If you'd walked on to a stage at Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden on a wet June day, you'd have wondered what on earth was going on.....a vast empty studio with 2 groups of people working with a crane in one corner, dolly & track in another area- no set, no lighting, no costumes, not an actor in sight.....
Well this was The Association of Camera Operators (ACO) running their first workshop in conjunction with Women Behind the Camera (WBTC)- a day of training in the skills of operating with a geared head, and operating with a remote head on a crane. We are intending to run more workshops in the future, including a steadicam day in the autumn. Historically camera operating has been a “man's job”...... but the ACO is keen to diversify its membership, and in order to encourage more women to consider camera operating as a career, we invited 12 women who are already experienced in the film industry but looking to progress to operating.
Sean Savage and Philip Sindall volunteered to be tutors for the day, devising a variety of set-ups to give the participants a feel for operating with a crane and geared head...... it was an amazing opportunity for all who took part! The feedback from everyone who came was incredibly positive. To have hands-on experience with a crane for a day is unique and confidence boosting, and to be tutored by two such experienced operators in a supportive environment was invaluable.
We would like to send a HUGE thank you to all who helped us to make this workshop happen- to Panavision for the camera & grips equipment, to Warner Bros Studios Leavesden for the stage, to the camera crew and grips team who volunteered their time. And of course to Sean and Phil and the ACO for supporting the whole venture- as Sean said at the end of the day, “It was incredibly encouraging- it shows that we all want to work towards the same thing. Equality in the department”.