I’m Goldie, I’m a freelance cinematographer and colourist in Sydney. I also run a YouTube channel called Deerstalker Pictures with my partner, where we’re currently making a Dungeons & Dragons comedy web series called “1 For All”. I’m a nerd so I’m into sci-fi and fantasy films and tv shows, video games, alternative fashion (mostly Japanese street fashion as well as vintage and historical costuming), cooking and baking, and aerial acrobatics (cinematography is a lot of heavy lifting so you have to stay fit!).
What gear do you use?
On film sets, gear all depends on budget as it’s usually all hired in. On TVC’s I’m usually shooting on an Alexa Mini, but personally I own a Black Magic Ursa Mini Pro G2 for our own productions and mid-level jobs. The Ursa is a great price point, light-weight and ergonomic and produces a great picture without skimping on all the things you need in a professional cinema camera. Before I bought that, I was shooting on the Panasonic GH5. It has brilliant IBIS with great video functionality, and really packs a punch for the tiny size – I still use this one for event shooting where I have to run around and switch onto a gimbal too. The GH5 is a decent stills camera, I used it a lot when I was shooting a lot of cosplay portrait photography for Deerstalker.
For my personal photography (which is usually food photography on my dessert IG @sugar.syrup, and my daily outfit shots on my personal IG) I’m usually using the Panasonic GF8 with a prime lens as it’s so small that it can fit in my handbag when I’m out and about.
How did you start your cinematography journey? What/Who inspires you?
I come from a visual art and music background, but when my school introduced a film subject I chose it on a whim and the rest is history! I found that film was the perfect medium that blended image and music and so many other creative practices to tell a story. I’m really inspired by atmospheric images with interesting lighting, that evoke strong emotions and creates a world in a single frame. One of my favourite films of all time is “In The Mood for Love” by Wong Kar-wai, shot by Australian cinematographer Christopher Doyle. The use of double framing, smoke and slow motion are so beautiful. I’ve always been interested in aesthetics and have never been at a loss for things to film and photograph, so during my uni degree my partner and I started a YouTube channel filming Japanese fashion and cosplay at local pop-culture conventions. We later moved to doing short fan films and now our web series. In my freelance career I shoot a variety of things from feature films, TV shows and webseries of many genres, to TVCs, fashion, music videos and more!
How do you plan for a shoot?
As a cinematographer, your job is to bring the director’s vision to life. Using the script, as well as references that you and the director have looked at, you can create a visual language and form a style that works best to tell the story. The way you shoot comedy for example, is different to fashion, or a serious drama film or a product advertisement. From there you can work with production design and lighting to create the image you want. Film is a lot of planning and logistics and problem solving, but with a solid team you can make something amazing. I’m always working closely with the director, as well as the production designer, gaffer, 1st AC, 1st AD and producer to make things work!
Top 3 filming locations to shoot?
Not sure what you meant by this question exactly, and I’m not giving away my shooting locations haha.
I’d love to shoot on a huge sci-fi set one day! Otherwise breathtaking natural locations are always amazing, but the logistics of having to haul 30 cast and crew and equipment out there is difficult for a film set so it’s always down to budget.
Top 3 tips?
- What are you trying to say with your shot?
- What is the context or purpose (where will it be used in the edit, or posted?)
- How does the lighting, angle, composition and background support the story you’re trying to tell?
What has been your most memorable experience?
I’ve shot out of a helicopter, which was pretty terrifying (me and the camera were strapped in but all the doors were off and it was kind of windy/wet and I felt like I was being sucked out of the chopper!)
What has been your greatest success in cinematography?
Each new shoot is it’s own challenge, and you learn something new every time so it’s very rewarding. My first feature film as a cinematographer which I shot a couple years ago, “Reaching Distance” has also just been released for download on iTunes so it’s available now! Seeing your name on the big screen in the cinema is a great feeling.
If you had super powers, what would yours be?
I’ve always loved elemental powers like fire and water powers you see in X-Men, something to do with that connection to nature and the ability to both create and destroy.