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Roger Deakins


Sir Roger Alexander Deakins CBE (born 24 May 1949) is an English cinematographer, best known for his collaborations with directors the Coen brothers, Sam Mendes, and Denis Villeneuve. Deakins has been admitted to both the British Society of Cinematographers and to the American Society of Cinematographers. He is the recipient of five BAFTA Awards for Best Cinematography, and two Academy Awards for Best Cinematography from sixteen nominations.


 His best-known works include The Shawshank Redemption (1994), Fargo (1996), O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000), A Beautiful Mind (2001), Skyfall (2012), Sicario (2015), Blade Runner 2049 (2017), and 1917 (2019), the last two of which earned him Academy Awards.


An alumnus of the National Film and Television School, in recognition of his "outstanding contribution[s] to ... British film" Deakins was named and serves as an Honorary Fellow of the school. Deakins received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Society of Cinematographers in 2011, and in 2013 he was bestowed a CBE by the Palace for his services to film. In the 2021 New Year Honours he was knighted as a Knight Bachelor.


Deakins was born in Torquay in the English county of Devon. His father ran a construction company, while his mother was an actress and amateur painter. Deakins attended Torquay Boys' Grammar School. He took up painting from a young age, and subsequently enrolled in the Bath Academy of Art in Bath, Somerset, where he studied graphic design. While studying in Bath, Deakins developed a passion for photography; he cited the photographer Roger Mayne, who was then a guest lecturer at the academy, as a major source of inspiration.


After college, Deakins applied to the newly opened National Film School, but was denied admission as his photography was considered not "filmic" enough. He spent the following year wandering the countryside, photographing rural life in North Devon, before finally being admitted to the National Film School in 1972. Director Michael Radford was one of Deakins's schoolmates.