Dick Pope began his career as a documentary film cameraman. He worked for many companies including the BBC travelling the world to remote and inaccessible areas including war zones. He specialised in shooting films about endangered indigenous tribes including Disappearing World, highly political films like World in Action, and also TV ‘Arts’ programmes such as The South Bank Show.
From the late 70’s through the early 80’s Pope shot hundreds of concerts, many for the ‘Old Grey Whistle Test’ and music videos for bands and artists as diverse as Queen, Freddie Mercury, Tina Turner, The Clash, The Specials, The Police, Neil Young and AC/DC. in the mid 80’s he moved into TV drama and feature films, photographing amongst others, Porterhouse Blue for which he was BAFTA nominated, and Philip Ridley’s Reflecting Skin.
In 1990 Pope was asked by director Mike Leigh to photograph Life is Sweet beginning a collaboration that has produced ten features including Naked, Secrets and Lies, Topsy-Turvy, Vera Drake, Happy-Go-Lucky, Another Year and Mr.Turner. Pope has twice won the top prize at Camerimage, the Festival of the Art of Cinematography, for Vera Drake and Secrets & Lies. and in 1999 Leigh and Pope were recognised there with a major award for their career collaboration. He also won the Silver Frog at the same festival for The Illusionist for which he was also nominated for an Oscar, ASC and BSC awards. Amongst many wins and nominations for his work on Mr Turner he was awarded the 2015 BSC Cinematography award, the Royal Photographic Society 2015 Lumiere award and the ‘Prix Vulcaine for the Technical Artist’ at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival. For the same film he was also again nominated for an Oscar and BAFTA, ASC and British Independent Film Awards.