We write
great emails.

If you’d like to stay in the loop with the arts and creativity in Aotearoa, get ‘em in your inbox.

If you’d like to join a movement of people backing the arts and creativity.



Rodney Charters

Rodney Charters’s Biography

Last Updated:
14/05/2019, 2:17 pm
Marti Friedlander Photographic Award 2015
Rodney Charters was born in New Zealand in 1948. He grew up in New Plymouth and spent much of his childhood in the darkroom of his father’s studio, ‘Charters and Guthrie Photographers.’Rodney starred in several of his father’s 16mm dramas made with the assistance of Roy's partner Rowan Guthrie and the New Plymouth Film Society. Inspired by his father’s love of movies, Rodney got behind the camera early, quickly progressing to his father’s Bolex.

Rodney made his first film, the short Film Exercise at the University of Auckland, which garnered much critical acclaim at the Sydney Film Festival. It also led Rodney to gain a place at the prestigious Royal College of Art in London, where Charters' fellow students included such directors as Tony Scott, Richard Longcraine, and D.P. Stephen Goldblatt A.S.C.

Following graduation, Charters worked briefly on commercials while living in London. Immediately following a short stint in the US, Charters was chosen to work on documentaries in Toronto for a Canadian Network. He spent 15 years travelling the world, shooting on location in such exotic spots as 5 months in the jungles of South America and 4 months in the Soviet Union during the cold war. Charters eventually moved into the world of drama after Toronto DP Mark Irwin A.S.C. tapped him to shoot Second Unit on a Toronto based feature called Youngblood. Charters returned briefly to documentaries and after winning a Canadian Genie for best cinematography, he turned full time to Drama.

With his deep technological knowledge and versatility, Rodney embraced the immense changes and the shift to digital that took place in the making of TV and film. He worked on some of the earliest films to use new technology with the likes of VFX Supervisor Jeff Okun on the picture Sleepwalkers where he learned to transform humans into cats and Chevy's into Fords.

After spending several years in Toronto and Vancouver working on American TV, Charters moved to the USA to work on the first season of Nash Bridges. Charters has since continued to work steadily on TV Dramas and several feature films and in 2004 was invited to become an Active Member of the American Society of Cinematographers. It marked a significant milestone in his career as a cinematographer. The New Zealand native earned a Gemini Award nomination for his work on the telefilm TekWar in1994, and grabbed two Emmy nominations for his work on the acclaimed FOX series 24 in 2005 and 2006. He is also a member of the Directors Guild of America and he has directed 13 hours of episodic TV, including Three episodes of the hit show 24 where he lensed of 192 episodes of the award winning series. In 2013 Charters was recognized by the American Society of Cinematographers and awarded a lifetime Career Achievement in Television honor. Earlier this year he was delighted to return to NZ to work on the Viacom series The Shannara Chronicles. He has just completed photography on a remake of the George Burns Feature, "Going in Style" shot in New York City and Brooklyn directed by Zach Braff and starring Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Alan Arkin and Ann Margaret which will open in cinemas world wide