For his work in the Amazon Studios sci-fi alternate-history drama The Man in the High Castle, the cinematographer was nominated for two ASC Awards and an Emmy.
Opening photo by Matt Lankes
New member Gonzalo Amat, ASC was born in Mexico to parents who were Spanish immigrants. Growing up between Mexico and Spain, the young man was fueled by two great passions: still photography and reading. Amat’s father spent a great deal of time when he was young in a cinema owned by his own father in rural Spain, and therefore, a love of film was instilled in Amat at a young age. But it was right before he entered college, he says, that a teacher first gave him a copy of American Cinematographer — which was at the time hard to come by in Mexico City — and told the young man that he could combine his two passions in film.
“I wasn’t sure how to, so I worked a bit on set and saw that the cinematographer was really the gatekeeper and the person in charge of executing the film language of each setup. So I knew then that I had to become one,” he says.
Amat attended Centro Cultural Arte Contemporáneo in Mexico City, where he studied fine art photography. After graduation, he worked as a producer for companies including HBO Ole. But a continued pull toward cinematography brought him to London to study at the London Film School. Most of his classmates wanted to direct, he says, which allowed him to shoot more than 20 short films and documentaries.
Subsequently, he was accepted into the American Film Institute, where he earned a Master of Fine Arts in cinematography. His thesis film, Fueling the Fire, was accepted into more than 40 festivals, and won awards in 15.
His early work includes the features 7 Días and El Estudiante — both of which earned him best cinematography nominations at the Gabriel Figueroa Awards — as well as The Devil Inside. His other feature work includes Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones and Carrie Pilby.
His television work includes Believe — created by Alfonso Cuarón and Mark Friedman — as well as Person of Interest, SEAL Team, Happy! and Outer Banks. For his work in the Amazon Studios sci-fi alternate-history drama The Man in the High Castle, Amat was nominated for two ASC Awards as well as an Emmy Award. (Watch Amat discuss his acclaimed work on the show here.)
In his free time, Amat still pursues his passion for still photography.