Prior to his prolific career in narrative film and television, Sean Bobbitt, BSC, photographed numerous documentaries and served as a television news cameraman around the globe, often in areas of great social and political unrest, including the Middle East, Northern Ireland, Africa, and Asia. It was precisely this unique background that drew the attention of director Michael Winterbottom, who invited Bobbitt to light and shoot his film Wonderland, which would become Bobbitt’s foray into narrative feature filmmaking. The pairing would subsequently be repeated with Everyday and The Killer Inside Me.
Following frequent collaborations on art installation projects, Bobbitt and director Steve McQueen garnered international acclaim with the director’s debut feature, Hunger, starring Michael Fassbender. The film was awarded the Camera d’Or at Cannes and earned Bobbitt a British Independent Film Award (BIFA). Subsequently, the trio of Bobbitt, McQueen, and Fassbender reteamed for Shame, which earned Bobbitt another BIFA nomination and a European Film Award for Best Cinematography, and again for the Academy Award Best Picture, 12 Years a Slave, which garnered award nominations for Best Cinematography from the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) and the British Academy of Film & Television Arts (BAFTA).
Collaborations with other notable directors include David Gordon Green (Stronger), Mira Nair (The Queen of Katwe), Derek Cianfrance (The Place Beyond the Pines), Spike Lee (Oldboy), Dominic Cooke (On Chesil Beach and The Courier), and cinematographer-turned-director Reed Morano (The Rhythm Section). Bobbitt’s most recently completed project, Judas and the Black Messiah, directed by Shaka King for Warner Brothers, earned Bobbitt his first Academy Award nomination for Best Cinematography, as well as nominations for the BAFTA Award and BSC Award.
Bobbitt’s television credits include the award-winning Sense and Sensibility, for which he was nominated for an Emmy for Best Cinematography; The Long Firm, which earned a BAFTA nomination for Best Cinematography; The Canterbury Tales, for which he won an RTS Award; and the pilot of HBO’s flagship series Game of Thrones.
A graduate of Santa Clara University (California) and St. George’s College (England), Bobbitt is a native of Texas who splits his time between the United Kingdom, where he resides, and the United States, where he frequently works.