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Sir Roger A. Deakins: 10 facts you might not know

For many filmmakers – both aspiring and established – knowing that their short film might be seen by Sir Roger A. Deakins is a real draw. The doyen of cinematography joins the judging panel for the inaugural edition of the Sony Future Filmmaker Awards, and is in good company algonside Jury Chair Justin Chadwick, President of TriStar Pictures Nicola Brown and Jeremy Barber, Partner in the Motion Picture Literary and Talent Departments at United Talent Agents. 

Wowing his contemporaries and audiences alike with technical prowess and imagination, Deakins brings something special to every project he works on. With this in mind, we wanted to pick out 10 facts you might not know about the world-renowned cinematographer…


Smoking Break, Germania, 2007 © Roger Deakins
Smoking Break, Germania, 2007 © Roger Deakins

1. Alongside his success as a filmmaker, Deakins is a talented photographer, and is represented by the eminent Peter Fetterman Gallery in Santa Monica, California.

2. Deakins has released a book of his black & white photographs and is published by Damiani. Byways can be found on many bookshelves worldwide. 

3. A selection of Deakins’ work is currently on show at Sottopasso di Piazza Re Enzo, Bologna, Italy, to 15 January 2023. 

(Universal Pictures)
Still from 1917 - Universal Pictures


4. In 1917 the burning church scenes was lit by one of the largest lighting rigs ever made for a film. The impressive structure was five stories high with 2,000 1K tungsten lamps at a total of 2 megawatts.

5. Deakins painted from a young age. He was encouraged by his mother who was an amateury actress and painter.


Alcon Media Group, Columbia Pictures, Warrner Bros Pictures
Still from Blade Runner 2049 - Alcon Media Group, Columbia Pictures, Warner Bros Pictures

6. Deakins has received two Oscars, the first in 2017 for Blade Runner 2049, and the second for 1917 in 2019. 

7. Deakins won an impressive 40 awards in total for his work on 1917. 


 Castle Rock Entertainment
 Castle Rock Entertainment


8. Deakins has worked on a staggering 85 (and counting!) titles, including The Shawshank Redemption, The Big Lebowski and Skyfall.

9. After attending college, Deakins applied to the newly-opened National Film School but was denied admission as his photography was considered not “filmic” enough! He reapplied and graduated in the mid-1970s.

10. The first major feature-length film Deakins worked on was  Another Time, Another Place, which was released in 1983.  

The Sony Future Filmmaker Awards is now open for entries. There are three competitions for filmmakers worldwide to choose from. Discover more here