Richard Rutkowski is an active cinematographer whose work encompasses indie features, art and gallery projects, and major studio productions. Richard’s cinematography has contributed to acclaimed dramas including Boss, The Americans, and the period drama Manhattan. Produced and directed by Thomas Schlamme, Manhattan earned Richard two separate ASC Award Nominations for Best Cinematography. Recent work includes the launch of three new series; HBO’s Divorce, Amazon’s Jack Ryan, and Castle Rock for Hulu, a new interpretation of Stephen King’s literary canon set in the eponymous Maine town, produced by JJ Abrams and Warner Brothers. This project reunited Richard with Manhattan creators Sam Shaw and Dustin Thomason.
Growing up in Provincetown, Massachusetts; Ft Smith, Arkansas; and Water Mill, New York - disparate locations following the career of his father, the late landscape painter Casimir Rutkowski - Richard absorbed an appreciation for the diversity, context, and character of individual environments.
At Harvard College he began making 16mm films, ambitiously mixing camera technique, electronic sound composition, and animation to create a series of experimental works. One such project, Sunshine Superman, created with the artist Cristopher Knowles found festival and gallery screenings that continue to this day. After graduating, Richard joined the NABET and IATSE camera unions and began assisting extraordinary DP’s including Ed Lachman, ASC; Eric Edwards; and the late Freddie Francis, BSC. While crewing on these larger jobs, he lensed short films and arts-related projects, eventually establishing himself as a DP for emerging directors. After earning the Grand Jury Prize at Slamdance for the aesthetic, minimalist mini-DV film Homework, Richard shot Neil Burger’s debut feature, Interview with the Assassin, earning Independent Spirit Award nominations for Best First Feature and Best Cinematography.
Throughout his career, Richard has continued to collaborate on art world projects. Bob Wilson’s initial HD Video Portraits were shot by Rutkowski, including meticulously staged images of Mikhail Baryshnikov, Winona Ryder, Brad Pitt, and Robert Downey Jr. Over a three year period Richard produced and directed The Space in Back of You, a feature documentary which tells the story of Japanese dancer Suzushi Hanayagi, whose artistry deeply influenced Wilson and New York’s avant-garde in the 20th Century. This film premiered in the US at New York’s Lincoln Center, has been shown on Arte in France and screened at the Pompidou Center in Paris. Filming workers and individual laborers in painterly long static shots, Richard helped create Sharon Lockhart’s works Double Tide, Lunchbreak and Exit for museum installation. A more recent art project documented Taylor Mac’s 24-hour performance of the American Song Cycle at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn.
Richard currently lives and works in New York City with his wife, the artist Betsy Kenyon, and step-daughter Daisy.