#1: From interview [2015]

#3: [Left] with dir Oliver Stone [right] - photo by Elizabeth Stone [1988]

 

   


ROBERT RICHARDSON   ASC

 

Born: 27 August 1955, Hyannis, Massachusetts, USA, as Robert Bridge Richardson.

Education: University of Vermont, Burlington [Oceanography, but opted out after 2 years]; Film Department of the Rhode Island School of Design, Providence; American Film Institute [AFI], Los Angeles [apprenticed with Sven Nykvist & Nestor Almendros; studied with George Folsey; graduated in 1979].

Career: Richardson discovered that a master's degree in fine arts didn't open doors in Hollywood. He spent 7 years mainly shooting doc's [for BBC-tv, PBS-tv, Disney Channel, a.o.] with occasional insert and 2u work. His breakthrough came in the wake of filming 'Crossfire in El Salvador', a doc about the civil war in El Salvador. In 1985, Oliver Stone hired Ramon Mendez, the soundman on 'Crossfire in El Salvador', as a technical consultant when he was preparing to shoot 'Salvador'. Mendez introduced Richardson to Stone. It was the beginning of their collaboration.

Ph commercials dir by Martin Scorsese [for American Express], Erich Joiner, a.o. Directed commercials.

Was scheduled to make his debut as feature film director with 'White Jazz' [1998; a sequel to 'L.A. Confidential' (1996); status unknown].

Member of the ASC since August 1992.

Married [2011-] to c.op/ph/dir Stephanie Martin.

Appeared in the doc 'Spotlight on Location: Snow Falling on Cedars' [2000, Laurent Bouzereau; ph: Chris Meagher, a.o.].

Awards: Independent Spirit Award nom [1986] for 'Salvador'; Independent Spirit Award [1987], 'Oscar' AA nom [1987] & BAFTA Film Award nom [1988] for 'Platoon'; Independent Spirit Award nom [1989] for 'Talk Radio'; 'Oscar' AA nom [1990] & ASC Film Award nom [1990] for 'Born on the Fourth of July'; 'Oscar' AA [1992] & ASC Film Award nom [1992] for 'JFK'; ASC Film Award nom [1993] for 'A Few Good Men'; ASC Film Award nom [1994] for 'Heaven & Earth'; Camerimage 'Golden Frog' nom [1994] for 'Natural Born Killers'; ASC Film Award nom [1998], BSC Award nom [1998] & CFCA Award nom [1999] for 'The Horse Whisperer'; ASC Film Award nom [1999], 'Oscar' AA nom [2000], CFCA Award [2000] & Golden Satellite Award nom [2000] for 'Snow Falling on Cedars'; 'Oscar' AA [2004], CFCA Award [2004], BAFTA Film Award nom [2004], ASC Film Award nom [2004] & Golden Satellite Award nom [2005] for 'The Aviator'; ASC Film Award nom [2006] for 'The Good Shepherd'; BAFTA Film Award nom [2009], ASC Film Award nom [2009] & 'Oscar' AA nom [2009] for 'Inglorious Bastards'; 'Oscar' AA [2011], ASC Film Award nom [2011] & BAFTA Film Award nom [2011] for 'Hugo'; 'Oscar' AA nom [2012] for 'Django Unchained'; 'Oscar' AA nom [2015] for 'The Hateful Eight'.


'Kill Bill' [2002]: 'When Robert Richardson came onboard 10 weeks before the first day of photography, Tarantino already had a vision for a visual style etched in his mind. Richardson had his say during pre-production, regarding the choice of locations and to a lesser extent the color palette. Tarantino wasn't enthusiastic about shooting makeup, hair or costume tests. He agreed to allocate part of one day for Richardson to experiment with lighting [actress Uma] Thurman. The rest came down to Richardson's eye and instincts at the moment of photography. […] Tarantino always visualized 'Kill Bill' as a wide screen [2.4:1 aspect ratio] movie. Richardson prefers shooting in anamorphic format, because of the degradation of image quality inherent to the optical extraction required by the Super 35 format. A problem was that Tarantino had written specific 'zoom' lens shots into the script. Richardson felt that the anamorphic zoom lenses available from Panavision didn't provide a fast enough T-stop to properly execute those shots. That drove the decision to use a digital intermediate process. That approach enabled Richardson to shoot with spherical lenses in Super 35 format and 'squeeze' the images into a 2.4:1 aspect ratio during digital mastering. Basically, the edited cut of the negative is scanned and converted to digital files. The images are timed for shot-to-shot and scene-to-scene continuity in a digital suite, and then recorded out to an intermediate film used as a master for release printing. […] Tarantino would show up everyday with shot lists written with red ink on white paper. He used frequent rehearsals as opportunities to block the action and accommodate suggestions from the actors. Dialogue scenes were mainly shot with one camera, and action sequences with two to provide coverage from different angles. Cameras were usually traveling on a Steadicam, crane or on tracks, anticipating the words and the action with a blend of subjective and objective point-of-view shots. "We did a series of rather complicated Steadicam/crane shots that Quentin devised out of the evil side of his mind," Richardson recalls. "One such shot required [camera and Steadicam operator] Larry McConkey to do an eight-minute tracking shot where he had to move nimbly between a mounted and cabled pedestal that lifted him 30 feet into the air, and then deposited him back on the ground where he once again had to adjust to a walking mode ending up on a crane that lifted him above a crowd." [From article by Bob Fisher on the 'International Cinematographers Guild' website.]


 

 FILMS

1982

An Outpost of Progress [Dorian Walker] c; short/45m; prod AFI (USA)

1983

Making the Grade/Preppies [Dorian Walker] c; 2uc; ph: Jacques Haitkin

1984

Repo Man [Alex Cox] c; co-addph; ph: Robby Müller

1985

Salvador [Oliver Stone] c; ph Mexico: Leon Sánchez Ruiz; uncred 2uc: Tom Richmond

1986

Platoon [Oliver Stone] c; 2uc: Tom Sigel; uncred ph 'b' unit: Sandi Sissel

1986

Dudes [Penelope Spheeris] c; 2uc: Marc Reshovsky

1987

Wall Street [Oliver Stone] c; 2uc: Tom Sigel

1987

Eight Men Out [John Sayles] c; 2uc: Marc Reshovsky

1988

Talk Radio [Oliver Stone] c; 2uc: Philip C. Pfeiffer; aph: Jerry G. Callaway

1988

Born on the Fourth of July [Oliver Stone] p/c; 2uc: Philip C. Pfeiffer

1990

The Doors [Oliver Stone] p/c; 2uc: Tom Sigel, Nicola Pecorini & Toby Phillips; aph: Stan McClain

1990

City of Hope [John Sayles] p/c

1991

JFK [Oliver Stone] s8+16mm+35mm-to-35mm scope/c; 2uc: Philip C. Pfeiffer

1991

A Few Good Men [Rob Reiner] p/c; 2uc: Gary Kibbe

1992

Fast, Cheap & Out of Control [Errol Morris] c; doc/82m; cph: Peter Sova; addph: Ted Bafaloukos; filmed June-September; released 1997

1992

Heaven & Earth [Oliver Stone] p/c; 2uc: Philip C. Pfeiffer

1993

Natural Born Killers [Oliver Stone] c; 2uc: Philip C. Pfeiffer

1994

Casino [Martin Scorsese] s35/c; 2uc: Tom Sigel & Philip C. Pfeiffer

1995

Nixon [Oliver Stone] p/c; 2uc: Tom Sigel

1996

The Double [Roman Polanski] scheduled to start filming in June; unrealized

1996

U Turn [Oliver Stone] c; uncred addph: Jeffrey Kimball (finished shooting when R. Richardson had to leave to work on 'Wag the Dog'); 2uc: Jerry G. Callaway; time lapse ph: Wayne D. Goldwyn

1997

Wag the Dog [Barry Levinson] c; 2uc: Ken Arlidge; + small part

1997

The Horse Whisperer [Robert Redford] p/c; 2uc: Paul Ryan (Montana) & Philip C. Pfeiffer (Saratoga Springs); aph: Ron Goodman; replaced scheduled ph Michael Ballhaus, who left during pre-production

1997

Snow Falling on Cedars [Scott Hicks] p/c; 2uc: Raymond Stella

1998

Mr. Death [: The Rise and Fall of Fred A. Leuchter, Jr.] [Errol Morris] c; doc/91m; addph; ph: Peter Donahue

1998

Bringing Out the Dead [Martin Scorsese] p/c

 

[Left] with dir Shekhar Kapur [center] - "The Four Feathers"

Photo by Jaap Buitendijk

 

2000

The Four Feathers [Shekhar Kapur] p/c; 2uc: Jonathan Brown; filmed 2000-01

2002

Kill Bill: Vol. 1 [Quentin Tarantino] s35/b&w-c; see above

2002

Kill Bill: Vol. 2 [Quentin Tarantino] s35/b&w-c

2003

The Aviator [Martin Scorsese] s35/b&w-c; 2uc: Philip C. Pfeiffer; aph: Ron Goodman

 

With dir Robert De Niro [left] - "The Good Shepherd"

Photo by Andrew Schwartz

 

2005

The Good Shepherd [Robert De Niro] s35/c; 2uc (+ 2ud & vfx superv): Rob Legato; aph: Brian Heller

2006

Standard Operating Procedure [Errol Morris] HD-to-35mm scope/c; docudrama/118m; cph: Robert Chappell

 

[Center] with Mick Jagger [left] and Martin Scorsese [right]

"Shine a Light"

 

2006

Shine a Light [Martin Scorsese] HD (Genesis)+s8+s16+s35-to-35mm (+ IMAX-70bu)/b&w-c; mus doc/122m; c.op: Mitchell Amundsen, Patrick Capone, Stuart Dryburgh, David M. Dunlap, Robert Elswit, Tony Jannelli, Lukasz Jogalla, Ellen Kuras, Andrew Lesnie, Emmanuel Lubezki, Anastas Michos, Declan Quinn, Andrew Rowlands, Gerard Sava & John Toll

2007

Pinkville [Oliver Stone] announced; prod halted due to writer's strike (2007-08); status unknown

2008

Shutter Island [Martin Scorsese] s35+HD (ARRI D-21)+65mm-to-35mm scope (+ D-Cinema)/c; 2uc (+ 2ud & vfx superv): Robert Legato; uncred aph: Steve Koster

2008

Inglorious Bastards [Quentin Tarantino & (uncred seg 'Nation's Pride') Eli Roth] p (+ D-Cinema)/c; uncred splinter unit ph: Jörg Widmer; vfx ph: Lester Dunton

2009

Eat Pray Love [Ryan Murphy] 35mm (+ D-Cinema)/c; 2uc: Masanobu Takayanagi; aph (Rome): Jeremy Braben

2010

George Harrison: Living in the Material World [Martin Scorsese] b&w-c; doc/208m; cph: Martin Kenzie; addph: Robert Leacock; filming started late 2007; premiered in 2-parts on HBO-tv (2011)

2010

Hugo/The Invention of Hugo Cabret [Martin Scorsese] HD (ARRI ALEXA)-to-35mm (+ D-Cinema [also 3-D version])/c; 2uc (+ 2ud & vfx superv): Robert Legato

2011

World War Z [Marc Forster] HD (ARRI ALEXA M/p & Studio/p)+s35-to-35mm scope (+ D-Cinema [also 3-D version])/c; uncred ph (replaced doph Roberto Schaefer); uncred cph: Newton Thomas Sigel (finished film when R. Richardson had to leave to work on 'Django Unchained'); ph (reshoots October-December 2012): Ben Seresin (got sole credit as ph)

2012

Django Unchained [Quentin Tarantino] p (+ D-Cinema)/c

2012

Wild Horses [Stephanie Martin] HD (ARRI ALEXA)/c; short/17m; prod AFI (Directing Workshop for Women)

2014

The Hateful Eight [Quentin Tarantino] up70/c; filmed 2014-15

2015

Live by Night [Ben Affleck] HD (ARRI ALEXA 65)+RED Weapon Dragon-to-digital (scope)/c; 2uc: Charlotte Bruus Christensen; aph (vfx unit Miami): Phil Pastuhov; filmed 2015-16

2016

Breathe [Andy Serkis] HD (ARRI ALEXA 65)/c; aph: Adam Dale

2017

Adrift [Baltasar Kormákur] c

 

 TELEVISION & INTERNET

1982

Desperate Dreams [Daniel J. Blackburn & Maria Centrella] doc/51m; about the Western States Endurance Run (June)

1983

Crossfire in El Salvador [prod: Jeff Harmon & Chris Wenner] doc/60m; ep PBS-tv doc series 'Frontline'

1984

Losin' It: Sex and the American Teenager [Terry Dunn Meurer & Robert Richardson] doc/33m & 76m; for HBO-tv

1989

To the Moon, Alice [Jessie Nelson] tvm/33m; co-2uc (+ visual cons); ph: Chris Squires; ep of Showtime-tv series '30-Minute Movie'

2001

Powder Keg [Alejandro González Iñárritu] c; short/8m; seg of 5-part internet film series 'The Hire' for carmaker BMW

 

 MISCELLANEOUS

1980

[John Steinbeck's] Cannery Row [David S. Ward] cam apprentice; ph: Sven Nykvist

1981

Reborn/Renacer [Bigas Luna] co-c.asst; ph: Juan Ruiz-Anchía

1984

Breakin'/Breakdance [Joel Silberg] co-add c.op; ph: Hanania Baer

1988

Pink Floyd - Delicate Sound of Thunder [Wayne Isham; concert film] co-c.op; ph: Marc Reshovsky

2001

The Wind Effect [Paul Todisco] c; short/20m; co-exec prod; ph: Erich Volkstorf

2014

Big Hero 6 [Don Hall & Chris Williams] anim/102m; ph cons