Roger A. Deakins (born 24 May 1949) is an English BAFTA Award-winning cinematographer best known for his work on the films of the Coen brothers. Deakins is a member of both the American and British Society of Cinematographers.
Deakins was born in Torquay, Devon, England, the son of Josephine (née Messum), an actress, and William Albert Deakins, a builder. He attended Torquay Boys' Grammar School. While growing up in Torquay as a young adolescent, Roger spent most of his time in and out of school focusing on his primary interest: painting. Several years later, Roger enrolled in the Bath School of Art and Design (in the city of Bath) – where he studied graphic design. While studying in Bath, Roger discovered his love of still photography. As it turned out, he was a very talented photographer, and this led him be hired to create a photographic documentary of his hometown, Torquay. About a year or so later, Deakins transferred to the National Film and Television School in England.
Shortly after graduating, Deakins found work as a cameraman, assisting in the production of documentaries in various locations abroad for approximately seven years. During this seven year stint, Roger's first project involved a nine month trip as one of the entrants of a ‘round-the-world yacht race called, Around the World With Ridgeway. This project captured the lives and growing tensions between several of the yacht's crewmen. Roger received high praise for his work out at sea showing the parallels between these teammates and shipmates. After completing Around the World With Ridgeway, Deakins was immediately hired by television studios to film several documentaries in Africa. His first, Zimbabwe, was a powerful and informative depiction of the genocide that had been going on there, following Zimbabwe's devastating civil war. His second African documentary was called, Eritrea – Behind Enemy Lines, which was another depiction of conflict, this time within the borders of Sudan, Ethiopia and Djibouti.