After studying fine and photography at Durham College, Sam McCurdy was drawn to motion pictures, shooting short films and music videos while still in school. He has now served in the camera department for more than 30 years, working from his way up as an assistant and loader. “I started out at Pinewood Studios, reloading magazine while learning as much as I could,” he told American Cinematographer in an article about his work in director Neil Marshall’s creepy hit horror feature The Descent (AC Sept. 2006).
McCurdy and Marshall first collaborated on the crime film Killing Time (1998), as cinematographer and writer-editor, respectively. With Marshall directing, they then made the short film Combat (1999), leading to their indie horror feature Dog Soldiers (2002) which gained international acclaim.
Following The Descent, the futuristic thriller Doomsday (2008), and the period action picture Centurion (see AC Sept. 2010), the duo collaborated on the acclaimed 2011 Game of Thrones episode “Blackwater,” for which McCurdy earned two BSC Award nominations for his camerawork. They later re-teamed for the Netflix sci-fi adventure series Lost in Space, together shooting the pilot, with McCurdy staying aboard the ambitious show for another 16 episodes over three seasons.
McCurdy recently completed shooting 10 episodes of the FX/Hulu miniseries Shōgun, based on the 1975 novel by James Clavell, and the HBO Max superhero satire Peacemaker with director James Gunn.
His other television credits include Wire in the Blood, Merlin, The Game, Crossing Lines, Into the Badlands, Pennyworth and Carnival Row.
McCurdy’s other feature projects include Preaching to the Perverted, The Hills Have Eyes 2, The Descent: Part 2, The Devil’s Double, The Legend of Hercules, A United Kingdom and, most recently, Seacole — the feature film story of famed Scottish-Jamaican heroine Mary Seacole — for director Charlie Stratton.
He has been a member of the British Society of Cinematographers since 2009.