Robby Baumgartner began his film career 33 years ago in New York City. His interest in lighting inspired him to choose the unconventional route to DP via Gaffing.
This career path allowed him to light films and learn from some of the most talented DP’s in the business: Rodrigo Prieto, Chris Menges, Robert Elswit, Dante Spinotti, Darius Khondji, Janusz Kaminski, and Emmanuel Lubezki. Some of the films include: “8 Mile”, “25th Hour”, “21 Grams”, “Babel”, “Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada”, and “There Will be Blood”.
In between Gaffing gigs he took every opportunity to DP or camera-operate on feature films, 2nd-unit photography, commercials, and shorts.
Then in 2008 “There Will be Blood” shot by Robert Elswit, won the Oscar for Best Cinematography; the highest honor for any DP/Gaffing team. That event was the impetus for Robby to stop gaffing and DP exclusively.
In 2009 Robby joined the International Cinematographers Guild as a DP and quickly got hired on to DP and operate 2nd unit on feature films. Then in 2011 he joined the team making “Hunger Games” as the 2nd unit DP. He followed that up with Hunger Games ll, “Water for Elephants”, and “Argo” amongst other films.
For Robby, 2nd Unit, with some much growth in CGI and VFX integration was an exciting and a great place to be and learn, but his heart and soul was working on 1st(main) unit, creating his own visual language with the director and helming a camera with 1st unit actors, being at the tip of the spear. Since 2014 Robby has been concentrating on shooting main unit, shooting such films as the “The Guest”, “Blair Witch (2016)” and “Blindspotting”, (which was selected for competition in the US Dramatic category at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival).
In 2019 Robby was hired by Roland Emmerich to DP his $100 million budget blockbuster period film”Midway” and then asked to following that up in 2020 (during Covid) with his $150 million budget blockbuster action film “Moonfall”. Both films required extensive integration of live action photography to massive VFX sequences, so Robby’s early experiences shooting big budget 2nd unit definitely paid off.
Directly following that in 2021 Robby went back to his roots and shot a very topical social media based tiered film for Searchlight/Hulu called “Not Okay”, directed by the talented, up and coming director Quinn Shephard.
This was followed up in 2022, with Robby linking up with 1st time Director Tommy Dorfman (she/her/hers) on a truly independent and inspiring film produced by Ace Entertainment, based on the NYT best selling novel “I Wish You All The Best” about a non binary teen growing up in rural North Carolina. Robby looks forward to adding images and a trailer for IWYATB as soon as the film is released.
Now that the Writers and Actors strikes have been resolved, Robby is excited and ready to take on interesting and engaging projects at all budget ranges. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to Gil Harari his Narrative Agent at IAG. Don’t forget he loves to shoot Commercials! So please reach out Alexa Lopez his commercial agent at IAG. All contact info is available at a click of a button on his home page.