Tim Sidell is a cinematographer working in drama, documentary, commercials, music videos and artist’s film. His features include the National Theatre’s cinematic production of Romeo & Juliet starring Josh O’Connor and Jessie Buckley, and Two For Joy directed by Tom Beard, shot on 35mm and starring Samantha Morton & Billie Piper. Tim shot 2nd Unit on Peter Strickland’s Berberian Sound Studio (also creating an optical FX sequence on film) and recently completed Peter's latest feature Flux Gourmet with Gwendoline Christie and Asa Butterfield. Television drama as lead Cinematographer includes Sky’s I Hate Suzie created by Lucy Prebble and Billie Piper, and directed by Georgi Banks- Davies.
Tim has always been visually driven. While at school he was happiest in art class and especially while painting - his sketchbooks were filled with attempts to recreate the warmth of light falling on coloured surfaces. While at Art School Tim established a practice in drawing, collage and painting, capturing environments through photography and Super 8 and re-interpreting that material back in the studio with a strong focus on surface and texture. His practice later evolved through video installation and experimental film and collaboration with other artists on films and installations.
The distinctive use of colour and texture in Tim's cinematography has evolved from this background and training alongside his medium format photography and colour darkroom printing. Tim’s portraiture and sensitivity to natural light has lent his cinematography an organic, human quality which he extends through atmospheric lighting and experimental techniques. Above all Tim is driven by human stories and a blend of authenticity and creativity, which he has been fortunate enough to explore through a range of short and feature length films.
Tim has shot a number of projects on film and particularly enjoys the heightened sense of purpose and focus that this draws from a filmmaking team. Film's effortless handling of skin tone and colour adds a uniquely forgiving and yet authentic quality which is especially beneficial when other resources are tight (e.g. production design and lighting). However, digital colour science is coming on leaps and bounds and some productions are better suited to digital acquisition. Tim prefers the organic feel and exceptional rendering of skin tone of the SONY Venice, especially in combination with vintage glass to maintain an organic feel.
Tim enjoyed reading Sci-Fi from an early age, but Ridley Scott's Bladerunner instilled that undying urge to work in film. Along with his fascination in creating worlds, the artistry of lighting and lensing and the collaboration between director, production designer and cinematographer fascinated him deeply. Tarkovsky's Stalker carved out a new awareness of how singular and poetic a vision can be; and it was Robby Muller's career long collaborations with Jim Jarmusch and Wim Wenders that cemented the project - if there was one cinematographer he wish he'd been, it would be Robby Muller! The work of Nestor Almendros, Vilmos Zsigmond, Harris Savides and more recently Robby Ryan and Benoit Debie still inspire along with the work of Nic Knowland who has also been Tim's unofficial mentor since their first outing together on set in 2006.