Mietkowski was about to start work on the latest James Bond film in Prague, part of an impressive catalogue of feature films.
Recent work included The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and The Da Vinci Code.
He was one of a generation of technicians assembled by Derek Meddings at BBC's children's TV.
The move to feature films came naturally with motion control work on films such as Hamlet, Mission: Impossible 2 and Event Horizon.
"I know that many people in the industry felt that Rick was on his way to achieving an exciting catalogue of photographic work and one wonders just what else he could have achieved given more time," says Nigel Stone, visual effects director of photography on such films as V For Vendetta, who worked closely with Mietkowski.