The DP who wasn’t known.
It is amazing how little we know about directors of photography. When we think about the Godfather series we immediately imagine Francis Ford Coppola, Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, and Robert De Niro. Some would even think of Mario Puzo. When we discuss Woody Allen movies like Zelig or Annie Hall we connect them with Mia Farrow and Diane Keaton, but very few people will know that the man responsible for the lighting, movement, and overall “look” of both movies is Gordon Willis, who is also responsible for “The Purple Rose of Cairo” and “Manhattan” among many others.
The Director of Photography, also known as DP, DOP, or Cinematographer, is responsible for the quality of the photography and the cinematic look of every movie by creating the appropriate mood, atmosphere, and visual style of each shot. The DP also determines the camera angles, lighting, shot composition, and camera movements, among many other technical considerations.
Here is the complete list, from 2000 to 2010, of all the directors of photography nominated for the Oscars. In 10 years Roger Deakins (my personal hero when it comes to cinematography) has been nominated 5 times for O Brother, Where Art Thou?, The Man Who Wasn’t There, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, The Reader, and True Grit.
“The Man Who Wasn’t There” is an absolute masterpiece in Cinema lighting.
- 2000: Peter Pau – Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
- 2001: Andrew Lesnie – The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
- 2002: Conrad Hall – Road to Perdition (posthumous award)
- 2003: Russell Boyd – Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
- 2004: Robert Richardson – The Aviator
- 2005: Dion Beebe – Memoirs of a Geisha
- 2006: Guillermo Navarro – Pan’s Labyrinth
- 2007: Robert Elswit – There Will Be Blood
- 2008: Anthony Dod Mantle – Slumdog Millionaire
- 2009: Mauro Fiore – Avatar