Game of Thrones cinematographer Fabian Wagner returns to Leeds university to share secrets of his success

A former Leeds Beckett student who has since found fame working on some of the world's biggest TV shows returned to his old university to share some of the secrets of his success.

Monday, 22nd March 2021, 6:00 am

Fabian Wagner, who studied at the university's Northern Film School, is now a multi-award winning cinematographer whose stellar CV boasts TV credits including Game of Thrones and The Crown as well as Hollywood blockbusters such as Zack Snyder's Justice League.

But he returned to his old university this month to deliver a lecture as part of the 'INSIDE/OUT' programme - a series run by Leeds School of Arts which brings together prominent names from fields including art, architecture, design, fashion, film, music and performing arts.

In his lecture, Fabian discussed his progression from film school to his TV and film work, which has led to multiple Emmy Award nominations among others.

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Former Leeds Beckett student Fabian Wagner in action as a cinematographer.

In an interview with Yorkshire Evening Post in 2019, Fabian spoke of how much he enjoyed his time in Leeds and at the university.

“I had amazing people on my course and made really good friends. Leeds became my favourite place to be. Yorkshire people are very friendly, I just loved how you get on a bus and people say Good morning’ and Thanks’ when they get off,” he said.

Born in Munich, German, Fabian began shooting short films from a very early age, working in the film industry before he had even finished school.

After completing a diploma in Denmark, he came to Leeds to study a masters at the Northern Film School before shooting music videos, small commercials and eventually TV drams.

His first main job as a cinematographer - a role that involves working closely with a director to create the shots that bring a story to life - was a 10-episode spin-off of the BBC One show Spooks.

After that followed many well-known prime time dramas and when his work on the second season of BBC's Sherlock earned him his first Emmy nomination, he was invited to join the British Society of Cinematographers at the age of 34, becoming one of its youngest members.

He shot his first studio picture ‘Victor Frankenstein’ for 20th Century Fox and joined ‘Game of Thrones’ for its fourth season.

His work on that garnered him a second Emmy nomination and he established himself as one of the shows main cinematographers, shooting some of the biggest and most celebrated episodes of the show.

For the past 10 years Fabian has been very active in helping and supporting young filmmakers and cinematographers.

He is a mentor for BAFTA and takes on trainees privately as well as doing talks and masterclasses all over the world.

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