Cinematographer – Roger Deakins

Roger Deakins Skyfall

Roger Deakins becoming a Cinematographer/DOP

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 and Television School [NFTS], 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.

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

Cinematographer – Emmanuel Lubezki

Presentation notes for MA Cinematography.

One of the world’s best directors of photography and the best Mexican cinematographer of his generation, award-winning Emmanuel Lubezki shot to prominence with the success of “Like Water for Chocolate” (1991), directed by Alfonso Arau and has gone on to a career that has encompassed independent films as well as mainstream Hollywood fare.

The New World

To capture the earthy look as naturally as possible, Lubezki chose Kodak 5218 for most of the picture. It gave him the flexibility to work at a deeper stop. “We shot everything anamorphic with a depth-of-field between f/16 and f/11,” he says. “By shooting at that depth-of-field, we could really make the audience feel as if they were in this world with these characters.

“Sometimes, lack of depth-of-field becomes a barrier and we wanted to take that barrier away. To help the lenses as much as possible, Panavision created a new lens for us to use on the XL cameras. They combined the E-series lens that is heavy with the C-series lens. This allowed us to have close focus, keeping with our ‘dogma’ of being in the action and solve the anamorphic contradiction between resolution [which it gives us] and depth-of-field [which is not always possible].

“I wanted to use only the 35mm and 40mm most of the time,” he adds. “We added the 50mm for telephoto, when we needed to get close to the actors, but still give them some room to move.”


The New Worlds strong visual style is established in large part by extensive Steadicam work, which was shot by Jorg Widmer and Jim McConkey. “I like the Steadicam when it doesn’t look mechanical,” says Lubezki.”

Presentation Notes for iPad

Emmanuel Lubezki

Start by saying how difficult it was to choose just one Cinematographer and then which clip to show.

My first choice was Freddy Young in particular for the Well Scene in Lawrence of Arabia.

Then an obvious choice of Roger Deakins who I could pick several films that I find inspirational for example SkyFall, No Country for Old Men, Fargo.

I went with Lubezki mainly for the visuals of Sleepy Hollow and Lemony Snicket but what I want to show you is a clip from The New World.

Key point state you will answer questions at the end

I’ll begin by showing the clip from New World

The New World.

Now describe what you like from the clip key points would be natural light and stedicam.

  1. Shot in 35mm film with some in 65mm
  2. Predominantly using natural light – even the night scenes used just firelight and light from oil lamps
  3. Stedicam was used extensively mainly to follow actors or bring the camera into the action.
  4. Used  30mm 40mm and sometimes 50mm lens to again bring the camera close into the action.
  5. Had to work around contrast issues caused by the harsh light of the sun – didn’t have the option to use silks to soften the light.
  6. To summarise it is the camera movement and working with natural light that interests me the most about this Cinematographer.
  7. Also he is willing to change his approach depending on the project for example look to his latest work Gravity.

Final statement. I found the process of researching this assignment so interesting that I plan to continue my research, adding the knowledge and techniques of the best Cinematographers to my own.


Internet Guide to Cinematographers – [Accessed 29/09/2013]



Filmography My personal choice

Cinematographer – Freddie Young, Lawrence of Arabia


Freddie Young (I) More at IMDbPro »
Date of Birth
9 October 1902, London, England, UK

Date of Death
1 December 1998, London, England, UK (natural causes)

Birth Name
Frederick Archibald Young

Mini Biography

Cinematographer with a long and distinguished career crowned with Oscars for three consecutive films directed by David Lean between 1962-1970. Awarded OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) in 1970.

Freddie Young was one of the great cinematographers who won Oscars for his collaborations with David Lean on Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Doctor Zhivago (1965), and Ryan’s Daughter (1970). He was the first English director of photography to shoot a movie in the wide-screen CinemaScope, a process which he mastered, which is evident from his work with Lean.


IMDB. (Unknown) Freddie Young, [Online], Available: /[26 Jul 2013].