Guillermo Navarro

Guillermo Jorge Navarro Solares, AMC, ASC (born 1955) is a Mexican cinematographer and television director.[1] He has worked in Hollywood since 1994 and is a frequent collaborator of Guillermo del Toro and Robert Rodriguez.[2] In 2007, he won the Academy Award for Best Cinematography and the Goya Award for Best Cinematography for del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth. His subsequent filmography runs the gamut from lower-budget arthouse and genre films to high-profile blockbusters like Hellboy, Zathura: A Space Adventure, Night at the Museum, and Pacific Rim.

Guillermo Navarro
Guillermo Navarro
Guillermo Jorge Navarro Solares

1955 (age 6364)
Alma materNational Autonomous University of Mexico
OccupationCinematographer, television director
Years active1981-present
AwardsAcademy Award for Best Cinematography: Pan's Labyrinth 2006

Navarro's directing debut came with a 2012 music video for musician Mia Maestro titled "Blue Eyed Sailor", co-directed with media artist Juan Azulay, also featuring son Alvaro Navarro's cinematography. He has since directed episodes of series like Hannibal and Luke Cage, and was an executive producer on the National Geographic documentary series Hostile Planet, for which he earned his first Primetime Emmy nomination.[3]

Early life and education

Navarro was born Guillermo Jorge Navarro Solares in 1955 in Mexico City. He began taking still photographs at age 13 when took a photography workshop in middle school, and built his own darkroom. He worked for several years as a freelance photographer, working on everything from album covers to fashion photography. He attended the National Autonomous University of Mexico, where he graduated with a degree in Sociology.[4]


Navarro began working in the film industry when his sister, a producer, hired him as on-set still and continuity photographer for one of her films. The experience triggered an interest in cinematography, and he began working as a camera assistant. Rather than working his way up through the Mexican film industry the traditional way, he instead moved to Paris where he became the apprentice of cinematographer Ricardo Aronovich. He worked for around 10 years before shooting his first feature.


Navarro quickly formed a partnership with filmmaker Guillermo del Toro, first by shooting commercials then later his directorial debut Cronos, which won the prestigious Golden Ariel. Navarro moved to the United States in 1994, where he shot several films for director Robert Rodriguez and worked with high-profile directors Renny Harlin and Quentin Tarantino. He returned to Mexico in 2001 to shoot del Toro's The Devil's Backbone.

Navarro's most acclaimed work to date came in 2006 when he shot del Toro's dark fantasy drama Pan's Labyrinth.[5] Navarro and Del Toro had to work with a largely unfamiliar Spanish crew due to their usual crew's unavailability. Navarro shot the film using his own personal Moviecam Compact with an Arri 435 lens, as Zeiss Prime and Ultra Primes. He used three different film stocks; Vision 250D, Vision2 500T, and Vision2 200T, depending on the lighting conditions under which a scene was filmed. Much the film was shot using day for night, underexposing the film three or four F stops. He purposefully kept lighting effects that could only be attained with sunlight, which jarred the image when it passed itself as night, creating an aura of experimentation. Because of the awkwardly-shaped spaces of the fantasy sets, Navarro had to be creative with his lighting, finding places to put his lamps that also didn't disrupt the image. A lot of light was strictly attained by bouncing it into the set. For certain scenes, the crew also drilled tiny holes into the walls of the set and placed little lights into the spaces.[6]

Navarro's work earned him an Academy Award, a Goya Award, an Ariel Award, and Independent Spirit Award for Best Cinematography.


Navarro began directing in 2013 with an episode of Hannibal. He has subsequently directed episodes for shows like The Bridge, Narcos, Preacher, and Luke Cage. He also shot the pilot episode of Star Trek: Discovery, directed by David Semel.

In 2019, Navarro made his producing debut as an executive producer on the National Geographic documentary series Hostile Planet. The series was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series.[7][8]


His work often features very vivid blues and yellows which often take up most of the image, and the film's grain structure often switches between well-defined and sharp, and somewhat smoothed over or very fine.


Denotes films that have not yet been released


Year Title Director Notes
1986 Amor a la vuelta de la esquina Alberto Cortés
1990 Morir en el golfo Alejandro Pelayo
1991 Cabeza de Vaca Nicolás Echevarría
Intimidades de un cuarto de baño Jaime Humberto Hermosillo
1993 Cronos Guillermo del Toro
Dollar Mambo Paul Leduc
1995 Desperado Robert Rodriguez
Four Rooms Segment "The Misbehavers"
1996 From Dusk till Dawn
Dream for an Insomniac Tiffanie DeBartolo
The Long Kiss Goodnight Renny Harlin
1997 Spawn Mark A.Z. Dippé
Jackie Brown Quentin Tarantino
1999 Stuart Little Rob Minkoff
2001 Spy Kids Robert Rodriguez
The Devil's Backbone Guillermo del Toro
Broken Silence Montxo Armendáriz
2003 Imagining Argentina Christopher Hampton
2004 Hellboy Guillermo del Toro
Toothpaste Ben Younger Short film
2005 Zathura: A Space Adventure Jon Favreau
2006 Pan's Labyrinth Guillermo del Toro Academy Award for Best Cinematography
Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Cinematography
Cameraimage Golden Frog
Florida Film Critics Circle Award for Best Cinematography
Goya Award for Best Cinematography
Independent Spirit Award for Best Cinematography
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Cinematographer
Silver Ariel Award for Best Cinematography
Nominated- BAFTA Award for Best Cinematography
Nominated- BSC Award for Best Cinematography
Night at the Museum Shawn Levy
2007 Blood Brothers Vishal Bhardwaj Short film
2008 The Day the Earth Stood Still Scott Derrickson Additional photography
Photographed by David Tattersall
It Might Get Loud Davis Guggenheim Co-cinematographer with Erich Roland;
Nominated- Satellite Award for Best Cinematography
What We Take from Each Other Scott Z. Burns Short film
Hellboy II: The Golden Army Guillermo del Toro
2009 It's Complicated Nancy Meyers As 2nd unit director
Photographed by John Toll
2011 The Resident Antti Jokinen
I Am Number Four D. J. Caruso
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 Bill Condon
2012 The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2
2013 Pacific Rim Guillermo del Toro
2014 Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb Shawn Levy
2018 London Fields Mathew Cullen
2020 Dolittle Stephen Gaghan Post-production


Year Title Director DoP. Notes
1993 The Cover Girl Murders No Yes Television film
1994 ABC Afterschool Special No Yes Episode: "Just Chill"
The Cisco Kid No Yes Television film
2012 Mockingbird Lane No Yes
2013-15 Hannibal Yes No 6 episodes
2014 The Bridge Yes No Episode: "Rakshasa"
2015 The Whispers Yes No Episode: "Meltdown"
Narcos Yes No 2 episodes
Limitless Yes No Episode: "The Legend of Marcos Ramos"
Sleepy Hollow Yes No Episode: "The Sisters Mills"
2016 Damien Yes No Episode: "The Deliverer"
Preacher Yes No Episode: "Sundowner"
Luke Cage Yes No Episode: "Who's Gonna Take the Weight?"
2017 Star Trek: Discovery No Yes Episode: "The Vulcan Hello"
2018 Cocaine Godmother Yes Yes Television film
2019 Hostile Planet No No As executive producer - 6 episodes
Nominated- Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series
Godfather of Harlem Yes No 2 episodes

Music videos

Year Title Artist Director DoP. Notes
2012 Blue Eyed Sailor Mía Maestro Yes No
2016 Fade Kanye West No Yes
My Way Calvin Harris No Yes


  1. Scott, A. O. (November 21, 2001). The New York Times. The Devil's Backbone (review overview).
  2. "Guillermo Navarro AMC ASC / Pacific Rim". British Cinematographer. 2015-05-27. Retrieved 2019-10-17.
  3. Carey, Matthew; Carey, Matthew (2019-08-22). "Oscar Winner Guillermo Navarro Goes For Emmy Gold With National Geographic Docuseries 'Hostile Planet'". Deadline. Retrieved 2019-10-17.
  4. "GUILLERMO NAVARRO". Retrieved 2019-10-17.
  5. "The ASC -- American Cinematographer: Fear and Fantasy". Retrieved 2019-10-17.
  6. Picone, Jack (2015-01-29). "The Best Cinematography: Exploring The Light And Dark In Pan's Labyrinth". Student Resources. Retrieved 2019-10-17.
  7. "Guillermo Navarro, ASC Discusses Hostile Planet at Clubhouse - The American Society of Cinematographers". Retrieved 2019-10-17.
  8. "'Hostile Planet': Exec Producer Guillermo Navarro Featured in New 'Behind the Screen' Podcast". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2019-10-17.
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