Roll Credits: Women's Week Film Crew Profiles

As the film industry makes tiny, incremental steps forward in making space for women to write and direct, it’s still striking and depressing to look through crew lists and see how few women are editors, cinematographers, production designers, composers, and so on. The problems run deep, and unpacking them all would require multiple essays and a room full of righteously incensed arguing film scholars. For now, though, here are five women who have, and still are affecting the film industry from behind the camera, inside the editing room, or out in the street.  

 

Thelma Schoonmaker (Editor)


 

The most high-profile name on this list, Schoonmaker is an American editor known for her work on violent, fast-paced gangster films. Her style employs quick, jabbing cuts and insert shots that add detail to her scenes. She’s collaborated most prolifically with Martin Scorsese, for over 50 years. Schoonmaker is often quoted as saying, in response to a journalist asking her how she such a sweet lady can work on such violent films, “Ah, but they aren’t violent until I’ve edited them.”

 

Known for: Raging Bull (1980), The Wolf of Wall Street(2010), Goodfellas (1990)

 

Agnés Godard (Cinematographer)

 


Agnés Godard has shot some of the most beautiful and haunting French arthouse films of the 20th century. Her striking use of colour – blue in Beau Travail and red in Trouble Every Day has helped form the style of her most consistent collaborator, director Claire Denis.

 

Known for: Beau Travail (1999), Trouble Every Day (2001), 35 Shots of Rum (2008)

 

Louise Ford (Editor)

 


 

A newer face in the industry, Ford is building a strange, eclectic filmography, leading post-production on some of the most exciting new directors’ films. Ford’s works are often slow: her best work is with directors who are interested in a specific type of formalism, employing long takes, wide angles, and unexpected shots. Her most consistent collaborator is the 21st-century cinema folklorist Robert Eggers.

 

Known for: The Lighthouse (2019), The Witch (2016), Thoroughbreds (2017)

 

Babette Mangolte (Cinematographer)

 


 

Mangolte was born in France but moved to the United States in 1970 after losing patience with the male-dominated French film industry (the French New Wave was petering out at this point), and finding interest in the experimental filmmakers in New York at the time. She ended up collaborating with Chantal Akerman on a number of slow, experimental, undramatic, anti-narrative feature films, combining formal rigour with the casualness of documentary.

 

Known for: Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai du Commerce 1080 Bruxelles (1975), News from Home (1976), Hotel Monterey(1972)

 

Jennifer Venditti (Casting Director)

 


 

Probably the most famous casting director in the industry at the moment, Venditti has found artistry and success in street casting. She blends professional and nonprofessional actors, creating authenticity in her projects that would not exist with any other casting director. She’s recently released a book,Can I Ask You A Question?: the Art and Alchemy of Casting, detailing her process; explaining how she’s become a bizarre thing: a casting auteur.

 

Known for: Uncut Gems (2019), Euphoria (2019), American Honey (2016)