- His grandmother fled Russia during the Bolshevik Revolution and lived in Shanghai before immigrating to Mexico.
- Was originally a history major in college before deciding to pursue an education in film.
- Became friends with Oscar-winning director Alfonso Cuarón while in college in Mexico City and has collaborated with him on six films since that time.
- Filmed the 2010 World Cup commercial for Nike, directed by Oscar winner Alejandro González Iñárritu.
- In 2011, directed a commercial for Powerade.
- With his win for The Revenant in 2015, became the first person to win three consecutive Academy Awards for Cinematography.
- Is better known by his nickname Chivo, which means "goat" in Spanish.