Seamus McGarvey was the cinematographer for Fifty Shades of Grey. For those of who you aren’t exactly sure what the cinematographer does, he’s the main visual collaborator for the director, a specialist over the camera and lighting crews working on a film, television production or other live action piece and is responsible for achieving artistic and technical decisions related to the image.
Not terribly surprising, Seamus McGarvey is from Northern Ireland and attended film school in London. He stared his career working on shorts and documentaries, including Atlantic, which was directed by Sam Taylor Johnson (then Sam Taylor-Wood). He’s photographed and directed over 100 music videos, including for artists like: U2, The Rolling Stones, Sir Paul McCartney, and Coldplay. His film credits as Cinematographer include: World Trade Center, Godzilla, The Avengers, Nowhere Boy, Atonement, Along Came Polly and many more.
He’s been nominated for his work on Atonement and Anna Karenina – both for BAFTA, and Academy Awards for Best Cinematography.
When he was first announced I was pleasantly surprised to see such an accomplished cinematographer working on Fifty Shades of Grey, but after looking at his resume, it’s obvious that he has worked for a long time with Sam Taylor Johnson and they probably have a good working relationship, and likely a strong friendship too. Sadly, with Sam leaving the franchise I think he will probably leave too. But just like a new director will bring a little something different, the same is true of the cinematographer.
I thought he did a great job on Fifty Shades of Grey.
You can read more about his thoughts on filming sex scenes in an article from the NYTimes.