Cinematographer Roundtable: Pros From 'News of the World,' 'One Night in Miami' and More on What Hollywood Gets Wrong About Their Jobs

Carolyn Giardina

January 29, 2021

"When I wanted to be a cinematographer, somebody said to me, 'Girls don't do that job,' " Disney's Mulan director of photography Mandy Walker admits, adding that she's recently seen an uptick in representation. "It's a little slower in our world, but it's definitely changing." Agreeing with Walker at THR's virtual Cinematographer Roundtable on Dec. 12 were DPs Damian Garcia of Netflix's I'm No Longer Here; Erik Messerschmidt of Netflix's Mank; Tami Reiker of Amazon's One Night in Miami and Netflix's The Old Guard; Joshua James Richards of Searchlight's Nomadland; and Dariusz Wolski of Universal's News of the World. Inspiration, diversity and the future of theatrical exhibition drove the conversation. "Seeing people congregate together wearing masks in the middle of a plague … was one of those moments for me where I was just like, 'I'm a filmmaker for life now.' It made me realize I'm kind of ready to go down with the ship, to be honest," recalls Richards of Nomadland's drive-in premiere in September. "If filmmaking stops being about that, people coming together, congregating for an experience that's awe-inspiring, I might prefer to do something else."

"When I wanted to be a cinematographer, somebody said to me, 'Girls don't do that job,' " Disney's Mulan director of photography Mandy Walker admits, adding that she's recently seen an uptick in representation. "It's a little slower in our world, but it's definitely changing." Agreeing with Walker at THR's virtual Cinematographer Roundtable on Dec. 12 were DPs Damian Garcia of Netflix's I'm No Longer Here; Erik Messerschmidt of Netflix's Mank; Tami Reiker of Amazon's One Night in Miami and Netflix's The Old Guard; Joshua James Richards of Searchlight's Nomadland; and Dariusz Wolski of Universal's News of the World. Inspiration, diversity and the future of theatrical exhibition drove the conversation. "Seeing people congregate together wearing masks in the middle of a plague … was one of those moments for me where I was just like, 'I'm a filmmaker for life now.' It made me realize I'm kind of ready to go down with the ship, to be honest," recalls Richards of Nomadland's drive-in premiere in September. "If filmmaking stops being about that, people coming together, congregating for an experience that's awe-inspiring, I might prefer to do something else."