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Women Making History, Part 4


In Part 4 of Panavision's Women Making History interview series, the conversation turns toward career highlights. Prompted by Panavision President and CEO Kim Snyder's query, the participants reflect on what they consider pivotal moments in their professional journeys.

Read the rest of the series here:

Part 1: On the impact of Women's History Month

Part 2: On valuable career advice

Part 3: On mentorship

Part 5: On inspiration

Kim Snyder (President and CEO, Panavision): What are some highlights from your career that you're particularly proud of? What made those moments so special to you?

Autumn Durald Arkapaw, ASC (cinematographer): I am very proud of the work my crew and I have accomplished in the last few years, work that was noticed and appreciated by my peers and gave me the opportunity to join the ASC. I was honored to become a member, and when they asked me to appear on the cover, it was a pivotal moment. This will always be a great moment in my journey because when I was coming up, I wasn't aware of many female cinematographers. They existed but were not as available to someone outside of the industry looking in. I am honored to represent our craft and hopefully encourage more women, especially women of color, to seek out the job or at the very least know that women are cinematographers and they can do the job. That means more to me than anything on my r sum .

Autumn Durald Arkapaw, ASC

Alice Brooks, ASC (cinematographer): My favorite moments of my career are when a group of people miraculously come together and are all working harder than they can imagine to tell the same story. Some of these highlights are from my film-school days, where anything was possible; to my days on The LXD, an early Hulu web series, where we had complete creative freedom as filmmakers and I took huge risks; to my first two studio movies, In the Heights and tick, tick BOOM!, where going to work felt like being home; to the epic adventure I have just been on for almost the last three years making Wicked.

Victoria Emslie (actor; founder and CEO, Primetime Network): Downton Abbey is such an institution and was one of the shows which brought my family and I together, especially watching the Christmas episode. We would sit in front of it every year, and every year I would say out loud, Next year's the year.' It turned out that one year, that year' was the year and I found myself immersed in this world which I had been dreaming about and dancing around in my imagination. It was an incredible launchpad for following projects. It gave me the confidence to know I could navigate the space with power and grace, and it gave me my first real taste of having a tight-knit production family. And once you have the taste of that, it is very hard to go back.

Johanna Gravelle (managing director, Panavision Canada): In 2008, when I was working at Kodak, I was given the opportunity to move my family to Melbourne, Australia on a two-year international assignment. My role was Regional Marketing Director of the Asia-Pacific Region, working with colleagues based in India, Japan, Singapore, Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, China, Thailand, New Zealand and Australia. To be promoted from a country-level role to a regional-level role in that part of the world and to be able to go on this adventure with my whole family was a dream come true. The trust and support from both the company and from my family provided me with the strength to move well beyond my comfort zone and take on this challenging new role. This was a life-changing experience for the entire family, and it continues to impact me and I dare say my entire family daily.

Polly Morgan, ASC, BSC (cinematographer): I think my biggest highlight has been being invited to join both the BSC and ASC. These societies stand for success and respect from your peers, and when I was eventually asked to join, it gave me so much validation in my work. To be accepted into these societies with so many of my heroes was an incredible moment in my career.

I would aways talk to my dad about the letters and tell him that one day I would also have them after my name. It was a proud moment when he saw me receive my BSC, and even though he died before I received the ASC, he knew it was coming. It means the world to me that I was able to show him that I had been successful in the career that he witnessed me fighting for my whole adult life.

Polly Morgan, ASC, BSC (photo by Sean Devine)

Amy Vincent, ASC (cinematographer): I accepted an Artist in Residence position at LMU SFTV during the seven-month work stoppage of 2023 extraordinarily good timing, resulting in an incredibly rewarding semester. Such an honor to discover how much I love being both an educator and a cinematographer.

Hustle & Flow winning the Audience Award and the Cinematography Award at Sundance 2005, and seeing people walking down Main Street in Park City singing It's Hard out Here for a Pimp. It was a glorious way to celebrate with the whole team, the joy of creativity and collaboration!

Eve's Bayou getting into the Library of Congress' National Film Registry in 2018, and Criterion doing 4K remaster from the original negative in 2023. Eve's Bayou was my very first feature as a DP, and now to be able to screen it in 4K is such a thrill!

Lesley Kantor (chief marketing officer, Panavision): In 2007 I was given the chance to pivot my career from talent representation to brand marketing. My new boss knew I had no prior experience in the field, but she believed in my ability to learn fast, ask good questions, communicate well, and commit to my work. All things I knew I could deliver. This was a really special moment for me because not only did it mark the beginning of my opportunity to expand my professional experience in countless ways, but I also began to reall
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