Adam Arkapaw

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Adam Arkapaw is an Australian cinematographer. He is best known for his work on the television series Top of the Lake and True Detective, for which he has won two Creative Arts Emmy Awards. He is also known for photographing films such as Animal Kingdom (2010), Snowtown (2011), McFarland, USA (2015) and Assassin's Creed (2016). He is known for his collaborations with director Justin Kurzel, whom he worked with on Snowtown and Macbeth, and also Assassin's Creed, which was released in December 2016.

Early life[edit]

Arkapaw was born in Bowral, a New South Wales town south of Sydney, and attended Bowral High School.[1] He studied at the University of Melbourne's Victorian College of the Arts, graduating in 2006 with a Bachelor of Film and Television.[2][3]


In addition to numerous short films, Arkapaw photographed three Australian features over the next several years: Animal Kingdom (2010), Snowtown (2011), and Lore (2012).[4] He received a nomination for the AACTA Award for Best Cinematography in 2010 for his work on Animal Kingdom and in 2011 he was named one of Variety magazine's "10 Cinematographers to Watch".[1]

Arkawpaw next worked on Jane Campion's television miniseries Top of the Lake, which was filmed in New Zealand and broadcast in 2013. That year he won a Creative Arts Emmy Award for Outstanding Cinematography for a Miniseries or Movie.[4] In 2014 he won his second Emmy Award, for Outstanding Cinematography for a Single-Camera Series, in recognition of his work on the HBO television series True Detective.[3] True Detective was filmed in Louisiana and Arkapaw's cinematography received wide praise, especially for a six-minute single-take long take that was planned over months and took one and a half days to film.[5]

Arkapaw was the cinematographer of the 2015 film Macbeth, directed by Justin Kurzel, with whom Arkapaw previously worked on Snowtown.[2] He also photographed McFarland, USA, an American sports film released in 2015,[6] and the drama film The Light Between Oceans. He collaborated with Kurzel for a third time on the action-adventure film Assassin's Creed, which was released in the United States in December 2016.[7]

Personal life[edit]

He is married to American cinematographer Autumn Durald;[8] the couple has one son, Aedan.[9]



Year Title Director Notes
2010 Animal Kingdom David Michôd
2011 Snowtown Justin Kurzel
2012 Lore Cate Shortland
2015 McFarland, USA Niki Caro
Macbeth Justin Kurzel
2016 The Light Between Oceans Derek Cianfrance
Assassin's Creed Justin Kurzel
2019 Light of My Life Casey Affleck
The King David Michôd


Year Title Director Notes
2013 Top of the Lake Jane Campion & Garth Davis 7 episodes
2014 True Detective Cary Fukunaga Season 1
TBA Masters of the Air Cary Fukunaga Upcoming miniseries


  1. ^ a b Friend, David (11 February 2011). "Adam Arkapaw: Modus operandi is understated". Variety. Retrieved 9 February 2015.
  2. ^ a b Bailey, John (2 March 2014). "Let the good films roll". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 9 February 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Adam Arkapaw wins second Emmy Award". University of Melbourne. 26 August 2014. Retrieved 9 February 2015.
  4. ^ a b Bodey, Michael (16 September 2013). "Emmy for Australian cinematographer Adam Arkapaw". The Australian. Retrieved 9 February 2015.
  5. ^ Friedlander, Whitney (5 August 2014). "How Cinematographer Adam Arkapaw Captured 'True Detective'". Variety. Retrieved 9 February 2015.
  6. ^ Rocchi, James (4 February 2015). "'McFarland, USA' Review: Kevin Costner Goes the Distance in This True-Life Sports Tale". TheWrap. Retrieved 9 February 2015.
  7. ^ Kohler, Chris; Muncy, Julie. "Not a Gamer? Here's What the Assassin's Creed Film Trailer Means". Wired. Conde Nast. Retrieved 16 June 2016.
  8. ^ Tapley, Kristopher (5 January 2016). "Ryan Coogler on 'Creed,' Filmmaking as Journalism and the Need for Female Voices (Q&A)".
  9. ^ "Login • Instagram".

External links[edit]