Lenny Letter: Subvert the Expectation

The ICFCPress

We know Hollywood is a boys’ club. Studies show that women are woefully underrepresented in so many fields across the board, but the noise and intolerance around this is getting louder. Female stories, and their writers, directors, actors, producers, and cinematographers, will not be ignored any longer. Historically, one of the most male-dominated departments has been the camera department, and female cinematographers (directors of photography, or DPs) in particular have been egregiously underrepresented.

Cinematography is a science and an art. With a mastery of lighting and camera work from both a visual and technological perspective, a DP is on set to establish and then protect and maintain the look of the project. They select the camera and the lenses, they set the light, and they are the head of the department that touches every image. They have arguably the hardest job on a set. They travel constantly, work incredibly long hours, are on their feet all day, and manage an entire department. They have to execute the creative wishes of the director while simultaneously pushing through their own artistic vision. They bring the audience into the story, capturing the whole spectrum — from intimate and emotional moments to epic landscape shots to high-octane action. They have to make you feel everything. DPs are, in essence, the director’s right hand and the actors’ rock.

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