L: From interview [2009]

R: "Infamous" [2005]




Born: 1957, Nancy, France.

Education: Université Paris Sorbonne [Philosophy]; École Supérieure Libre d'Études Cinématographiques [ESEC], Paris, France [graduated in 1978].

Career: In the late 1970s he got a grant from the French government and directed the short 'Réalités rares'. 'I decided to move to New York. That was around 1980. I thought it might be easier - but it was tougher. I stayed in New York around six to nine months. That's when I met doph Nestor Almendros. He advised me to go back to France. So I went back to France, but I was speaking English better than before. Around that time, a commercial producer in France, who thought the best commercials were in England and the States, started hiring English and American directors and cinematographers, and they needed assistants who were able to speak English... that's how I got started.' Became c.asst working with Douglas Slocombe, Gerry Fisher, a.o., on commercials.

Ph 200+ commercials dir by Jean-Pierre Jeunet [for Commonwealth Bank], Tom Carty, Elias Merhige, Chris Palmer [for Škoda], Scott Hicks, Chee-Whan Chung [for Samsung], a.o.

Member of the ASC since 2009.

Awards: European Film Award [2001], 'César' Award nom [2001], 'Oscar' AA nom [2001], Palm Springs IFF 'Da Vinci' Award [2002], ASC Award nom [2002] & BAFTA Film Award nom [2002] for 'Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain'; 'Oscar' AA nom [2004], ASC Film Award [2004], BSFC Award '2nd place' [2004], 'César' Award [2004] & European Film Award nom [2005] for 'Un long dimanche de fiançailles/A Very Long Engagement'; Plus Camerimage 'Silver Frog' Award [2007] for 'Across the Universe'; 'Oscar' AA nom [2009] for 'Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince'; Manaki Brothers International Cinematographers' FF 'Special Golden Camera 300 Award' [2011]; ASC Film Award nom [2013], BAFTA Film Award nom [2013], 'Oscar' AA nom [2013] & Film Independent Spirit Award 'Best Cinematography' nom [2014] for 'Inside Llewyn Davis'.


Bruno Delbonnel: 'First, digital timing is a new tool for cinematographers, but it doesn't mean you can shoot and find the look of the film afterwards in timing. Digital timing helps to go further in what was done during the shoot. Digital timing won't give you a direction of light if you didn't give this direction on the set in the first place. I did 90 percent of the lighting of 'Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain' during the main photography, using filters on the camera, gels on light, etc. Everything I could do while we were shooting, I did. Secondly, digital timing is going to change the culture of cinematography because it opens new territories. There are a lot of things that you cannot do with a lab process that are easy to do with digital timing. I think that digital timing can help us to create new kinds of images, new kinds of looks and therefore will change ways of seeing and ways of feeling emotions through light. We are just at the beginning of a very interesting way of using colors and contrast.... But of course you need two people to do that: a director and a cinematographer, who both want to experiment. Only two people can decide the look of the film - the director and the cinematographer - because they work together from the beginning so they know exactly what they want to achieve. So, the cinematographer must be there to time the film. There are so many possibilities with digital timing that you have to know exactly what you want otherwise you can spend months in timing. You can also ruin your film, because you can change it totally. We are not painters - we are not working alone - we are working for a director and for a script. If you are not at the final timing, all those discussions you had previously are useless. Cinematographers have to be involved with the timing.' [From interview on KODAK OnFilm website.]





Le bunker de la dernière rafale/The Bunker of the Last Gunshots [Marc Caro & Jean-Pierre Jeunet] b&w; short/26m


Pas de repos pour Billy Brakko [Jean-Pierre Jeunet & Marc Caro] c; exp short/5m


Le grand cirque/The Grand Circus [Bruno Delbonnel] c; doc/80m


Jour de fauche [Vincent Monnet] c; short/14m


IP5: L'île aux pachydermes/IP5 [: The Island of Pachyderms] [Jean-Jacques Beineix] p/c; ph Pyrénées team (+ co-c.op); ph: Jean-François Robin


Tout le monde n'a pas eu la chance d'avoir des parents communistes/Not Everyone Is Lucky Enough to Have Communist Parents [Jean-Jacques Zilbermann] c; cph: Thierry Jault


Regarde-moi [Gabrielle Lazure] c; short/5m


Du poulet [Tatiana Vialle] c; short/5m


C'est jamais loin [Alain Centonze] c


Pourvu que ça dure [Michel Thibaut] c


Luis Miguel Dominguín [, el número uno] [, le torero du XXième siècle] [Marianne Lamour] DigiBeta/b&w-c; doc/52m


Elvis de Médicis [César Vayssié] c; short/55m


Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain/Amélie from Montmarte [Jean-Pierre Jeunet] s35/b&w-c


The Cat's Meow [Peter Bogdanovich] b&w-c; Greece 2uc: Alexander Fischerkoesen


Ni pour, ni contre (bien au contraire)/Personne n'est comme tout le monde [Cédric Klapisch] p/c; ph USA: Beatrice Mizrahi; aph: James Swanson


Un long dimanche de fiançailles/A Very Long Engagement [Jean-Pierre Jeunet] s35/c; 2uc: Beatrice Mizrahi & Michel Amathieu


Dangerous Parking [Peter Howitt] announced as doph; filmed October-November 2006 by ph Zoran Veljkovic

With dir Douglas McGrath [standing] - "Infamous"



Infamous [Douglas McGrath] c


Paris, je t'aime [seg 'Tuileries' dir by Ethan & Joel Coen] c


Across the Universe [Julie Taymor] s35/c; uwph: Pete Romano


Prvi put s ocem na izbore [Samia Karamehmedovic] pre-production; status unknown


Life of Pi [Jean-Pierre Jeunet] pre-production; prod put on hold; filmed in 2011 with dir Ang Lee and ph Claudio Miranda

"Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince"



Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince [David Yates] s35 (+ 70bu)/c; 2uc: Mike Brewster; aph: Adam Dale; model unit ph: Nigel Stone; vfx ph: James D. Kelly; filmed 2007-08


Faust [Aleksandr Sokurov] 35mm (+ D-Cinema)/c


Dark Shadows [Tim Burton] 35mm (+ D-Cinema)/c; splinter unit ph: Peter Talbot; aph: Jeremy Braben


Inside Llewyn Davis [Ethan & Joel Coen] 35mm (+ D-Cinema)/c; 2uc: Craig Haagensen


The Young and Prodigious Spivet/The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet [Jean-Pierre Jeunet] announced as doph, but film was ph by Thomas Hardmeier


Big Eyes [Tim Burton] HD (ARRI ALEXA Plus 4:3 & Studio)/c; title seq ph: Carlos De Carvalho


Le Louvre sous l'Occupation/Francofonia - Le Louvre Under German Occupation [Aleksandr Sokurov] HD/c


Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children [Tim Burton] HD (ARRI ALEXA XT)/c; uwph: Topher Jones



Volga, Volga [Marianne Lamour] doc/52m; ep series 'Les grands fleuves'


Aficion [Passion d'arènes]/L'afficion [Marianne Lamour] doc/52m & 110m


Sigmund Freud - L'invention de la psychanalyse [Elisabeth Kapnist] doc/b&w-c/114m; for France 3 & La Sept ARTE


Marie, Nonna, la vierge et moi [Francis Renaud] tvm/s16


Chambre nº 13 [ep (7m) 'Chair en vie' dir by Fabienne Berthaud & Aruna Villiers] 13-part series



Le manège [Jean-Pierre Jeunet; anim/10m] sound; ph: J-P. Jeunet


37°2 le matin/Betty Blue [Jean-Jacques Beineix] co-c.asst; ph: Jean-François Robin


Kamikaze [Didier Grousset] 2nd c.asst; ph: Jean-François Robin


Le solitaire/The Loner [Jacques Deray] co-c.asst; ph: Jean-François Robin


Foutaises [, catalogue nostalgique des plaisirs de la vie]/Things I Like, Things I Don't Like [Jean-Pierre Jeunet; short/b&w/7m13s] co-scrpl; ph: Jean Poisson


Un coeur qui bat/A Beating Heart [François Dupeyron] co-c.asst; ph: Yves Angelo


IP5: L'île aux pachydermes/IP5 [: The Island of Pachyderms] [Jean-Jacques Beineix] co-c.op (+ ph Pyrénées team); ph: Jean-François Robin



Réalités rares [short/7m] ph: Henri Alekan


Le grand cirque [doc; + ph] see Films


Paso doble [doc/c/41m] ph: B. Delbonnel; filmed on 6 May