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 resides in Los Angeles and has forged a remarkable and varied range of credits on feature films, documentaries and television.
In the United States Toby shot Jordan Peele’s racially-charged comedic thriller horror Get Out in Alabama 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 $255m worldwide. Previously Toby had lensed the Blumhouse Productions thriller The Darkness for director Greg Mclean, starring Kevin Bacon; and in New York he shot the indie fantasy creature-feature Wildling with Liv Tyler, Bel Powley and Brad Dourif.
In 2016 Toby continued his documentary cinematography work shooting the award-winning indie doc Roller Dreams in and around Los Angeles’ Venice Beach and writer/director Christopher Landon’s time-loop thriller Happy Death Day for Universal. The comedy/horror achieved #1 at US Box Office, going on to earn $126m worldwide. Toby’s next Blumhouse movie, franchise favorite Insidious the Last Key opened in Jan 2018 to #2 at the US Box Office, with a worldwide total of over $168m. Subsequently Toby completed the Universal thriller Breaking In for director James McTeigue (V for Vendetta) and in 2018 he also 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), and the sequel Happy Death Day 2U for returning collaborator Christopher Landon and Universal Pictures.
2019 was a busy year for Toby, completing shoots for 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 went on to be the #1 watched show on Netflix USA in May 2020 and also received three Primetime Emmy Award Nominations, including 'Outstanding Comedy Series'. A year of lockdowns and shut downs followed and Toby returned to Australia to shoot the charming local indie comedy Seriously Red with Rose Byrne and Bobby Cannavale, directed by newcomer Gracie Otto. As of early 2021 Toby is in production in Atlanta on the Netflix action fantasy Day Shift, starring Jamie Foxx and Snoop Dogg.
A graduate of Melbourne's renowned Swinburne Film School, in his early career 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 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, which premiered at the Venice Film Festival in 2013, 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 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.