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Robert Elswit
Born Robert Christopher Elswit
22 April 1950 (1950-04-22) (age 59)
California, USA
Occupation Cinematographer
Title ASC
Awards Best Achievement in Cinematography
There Will Be Blood 2007

Robert Christopher Elswit, ASC (born April 22, 1950) is an American cinematographer. He has had multiple Oscar, BAFTA, and Independent Spirit nominations for several films, including There Will Be Blood. Elswit frequently works with director Paul Thomas Anderson.

Elswit is a fierce defender of shooting with film, and whenever possible refuses to use digital cameras. Images shot digitally, he says, have "no texture, no grain."

Elswit has also worked with director George Clooney several times. He shot Clooney's black and white, multiple-Oscar nominated film Good Night and Good Luck. Notably, Elswit shot the film in color, then converted the film into black and white in post production. According to Elswit, this technique preserved the subtlety of the colors (as complex shades of blacks and greys) and made the overall look much richer in the final film.

Elswit received his first Academy Award nomination for Best Cinematography in 2006 for his work on the movie Good Night, and Good Luck. He lost that Oscar to Dion Beebe for Memoirs of a Geisha. Two years later, Elswit would again be nominated and this time win the Oscar for Best Cinematography, for his work on There Will Be Blood.

Elswit has cited early independent filmmaker John Cassavetes as a major influence.

Some of the notable films he has worked on include:


Year Film Director
1985 The Sure Thing Rob Reiner
1992 The Hand That Rocks the Cradle Curtis Hanson
1994 The River Wild Curtis Hanson
1996 Hard Eight Paul Thomas Anderson
1997 Boogie Nights Paul Thomas Anderson
1997 Tomorrow Never Dies Roger Spottiswoode
1999 8mm Joel Schumacher
Magnolia Paul Thomas Anderson
2001 Punch-Drunk Love Paul Thomas Anderson
2003 Gigli Martin Brest
Runaway Jury Gary Fleder
2005 Good Night, and Good Luck George Clooney
2005 Syriana Stephen Gaghan
2007 Michael Clayton Tony Gilroy
There Will Be Blood Paul Thomas Anderson
2008 Redbelt David Mamet
The Burning Plain Guillermo Arriaga
2009 Duplicity Tony Gilroy
2010 The Town Ben Affleck

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