interview with Jodie Pearson
Jodie is a cinematographer and photographer based in London and Newcastle. From a young age Jodie decided photography and cinematography was something she was born to do, and studied it for 5 years in college and university.
Firstly, how did you manage to shoot the Adaption film alone?
I found that I really thrived under the challenge to make a short film alone! I found it quite easy to manage as I’m a well organized person when it comes to my work. It was a struggle at times to get to some locations with kit and when I felt I had no hope and pull myself back up. However I only had myself to rely on and knew I had to work extra hard to achieve my goal to complete this film. Overall though I thoroughly enjoyed it and I can be proud of my creation!
What made you fall in love with cinematography in particular?
I first learned about cinematography through photography. I knew I loved films and always felt I looked at a film differently to others as I was always appreciating the colours, angles, and techniques used. The very first time I watched The Grand Budapest Hotel I was sitting alone in my room and it made me think “wow, I want to film just like that!” My friend was given a basic DSLR for Christmas when I was about 15 and he gave it to me a few months later and that’s when I properly start filming and photographing! After this I went to university and study film and that’s where I truly fell in love with the art of cinematography.
2. Is this how you started to develop your own style?
I think a lot of my film inspiration has come from a photographer’s point of view. I’m always following other photographers and being inspired to create something into film. I feel I haven’t found my true style just yet but I’m nearly there! I love working with bright and vivid colours, especially pinks and blues as I find them the most ascetically pleasing.
3. Can you describe in more detail how you first got your foot in the door of the media industry?
When I was about 16/17 I did a course at college called creative media production and my teacher was an ex-employee of Channel 4. Because of this she had loads of contacts there and I asked for her advice and she told me to create a LinkedIn. Whenever she saw any of her friends in the industry or contacts talk about any jobs I would contact them, and I started to build from there really! The next think I know is I’ve had jobs working for UK grime artist Skepta and radio DJ Melvin Odoom! It’s all about who you know in the industry.
4. Do you have any favourite pieces of kit i.e. lenses?
I absolutely love working with a 50mm lens. It can be really tricky as it doesn’t have much room to experiment with, however the results are rewarding. I also love working with the 70-200mm f/4 lenses. If I’m feeling extra fancy I will use a slider to create beautiful buttery shots.
5. What is the last film you saw that you admired/inspired you?
I think that would have to be the film Submarine dir. Richard Ayoade. I had seen it many years ago but recently watched it again and I loved how obscure it was to many other films which made it so different. The colours, the narration, the editing! Go watch it!!
6. What are the technicalities of Cinematography that could impact your creative process?
I had been studying film for like 2 years full time before I realised I was into cinematography and was something I really wanted to specialize in. As a cinematographer I must know the inside out of different cameras and learn serious technicalities regarding them alongside lights and other supporting equipment like sliders and tripods. This makes everything a lot smoother however when you have meetings with potential clients/directors I don’t talk too much in detail about these technicalities as they wont know too much about them and would be to boring or difficult to understand, hence why they hire! Personally, I find not being around any like-minded people can impact on my creative process, but if I am I like to tell them my ideas and how they could be achieved and be inspired by theirs. I’m more passionate about creatively making the visuals beautiful rather than about how to be technically preside, if that makes sense!
7. What has been your favourite thing to work on in your film career
I think one of the projects that really stays close to my heart is the documentary I made called Pigeongrove. That was my breakthrough film into the film industry that took me to several film festivals, and Hong Kong! However, I always look back fondly at projects I’ve made alone like little travel videos I made here and there as I was so relaxed and happy at the time and it always gives me that emotional reconnection.
8. What was it like having your film Pigeongrove at a film festival?
Honestly it was so surreal. I never thought I would have had one of my films enter a festival, let alone ones internationally. I didn’t think a bunch a university student’s who filmed on a coast in the middle of nowhere would get global recognition. But it was so humbling and exciting to be apart of something like that, and I hope I can have a similar experience again in the future as a professional.
9. Do you have any particular advice for someone looking to get started in cinematography?
I know it sounds super cliché but legit never give up on your dreams. I’ve been there but you have to push through it and you’ll come out stronger. It may seem daunting and tough to get started but take small steps, social media is your best friend and the best way to learn anything and how to find future jobs!
10. Are you currently working on anything in particular?
I’m currently in my last year at university and I’m working on 5 exciting projects! All will be revealed soon!