John Mathieson (cinematographer)

John Mathieson
Born (1961-05-03) 3 May 1961
Dorset, England
Occupation Cinematographer
Years active 1988–present
Spouse(s) Maria Tamander

John Mathieson, BSC (born 3 May 1961)[1] is an English cinematographer. He is one of a group of film makers who emerged from the music video industry of the late 1980s and 1990s. His peers include cinematographers Tim Maurice Jones (Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels) and Seamus McGarvey BSC (Atonement) and directors Michel Gondry and David Fincher. The inventiveness and visual style of music videos did much to shape the evolution of contemporary feature films.

Life and career

Mathieson was born in Dorset, England. Beginning his career in the British film industry as camera assistant to Gabriel Beristáin, Mathieson worked his way through the ranks. In 1988 he garnered recognition for the ground breaking video "Peek-a-Boo"[2] for Siouxsie and the Banshees, directed by Peter Scammel. He collaborated with John Maybury, director of the Sinéad O'Connor video "Nothing Compares 2 U", going on to photograph Maybury's award winning film Love Is the Devil: Study for a Portrait of Francis Bacon. Mathieson honed his craft through the 90's shooting numerous television commercials and music videos for artists including Madonna, Prince and Massive Attack.

In the mid 90's Mathieson photographed two feature films for director Karim Dridi, for which he was later bestowed the honour of Chevalier by the French government. He came to the attention of Tony Scott whilst shooting television commercials for the London-based company RSA films. After working as visual effects cinematograher on Enemy of the State for Tony Scott, Mathieson photographed the film Plunkett & Macleane for Jake Scott. Having seen Mathiesons work on Plunkett, Ridley Scott invited him to work on his next project. Mathieson has photographed four films for Ridley Scott, nominated for an Academy Award for Gladiator in 2000 and won the BAFTA award for best Cinematography in the same year. His second Oscar nomination came for The Phantom of the Opera (2004) directed by Joel Schumacher.

Despite a career now cemented in big budget film production, Mathieson maintains links with independent British film, working on more modest budget projects including Trauma directed by Marc Evans and Stoned directed by Stephen Woolley.

Mathieson lives in the United Kingdom and is currently working on After.Life with director Agnieszka Wojtowicz-Vosloo.


Selected Awards for Cinematography


  1. "John Mathieson". Retrieved 19 October 2013.

External links

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