Alwin H. Küchler BSC
Alwin Küchler was born in 1965 in Düsseldorf – Wim Wenders went to school in the same city. As a boy, Küchler was a great fan of the comic book artists Erik Bilal and Jean Giraud and looking back now, he can see that they taught him a great deal about story-boards. In his early teens he discovered Coppola's The Godfather and attempted to turn the film into a comic, but gave up after page 11. When he was fourteen years old he was given a Nikon FM, which began his love of photography. After serving an apprenticeship as a photographer he was approached by a friend from the Munich Film School to shoot his student film exercise on an Arri 2C (a Second World War camera with three revolving lenses). When his friend, Jacob Claussen, showed him the results of the edit he was blown away by the power of what could be achieved as part of a film-making team. A couple of years later he applied to the NFTS.
This was a great experience: he met both his wife Ngozi Onwurah and the director Lynne Ramsay there. It was with Lynne Ramsay that he made his first feature film, Ratcatcher (1999) and he will always be grateful to her for how uncompromising she was in insisting on using her NFTS short film crew to shoot her first film. The film was quite a nightmare to work on as none of the Heads of Department had come through the classic route of film-making. It was, he says now, their rawness, instinct and talent that enabled them to prevail.
Ratcatcher opened doors for Küchler and his next film was The Claim (2000) with Michael Winterbottom. It was an amazing adventure, says Küchler, and Michael was the UK version of Werner Herzog in having the production designer build a whole house, which was then pulled on a sledge down a snowy hill in Canada.
He has worked with other outstanding directors, such as Roger Michell, Steven Frears, Danny Boyle and Kevin Macdonald, who directed his most recent film. He met Seamus McGarvey BSC at film school. They have both worked on films with Joe Wright and Lynne Ramsay, and it was McGarvey who proposed Küchler as a member of the BSC.
He met some of his heroes like Peter Biziou and Chris Menges through the BSC. The cinematography of Menges, from Kes to The Killing Fields, has been a great influence on Küchler
In commercials, he has worked on multiple high-end award winning campaigns globally for directors including Ian Pons Jewell, Nicolai Fuglsig, Dougal Wilson, Ringan Ledwidge and Fredrik Bond, for such brands as Guinness, Nike, Adidas, Honda, Audi, Orange and Levis.
Other credits include: Morvern Callar (dir. Lynne Ramsey 2002), The Mother (dir. Roger Michell 2003), Code 46 (dir. Michael Winterbottom 2003), The Deal (dir. Stephen Frears 2003), Sunshine (dir. Danny Boyle 2007), Hanna (dir. Joe Wright 2011), Divergent (dir. Neil Burger 2014), Steve Jobs (dir. Danny Boyle 2015), Prisoner 760 (working title) (dir. Kevin Macdonald 2020)
BIFA Nomination for Most Promising Newcomer: RATCATCHER 1999
Valladolid International Film Festival Winner best Director of Photography: THE CLAIM 2001
BIFA Winner for Best Technical Achievement: MORVERN CALLAR 2002
Stockholm Film Festival Winner Best Cinematography: MORVERN CALLAR 2002
Dinard British Film Festival: Winner Best Cinematography MORVERN CALLAR 2002
European Film Awards; Nominee European Cinematographer MORVERN CALLAR 2002
European Film Awards; Nominee European Cinematographer CODE 46 2004
Evening Standard Awards Nominee Best Technical Achievement SUNSHINE 2008
As well as numerous awards for Commercials