After a career in Television for Paramount Pictures Rob Legato joined newly formed Digital Domain, the visual effects company founded by James Cameron, Stan Winston and Scott Ross. For Rob’s first feature assignment he became the visual effects supervisor, second unit director and effects director of photography for Neil Jordan's "Interview with the Vampire." This first feature led to Ron Howard's "Apollo 13" with Legato serving as the film's visual effects supervisor. Mr. Legato earned his first Academy Award® nomination and won the British Academy Award “BAFTA” for his effects work in “Apollo 13."
His next feature assignment, James Cameron's “Titanic," spanned the next several years and proved ultimately to be one of the most successful films ever made. Besides earning Mr. Legato his first Oscar®, the film went on to win a total of 11 Oscars® (including Best Picture and Best Visual Effects) and became the highest grossing movie of all time. Mr. Legato also offered some last minute assistance to Martin Scorsese's production of “Kundun" and Michael Bay's film “Armageddon."
Legato left Digital Domain to join Sony Pictures Imageworks where he served as visual effects supervisor on two Robert Zemeckis films, “What Lies Beneath" and “Cast Away."
Legato was senior visual effects supervisor on “Bad Boys II," which was nominated for a VES (Visual Effects Society) Award for Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Motion Picture, and on the international phenomenon “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone," based on the best selling books by J.K. Rowling. Rob then worked as the second unit director and visual effects supervisor on Martin Scorsese's “The Aviator," a film about the life of Howard Hughes. The Aviator garnered three VES awards and the International Press Academy’s Satellite award for best visual effects. Rob then completed Martin Scorsese’s feature “The Departed” which won four Academy Awards®, including Best Picture. During the same time frame Legato created and conceived the virtual cinematography pipeline for James Cameron’s next feature production “Avatar” which went on to become the highest grossing film ever at $2.8 billion in worldwide receipts.
Rob has also completed working on Robert DeNiro’s second directorial effort “The Good Shepherd” as the 2nd unit director/cameraman and visual effects supervisor. The very next projects included Martin Scorsese’s Clio award-winning “Freixenet: The Key to Reserva”, a 10 minute commercial project, as well as the feature documentary on the Rolling Stones entitled “Shine a Light.” Legato also worked on Errol Morris’ documentary film “Standard Operating Procedure”.
Legato’s next film was Martin Scorsese’s “Shutter Island” upon which he served as both Visual Effects Supervisor and 2nd Unit director/cameraman. Rob is also the VFX Supervisor and 2nd Unit Director/Cameraman on Martin Scorsese’s currently released 3D film “Hugo.” “Hugo” had been nominated for both 11 Oscars® and British Academy Awards “BAFTAS” including Best Picture and Best Visual Effects. “Hugo” was ultimately awarded Oscar for best Visual Effects, as well as three VES Society Awards and an International Satellite Award.
Rob’s last assignment was Martin Scorsese’s “The Wolf of Wall Street”. Rob served as both the film’s 2nd Unit Director/Cameraman and Visual Effects Supervisor. Legato was recently inducted into the ASC.
Rob is currently in postproduction on his first directed feature as well as serving as Disney’s Jungle Book 2nd Unit Director/Cinematographer and Visual Effects Supervisor.
Rob’s union and Guild affiliations include the DGA, A.M.P.A.S, The A.S.C., Local 600, Local 700 and the VES.