Roger Alexander Deakins, CBE, ASC, BSC (born May 24, 1949) is an English Cinematographer best known for his work on the films of the Coen brothers, Sam Mendes, and Denis Villeneuve. Deakins is a member of both the American and British Society of Cinematographers. He received the 2011 American Society of Cinematographers (A.S.C.) Lifetime Achievement Award. Its President, Richard Crudo, called Deakins "the pre-eminent Cinematographer of our time."
From the time of his work in Africa until the early 1980s, Deakins continued his cinematographic and directorial work in documentaries as well as the burgeoning field of music videos. His early work as both a Director and Cinematographer of music videos including a lot of the early Madness videos. Carl Perkins' "Blue Suede Shoes" and the concert film Van Morrison in Ireland. Subsequently, he worked on Towers of Babel, Sid and Nancy, The Kitchen Toto, and Pascali's Island.
Deakins' first feature film in America as Cinematographer was Mountains of the Moon (1990). He began his collaboration with the Coen brothers in 1991 on the film Barton Fink (the Director Barry Sonnenfeld worked as Cinematographer on the Coen brothers' previous three films Blood Simple, Raising Arizona, and Miller's Crossing). Since then, Deakins has been the Coens' main cinematic collaborator and has been their principal Cinematographer.
Deakins married script supervisor Isabella James Purefoy Ellis, professionally known as James Ellis, on 11 December 1991. He lives in his home county Devon in the south west of England. Deakins' primary hobby is taking still photographs. Before he entered the National Film School in Buckinghamshire he spent a year in North Devon, documenting the way of life on the farms and in the villages. This cemented his passion for still photography that continues to this day. On the rare days that he is not in his boat while in Devon, Deakins enjoys travelling to various places to augment his growing series of images.
Deakins received his first major award from the American Society of Cinematographers for his outstanding achievement in cinematography for the internationally praised major motion picture The Shawshank Redemption. The ASC continued to honour Deakins with outstanding achievement nominations for his later works, including Fargo, Kundun, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, and The Man Who Wasn't There, for which he won his second ASC Award. The U.S. National Board of Review of Motion Pictures honored him with an award for Career Achievement in Cinematography in 2007.
In 2008, Deakins became the first Cinematographer in history to receive dual ASC nominations for his works The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford and No Country for Old Men. The latter won the BAFTA Award for Best Cinematography and he received Academy Award nominations for both films. In 2009, he was double-nominated for the ASC Award again for Revolutionary Road and The Reader (with Chris Menges). In 2011, he was nominated again for his work on True Grit and also received an ASC Lifetime Achievement Award.
Deakins was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2013 Birthday Honours for services to film.
Deakins signed on as Cinematographer for Skyfall, having previously worked with Director Sam Mendes on Jarhead and Revolutionary Road. For his work, he received his third ASC Award for outstanding achievement in cinematography from his ninth ASC Award nomination. Deakins also worked as one of the visual consultants for the Pixar's animated feature WALL-E, DreamWorks Animation's How to Train Your Dragon, and Nickelodeon Movies' Rango. In 2018, he received his fourth ASC award, his fourth BAFTA award, and his first Academy Award for Blade Runner 2049, directed by Denis Villeneuve.