Women Behind the Camera

Conversations with Camerawomen

by Alexis Krasilovsky


An inspiring look at a new generation of camerawomen, this collection of 23 interviews is the first in-depth study of the courageous women who filmed on mountain tops, underwater, in war zones, and on Hollywood sets.

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Cover image for Women Behind the Camera

April 1997


Pages 248
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Popular Culture/Film
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    Hardcover: £61.00/66,00€/A$102.00

    Paperback: £29.00/31,00€/A$48.00

Hollywood has seen the number of camerawomen quadruple in the past 15 years. Women Behind the Camera is the first book to offer an in-depth look at the lives of camerawomen and their struggles to succeed in a male-dominated field. Krasilovsky presents interviews with 23 camerawomen, most of whom are pioneers in Hollywood and whose experiences cover the full range of the Camera Department.

The camerawomen interviewed include all four women Directors of Photography who have achieved membership in the prestigious American Society of Cinematographers, one of the first female camera assistants to work at the BBC, camerawomen who worked on Star Trek VI and Terminator 2, and a full range of documentary, experimental, and video camerawomen. These pioneering women, who have filmed in war zones, on mountain peaks, underwater, and on Hollywood sets, discuss their influences, goals, and experiences with directors and stars, and the art of cinematography.

Table of Contents

IntroductionThe Pioneers: Starting Out Before 1970Brianne Murphy, ASCJuliana WangEstelle KirshEmiko OmoriJudy Irola, ASCThe Pioneers of Second Wave FeminismLeslie HillKristin GloverLisa SeidenbergSusan WalshLiz BaileyLaurel KlickMadelyn MostThe Second Wave: Starting Out in Independent FilmCathy ZheutlinDyanna TaylorSandi Sissel, ASCGeraldine KudakaAmy HalpernNancy Schreiber, ASCJo CarsonEmerging CamerawomenSabrina SimmonsKaren Williams KaneSandy ButlerAlicia SehringBibliographyIndex



Krasilovsky's interviews with 23 camerawomen provide a useful, informal history of a very recent phenomenon.... These conversations document women's struggle for acceptance by exploring the work lives of women who have taken on roles ranging from camera assistant to experimental filmmaker and director of photography.... All of the interviews are deeply engaging and well presented.... All academic and professional collections.—Choice

A vital addition to the current literature on film.—Smith Alumnae Quarterly

An excellent overview of trials and triumphs of these gifted artist/technicians. Recommended for all serious collections on cinema studies, and for women's studies programs as well.—Film Quarterly


A fascinating book for anyone, female or male, who contemplates making a career in cinematography. It offers a great wealth of insights, evaluating the rewards and the sacrifices which are facing people behind the camera in their professional and personal lives. It opens for the reader a world of strong, courageous women who are possessed by the love of film.—Kris Malkiewicz^Lauthor, cinematographer^Lfaculty, California Institute of the Arts

A vital addition to the nascent film literature regarding the participation of women in the filmmaking process. Krasilovsky is a major contributor to a long neglected but most important segment of serious commentary on our industry and art form.—Eric Sherman^Lproducer, author^Lfaculty, Art Center College of Design

[A] significant contribution--the kind of book that women entering film school should have to read. So should their teachers--and so should people in the industry.—Dr. Charles Musser^LDirector, Film Studies Program, Yale University

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