Acceptance Speech - Cinders Forshaw BSC
The Cinematographer Award
Firstly I am very sorry not to be with you all today. I was really looking forward to this occasion. I am honoured to have been chosen to receive TheWIFTS Award for Cinematographer 2016.
Often when I am on set I look around and think how lucky I am to do a job that I love, and that is all about creating make- believe, and being part of a team who are all focused together on telling the story. I love that collaboration and creativity - and the buzz of a film crew!
This award for women cinematographers is really important as I hope it will encourage future women to travel this path. Even in 2016 there is still a lack of women cinematographers. It shouldn't be a commonplace for even established actors to come up and tell me that I'm the first woman DOP they've worked with. Or in some cases the first 'lady cameraman'!
When I saw that the TheWIFTS award is a statue in the shape
of a wing it made me smile.
Ever since I was a child Amy Johnson has been a great inspiration to me. Against all odds she became a pilot and was the first female pilot to fly solo from the UK to Australia.
Tucked away in my light meter case is an old photo of Amy Johnson. Her pioneering spirit has inspired me to keep going.
So I really thank TheWIFTS for this award: it means a huge amount to me.
And I send my congratulations to all the other women who are being celebrated today, and many thanks to Elspeth for her hard work in bringing everyone together.
Here's to flying high! Have a great day.
THE WOMEN'S INTERNATIONAL FILM & TELEVISION SHOWCASE
JULY 2nd 2016
Passion & Integrity Commerce & Creativity Equality Not Hierarchy
Cinders Forshaw BSC - United Kingdom
The Cinematographer Award
Cinders Forshaw BSC
For her passion for the art of cinematography and the moving image discovered when she switched from a Stills photographer to the moving image - her use and interpretation of how the lighting can change the perception of a scene, that singular trademark evident on projects such as Poldark, Cinders Forshaw is the recipient of TheWIFTS Cinematographer Award 2016.
Cinematographer Cinders Forshaw was 15 when she saved up money to buy her first stills camera. She comes from a large family of girls, and to entertain his daughters – and following his own enthusiasm for the big screen – her father used to project films on a 16mm projector in the barn on a Saturday night.
Cinders meanwhile was using her camera to document the life around her in black and white, and luckily had the use of a darkroom courtesy of a neighbour. It was in the darkroom working with the emerging images that she became fascinated by how you could play with images, and the importance of framing to tell a story.
The first photographer she discovered was Henri Cartier-Bresson, and she was amazed to find out that he never cropped his photographs.
Henri Cartier-Bresson was the inspiration that made Cinders decide she wanted to be a stills photographer, and she entered for a BA in Film and Photographic Arts at the Polytechnic of Central London (now the University of Westminster). In her first year, as an exercise, she was handed a Bolex camera and 100ft of 16mm film and told to go off and make a film!
That moment in her career changed everything. It was the first time she'd ever shot moving images, and suddenly the possibility of storytelling through the moving image became a reality. Cinders quickly transferred from Photography to Film on her degree course.
Forshaw then went on to study Cinematography at the National Film and Television school (NTFS). It was here that she really started to experiment with light, and began to love how important light is in expressing emotion in storytelling.
In growing her career Cinders realised that there are many different choices to be made in how you interpret a scene through the lighting, and she began to experience the joy of working in close collaboration with a director and trying to realise their vision – and add to it through her lighting and framing.
As the cinematographer – the moment she loves on set is working with a team of people, who – when the camera turns, are held together by that little square of the image in the camera, and the excitement of when it all works – and it's a great take!
The NFTS was a lively and stimulating environment to learn in and shoot a huge variety of student films, and experiment with her eye and her art. After graduating from the NFTS, Cinders was hungry to shoot, and worked on documentaries, pop promos, and short films. She has since worked closely with directors that she had encountered at the NFTS, including Metin Huseyin on the feature Anita & Me, Jean Stewart on The Long Run (South African Feature), and other directors include Gavin Miller (Schweitzer, and the award winning TV drama Housewife '49), Stephen Poliakoff (Perfect Strangers, BAFTA nomination for Cinematography), Tom Shankland (Marple: The Moving Finger, Silver World Medal for Best Lighting NYF).
Cinematographer Cinders Fordshaw has also shot a number of highly acclaimed TV original dramas, and has currently just finished shooting the second series of Poldark. Cinders was nominated for an award from The Royal Television Society West of England (RTS SW) for her cinematography on the first series.