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Bradford Young

Bradford Young
Born Bradford Marcel Young[1]
(1977-07-06) July 6, 1977 (age 39)[1]
Louisville, Kentucky[1][2]
Occupation Cinematographer
Years active 2004–present

Bradford Marcel Young (born July 6, 1977) is an award-winning American cinematographer.

Early life and background

A native of Louisville, Kentucky, Young moved to Chicago at age 15 to live with his father.[3] He received early artistic inspiration by the works of Romare Bearden, Jacob Lawrence, and Aaron Douglas. He studied film at Howard University, where he was influenced by Haile Gerima.[2][4][5]


Young's feature films as director of photography include White Lies, Black Sheep (2007), Pariah (2011), Restless City (2011), Middle of Nowhere (2012), Ain't Them Bodies Saints (2013), and Mother of George (2013).[2][3][6]

Young has won Cinematography Awards at the Sundance Film Festival twice. In 2011, he won for his work on Pariah.[3] Two years later, he won for his work on both Mother of George and Ain't Them Bodies Saints.[6]

Young is a member of the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC).[7]

On May 12, 2013, Young and director Andrew Dosunmu presented Mother of George as the Closing Night selection for Maryland Film Festival.[8]

On September 22, 2016, Young was announced as the cinematographer for the untitled Star Wars Anthology film on Han Solo.[9]

In January 2017, Young became the first African-American cinematographer to be nominated for an Academy Award, which he was nominated for his work on Arrival.[10]

Visual style

Young prefers shooting with available light. For example, in Pariah, for a nighttime bedroom scene, he shot using only Christmas lights and an IKEA lamp with a red lampshade.[4] Amanda Petrusich in her 2012 article on Young for the New York Times states that he "favors raw light and has a penchant for shooting into it, but said he ultimately focuses on getting out of the way."[3]

In a 2013 article from the Washington Post about cinematographers who were trained at Howard University, Hans Charles, a frequent camera assistant for Young said that he has developed a versatile but also consistently poetic, oblique visual style.[5]


Awards and recognition


  1. ^ a b c "Kentucky, Birth Index, 1911-1999 [database on-line]". 2006. Retrieved 2013-08-31. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Director of Photography". The Western Front. [dead link]
  3. ^ a b c d e Petrusich, Amanda (2012-05-16). "He's Just a 'Custodian of the Moment': Bradford Young, Cinematographer for 'Middle of Nowhere'". New York Times. New York, New York. Retrieved 2013-08-31. Mr. Young has gathered considerable accolades from the indie community (as well as beyond it), but he continues to tussle personally with the insularity of the scene. 
  4. ^ a b Lindeman, Leslie (2011-12-14). "Contender – Cinematographer Bradford Young, Pariah". Below The Line. Retrieved 2013-08-31. 
  5. ^ a b "Howard University has become incubator for cinematographers". Washington Post. Washington, DC. 2013-01-28. Retrieved 2013-08-31. For his part, Young credits another film professor, Daniel Williams, and especially Gerima as the spiritual godfather of what may be, by now, fairly codified as a bona fide successor to the L.A. Rebellion — the Howard Continuum. 
  6. ^ a b c "Sundance Festival Award Winners". Sundance Film Festival. Retrieved 2013-08-31. [dead link]
  7. ^ "Young Joins ASC - ASC News". 2015-08-13. Retrieved 2017-01-24. 
  8. ^ "Mother of George". Maryland Film Festival. Archived from the original on 2013-06-07. Retrieved 2013-08-31. 
  9. ^ Raup, Jordan (September 22, 2016). "Emmanuel Lubezki Reteams With Alfonso Cuarón; Bradford Young to Shoot Han Solo Film". The Film Stage. 
  10. ^ Merry, Stephanie. "Oscar nominations 2017: Complete list of nominees; 'La La Land's' 14 ties all-time record". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2017-01-24. 
  11. ^ Tsui, Clarence (October 3, 2013). "Vara: A Blessing: Busan Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 18, 2014. 

External links