@tansysimpson: Why did you decide to get

@tansysimpson: Why did you decide to get into this industry?
There was no single decision – my journey to becoming a cinematographer has been long, with a number of detours!
I’ve always been a visual person – drawn to color, shape, texture and light. But as I was growing up I wasn’t really consciously thinking about this interest and engagement with aesthetics – I had no sense that it might be something I could consider pursuing professionally. Then, when I was around 16, I watched Dead Man Walking, directed by Tim Robbins and shot by Roger Deakins. It had a profound effect on me – the story, the performances, the visuals – and I had a kind of epiphany, about not only the emotive power of cinema but the way in which images create meaning.
From this point forward I knew I wanted to work, in some capacity, in film, but it also felt kind of impossible – indulgent even. I mean, I hadn’t even picked up a camera by then!! And so I followed a more ‘normal’ path – I went to college and studied politics, graduated and started working for a charity. Luckily, my work took me to Africa to shoot some short documentaries about the impact of technology on developing communities, while, around the same time, I had the opportunity to help out on a documentary being shot in South Africa. Both of these experiences were transformative for me – they helped me own my passion for visual storytelling, and they gave me a sense of confidence in my eye. It was extremely nerve-wracking to quit my first full-time job and move to the US for graduate school, but I’ve never looked back! And even though this is a tough industry, I’ve never doubted that I’m doing the right thing – I want to be part of a world where I create images and stories that mean something; stories that have the kind of impact that Robbins and Roger Deakins’ vision had on me as a teenager. http://ow.ly/i/p8iEI


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