I Can’t Believe I Am The First,’ Says Oscar-Nominated Female Cinematographer

Rachel Morrison is the first woman ever nominated for an Oscar in cinematography.

“I can’t believe I am the first,” she says. “It’s really kind of crazy!”

It was her lensing on Mudbound that earned her this recognition, but Morrison also served as director of photography for the massive blockbuster Black Panther. Being a DP means you’re in charge of all the cameras, everyone who operates them, the electricity on set and the look of the entire film.

“The cinematographer’s basically translating the director’s vision into imagery,” Morrison says. She leads the way down a set of outside stairs to her basement office at her home in the Mount Washington neighborhood of Los Angeles. “It’s such a mess down here.”

It’s not that messy — merely crammed with art books, Black Panther comics and the DVDs she draws upon for reference and inspiration.

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