Since graduating from the Northern Film School Fabian Wagner has become a multi award winning cinematographer with an enviable list of credits on some of the biggest television productions on planet earth that include ‘Spooks’ & ‘Sherlock’ for the BBC, Netflix’s award winning historical epic ‘The Crown’, the global TV phenomenon that is ‘Game of Thrones’ and Hollywood blockbusters like Zack Snyders ‘Justice League’.
In this INSIDE/OUT Lecture university alumni Fabian Wagner discusses his progression from film school origins and the shooting of music videos and small commercials to award winning television and film work that has led him to receive multi Emmy Award nominations, the prestigious ASC award for cinematographers and an invitation to join the American Society of Cinematographers.
Fabian was born in Munich, Germany. He started shooting short films early on and began working in the film industry even before he finished school.
After doing a diploma in Denmark and a Masters at the Northern film school in England he started shooting music videos, small commercials and eventually 2nd unit on TV dramas. His first job as the main cinematographer was a 10 episode spin off of the established BBC1 show Spooks. After that he quickly established himself as a cinematographer in the UK shooting many well-known prime time dramas. It was not only a fun time but also very fruitful in many aspects. He also met his focus puller Jamie Phillips, a long time collaborator and great friend, and established relationships with directors, producers and other crew members that have lasted to this day.
With the 2nd season of Sherlock came a more international success and also his first Emmy nomination. His work now took him overseas and he spent a couple of years shooting TV pilots in the US and Canada. Around that time Fabian was also invited to join the British Society of Cinematographers, a dream he had always had. At 34 he became one of the society's youngest members. He shot his first studio picture ‘Victor Frankenstein’ for 20th Century Fox and director Paul McGuigan. He also joined ‘Game of Thrones’ for its 4th season. His work on that garnered him a second Emmy nomination and he established himself as one of the shows main cinematographers, shooting some of the biggest and most celebrated episodes of the show. “Battle of the Bastards’ earned him the prestigious ASC award and an invitation to join the American Society of Cinematographers.
He shot another studio picture, Justice League for Warner Brothers and director Zack Snyder. He then shot two Episodes of ‘The Crown’ for director and old time friend Sam Donovan.
For the past 10 years Fabian has been very active in helping and supporting young filmmakers and cinematographers. He is a mentor for Bafta and the ASC also takes on a lot of trainees privately as well as doing talks and masterclasses all over the world. Helping future generations of filmmakers has become one of his biggest passions.