I love strong women like Uma Thurman, Meryl Streep, and Charlize Theron.
I know how a cinematographer wants to be treated by their director, and so I already have a leg up in that department, and I know what would be insulting to say to a DP because I've been one for so long.
Sometimes you come up with an idea when you're going out for a job, and then when you actually get into dissecting the world, you end up changing your approach, just because that's the way art goes sometimes.
I started a business with my cousins in Fire Island called 'Wagoneers.' Since there are no cars on the island, we would hustle people at the ferry docks to bring their luggage to their houses in our wagons for a large fee.
I learned a lot while I was ACing and gripping for other DPs as I was coming up.
The interesting thing about 'The Handmaid's Tale' is that everything that happens in it has happened or is happening somewhere in the world.
What's the hardest thing about making a show like 'Vinyl' or 'Handmaid's Tale' is they are expecting movie-level cinematic quality in every way - from the performances to the visuals and the shots - especially on a show where you are doing Scorsese style.
I read it in college as an assignment. I didn't think about it at the time. But when I heard there was a 'The Handmaid's Tale' pilot, I freaked out.
I'm trying to make people understand: yes, women are oppressed in 'The Handmaid's Tale.' But the men are also oppressed, too. It's just a very scary world for anyone.
There was a movie that was made about 'The Handmaid's Tale.' And I never watched it on purpose because I didn't want to... I just didn't want to know.
I have a playlist for every project that I do. I made one for 'Handmaid' before I got the job.
'Meadowland' was the reason I got 'The Handmaid's Tale,' and probably my experience in cinematography helped. Everything was like a stepping stone to the next thing.
'The Handmaid's Tale' is a very special story.
I think I subconsciously knew you needed life experience to direct, and the best films are directed by people who have really lived, with exceptions like Orson Welles, who just burst out of the gate. There are prodigies like that, but for me, personally, I thought I needed life experience.
We have this attitude in America of, 'Someone else is going to fix the problem.' That's what the majority of Americans have. Or, 'I'm just going to go online and sign this petition, and that will take care of it.' That's doesn't do it.
I would rather be hired solely for my talent, not just to fill a quota. I also don't want to shoot just any studio movie just to say I'm shooting studio movies - for me, quality of the material comes first, and if eventually that leads to a really great studio project, then that's a bonus.
When you work as a cinematographer, the actors look to you for reassurance. When you're lighting them, they can never think you're making an adjustment because of the way they look. If they are nervous, it impacts their performance, which impacts the story.
A sad truth I learned as a DP starting out was that it doesn't matter how beautiful I make it if the story and performance are not there. That should be number one.
I have been lucky in getting a lot of the projects I've wanted, maybe because I'm really, really driven. But there is a stigma that women can't direct big studio films. Not that I want to do that, but it is a topic that comes up a lot.
Huge studio movies are handed over to a man with less experience before they're handed over to a woman with less experience. That's a fact. But I think it's not just about men not hiring women: it's about women not hiring women, too.