; doc/32m; cph: Howard Sharp

1976

Welcome to Britain [Ben Lewin] 16mm/c; doc/70m; cph: Brian Huberman

1977

Bad Loser [Richard F. Tombleson (= Richard Ryan)] 16mm/c; short/34m; cph: Brian Williams; prod NFS

1977

The Invaders [Nick May] b&w; mus doc/87m; cph: N. May & Anders Gullberg; prod NFS

1977

Before Hindsight [Jonathan Lewis] 16mm/b&w-c; doc/78m

1977

Cruel Passion/Chris Boger's Justine/The Marquis de Sade - Justine [Chris Boger] c

1979

Blue Suede Shoes [Curtis Clark] c; mus doc/97m

1979

Van Morrison in Ireland [Mike Radford] 16mm/c; mus doc/55m; cph: Jeff Baynes, Christopher Morphet & Bill Marshall; filmed in February

1979

Beneath the Surface [Robert Carter] c; comm doc/16m; for Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD)

1979

Champions [Mike Wallington] c; doc/20m; cph: Terry Jenkins

1979

Box On [Lindsey Clennell] c; doc/38m; cph: Christopher Morphet, Jeff Baynes & John Davey

1979

Steppin' Out [Lyndall Hobbs] c; doc/26m; cph: John Metcalfe, Peter Sinclair, Christopher Morphet & Jeff Baynes

1980

Getting to the Point [Andrew Holmes] c; comm doc/17m; for MSD

1980

Elbow Joint Replacement [Andrew Holmes] c; comm doc/16m; cph: Pascoe MacFarlane & Steve Harrison; for MSD

1980

Capital City - A Portrait of London [Malcolm Mowbray] c; doc/39m

1980

Memoirs of a Survivor [David Gladwell] c; 2uc; ph: Walter Lassally

1981

Chances [Shaun Gordon] c; comm doc/15m; for MSD

1981

The Utmost Hazard [Jim Mitchell] c; comm doc/26m; cph: Peter Warrilow; for MSD

1981

The Animals Film [Victor Schonfeld & Myriam Alaux] 16mm/b&w-c; doc/120m & 136m; co-British loc ph (with Chris Morphet, Jeff Baynes & Nic Knowland); ph: Kevin Keating; addph: Scott Morris, V. Schonfeld & Anton van (as von) Munster

1981

Towers of Babel [Jonathan Lewis] c; short/27m

1982

There But for the Grace of God [David Woollcombe] c; comm doc/22m; for the Aidis Trust

1982

Another Time, Another Place [Michael Radford] s16-35bu/c

1983

The Royal Academy of Arts [James Archibald] c; doc/56m

1983

Alan Bush - A Life [Anna Ambrose] 16mm/c; mus doc/64m; cph: Dick Pope

1984

Nineteen Eighty-Four/1984 [Michael Radford] c; 2uc: Andrew Speller & Dick Pope

1984

The Innocent [John Mackenzie] c; 2uc: John Simmons; ph Kingfisher seq: Andrew Anderson

1985

Defence of the Realm [David Drury] c

 

Tony London - RD - Gary Oldman - Graham Fletcher-Cook

"Sid and Nancy"

 

1985

Sid and Nancy [Alex Cox] c; 2nd camera (UK): Dave Bridges; 3rd camera (UK): Jeff Baynes; uncred addph: Steven Fierberg

1986

Personal Services [Terry Jones] c

1986

The Kitchen Toto [Harry Hook] c; 2uc: Charles Patey

1987

White Mischief [Michael Radford] c

1987

La donna della luna/Woman in the Moon [Vito Zagarrio] c; cph: Luigi Verga

1987

Stormy Monday [Mike Figgis] c

1987

Pascali's Island [James Dearden] c

1988

Mountains of the Moon [Bob Rafelson] c; addph: Dick Pope

1989

The Long Walk Home [Richard Pearce] c

1989

Air America [Roger Spottiswoode] s35/c; 2uc: Robin Browne; aph: Adam Dale & David Nowell

1990

Barton Fink [Joel Coen] c

1990

Homicide [David Mamet] c

1991

Thunderheart [Michael Apted] c

 

[Right] with dir John Sayles - "Passion Fish"

 

1992

Passion Fish [John Sayles] c

1992

The Secret Garden [Agnieszka Holland] c; addph: Jerzy Zielinski & Dick Pope; wildlife ph: Andrew Anderson & Mike Richards; vfx cons: Robin Browne

1992

The Hudsucker Proxy [Joel Coen] c; 2uc: Paul Elliott; spph: Jim Bridges; vfx ph: Patrick Turner & Kim F. Marks

1993

The Shawshank Redemption [Frank Darabont] c

1994

Rob Roy [Michael Caton-Jones] J-D-C Scope/c; uncred cph; ph: Karl-Walter Lindenlaub; 2uc: James Devis

 

[Center] with the Coen Brothers - "Fargo" - photo Thys Ockersen Archive

 

1995

Fargo [Joel Coen] c

1995

Dead Man Walking [Tim Robbins] c

1995

Courage Under Fire [Edward Zwick] s35-to-35mm/c; 2uc: Nick Taylor; matte ph: Mark Sawicki

1996

Kundun [Martin Scorsese] s35/c; 2uc: Jan Kiesser & Phil Pfeiffer

1997

The Big Lebowski [Joel Coen] c

1998

The Siege [Edward Zwick] s35/c; 2uc: Craig Haagensen; aph: Dylan M. Gross; Wescam ph New York: David Norris

1998

Anywhere But Here [Wayne Wang] s35/c; addph: Paul Elliott

1998

The Hurricane [Norman Jewison] c

1999

O Brother, Where Art Thou? [Joel & Ethan Coen] s35/c

1999

Thirteen Days [Which Shocked the World] [Roger Donaldson] left prod due to creative differences; film was ph by Andrzej Bartkowiak in 1999-2000

2000

The Man Who Wasn't There [Joel Coen] s35-to-35mm/b&w-c

2001

A Beautiful Mind [Ron Howard] c; see above

2002

Levity [Ed Solomon] c

2002

Intolerable Cruelty [Joel Coen] c

2002

House of Sand and Fog [David Perelman] c; addph: David Stockton

2003

The Ladykillers [Ethan & Joel Coen] c; 2uc: Jas. Shelton; remake of film (1955, Alexander Mackendrick; ph: Otto Heller)

2003

The Village [M. Night Shyamalan] c; 2uc: Patrick Capone

2004

Jarhead [Sam Mendes] s35/c; 2uc: Clinton Dougherty

 

With dir Andrew Dominik [right] - "The Assassination of Jesse James"

Photo by Kimberley French

 

2005

The Assassination of Jesse James [by the Coward Robert Ford] [Andrew Dominik] s35 (+ D-Cinema)/c

2006

No Country for Old Men [Ethan & Joel Coen] s35 (+ D-Cinema)/c; 2uc: Philip C. Pfeiffer & Paul Elliott

2006

In the Valley of Elah [Paul Haggis] s35/c; filmed 2006-07

2007

Revolutionary Road [Sam Mendes] s35 (+ D-Cinema)/c

2007

The Reader [Stephen Daldry] s35-to-35mm/c; ph 1st shooting period (September-October); ph 2nd shooting period (March-July 2008): Chris Menges; 'I was on the film at the outset. I prepped the film and shot the initial 5 weeks or so (without the lead actress) at which time the production shut down to wait for Nicole Kidman (who replaced Kate Winslet) to become available. As there was no information as to when the production would restart or how long the schedule would go on for I took that moment to leave. I went on to shoot 'Doubt' and later start prep on 'A Serious Man' whilst Chris Menges took on 'The Reader'. I would hope that Chris didn't feel 'creatively' restricted by the footage I had shot, which is cut in throughout the length of the film. To my eye the look of the film seems quite consistent. 'The Reader' was an exceptional situation and not one that I would hope to repeat.' (From the forum on his website.)

2007

Doubt [John Patrick Shanley] s35-to-35mm (+ D-Cinema)/c; 2uc: Patrick Capone; filmed 2007-08

2008

A Serious Man [Ethan & Joel Coen] s35-to-35mm (+ D-Cinema)/c

2009

The Company Men [John Wells] s35-to-35mm (+ D-Cinema)/c; 2uc: Paul Elliott

2010

True Grit [Joel & Ethan Coen] s35 (+ D-Cinema)/c; ph splinter unit (Austin): Paul Elliott; new adaptation of the book (by Charles Portis, 1968)

2010

In Time/Now [Andrew Niccol] HD (ARRI ALEXA)-to-35mm scope (+ D-Cinema)/c; 2uc: Paul Hughen; 'I was looking for a different look, with a lot of saturation, sparkle. I did a test on ALEXA, and it looked right for the movie. We were doing a lot of night shooting in downtown L.A. It wasn't a big-budget film, so we were using existing streetlights and boosting with a practical light. I wouldn't have had enough exposure or the range or shadows with film. [...] What's not to like? I think it has more range than film. It's the color rendition that strikes me. Film also looks monochromatic versus ALEXA. There is more variation in the human face than is being picked up on film.' (From The Hollywood Reporter, 2011.)

2011

Skyfall [Sam Mendes] HD (ARRI ALEXA M, Studio & Plus)+RED Epic-to-35mm scope (+ IMAX-70bu & D-Cinema)/c; uncred title seq ph: John Mathieson; 2uc (+ 2ud): Alexander Witt; splinter/miniature unit ph: Peter Talbot; aph: John Marzano & (add) Adam Dale; uwph: Mike Valentine; plate ph: Stefan Lange; filmed 2011-12

2013

Prisoners [Denis Villeneuve] HD (ARRI ALEXA Plus & Studio)-to-35mm (+ D-Cinema)/c

2013

Unbroken [Angelina Jolie] HD (ARRI ALEXA XT, XT M, XT Plus & XT Studio)-to-35mm scope (+ D-Cinema)/c; splinter unit ph: Brad Shield; uwph: Simon Christidis; element ph superv: Robert Bock; texture element ph: Mark Stern & Arthur Zajak; filmed 2013-14

2013

Spectre/Bond 24 [Sam Mendes] announced; replaced by ph Hoyte van Hoytema

2014

Sicario [Denis Villeneuve] HD (ARRI ALEXA XT Studio & XT Plus)-to-D-Cinema (scope)/c; aph: Dylan Goss

2014

Hail, Caesar! [Ethan & Joel Coen] s35-to-35mm (+ D-Cinema)/c; filmed 2014-15

2015

Africa [Angelina Jolie] pre-production

2016

Blade Runner 2049 [Denis Villeneuve] HD (ARRI ALEXA XT Studio)-to-D-Cinema (scope) (also 3-D version)/c

 

 TELEVISION

1977

The War in Zimbabwe - Chimurenga [Antonio Caccia] doc/51m/16mm

1979

Around the World with Ridgeway [Roger Deakins] doc/?m

1979

Behind the Lines: Eritrea/Eritrea - Behind Enemy Lines [Roger James] doc/50m

1979

[Jimmy Greaves -] Just for Today/The Jimmy Greaves Story [Berny Stringle] doc/60m; cph: Dick Pope

1980

Wolcott [Colin Bucksey] 3-part miniseries (1981)

1981

Of Muppets & Men - The Making of the Muppet Show [Peter Berry & Harley Cokliss] doc/b&w-c/52m; for Jim Henson Television

1982

The South-East Nuba [Melissa Llewelyn-Davies & Chris Curling] doc/59m; ep BBC-tv series 'Worlds Apart'

1982

Deep Roots Music [Howard Johnson] 6-part mus doc series/360m; 2uc: Franklyn St Juste; for Channel 4

1983

Raj Gonds - Reflections in a Peacock Crown [Peter Loizos & Chris Curling] doc/49m; ep BBC-tv series 'Worlds Apart'

1983

Return to Waterloo [Ray Davies] tvm/57m

1983

The Cinema of Stephen Dwoskin [Anna Ambrose] doc/60m

1983

Four American Composers [ep 'John Cage - A Music Circus' (55m) dir by Peter Greenaway] 4-part mus perf series/16mm; co-camera crew; ph: Curtis Clark; for Channel 4

1984

Repercussions - A Celebration of African-American Music [ep 'Born Musicians' dir by Geoffrey Haydon] 7-part mus doc series, 1985; for Channel 4

1984

The House [Mike Figgis] tvm/16mm

1985

Shadey [Philip Saville] tvm; first released in theaters

2000

Dinner with Friends [Norman Jewison] tvm

 

 ANIMATION FILMS AS VISUAL CONSULTANT

2006

WALL·E [Andrew Stanton] Digital-to-35mm scope (+ D-Cinema [also 3-D version 2014 re-release])/c; anim/98m; live-action ph: Martin Rosenberg

2009

How to Train Your Dragon [Chris Sanders & Dean DeBlois] Digital 3-D-to-35mm scope (2-D) (+ IMAX-70bu [3-D] & D-Cinema [also 3-D version])/c; anim/98m

2009

Rango [Gore Verbinski] Digital-to-35mm scope (+ D-Cinema)/c; anim/107m

2011

Rise of the Guardians [Peter Ramsey] Digital-to-35mm (+ D-Cinema [also 3-D version])/c; anim/97m

2012

The Croods [Chris Sanders & Kirk DeMicco] Digital-to-35mm scope (+ D-Cinema [also 3-D version])/c; anim/98m

2012

How to Train Your Dragon 2 [Dean DeBlois] Digital-to-35mm scope (+ D-Cinema [also 3-D version])/c; anim/102m

 

 FILMS & TELEVISION AS DIRECTOR

1973

Performance Art Film [co-dir: Joe Bruton, Tony Nicholls & David Woollcombe] 16mm/c; perf/30m; ph: ?; prod NFS

1974

Farmer's Hunt [doc; + ph] see Films

1979

Around the World with Ridgeway [doc; + ph] see Television

1984

Then When the World Changed [tv-doc/85m] ph: ?; ep Channel 4 series 'Link'