You’ve heard of film directors, screenwriters and artists being awarded an official knighthood, but on February 1st, 2022, cinematographer Roger Deakins made history by becoming the first-ever cinematographer to earn the honourary title at Windsor Castle. Deakins joins the likes of fellow film creative Sam Mendes, Steve McQueen, Kenneth Branagh, Anthony Hopkins and Sean Connery.
Though Deakins had been previously appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) at the 2013 Birthday honours, Deakins was officially knighted last week for his service to cinema. Known as one of the greatest cinematographers of the contemporary industry, Deakins has worked with the likes of Denis Villeneuve, Sam Mendes and the Coen brothers for films such as Blade Runner 2049, Skyfall and No Country for Old Men.
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Deakins spoke of the pride of gaining the award, stating: “The knighthood was an incredible honour that must be shared with my crew and collaborators”. Doffing his cap to his previous collaborators including writers, directors and production crew members, Deakins added, “They are the reason I have been able to do what I’ve done. It’s a wonderful recognition that we all share”.
Nominated for a total of 15 Academy Awards, Deakins took home an Oscar in both 2018 and 2020 for Villeneuve’s Blade Runner 2049, and Mendes’ 1917, respectively. In addition, the cinematographer has also won five BAFTA Awards as well as a lifetime achievement award from the American Society of Cinematographers. Next on Deakin’s project list is a team-up with his previous collaborator Sam Mendes for the new film Empire of Light.
Check out the trailer for his Oscar-winning work in 1917, below.