Cinematographer Erik Messerschmidt, a Maine native, is nominated for an Oscar. Photo courtesy of Netflix

Mainers who like someone to root for while watching the Oscars are in luck.

During Sunday’s Oscar ceremony, one of the nominees in the category of cinematography will be Cape Elizabeth native Erik Messerschmidt. It’s his first Oscar nomination, for his work on the film “Mank.” The Oscar ceremony is scheduled to be televised on ABC beginning at 8 p.m. Sunday.

Messerschmidt, 40, grew up in Cape Elizabeth and worked on lighting and set design crews for theater productions while at Cape Elizabeth High School. He studied TV and film at Emerson College in Boston before venturing to Los Angeles to find work some 20 years ago. He worked in various positions of the electrical and lighting departments of film or TV productions before becoming a cinematographer.

“Mank” led all films in Oscar nominations with 10, including for best picture. Other nominations for “Mank” went to David Fincher for best director, Gary Oldman for actor and Amanda Seyfried for supporting actress.

“Mank” focuses on Herman J. Mankiewicz as he works on the screenplay for what would become Orson Welles’ 1941 cinema classic “Citizen Kane.” As director of photography for “Mank,” Messerschmidt shot the film in black and white. The film was in a limited number of theaters before being released worldwide on Netflix.

Messerschmidt’s competition in the cinematography category includes Sean Bobbitt for “Judas and the Black Messiah,” Dariusz Wolski for “News of the World,” Joshua James Richards for “Nomadland” and Phedon Papamichael for “The Trial of the Chicago 7.”

Last year, he was nominated for an Emmy for his work as director of photography on the Netflix crime thriller series “Mindhunter.” Some of his other TV series credits as a cinematographer include episodes of the FX anthology crime series “Fargo” and Ridley Scott’s science fiction drama “Raised by Wolves” on HBO Max.

Related Headlines


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: