This cinematographer excels in richness: the lush gauzy effects of Merchant-Ivory, the sleek look of corporate New York. Pierce-Roberts was born in England but largely raised in Central Africa. He began his career with the Central African Film Unit and graduated to doing TV work for the BBC, photographing the popular "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" (1980), "Voyage Round My Father" (1982) and "The Good Soldier" (1983), among many others, before graduating to feature work. For American TV, he was director of photography on the telefilms "The Cold Room" (HBO, 1984), "The Bourne Identity" (ABC, 1988) and "No Place Like Home" (CBS, 1989).
Pierce-Roberts' first film was "Caught on a Train" (1980), but he really didn't gain notice until he created a grimy, workaday London for Jerzy Skolimowski's "Moonlighting" (1982). Among the earlier films on which Pierce-Roberts was director of photography were the children's drama "Kipperbang" (1982), "A Private Function" (1984), his first US film "A Tiger's Tale" (1987) and the Alaskan drama "White Fang" (1991).
But Pierce-Roberts is perhaps best known for his work on the films of Merchant-Ivory. He won his first Oscar nomination for the sumptuous compositions and Venetian locations of "A Room with a View" (1986) and earned a second nomination for "Howards End" (1992), which effectively blended lush pastoral landscapes with scenes of dingy urban confinement. He also photographed Ivory's trendy urban comedy "Slaves of New York" (1989) and the well-received "Mr. and Mrs. Bridge" (1990), "The Remains of the Day" (1993) and "Surviving Picasso" (1996).
His work has also ventured from the delicacy of Merchant-Ivory, however. George Romero's "The Dark Half" (1993), shot in Pittsburgh, was a moderately-budgeted thriller, while Joel Schumacher's "The Client" (1994) was shot in the South and Barry Levinson's "Disclosure" (both 1994) took audiences into corporate boardrooms. Among Pierce-Roberts other credits are the hair-raising thrillers "Copycat" and "Haunted" (both 1995), the comedy "Jungle2Jungle" (1997) and the Italian romance "Something to Believe In" (lensed 1996).
Cinematography (Feature Film)
Film Production - Main (Feature Film)
Misc. Crew (Feature Film)
Cinematography (TV Mini-Series)
First feature film as camera operator, "Caught on a Train"
First feature as director of photography, "Moonlighting"
First Merchant-Ivory film, "A Room with a View"; earned first Oscar nomination
Won acclaim for Howards End", directed by Ivory; earned second Oscar nomination