Shortly after graduating, Deakins found work as a cameraman, assisting in the production of documentaries in various locations abroad for approximately seven years. During this seven-year stint, his first project involved a nine-month trip as one of the entrants of a ’round-the-world yacht race called, Around the World With Ridgeway. This project captured the lives and growing tensions between several of the yacht’s crewmen. Deakins received high praise for his work out at sea showing the parallels between these teammates and shipmates. After completing Around the World With Ridgeway, Deakins was immediately hired by television studios to film several documentaries in Africa. His first, Zimbabwe, was a powerful and informative depiction of the genocide that had been going on there, following Zimbabwe’s devastating civil war. His second African documentary, Eritrea – Behind Enemy Lines, was another depiction of conflict, this time within the borders of Sudan, Ethiopia and Djibouti.
From the time of his work in Africa until the early 1980s, Deakins continued his cinematographic and directorial work in documentaries as well as the burgeoning field of music videos. His early work as both a director and cinematographer of music videos included Carl Perkins’ Blue Suede Shoes, and the concert film, Van Morrison in Ireland. Subsequently, he worked on Towers of Babel, Sid and Nancy, The Kitchen Toto, and Pascali’s Island. Read more at Wikipedia.