October 5, 2021
Geoff Boyle NSC FBKS July 20th 1950 – October 5th 2021
Geoff Boyle was a pioneer among cinematographers. His CML has shown his profession the value of sharing knowledge through international co-operation in the quest to improve imagery. CML have announced their intention of sharing the immense wealth of information in his archives with Imago.
Geoff Boyle was born in a council estate in the Northeast of England in 1950. At eight he was given his first Brownie 127 camera, which started him on lifelong image-making. He dropped out of his final year in art school to work as a stills assistant at the studio used as the location for “Blow Up”, working mostly in fashion and advertising. He also worked as a stills photographer covering music for notorious underground magazine Oz.
One day in 1973 he was asked if he knew anyone who could film a concert, and of course he did! He switched to film work entirely, shooting news, documentaries, and music promos for everyone from Bowie to Zeppelin. In 1985 he moved to commercials, and by the '90s Kodak said he was one of 10 cinematographers shooting 80% of national spots in the UK. After 20 years in commercials he focused on long-form drama, from the digital production “Mutant Chronicles” in 2006, to multiple 3D projects, the series “Wallander” shot on REDs, and action film “Streetfighter: The Legend of Chun-Li” shooting 3-perf 35mm, among others. In the process he garnered awards from SMPTE, BKSTS, BCS, ACS, and NSC.
In 1996, while bored late one night in a hotel room during the middle of a shoot, he started the Cinematography Mailing List, which has grown to over 12,500 members worldwide. He has also taught workshops in the USA, UK, Europe, Australia, and Asia, and was appointed a Visiting Professor at the University of the West of England in 2013. He was always eager to exploit new technologies, but always in service to the image: “F*** the numbers!” was his rallying cry whenever people would obsess over resolution or bit rates instead of looking at the picture, along with “‘good enough’ is not good enough and ‘close enough’ is miles away from good.”
Geoff died Tuesday October 5th in Zoetermeer, NL after a long and feisty battle with cancer. He is survived by his wife, Deborah.