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Legendary and much-loved DP Brian Tufano BSC dies at 83

Jan 17, 2023

Brian Tufano BSC, the veteran, Bafta-nominated cinematographer known for his collaborations with Danny Boyle, has died. He was 83.

The news was confirmed by Tufano’s agent at McKinney Macartney Management, with Jon Wardle, director of the U.K.’s National Film and Television School — where Tufano had previously worked as a department head — posting a tribute on Twitter.

“Very sorry to have to share that Cinematography legend and former @NFTSFilmTV Head of Department Brian Tufano has died,” Wardle wrote. “He shot so many amazing films and did so much to champion new talent, in particular female DPs. We loved him and will REALLY miss him.”

Brian Tufano BSC began his career at the BBC as a projectionist, working his way up to cameraman within the film department in 1963 on small-screen features with directors including Stephen Frears, Ken Russell and Alan Parker. His first feature film, having gone freelance in the mid-1970s, would be The Sailor’s Return for director Jack Gold, while he would later lens cult 1979 Brit drama Quadrophenia. In the 1980s, he would provide additional cinematographer for Jordon Cronenweth on Blade Runner.

In 1992 he was assigned to the series Mr. Wroe’s Virgins and worked with director Danny Boyle. Boyle took him along on his feature debut, Shallow Grave, and continued to work with Tufano on such films as Trainspotting and A Life Less Ordinary. In 2001 Tufano won the Bafta Award for Outstanding Contribution to Film and Television.

In an obituary on his agent’s website, Tufano was described as the “cinematographers’ cinematographer,” whose work will endure for time to come. “His legacy lives on — not only through those works — but also through the careers of those students he nurtured over the years,” it added. “Our lives are richer for having known Brian and we shall miss him tremendously.”

Photo: RICHARD BLANSHARD/GETTY IMAGES

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