Emmanuel Lubezki (born Emmanuel Lubezki Morgenstern 1964, in Mexico City) is an award-winning Mexican cinematographer, known for his groundbreaking techniques and characteristic style. His nickname is "Chivo" and he was born into a Jewish family.
Lubezki began his career in Mexican film and television productions in the late 1980s. His first American production was the 1993 independent film Twenty Bucks, which followed the journey of a single twenty-dollar bill.
He has worked with fellow Mexican filmmaker Alfonso Cuarón five times, beginning with 1995's A Little Princess. The film earned Lubezki his first Academy Award nomination. Lubezki and Cuarón have been friends since they were teenagers and attended the same film school at the National Autonomous University of Mexico.
Lubezki has also worked with a variety of major directors, including Mike Nichols (The Birdcage), Tim Burton (Sleepy Hollow), Michael Mann (Ali), and Terrence Malick (The New World). As of 2007, he has been nominated for four Academy Awards.
Lubezki's most recent collaboration with Cuarón, Children of Men (2006), has received universal acclaim. The film utilized a number of new technology and distinctive techniques. The "roadside ambush" scene was shot in one extended take utilizing a special camera rig invented by Doggicam systems, developed from the company's Power Slide system. For the scene, a vehicle was modified to enable seats to tilt and lower actors out of the way of the camera. The windshield of the car was designed to tilt out of the way to allow camera movement in and out through the front windscreen. A crew of four, including Lubezki, rode on the roof. Children of Men also features a six minute battle sequence composed of roughly five seamless edits, a rarely used technique first utilized in Alfred Hitchcock's Rope.
In 2007, Lubezki shot Shine a Light, Martin Scorsese's documentary about The Rolling Stones. An untitled sixth collaboration with Cuarón is currently in pre-production with a projected release date in 2008. It has been announced that he will work with the Coen Brothers on their 2008 project Burn After Reading.