Cinematography : Women have nothing to fear pursuing a career in cinematography by Beth Fox Heisinger

Women have nothing to fear pursuing a career in cinematography

Women have nothing to fear from pursuing a career in cinematography
Women have nothing to fear from pursuing a career in cinematography
A moving image and its impact on viewers has always fascinated me. I love to create, I love to work in an intense environment, I love being surrounded by passionate people, and I love film. All these…
D Marcus

I wish more women would. When hiring I have found the work force terribly lacking in women in the camera department.

Beth Fox Heisinger

Yes, it is a frustrating, sad state of affairs. But it does reflect a larger societal issue -- young girls are not encouraged to pursue careers in technology. It's hard to be what you cannot see. So, as things shift and change those women working in fields primarily occupied by men become even that more important. I loved this opinion piece because it has a positive outlook on this issue.

D Marcus

When I started raising my daughters we "progressive" parents were working hard to change the way girls are encouraged to work. I came of age in the "hear me roar" decade. Schools were changing, parents were changing. My generation was raised in an era of female empowerment. So I raised my daughters that way. Yet here we are 40 years after the empowerment movement began and a full generation of raising strong young women and the larger societal issue is still that women are not encouraged to pursue careers in technology. My wife and I encouraged our daughters. Our friends did. Our daughters friends were all encouraged. Yet today it's difficult to find women in "tech" jobs in entertainment. My wife is a theater producer, I produce and write for TV. It's crazy hard to find women in the camera department and impossible to find women in the audio department. Maybe another generation? May our daughters (who did not pursue careers in technology) will raise women who will? We sure tried.

Beth Fox Heisinger

You and your wife sound like great parents. :) Yes, it is a complicated issue. But, I think encouraging girls and women to pursue a wider variety of career options also needs to be better supported by society, not just within families. Have you seen the documentary, "Miss Representation?" It's available on Netflix. Anyway, you may find it interesting. Here's the web site: http://therepresentationproject.org/films/miss-representation/

Amanda Toney

Awesome share, thank you Beth!

Beth Fox Heisinger

You are very welcome, Shannon!

D Marcus

It all starts in the family. A woman shouldn't need encouragement from society in order to to pursue careers in technology. But it seems that many do. Its been a good 45 years since society has been actively encouraging women to break out of the 1950's. Yet today in 2015 it still seems young women aren't being encouraged enough. I wonder how many years it's going to take.

Beth Fox Heisinger

Sorry everyone, this fantastic opinion piece, or web site page, I posted was recently taken down and therefore is no longer available.

Randolph Sellars

I'm sorry that I missed the article. I've been in the film industry for a long time and I'm sad to say that the progress has been very slow. I have an adult daughter who is a photographer. I've done my best to teach her what I know and encourage her. She has a lot going for her - but I also see what she is up against. It's a complicated issue with many psychological and societal challenges for women to overcome. Despite the extra challenges and obstacles, women have excelled in many areas of filmmaking - and there are many successful female photographers. It's frustrating to me because I know that there are no "real" or logical reasons why women can't compete artistically as directors and DP's as well. I'd like to encourage all women filmmakers to continue the fight even though the game seems rigged. We need your voices and stories now more than ever.

Beth Fox Heisinger

I'm sorry too, Randolph, you would have really appreciated this article. The writer had such a wonderful, positive outlook based on her own experience. Yes, it is a strange phenomenon... but we're dealing with years and years of ingrained gender bias, not just by men but by women. In my own personal experience I have felt "discouraged" not by the men that I have encountered, but by a few women, "Why would you want to do that?!" As women we are presented with the notion that our physical appearance and assigned social expectations far outweighs our intellect, our individualism and our sense of power by almost everything around us: movies; TV; advertising; internet; magazines; news media -- it's blatant sometimes and also under the surface, hidden in subtext, but it's always there. The more aware we become the more we can fight it and push for better portrayals for all of us. In film, women have been appreciated for being in front of the camera, not behind it. Hopefully, we are in a state of change as more and more voices rise above the social dim. I truly believe exciting things are ahead. Again, in my own experience, I have been fortunate to be surrounded by open-minded people, even when dealing with a field that perhaps all I can truly bring to the table is charisma. lol! But, even that is happily accepted and encouraged. :) I mentioned it before on this thread, but if you haven't seen the documentary, "Miss Representation," please do. It's available on Netflix. Here's the web site: http://therepresentationproject.org/films/miss-representation/

Randolph Sellars

Thank you Beth for such an articulate perspective on gender bias. I have "Miss Representation" in my que.

Beth Fox Heisinger

Great, Randolph! I think you'll find the film really interesting and eye-opening. I was blown away by the statistics given. This documentary highlights great minds; stories from teenage girls and provocative interviews with politicians, journalists, actors, directors, screenwriters, entertainers, comedians, activists and academics. The same group that produced this film have created another about how we (society) are also failing our boys and men -- "The Mask You Live In." Here's the trailer for that film: http://therepresentationproject.org/films/the-mask-you-live-in/

David Landau

I have several very talented female cinematography students who are beginning to look for work out there. Things are changing and female camera operators and DPs are slowly working their way into many crew. On Project Runway there are a few female camera ops and even more female camera assistants. It is slowly changing - not fast enough - but progress is being made. With the new breed of low budget and no-budget filmmakers, more women are being given the opportunity to work and develop reel and a reputation. What I recommend to all my female students - and my male students - is that you have to always make everything look as great as possible. Don't give up quality for style. Anyone can make a "cool" looking image. Make a well-crafted artistic image that supports the scene and you will get noticed and hired.

Beth Fox Heisinger

That's great to hear, David! I wish I could take one of your classes. :)

Hayward Crawford

Reed Morano, Carmen Cabana, Cybel Martin, they're out there. Can't wait to see whose next.

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