Toby Oliver ACS is an award-winning cinematographer whose career extends from his native Australia to the United States and internationally. Named as one of Variety’s 10 cinematographers to watch in 2017, Toby now divides his time between Los Angeles and Sydney and has forged a remarkable and varied range of credits on feature films, documentaries and television.
Toby recently shot SERIOUSLY RED for director Gracie Otto, and starring Krew Boylan, Rose Byrne and Bobby Cannavale.
In the United States Toby shot Jordan Peele’s racially-charged thriller horror GET OUT in early 2016. GET OUT premiered at a midnight screening at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, and went on to score a rare 99% on Rotten Tomatoes, ranking #1 at the US Box Office on its opening weekend. Nominated for four Academy Awards, Get Out won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay and has become a cultural phenomenon, to date earning over $258m worldwide. Subsequently Toby lensed writer/director Christopher Landon’s time-loop thriller HAPPY DEATH DAY for Universal. The comedy/horror achieved #1 at US Box Office on release in Oct 2017, going on to earn $125m worldwide while Toby’s next Blumhouse movie, franchise favorite INSIDIOUS THE LAST KEY opened in Jan 2018 to #2 at the US Box Office. Toby then shot director James McTiegue’s (V FOR VENDETTA) home-invasion thriller Breaking In for producer Will Packer (STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON). Toby also shot the Universal sequel HAPPY DEATH DAY 2U, again teaming with director Chris Landon and the original cast. In early 2018 he shot the Netflix movie THE DIRT, the biopic on the notorious 80’s metal band Motley Crue for director Jeff Tremaine (Jackass and Bad Grandpa), released on the streaming service in March 2019.
2019 became a busy year shooting for Toby, completing the Blumhouse thriller FANTASY ISLAND for director Jeff Wadlow, the Kristin Wiig comedy/adventure BARB AND STAR GO TO VISTA DEL MAR for Lionsgate, and finishing the year with Season 2 of the Netflix black comedy DEAD TO ME with stars Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini. DEAD TO ME Season 2 was the #1 show on Netflix in the United States for a week upon its release in 2020 and went on to receive three Emmy Award nominations, including Outstanding Comedy Series. In 2016 Toby had continued his documentary cinematography work shooting the award-winning indie doc ROLLER DREAMS in and around Los Angeles’ Venice Beach, while previously he shot the Blumhouse thriller THE DARKNESS for director Greg Mclean, starring Kevin Bacon and Radha Mitchell; and in New York he shot the indie fantasy creature-feature WILDLING for Maven Pictures and director Fritz Bohm with Liv Tyler, Bel Powley and Brad Dourif. Wildling premiered at SXSW 2018 to universal critical acclaim, with a place in the Best 10 of the festival.
A graduate of Melbourne’s renowned Swinburne Film School, in his early career in Australia Toby created many notable film images, from the ‘beautifully lit’ gritty black and white of his prison film debut feature EVERYNIGHT…EVERYNIGHT which premiered at Venice, to the box-office hit teen movie and AFI (Australian Film Institute) winner LOOKING FOR ALIBRANDI; and the ‘painterly approach’ of Tom White, winner of the ACS (Australian Cinematographers Society) Golden Tripod Award in 2005. His work has been seen at major festivals around the world, including Venice, Sundance, Sydney, Melbourne, Busan, Montreal, Tokyo, Shanghai and Toronto. Toby was a guest of the Camerimage Festival in Poland in 2017 for the screening of Get Out and participation in seminars and panels.
Toby’s work on the Australian WW1 suspense war drama BENEATH HILL 60 in 2010 earned him his third Australian Academy nomination, and the TV movie Beaconsfield about a pair of miners trapped over a kilometer underground in a tiny cage, won many awards including a Gold ACS Award and the ACS Best in Show. Toby picked up another ACS Gold Award for his dynamic and vivid outback cinematography on Greg Mclean’s action-horror sequel WOLF CREEK 2, and he gathered another
Australian Academy nod for the glamorous showgirls of the TV movie CARLOTTA.
Toby has also worked extensively in mainland China, shooting the hit Chinese language rom-com WAITING ALONE IN BEIJING and also the Australia/China co-production 33 POSTCARDS starring Guy Pearce.
Toby also devotes time to encouraging and giving back to the next generation of filmmakers, having participated in workshops, talks and presentations at many institutions and events including AFI (American Film Institute), AFTRS (Australian Film TV and Radio School), Camerimage Film Festival, New York Film Academy, Florida State University, Victoria Film Festival (Canada), ACS (Australian Cinematographers Society) and others.
Toby has a BA (Film & TV) from Swinburne University of Technology, and is an accredited member of the Australian Cinematographers Society (ACS) since 2004. He is also a member of the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) and IATSE Local 600.