Female Filmmaker Friday: Reed Morano, Emmy-Winning Director and Cinematographer

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"I think every cinematographer will agree, you become a character in the scene."

Reed Morano is an American cinematographer and director. She became the youngest member of the American Society of Cinematographers in 2013. She is one of only fourteen women in the society that supports over 300 members.

As a cinematographer, Morano has been director of photography on many praised projects. These films frequent film festivals, such as Sundance, and have been nominated/won several awards. The film Frozen River won the Jury Prize at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. In 2013, she shot the film Kill Your Darlings about beat poets Allan Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, and William Burroughs, staring Daniel Radcliffe, Dane DeHaan, and Michael C. Hall. Morano was also the cinematographer on The Skeleton Twins, staring Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader. She has also been DP on several shows, including HBO's Vinyl, Looking, and Divorce.

As a director, Morano has been just as successful. Her first directorial feature, Meadowland, (which she also shot), premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2015 to rave reviews. It stars Olivia Wilde, Owen Wilson, Giovanni Ribisi, Elizabeth Moss, and John Leguizamo. She has directed television, including AMC’s Halt and Catch Fire and Showtime’s Billions. Most notably, Morano directed the first three episodes of the hit series The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu, in which she won an Emmy and a Directors Guild of America award.

Reed Morano has proven she’s a force in filmmaking. She’s hands on and likes to be involved in most aspects of storytelling. While others discouraged her from shooting her directorial feature, Morano took it on and learned more about storytelling in the process.

Be sure to watch Morano talk about her filming technique and her journey into digital: