Career In Cinematography

April 1, 2001

Behind the scenes – Jobs in FilmYou don’t have to be able to act to have a career in film. Whether your interest is in lighting, sound, special effects or one of the dozens of other careers available in the film and television industry, there’s a world of opportunities hidden behind the cameras just waiting to be explored.

A Career In Cinematography

For 22 year old Caroline Moody, it’s the love of her craft, rather than fame and fortune that drives her to succeed in her chosen field of cinematography. The Queensland Uni Technology Film and Television School graduate kick started her career by winning the 2000 Australian Cinematographers Society Encouragement Award (for new Queensland filmmakers) for her work on the short film, The Drunken Bath.

What does a Cinematographer do?

A cinematographer is responsible for lighting and the overall look of the film and works closely with the director in deciding what shots and camera angles to use. Moody, whose ultimate aim is to work in feature films, says she was drawn to cinematography because of the balance of creative and technical aspects in the job. “Cinematography requires imagination,” she says, “there can be basic ways of lighting?but stand out cinematographers break the rules.”

The job sounds glamorous but requires a lot of manual labour, particularly when you’re starting out. “Cinematography at my level is very physical,” Moody says. “You end up lugging everything around. Lights and cameras get to be very cumbersome.” According to latest figures available from the Australian Film Commission (AFC) only 11% of cinematographers are women, so it’s not surprising that the camera departments on most shoots are quite blokey. Nevertheless, being a female on the set has never been a problem for Moody. “It’s the attitude that you walk in [to the job] with? I think it’s important not to feel disadvantaged. Assert yourself, but also be willing to listen to other people’s ideas.”

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