Unfortunately, there are a lot of jobs around the world in which the work of women is valued less than the work of their male counterparts, and in Hollywood this is especially true. We hear all the time about A-list actresses not earning the same as their male co-stars, or female writers and directors getting passed over for big jobs because of their gender. But of all the discrepancies between men and women in the Hollywood workforce, nowhere is there as blaring a gap as there is in the field of cinematography.
You want proof? You’re here, reading this, on a website that started out as an appreciation of cinematography, so presumably when I say names to you like Roger Deakins or Emmanuel Lubezki, you immediately think of films by Terrence Malick, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, or the Coen Brothers. So what do you think of when I say the name Reed Morano, Brianne Murphy, Ellen Kuras, or Maryse Alberti? Do any of their films leap to mind as quickly? They should, because you’ve seen them and you love them.
For that matter, how many female cinematographers can you name off the top of your head? Is it none? If it is, you’re sadly not alone there. The Academy seems to be unaware of the existence of female cinematographers as well, because in the 80+ years they’ve been handing out awards, the Best Cinematography category is the only one – besides Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor, obviously – in which a woman has never been nominated. Really? CREED didn’t look good to anyone? ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND wasn’t jaw-droppingly gorgeous enough? Come on.
We’ve been waiting a long time to see a compilation like this, and now that it’s finally here, we’re especially pleased to see it comes from the talented hands of Jacob T. Swinney. Behold his video for Fandor featuring 12 essential female cinematographers and their breathtaking work. It will clearly and succinctly bring you up to speed on the finest women working in the art form. For Swinney’s written intro jump over here.
12 Essential Women Cinematographers from Fandor Keyframe on Vimeo.