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The Straight ‘Dope’ From Cinematographer Rachel Morrison

Cinematographer Rachel Morrison spoke recently with Taylor Hess for Filmmaker magazine about her career path, collaboration with directors and recent project, Dope, directed by Rick Famuyiwa, which was picked up by Open Road at the Sundance Film Festival. 

Says the cinematographer, “Some directors are incredibly hands on with the technical components of filmmaking, while others like to focus more on performance and choose to hire people they trust to look out for them in the technical arena. As a d.p., you have to adapt your style to fit the director’s tendencies.”

Tony Revolori, Kiersey Clemons, Shameik Moore from ‘Dope.’ Photo by David Moir

Addressing the question of how she selects from a growing number of potential projects, she says, “I get more and more selective with every project. Story/script always comes first — I have to be invested in the story I’m helping to tell. The director is the next major factor — I look at previous work and try to gauge from meetings what the vision is for the film, and what the collaboration would look like.”