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Distributed for Intellect Ltd

Shooting Women

Behind the Camera, Around the World

Shooting Women takes readers around the world to explore the lives of camerawomen working in features, TV news, and documentaries. From first-world pioneers like African American camerawoman Jessie Maple Patton—who got her job only after suing the union—to China’s first camerawomen who traveled with Mao, to rural India where poor women have learned camerawork as a means of empowerment, Shooting Women reveals a world of women working with courage and skill in what has long been seen as a male field.

364 pages | 3 color plates, 34 halftones | 7 x 9 | © 2015

Film Studies

Women's Studies

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“For any young woman contemplating a career in film production. . . this book will help to provide a clear-eyed view of what that career may look like.”

Cynthia Close | Women Who Shoot: More Cinematography Opportunities in Docs, Documentary magazine, Fall 2016

“If you are looking for an invaluable gift to give a women interested in film-making or already working in the industry, this book could transform her life and career. I took two days this week and read Shooting Women cover-to-cover. I was fascinated and very moved by it. What a gift these three authors have given to women filmmakers everywhere. This book is not just for women interested in cinematography, it’s truly a must-read for anyone interested in women in film, film-making, and working in this industry. When I put the book down I felt like I had spent two days at a retreat with a big, wonderful group of women filmmakers who deeply care about each other, and who really want to help support each other’s careers. It is easy to read, and phenomenally rich in information and wisdom. A priceless book that should be included in the curriculum of every film school around the world. Shooting Women belongs on the bookshelf of anyone interested in film-making or women in film.”

Maria Giese, writer/director, “Hunger,” November 4, 2016

Table of Contents


From Alexis Karsilovsky
From Harriet Margolis

List of abbreviations

Job titles and some useful definitions

Chapter 1: How do women become camerawomen?
Learning on the job
Still Photography
Film School
Training Programs
Two Examples of Feminist Groups: Women in Film and Behind the Lens
Women-Supportive Workshops and Production Groups
Filming in the Service of Social Activism: Video SEWA and Aina
Rental Houses

Chapter 2: How hard can it be?
Gender Discrimination
Unions and Guilds
When Cameras Were Heavy
Helpful Men
Ssh! (Screte Sexual Harassment)
Getting Paid Jobs
Breaking Out of Isolation
Rising through the Ranks
Budgets and Glass Ceiling

Chapter 3: Documentary: A good and satisfying career choice that is statistically friendlier to women that feature fiction filmmaking
Filming History Being Made in China
Documentary: Historical and Personal

Chapter 4: Hollywood, Bollywood, independents, and short forms
Indian Cinema
The Freedom of Independent Films
Music Videos
Commercials and Such
Experimental / Avant-Garde Films and Video
Art Films and Videos
Shooting Special Material: Birth

Chapter 5: Special skills and creativity
Handheld Camerawork
Special Effects
Lighting as a Cinematographer’s Dream Job
Digital Technology

Chapter 6: Shooting around the world
Erika Addis on Beginning her Career
Arlene Burns on Filming in the Kuril Islands
Yong-Joo Byun on Filming Comfort Women in Korea
Nancy Durham on Filming the Balkan War
Jolanta Dylewska on Filming in Kazakhstan
Sabeena Gadihoke on Filming Three Women and a Camera
Rozette Ghadery on Filming in Kurdistan
Sue Gibson on Filming in Jordan
Joan Giummo on Filming Homeless Women in New York
Agnès Godard Pays Homage to Beauty
Marina Goldovaskaya on Filming History Being Made in Russia
Ellen Kuras on Pivotal Moments in Shooting
Heather Mackenzie on Filming Romanian Orphans
Sandi Sissel on Filming Salaam Bombay!
Agnès Varda on Filming the Human Body
Liz Ziegler on Filming Eyes Wide Shut (1999) for Stanley Kubrick

Chapter 7: Can camerawomen also be women?
Friends and Extended Family
A Happy Marriage
Children and Childcare

Chapter 8: What’s it really like?
A Typical Day
Where Do Camerawomen Go?
What Do Camerawomen Wear?
Working with the Crew
Working with Directors and Procedures
Acting Like men to Fit In
The Advantages of Being Female

Chapter 9: Magic moments, worst moments
Worst Moments, Dangers, and Risking One’s Life

Chapter 10: What do Camerawomen see?
Representation and Gender
Camerawomen Teaching
“Just Do It”
Aspirations for the Future

List of camerawomen whose interviews are included in this book



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