Robert Leitzell was born in Washington, D.C. and raised in Seattle, Washington. He graduated from Wesleyan University, where he studied Studio Art, Philosophy, and Set Design for the Theater. After designing an opera for an aspiring filmmaker, his photographs of the show got him his first job as a cinematographer, eventually leading him to attend graduate school at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.
Robert’s work as a director of photography has taken him around the world, most recently spending four months in Cambodia on a Khmer/English feature film. He has also worked in a number of other countries including Mexico, England, Vietnam and Hong Kong, and spent extensive time working locally in New York, New Orleans, Miami, and Los Angeles.
His work has won awards at numerous festivals, including Sundance, SXSW, and Tribeca, and has been written up in magazines such as American Cinematographer, Filmmaker Magazine, and CineFex. In addition to his talents as a cinematographer, Robert has done well-received work as the Technical Director of Visual Effects for such films as Beasts of the Southern Wild and Approaching the Unknown.
His experience in art departments, background as a director, and marriage to a brilliant production designer have made him aware of the challenges of friendly and active collaboration on a film set, and he works very hard to be a creative and considerate member of a team, while thriving in unusual settings on difficult but visually enticing projects.
When he’s not working, he loves to play tennis and travel with his wife Olga. They currently reside in Brooklyn, NY and love to work together.