Navigating the Changing Landscape of Virtual Production: Robert Legato2020-11-13T20:54:18-08:00
Robert Legato, ASC

After a career in Television for Paramount Pictures, Rob Legato joined the newly formed Digital Domain, a visual effects company founded by James Cameron, Stan Winston and Scott Ross. For Rob’s first feature assignment, he became the Visual Effects Supervisor, 2nd Unit Director and VFX Director of Photography for Neil Jordan’s “Interview with the Vampire.” This first feature led to Ron Howard’s “Apollo 13″ with Legato serving as the film’s Visual Effects Supervisor and Director of Photography for the VFX unit. Mr. Legato earned his first Academy Award nomination and won the British Academy Award’s BAFTA for his effects work in “Apollo 13.”

His next feature assignment, James Cameron’s “Titanic,” spanned the next several years and proved ultimately to be one of the most successful films ever made. Besides earning Mr. Legato his first Academy Award®, the film went on to win a total of 11 Oscars® (including Best Picture and Best Visual Effects) and became the highest grossing movie of all time. Mr. Legato also offered some last minute assistance to Martin Scorsese’s production of “Kundun” and Michael Bay’s film “Armageddon.”

Legato left Digital Domain to join Sony Pictures Imageworks where he served as Visual Effects Supervisor on two Robert Zemeckis films, “What Lies Beneath” and “Cast Away.”

Legato was senior Visual Effects Supervisor on “Bad Boys II,” which was nominated for a VES (Visual Effects Society) Award for Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Motion Picture. Rob’s next picture was the international phenomenon “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” based on the best selling book by J.K. Rowling. Rob was the Co 2nd Unit Director/Cameraman and Visual Effects Supervisor on Martin Scorsese’s “The Aviator.” Besides being nominated for 11 Academy awards and receiving 5 Oscars® “The Aviator” garnered 3 VES awards and the International Press Academy’s Satellite award for Best Visual Effects.

Rob then completed Martin Scorsese’s feature “The Departed” as the 2nd Unit Director/Cameraman and VFX Supervisor. The film won four Academy Awards, including Best Picture. During the same time frame, Legato created and conceived the Virtual Cinematography Pipeline for James Cameron’s next feature production, “Avatar,” which went on to surpass “Titanic” as the highest grossing film of all time with $2.8 billion in worldwide receipts.

Rob had the fortunate opportunity to work on Robert DeNiro’s second directorial effort, “The Good Shepherd”,
serving as both the 2nd unit Director/Cameraman and Visual Effects Supervisor. The very next projects included Martin Scorsese’s Clio award winning “Freixenet: The Key to Reserva,” a 10 minute commercial project, as well as the feature documentary on the Rolling Stones entitled “Shine a Light.” Legato also served as the VFX Consultant on Errol Morris’ documentary film “Standard Operating Procedure”.

Legato’s next feature film was Martin Scorsese’s “Shutter Island” upon which he served as both Visual Effects Supervisor and 2nd Unit Director/Cameraman. Rob’s next assignment as VFX Supervisor and 2nd Unit Director/Cameraman was on Martin Scorsese’s epic 3D film “Hugo.” “Hugo” was nominated for 11 Oscars® and 11 BAFTAS, including Best Picture and Best Visual Effects. “Hugo” was ultimately awarded the Oscar® for best Visual Effects, as well as three VES Society Awards and an International Satellite Award.

Rob’s last assignment for Martin Scorsese was the Leonardo DiCaprio starring “The Wolf of Wall Street”. Rob served as both the film’s 2nd Unit Director/Cameraman and Visual Effects Supervisor. Rob’s latest film is Disney’s Jungle Book and he also served as the 2nd Unit Director/Cinematographer and Visual Effects Supervisor. “The Jungle Book” received an Academy Award, British Academy Award, five VES Awards as well as the Critics Choice Award, among several others, for Best Visual Effects for 2016. In 2017, Rob directed episode 5 of the Netflix series “Medal of Honor.” Rob’s latest film is Disney’s “The Lion King” for which he was nominated for the Academy Award, the BAFTA and for which he won two VES awards.

Rob’s union and Guild affiliations include the DGA, A.M.P.A.S, A.S.C., Local 600, Local 700 and the VES.