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Robert James Wilson

Born in the Netherlands , Robert James Wilson aka Robo is a working cinematographer based in South Africa shooting documentary, commercial, feature, short film, music, art, fashion, web, interactive, apps & online films worldwide.

He is especially known for shooting solo or near solo in remote areas yet producing elegant work that belies the humble means available.

Although regularly working with Arriflex , Panavision , Alexa , Red , Sony and other larger cameras he’s especially drawn to the potential of DSLR’s for filming.

In combination with premium glass, he thinks they’re giant –killersAs South Africa’s first DSLR shooter he embraced their potential from the outset and has owned many as a personal cine camera since their inception.


His passion for doing often self-funded ‘ love work ’ collaborations to advance his aesthetic and pioneer visual techniques has led to many brave pieces of music, art, fashion & web film.

Behind this lies a trajectory of a year as a photographer assistant at agency McCann , two years of military photographer, three years of industrial design studies, three years of production design, fifteen years as a cine camera assistant, two years of programming motion control robots and ten years as a cinematographer.

In search of bespoke light qualities he has designed & built various light shaping structures. As a designer and inventor he has engineered many bespoke optical, support, motion control and technique specific camera rigs.

An early adopter of new technology, he has collaborated in the creation of film mobile app’s since 2011. as a lecturer, he has presented his own two week cine camera thirty times over fifteen years to over a thousand students , is a regular annual guest lecturer at universities and film schools in both cape town and Johannesburg and himself attends courses in colour space and emerging cine technology. At any given time, he is always grooming at least three camera assistants. He is also regularly asked to speak on transitioning digital technologies to commercial film producers and advertising agencies.


Notable recent work includes the blindness documentary ‘first sight’ which besides being national Geographic’s most viewed film online in 2015 is currently at 12 million views worldwide across all platforms.

And the filming of the world’s longest surfing wave in the Amazon in brazil

International brands filmed include NatGeo, Fox channel, Airbnb, Nike, Adidas, Nikon, BMW, Toyota, Kia, Ford, VW , Mitsubishi, Nissan, Mazda, SAB, Sony & McDonald’s.

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