TOBY BIRNEY
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY

Toby Birney was raised in a family of storytellers. From a young age, he was reading books and short stories penned by his paternal grandfather, Hoffman Birney, whose novel, “The Dice of God,” was the basis for the screenplay for the 1965 film, The Glory Guys. As a photographer, Toby Birney’s tutelage started in the early 1980’s when his maternal grandfather, a WWII B-17 navigator, aerial combat cameraman, and photojournalism professor, gave him a light meter for his 10th birthday and taught him how to expose, process, and print black and white film. Toby soon convinced his father to hand over the photography duties on family vacations with a far-from-automatic 35mm camera loaded with slide film. From that point onward and throughout his formative years, there was almost always a camera in his hands.

As a cinematographer, Toby continues to pursue his passion for capturing images that tell compelling stories. He is equally versed in the different production styles of documentary television shows, studio and independent feature films, and commercials. He manages to keep one foot firmly grounded in the world of documentary work and the other in the world of narrative projects, and he feels equally at home in either one. Toby maintains a firm belief that these different cinemagraphic skills and operating styles complement one another and make him a well-rounded storyteller. His documentary style has been described as cinematic and his narrative lighting style is natural and unimposing.

Through his work on various narrative projects over the years, Toby has received credits including 2nd unit DP and “A” Camera Operator on the Swedish historical drama miniseries
Snapphanar, directed by Mårlind & Stein and photographed by Linus Sandgren, FSF (American Hustle); as a camera operator on Ed Zwick’s Defiance, starring Daniel Craig & Liev Schrieber and photographed by Eduardo Serra, ASC/AFC (Girl With a Pearl Earring); and as a 2nd unit camera operator on the 2007 four-part mini series, War and Peace, starring Clémence Poésey and photographed by Fabrizio Lucci (Coco Chanel). Before that, he learned the craft of lighting while working as a gaffer alongside many influential cinematographers including Theo Van De Sande, ASC (Volcano), Chris Manley, ASC (Mad Men) and Paul Ryan, ASC (A River Runs Through It). His documentary work includes television series for History, TLC, Animal Planet, Nat Geo, and E! Entertainment. "Push Girls" Season 2, which he shot for Sundance Channel, won a Critic's Choice Award for Best Reality Series.

Toby has captured images and has worked with crews from around the globe. From the Cook Islands to Costa Rica, Australia to Austria, and many other places in between, Toby has had a rare perspective of the world and its landscapes, its peoples and their customs.

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DOCUMENTARY TELEVISION WORK

“Cesar 911”
NatGeo Wild
Director of Photography (season 2: 12 one-hour episodes)
ITV / Jordan Roberts & Sudi Khosropur

“You Can’t Lick Your Elbow” NatGeo
Director of Photography (season 1: 6 half-hour episodes)
Authentic Entertainment / Jeffrey L. Weaver

“Eric & Jessie: Game On”
E! Entertainment
Director of Photography (season 2: 6 half-hour episodes)
Shed Media / Kathryn Takis

“Diary of a Medium”
Lifetime
Director of Photography (one-hour pilot)
Levity Entertainment / Sudi Khosropur

“The Great Food Truck Race”
Food Network
Camera Operator (season 4: 7 one-hour episodes)
Relativity Real / Dean Ollins & Patrick Higgins

“Push Girls” Sundance
Director of Photography (season 2: 10 half-our episodes)
Gay Rosenthal Prod. / Sven Nilsson, Jonathan Chinn, & Jen Lane


“Little People, Big World: Wedding Farm”
TLC
Director of Photography (season 1: 6 one-hour episodes)
Gay Rosenthal Prod. / Sven Nilsson & Kathryn Takis


“Little People, Big World” Specials
TLC
Director of Photography(4 one-hour special episodes)
Gay Rosenthal Prod. / Sven Nilsson, Mark Cole, Kathryn Takis


“Brad Meltzer’s Decoded”
History
Director of Photography (seasons 1 & 2: 23 one-hour episodes)
Go Go Luckey / Bill Langworthy, Gary Auerbach, Tina Gazzerro


“Tanked”
Animal Planet
Director of Photography (season 1: 6 one-hour episodes)
Nancy Glass Productions / Jeffrey L. Weaver

“Little People, Big World”
TLC
Camera Operator (seasons 3, 4, & 5: 50+ half-hour ep’s)
Gay Rosenthal Productions / Jeffrey L. Weaver & Eric Streit

“The Amazing Race”
CBS
Camera Operator (episodes 12.5 & 12.6)
Jerry Bruckheimer Television / Bertram van Munster


“The Dark Ages”
History Channel
Camera Operator
KPI Productions / Chris Cassel (Director) & Tim Metzger (DP)

“Nuclear Secrets” BBC
Camera Operator
Baltic Film / Matthew Wortman (Dir.) & Florian Schilling (DP)

“Surviving Disaster” BBC
Camera Operator (ep. 1.1: "Munich Air Crash")
Baltic Film / Matthew Wortman (Dir.) & Florian Schilling (DP)

“Scene of the Crime” TLC
Gaffer
Authentic Ent. / P.K. MacCarthy & Eric Ramsey

“Top Secret Missions of the CIA” History Channel
Director of Photography (multiple episodes)
Jaffe Entertainment / Jeffrey L. Weaver

“Film Real” (with Gary Oldman) Discovery Europe
Gaffer
Michael Servege (DP)

“Secrets Of…” Travel Channel
Director of Photography (multiple episodes)
Van Ness Films / Jeffrey L. Weaver


“History’s Mysteries”
History Channel
Director of Photography (multiple episodes)
Weller-Grosseman / Jeffrey L. Weaver

“D.J. Games”
Gameshow Network
Camera Operator (season 1)
Andrew Solt Productions / Tara Craig


“America’s Most Wanted”

Gaffer (recreations, multiple episodes)
STF Productions

COMMERCIAL CLIENTS

J. Walter Thompson (USA)
McCann Erickson (Lithuania)
VRS Agentura (Lithuania)
Brand Sellers DDB (Lithuania)
Lukrecija BBDO (Lithuania)
Saatchi & Saatchi (Lithuania)
Garage 4x4 (Lithuania)
Purple Pacific (USA)
& others.


AFFILIATIONS AND MORE

IMAGO (European Federation of Cinematographers)
Lithuanian Delegate at IAGA 2007 & 2008

LAC (Lithuanian Association of Cinematographers)
2006 – present / Board member 2008 – 2009

SMPTE (Society of Motion Picture & Television Engineers)
Active Professional Member 2008-present

Filmmaker’s Alliance
Honorary Member 1997 – present

Certified SCUBA diver since 1985

Native English speaker with basic proficiency in Lithuanian and Russian

Excellent hand-held operating skills

Work Experience throughout the US (most of the lower 48 + Alaska), England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Russia, Finland, Cooke Islands, Australia, Mexico, Costa Rica, Latvia, and Lithuania.

NARRATIVE TELEVISION WORK

“The Palace”
ITV
Camera Operator (additional) (season 1: episodes 1.1 – 1.4)
Company Pictures (UK) / M. Hüseyin (Dir.) & Graham Smith (DP)

“The Immortal”
Chum Television (Canada)
Gaffer (Series promos)
Peace Arch Ent. / Geza Sinkovics, HSC (DP)

“The New Adventures of Robin Hood” Warner Brothers Int'l TV
Gaffer (season 2) / Add'l 2nd unit DP (episodes 3.2 & 3.4)
Weintraub-Kuhn Productions / Geza Sinkovics, HSC (DP)
Richard Norton / Zach Weintraub (2nd unit directors)

FEATURE WORK

DEFIANCE
Grosvenor Park Productions (USA)
Camera Operator (additional)
Ed Zwick & Eduardo Serra, AFC, ASC

WAR AND PEACE Lux Vide, S.P.A. (Italy)
Camera Operator / Additional VFX Cinematography
R. Dornhelm / Fabrizio Luzzi


SNAPPHANAR
Filmlance International (Sweden)
Director of Photography: 2nd unit / "A" Camera Operator
Stein & Mårlind / Linus Sandgren, FSF

TRIPS
Momentum Film (Germany)
Director of Photography
Maximilian Moll

RATTEN 2- SIE KOMMEN WEIDER! Medienfonds (Germany)
Camera Operator
Jörg Lühdorff
/ Bernhard Jasper

SPECIAL FORCES Nu Image / Millennium Films (USA)
Camera Operator (“C” Camera) / Gaffer      
Isaac Florentine / Gideon Porath


ENDANGERED SPECIES
Weintraub-Kuhn Productions (USA)
Camera Operator (additional) / Gaffer       
Kevin Tinney / Chris Manley, ASC      

BACKYARD DOGS Barnholtz Entertainment (USA)
Cinematography: Titles Sequence / Gaffer     
Robert Boris / Michael Chambliss       

THE DOGWALKER Filmmaker’s Alliance (USA)
Director of Photography: 2nd unit unit                   
Jacques Thelemaque / Marco Fargnoli                  

EASY Curb Entertainment/ Over Easy Productions (USA)
Gaffer                                                                      
Jane Weinstock / Paul Ryan, ASC

RAPTOR New Concorde (USA)
Gaffer
Jim Wynorski / Andrea V. Rossotto

GANGLAND
Dominion Entertainment (USA)
Gaffer (reshoots)
Art Camacho / Andrea V. Rossotto

GUILTY AS CHARGED Dog Tag Productions (USA)
Gaffer (2nd Unit)
Mark L. Lester / George Mooradian

SHOCK TELEVISION Shock Productions (USA)
Gaffer
Whitney Ransick / Jeffrey L. Weaver

SHORT FILM PROJECTS

IMPULSIVE Peritus Productions / Tim Reischauer
Director of Photography
St. Louis International Film Festival: Official Selection

SLICE OF PIE
Undercarriage Productions / Tim Resichauer
Director of Photography
Played in 35 festivals and won 18 awards including:
St. Louis International Film Festival (Official Selection)
USA Film Festival: Finalist
Wild Rose Independent Film Festival: Best Short Film
Black Earth Film Festival: Best Picture
St. Louis Filmmakers’ Showcase: Film Critics’ Award
Rockport Film Festival: People’s Choice Award
Beverly Hills Hi-Def Film Festival: Jury Selection Award- Bronze
Nevada Film Festival: Winner of Silver Screen Award
Dam Short Film Festival: Winner-Best Drama
Failbrook International Film Festival: Winner- Best of Show Three
Sundial Film Festival: People’s Choice Award


PHANTOM FONT Undercarriage Productions / Tim Resichauer
Director of Photography
St. Louis International Film Festival
Newport Beach Film Festival
Ventura Film Festival
Yosemite International Film Festival
Los Vegas Film Festival
Big Bear Lake International Film Festival
Cape Fear Indie Film Festival
Fallbrook Film Festival
Film Festival of Colorado
Long Island International Film Expo


MIMOZA Commcrew / Ramunė Rakauskaitė
Director of Photography
Lithuanian AXX Film Festival: Official Selection

SŪRINKNAS Kino Komanda / Ramunė Rakauskaitė
Director of Photography
Lithuanian AXX Film Festival: Official Selection

OTHER PEOPLE Brooklyn Reptile / Anthony Berrios
Director of Photography

DÉJÀ VU Walking Filmworks / Laurence Barbara
Director of Photography

LOST DOG Lost Dog Pictures Deb Lemen (Dir.) / Marco Fargnoli (DP)
Director of Photography: 2nd unit                               

MAKENHEIM
Chicken Pictures / Adam Barr (Dir.) / Mark Mervis (DP)
Camera Operator / Gaffer