Shooting Women (Book)
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.
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 travelled 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.
Alexis Krasilovsky is the writer/director of the global feature Women Behind the Camera, winner of four “Best Documentary” awards and based on her book of the same title. Her most recent global documentary is Let Them Eat Cake, about the pleasures and perils of pastry. Krasilovsky studied at Yale University and received an MFA in Film/ Video from CalArts. She is Professor of Screenwriting and Media Theory & Criticism at California State University, Northridge.
Harriet Margolis has authored essays on film, literature, and feminism published in Poetics Today, Semiotica, Para*Doxa, Cinema Journal, and the Quarterly Review of Film and Video, as well as book chapters on responsibility and collaboration in representations of the Nazi era, self-directed stereotypes in African American cinema, and cultural capital and the Jane Austen adaptations. Author of The Cinema Ideal (1988; reprinted by Routledge, 2013), she is editor of Jane Campion’s “The Piano” (2000; Cambridge UP), and co-editor of Studying the Event Film: “The Lord of the Rings” (2006; Manchester UP).
The winner of the 2011 Joe Hill Award for labor poetry, Julia Stein, as book editor, has published Walking Through a River of Fire: 100 Years of Triangle Poetry and Every Day is an Act of Resistance: Selected Poetry of Carol Tarlen. Her fifth and most recent book of poetry is titled What Were They Like?
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
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
Chapter 2: How hard can it be?
Unions and Guilds
When Cameras Were Heavy
Ssh! (Secret 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
The Freedom of Independent Films
Commercials and Such
Experimental / Avant-Garde Films and Video
Art Films and Videos
Shooting Special Material: Birth
Chapter 5: Special skills and creativity
Lighting as a Cinematographer’s Dream Job
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
“Just Do It”
Aspirations for the Future
List of camerawomen whose interviews are included in this book
'Shooting Women: Behind the Camera, Around the World offers a comprehensive look at the rich and largely unexplored history of camerawomen from all across the globe. In addition, Krasilovsky, Margolis, and Stein provide a detailed account of how unions have often failed to recognize discrimination against women in the workplace—and even within the union itself. Historical overviews as well as first-hand accounts of these women working behind the scenes make for a book that is both educational and engaging.'
'If you are looking for an invaluable gift to give a woman 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 others' 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.'
'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.'