If the director is the most important crew member on set, in most cases the cinematographer is the second-most important.
A skilled director of photography can turn a mediocre movie suddenly into a critical darling or a good movie into an Oscar contender. But unlike directors, who can have a breakout indie and suddenly get snatched up to do the next Hollywood blockbuster, cinematographers are in it for the long game.
Many have to work a decade or two on independent films, shorts, TV shows, and commercials before scoring a studio feature. And even at that point you still have to compete for work with the legends in the field like Emmanuel Lubezi, Robert Richardson, and Roger Deakins to land a job.
Here are 11 cinematographers who are beginning to make their mark in Hollywood — including the visionaries behind “Moonlight” and “The Last Jedi.”