Cinematographers Reed Morano, Autumn Eakin, Kate Arizmendi, Maria Rusche, Allison Anderson and Emoni Aikens share honest insights about what it means to be a cinematographer in the modern era.

Director’s Statement

Claudia and I were really surprised that a project like this didn’t already exist. Cinematographer came about because of the pressure and mystique we felt finding our way into the industry. We noticed a lot of subtle things that affected the way we were perceived and the way we saw ourselves as young cinematographers. We needed to hear that we weren’t alone. These women we chose to interview – we look up to them, not only for their skill as cinematographers, but for their strength and confidence. What we got from talking with was so much more than just the validation we were after. We learned that there are infinite paths you can take to getting where you want to be. We learned that it’s totally normal to second guess yourself even after all the prep work, to compare yourself to others, to feel like you’ll never get work again, to say no, or to feel like you have no idea what you’re doing. We learned that it’s all going to be okay.

Our industry is changing rapidly – with the #MeToo movement and #FemaleFilmmakerFriday both pushing things in a great direction. In 10 years, everything will be in a completely different place. I hope Cinematographer will not only serve to document where we are now, but also help to push things forward. I learned a lot in the process of making this film – the crew really was just Claudia and I. We did nearly everything ourselves. And we only had a thousand dollars to do it. The week of interviews in NYC – which involved sharing an air mattress and spending over 24 hours on the road – remains my favorite part of this whole experience. I hope audiences finish the film with a better understanding of how it feels to be both a woman and a DP, even if they’re neither of those things. There are so many layers to this subject that no one talks about, and I couldn’t be more proud to bring at least a few of them to light. At the very least, I hope other female cinematographers will find solace in the words of the women that have inspired me.