Robert Richardson, a name that very few will recognize, has been nominated for 9 Academy Awards in 'Best Cinematography', and has taken home the prize on 3 separate occasions. Despite his successes, he is extremely underrated due to names like Emmanuel Lubezki and Roger Deakins taking up the spotlight. Regardless of the fact that he is very under appreciated, Richardson continues to push the limits of film and is constantly innovating. Although you may not realize it, you probably have watched many of the popular films that he has shot, including both Kill Bill's, Inglorious Basterds, Django Unchained, Hugo, and The Aviator.
One visionary that Richardson has closely collaborated with is Quentin Tarantino, who has used him on every single one of his films from 2003 and onward. Having worked with each other for over a decade now, they are very comfortable with one another. “'Quentin and I have grown closer and closer in terms of collaboration,' observed Richardson. 'There’s a degree of shorthand but Quentin is always extraordinarily specific about what he wants. He specifies exactly what he envisions for each shot. So the shorthand is more about friendship and trust.'"
Tarantino's trust was tested in ways it never had been before on his latest film with Robert Richardson, The Hateful Eight. From the very start, Quentin had his mind set on shooting the entire film in 70mm, a film format which hasn't been used recently because 35mm has emerged as the preferred film format due to it not being extremely wide, but Tarantino was instead looking for that highly stylized look, wanting all the characters to be able to appear on the screen at once. While most people thought that 70mm could only be used for beautiful landscapes in very large open areas, Tarantino and Richardson managed to break that stigma. They believed that although 70mm works well in these wide open spaces, if it is on an enclosed small set, it manages to make everything seem more 'intimate' and personal. After knowing Richardson for so many years, Tarantino put tremendous trust in him to deliver the look that he desired. With all of these famous Director and DP combos, like Richardson and Tarantino, Deakins and the Coen Brothers, along with Lubezki and Innaritu, it really is a great treat to watch the films that they come out with, because after all, iron ends up sharpening iron.