Beginning his career with high profile documentaries, Mike Eley followed a somewhat unconventional path into narrative feature films and television drama. In 2000, he worked on Ken Loach’s The Navigators and then in 2002, he shot the documentary feature Touching the Void with director Kevin McDonald, winning a BIFA Award that year for Best Technical Achievement.
He has collaborated many times with director Susanna White, most notably on BBC’s Jane Eyre, for which Mike received an Emmy Award nomination and won the RTS Award for Best Cinematography. Eley shot the HBO film Grey Gardens with director Michael Sucsy, for which he earned his second Emmy nomination. In 2009, he re-teamed with Susanna White for the feature film Nanny McPhee Returns, and then again worked with White in on the BBC/HBO production of Parade’s End, garnering his third Emmy award nomination.
Eley lensed Clio Barnard’s acclaimed feature The Selfish Giant, for which he won a Best Cinematography Award from the Dinard Film Festival. Eley’s work on The Lost Honor of Christopher Jeffries for director Roger Michell, earned him both BAFTA and RTS awards. He reteamed with Michell again for My Cousin Rachel, starring Rachel Weisz, and Blackbird, starring Kate Winslett and Susan Sarandon. He also collaborated again with Susanna White on Woman Walks Ahead, starring Jessica Chastain, and shot the Ralph Fiennes directed The White Crow, which tells the story of famed ballet dancer and choreographer Rudolph Nureyev’s defection from the Soviet Union.
Recent work includes Stephen Frears directed State of the Union series for Sundance TV, the upcoming Made in Italy, directed by James D’Arcy, starring Liam Neeson and son, Michael Richardson; Jules Williamsons’ Off the Rails, with Kelly Preston and Judi Dench, and Simon Stone’s The Dig, starring Ralph Fiennes, Carey Mulligan and Lily James. He is wrapping up on another Roger Michell collaboration, The Duke , starring Jim Broadbent and Helen Mirren.
A resident of the United Kingdom, Eley currently serves as President of the British Society of Cinematographers (BSC).