Definition November 2021 - Web


Heather Crompton, first AC

“Growing up in eighties/nineties Bolton, with a fondness for photography and architecture, it never occurred to me you could work in TV and film,” says Crompton. “I had no idea how to get into that.” She was 18, working as an assistant manager at a fast-food restaurant, and decided to go back into education and enrol on a media course at her local college. “I went on to Leeds Beckett, where I completed a BA (Hons) in film and moving image production with a first. The course was geared towards getting industry experience, and I got placements very quickly. I continued to work throughout my three years at university, on shorts, music videos and factual TV programmes,” she says. After graduating, Crompton found it hard to get work in the camera department, shadowing a script supervisor because it was the closest she could get to the camera. “Initially, this was frustrating. I saw other, mainly male, counterparts gaining trainee roles over women like myself. But, in hindsight, having this extra training has proved its worth as a camera assistant and collaborator on-set,” she explains. “I worked on a few shorts and a low-budget feature as a script supervisor, and eventually it paid off. A camera operator gave me the chance to assist him on a shoot, which led to further opportunities. I now have more than 15 years’ experience on-set in HETV drama and film – and over eight years’ experience as first AC, with recent credits including Apple TV+’s Invasion and Netflix’s Giri/Haji .” Crompton has recently been accepted on the ScreenSkills HETV Leaders of Tomorrow programme, which will provide three years of support, to help her step up to DOP in the future.

“I worked on a few shorts and a low-budget feature as a script supervisor – and eventually it paid off”

CREDITS Rebecca (2020), Dumbo (2019), World War Z (2013)


and helping to realise their vision through the on-set grade, is always a unique and innovative task.” In addition to on-set work as a DIT, Redpath also worked with Codex for several years, helping and supporting their clients around the world. And she has trained future generations of DITs by teaching courses for the Arri Academy and GBCT. She advises: “Don’t be afraid of reaching out to people who work in the role you aspire towards. Most are happy to give advice, and putting yourself out there shows the kind of determination that’s needed to become a trainee or junior member of any department.” Redpath is currently working with DOP Benoît Delhomme on Lady Chatterley’s Lover for Netflix.

In the year Redpath graduated with a BA (Hons) in film production from the Surrey Institute of Art & Design, she had been saving to go to Camerimage in Poland. And it was there that she met DOP Haris Zambarloukos, who took her on as his trainee and set up an internship at Panavision London. She’s now been in the industry for 15 years, working 12 of those as a DIT. “Throughout my career, I’ve had the pleasure of working with some incredible cinematographers, who have always made me feel valued and respected for my technical expertise – in particular, DOP Laurie Rose, whom I met on the Netflix production of Rebecca,” says Redpath. “The process of working with cinematographers, choosing the look of the piece

CREDITS Invasion (2021), Rebecca (2020), Giri/Haji (2019)

49. NOVEMBER 2021

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