Torquay’s own Roger Deakins has found his way onto another Oscar list for his stunning cinematography. He’s up for the little gold statuette for The Reader, along with Chris Menges.
This makes his eighth time on the Oscar shortlist. And in a historic moment, for cinematography at least, in 2008, the Devon filmmaker was pitted against himself in the cinematography category, being nominated for both No Country for Old Men and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.
Deakins also had a hand in one of the animated films up for the award. He offered some advice on how to illustrate focusing techniques to the animators of Wall-e purely.
Deakins, who learnt his trade through his passion for stills photography, training as a painter at the Bath School of Art and Design followed by time at the National Film School, spent the ’70s and and ’80s working on documentaries and rock videos.
And the year before attending the National Film School he made a documentary around the countryside of North Devon – possibly as a modern-day James Ravilious. Indeed, it is character and people that he’s interested in. “When I started making films, I realised I wanted to explore people, particularly the human face,” he said.
Last year he told the Observer: “I’m happy where I am: a kid from Torquay working on amazing films. I’m quite simple. I either want to be shooting films or be in Devon getting away from it all.”
Academy nominations (from Wikipedia):
1994: The Shawshank Redemption (lost to John Toll, Legends of the Fall)
1996: Fargo (lost to John Seale, The English Patient)
1997: Kundun (lost to Russell Carpenter, Titanic)
2000: O Brother, Where Art Thou? (lost to Peter Pau, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon)
2001: The Man Who Wasn’t There (lost to Andrew Lesnie, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring)
2007: The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (lost to Robert Elswit, There Will Be Blood)
2007: No Country for Old Men (lost to Robert Elswit, There Will Be Blood)
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