Piers McGrail ISC

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piersmcgrail@gmail.com / +353 86 379 5719

I am a freelance cinematographer. Below you can see a selection of my work.

I graduated from the National Film School in 2008. After a couple of years shooting shorts, music videos and commercials, I shot my first feature, Kelly+Victor in 2011. It was released in 2013 to strong reviews and recieved a BAFTA for 'Outstanding Debut' in 2014. Since then I have shot a number of features. I became a member of the Irish Society of Cinematographers in 2015.


For the latest updates, please visit my blog.


My IMDB page is here.


You can also find more of my work on my vimeo page.


Kelly + Victor

 * BAFTA for Outstanding Debut, 2014 *

With its stylishly underlit and washed-out palette, Kelly + Victor certainly looks striking. Evans and his cinematographer Piers McGrail share a painterly eye for both urban decay and rural landscape, often pausing to linger on small details in tight close-up. Liverpool landmarks have never been so lovingly captured on film before'

Stephen Dalton, The Hollywood Reporter


'Victor’s nature-boy inclinations are of a piece with the stylishly organic digital lensing by Piers McGrail'

Guy Lodge, Variety

‘A very well shot and well acted drama'

Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian


'Kieran Evans and his cinematographer Piers McGrail shoot

Liverpool with an alluring eeriness'

Anthony Quinn, The Independent


'The backdrop of Liverpool's decaying post-industrial landscape and the pubs, clubs and streets are vividly caught by Piers McGrail's camera'

Clive Botting, Huffington Post


* Premiere at Sundance 2015  / Best Irish Film at Dublin Film Festival 2015 / Nominated for Best Cinematogrpahy and Best Film, IFTAs 2015 *

‘Shot on a modest budget, the film is a minor technical marvel. Piers McGrail’s smoky cinematography makes something oddly beautiful of the rundown vistas ‘

Donald Clarke, The Irish Times


‘Barret and his cinematographer Piers McGrail construct a visually poetic maze out of this family’s mistrust and disappointment…this is visual storytelling at its best’

Carlos Aguilar, IndieWire

‘Praise is especially due to DoP Piers McGrail for keeping the camera largely still, eschewing that nervous handheld twitching that makes too many indie dramas look the same'

Leslie Felperin, The Guardian


‘The cinematography by Piers McGrail is wonderful, finding beauty in the non-cinematic area of Tallaght, where none would seem to appear’

Jason Coyle, Scannain.com

The Canal

* Premiere at Tribeca 2014  *

'A good-looking, sometimes completely terrifying haunted-house story.'

Sheila O'Malley, The Dissolve


'Piers McGrail's nuanced, moody cinematography brings out the best in writer-director Ivan Kavanagh's over-mannered but effectively creepy ghost story.'

Simon Abrams, Village Voice

'Kavanagh delivers haunting imagery mixed with stunning camerawork.'

Brad Miska, Bloody Disgusting


‘Stylishly lensed by Piers McGrail (a huge talent to watch in Irish cinematography) writer/director Ivan Kavanagh knows how to attack the audience’s nerve endings with atmospherics, the glossy Hollywood sheen of the visuals and aurals made murky by the jagged editing and grimy plot-twists’

Rory Cashin, State.ie

Out of Here

* Best Irish Feature at Galway Film Festival 2013  *

'The film is also rather beautiful. Piers McGrail’s camera locates huge fish just beneath the surface of Dublin Bay, makes something of two escalators powering in complementary competition, and helps compose a final shot that is brilliant in its uncomplicated invention'

Donald Clarke, The Irish Times

'Piers McGrail’s cinematography finds appealing new things to do with Dublin.

The film never looks or feels as if it were made on a micro-budget,

although it was, in fact, crowd-funded'  

Tara Brady, The Irish Times