Tufano started his career working as a projectionist for the BBC and then worked his way up to a cameraman role. He helped make TV films for over a decade before going freelance and making his first feature film, “The Sailor’s Return,” with director Jack Gold. In 1979 he worked as director of photography on “Quadrophenia,” a cult music film about the mod subculture that follows four young men in the U.K., set to the music of The Who. He would also work with Jordan Cronenweth on Ridley Scott’s “Blade Runner” in 1982, providing additional cinematography.
Boyle and Tufano’s creative relationship began on the 1993 TV miniseries “Mr. Wroe’s Virgins,” and Boyle would ask Tufano to join him on his first feature, “Shallow Grave,” a year later. They would continue to make films together, including “Trainspotting,” “A Life Less Ordinary,” and a short called “Alien Love Triangle.” He also created four films with director Menhaj Huda: “Jump Boy,” “Kidulthood,” “Adulthood,” and “Everywhere and Nowhere.”
Other quintessential British films shot by Tufano include “East is East,” “Once Upon a Time in the Midlands,” and “Billy Elliott.” His final film was a documentary called “Gymnast,” following the selection of the British gymnastics team for the 2008 Summer Olympics. Throughout his career, Tufano made the most of limited budgets to create a stunning visual language, using camera movement, colored lighting, and unusual framing to make every movie look unique.