Women Behind the Camera: DoPs Kate Reid & Eve Hazelton – movieScope
EVE HAZELTON When people ask me what it’s like being a female in a male-dominated industry I always think they are expecting me to play the sympathy card, to feel a little hard done by. Certainly in my experience being a female has never held me back or caused me too many problems. Do you think being a female DoP has ever hindered you on set?
KATE REID I think it’s funny when people ask me ‘how is it being a female DoP?’ because I have no frame of reference doing this role as a male. I’m not really aware of it being an issue as generally when you’re on set, you’re usually the only DP. You could spend your life getting annoyed at perceived prejudices about being a woman in this role, but therein does not lie happiness!
EVE There have always been women on film sets, but traditionally there are some roles that women just didn’t seem to do—I guess DoP was one of them. Over the last 20 years those walls seem to have been largely broken down. Have you worked with any other females in any of those traditionally male roles?
KATE I’ve got a female grip that I work with. I’ve yet to work with a female gaffer, but I certainly know of a very successful one that’s working in the industry, and likewise I know a few female sparks. I suppose that as the awareness of the roles increases so does the number of people interested in doing them, regardless of whether they are male or female. I don’t consciously seek out crew based on their gender, unless the project specifically calls for it. I once worked on a documentary about sex workers, which required an all-female crew due to the nature of the subject matter, but I think that’s the only time I have had that requirement. Really it is about building a crew who will work well with one another and are suited to the project.
EVE You’ve worked with so many different camera platforms; Scrubber was shot on 35mm, Having You was shot on the ARRI Alexa, and you’ve also shot on RED EPIC, DSLR and HDCAM. Do you have a favourite medium? Or does the project and budget dictate what format you’re going to use?
KATE I really do love shooting on film and hope that will still remain an option in the future, butI also enjoy shooting digital. The ARRI Alexa has been an absolute joy; certainly when I shottests for Having You last year and saw it in the cinema it really did look fantastic. It was very heartening. It’s a very practical camera that’s easy and comfortable to use hand-held, which is important to me, as even if you don’t plan on it, you may end up shooting hand-held when you’re up against it, or it might just feel appropriate for a certain shot. So it’s great to have a digital camera that can be comfortable used in that way. Ideally it’s lovely to have that luxury of choosing a format based entirely on the perimeters of the project and desired aesthetic, but obviously budget also plays a part in this decision.