Female Cinematographers

So I was looking at the thingy that analyzes the traffic to my blog, and it seems most of my visitors come from Google searches for female cinematographers (leading them to this post that I wrote back in June.)

The fact that my little personal blog, for a time, was the fourth result that pops up when googling the term "female cinematographer" says a lot. There aren't a lot of resources or places to find encouragement and inspiration for girl DP's out there. The camera world is still a sausage fest.

So I think I'm gonna start a project.

This blog has been pretty aimless as of yet— just me, ranting or complaining or goofing around under the guise of 'writing'. Originally the intent was to document my experience of trying to enter into the film biz as both a camera addict and a girl (two things of which, when combined, people are very skeptical.) I lost track of that, as my hopeful plans got derailed from a risk I took earlier this year.

So, while there will still be some aimless goofing around, I think I wanna write more about female cinematographers as well as being a female cinematographer. I want to provide a source where girls can go and find inspiration. I was thinking of researching specific, accomplished girl DP's and writing about them, renting their work and doing reviews. Also, I was thinking I could post links, projects, and things that might be fun and beneficial: how to build your own dolly for cheap, technical crap I've learned on set, why I love certain lenses, and how I always end up figuring out a way to use magenta party gels on every project I do.

I'm also gonna write about some lame experiences I've had so far; such as that one time I lost a guaranteed 1st assistant camera job to a guy with no experience because the new DP didn't want to work with girls. (You can bet I gave them hell and walked off that project). But I'll try to write more about the positive experiences as well, the ones that let me know that the younger generations are growing out of the boys' club attitude.

I also want to promote a supportive environment that let's women know that they don't have to be one of the boys to work in the industry. You don't have to sacrifice your identity. I know a lot of girls, including myself, run into this problem very often. You don't get taken seriously as a DP if you're a girl, and you don't get taken seriously as a girl if you've had to adjust your attitude to survive the industry.

Girl DP's and people from Google who stumble across my blog: what would you like to see here? Please let me know in comments.

This is Agnes Varda. If you are in the business, you should know about how awesome she is.

Rescources, not specifically for DP's, but still awesome:
Reel Ladies
Alliance of Women Directors
Sisters in Cinema

I will also be adding links to my sidebar.


Liana said...

technical resources would be awesome. i think this is a great idea!

Ardramaanasam said...

indian female cinematographers.. u know any?

LH said...

I'll look around!!!

gretchen said...

Being a visual medium, some still photos of work would be great so we can see your visual style.

I stumbled onto your site when wondering if the visual sensibility of a female DP would contribute to the poetic/European look I want for my film (I'm a female writer/director).

So far, Lisa Rinzler's Three Seasons comes closest to the look I want.

Kay said...

I stumbled upon one of your rants and if I could, I'd high five you right here and now. But seriously, I'm currently a second year film student (with a horrible out of date website) and am as well in love with the camera. I couldn't agree with you more about pretty much everything you've said. I lost the opportunity to shoot a doc in Montreal (I live in Ontario, Canada) because the producer (whom I've worked with many times before and has nothing negative to say about my body of work) HOWEVER seemed to have a problem with my body. The whole female aspects of it. He wanted an all male crew so they could get one less hotel room and go to strip clubs. (I'm not exaggerating these are his reasons) so having a girl around would cramp their style. I'm sick of having to either deal with missing out or being called a feminist. Defending myself as a *future* cinematographer shouldn't end with the boys rolling their eyes and acting like I'm on top of a soap box. It's the goddamned 21st century. The states has a black president. It's time for the boys to put their big boy panties on and move aside.

LH said...

Kay- you are awesome. I shot over an email to the address listed on your site.

I'm still working on all these great suggestions— haven't found a good balance between blog and work quite yet.

Anonymous said...

Kay you are right. It's that simple. One less hotel room and let's all go to the strip club. I'm aiming for all female crews because I feel the same way in reverse. I'm going to school and majoring in cinematography but in France because you can forget it here in the USA. This site and the blog is a reel comfort. Do whatever you want to do. I have no intention of trying to break into anybody's machine in my lifetime. I can write and direct already and have been doing so for the past 20 years and I have a lot to say - not to mention how much has not been said. Things can be shot for cheap with a single camera and key production crew. My theme is going to be domestic violence for adult men on women. I've got a ton of ways I want to present it until I figure out a way that hits. I know I can get funding for this genre and there is an audience who needs to see it. Anybody want to contact me and start getting to know each other for my future very successful production company can catch me at acting4reelpeople@yahoo.com This is a great blog my friend. I think you're on to something. Oh yeah, and you're the first thing that comes up when you search black female cinematographers. I guess that means there are none??? There's got to be some. Maybe in Africa????? Looking forward to hearing from everyone!

Adriana said...

Wow, this is still the 4th google result two years later! :) I hope you get a lot of bites! I have been in the industry for 5 years on the producing side and decided I want to go in the DP direction... YAY for GIRLS... I've gotten the "you going to be able to carry all the equipment" and all I can say is COME ON! Anyway... interested to hear more from you! We do need someone like you to write for us women!

Becca Posselt said...

Hi- It is September 2011 and still one of the few things that pops up for female dp's. I am a female film maker and would like to keep moving in DP direction. DP's are not the only positions in film with a lack of female leaders. I am lucky I found this site! Thank you for providing information to us all.
I would like to see a web-site,blog, or some type of forum that showcases and alerts a production or movie about to form who are seeking crew, actors, directors, and dps...especially on the female side. I'm not really into the male or female tug of war but since it's so hard for women to break through - something geared toward women would be uplifting!

Barb Morrissey said...

I'm also someone who stumbled on to your site with those magical Google search words, and I am very glad I did. I'm glad to see there are other cinematographers that are female like myself out there, and working ones too! I stupidly gave up searching for work after school and found myself an awful office job I despise for almost two years. I even won a student EMMY, but gave up for said awful office job. I recently got a bug up my butt to start working on my dream again and I am glad to see it's possible. I will faithfully read the crap out of you blog for now on!