GE AR . GIRLS IN GEAR
Gail Jenkinson, remote environment and underwater DOP
that. Just make sure you’re seen and are spreading the word, to inspire others to go for these jobs. “Coming to the industry from an under-represented group felt like a mountain to climb, but there is experience that comes from being an older woman. Look at what you can bring to a production, rather than fitting into a current model. Women have great value, so promote these talents. Finally, since opportunities are so hard to come by, take somebody through that door with you. We are stronger together,” Jenkinson concludes.
fit helps, personal care will be what saves you from a crippling blister that hinders your progress. Animals in the wild are of course unpredictable, so you need to keep your wits about you. People get complacent after a while, and it’s a priority to keep an eye on each other. You become a family.” She continues: “But, regardless of the location, the people around you make or break a shoot. Finding a well-oiled crew is key. Gather as many field skills as possible, whether it’s people who can change a tyre, solder a cable, or even cut hair! Shoots are long and lonely if you don’t feel part of things, so trust your judgement and research the team before you get stuck on a mountaintop together. And don’t be put off from only seeing BTS shots of bearded white guys having a blast on location – we can change “Since opportunities are so hard to come by, take somebody through that door with you. We are stronger together”
For Jenkinson, education was never a driving force in the career she has made for herself; she learnt her skills practically, working as a camera trainee in drama and natural history. “Learning from the mistakes of others and the kindness of crew members further on in their journeys made for a productive learning space,” she says. “The opportunities you can find are wonderful, but not everyone gets them. I really hope schools push the film & TV sector as a career option, because it’s something we in the UK do well, and can be incredibly rewarding.” Jenkinson is now a part four HSE-qualified underwater diver – highly experienced in shooting topside aboard seafaring vessels – and a skilled Movi and crane operator. She’s worked on many spectacular productions, filming in all seven continents – from the awe- inspiring tabular icebergs that float in Antarctic waters, to the dense mountains of Rwanda, amongst its precious resident gorillas. “Every one of them was a learning curve,” she says. “I find it a privilege to go through the door marked ‘private’, but these experiences sometimes take a toll. It’s important to pace yourself; expeditions are physically demanding, and although keeping
CREDITS Night on Earth (2020), Gold Rush: White Water (2019), Blue Planet II (2017)
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