An interview with the extremely talented and artistic Cinematographer- Ekaterina Doldjeva!
When did you first get into Cinematography?
Photography has always been a passion for me. While I was in high school, I also learned about visual effects and 3D software, but I realized that animation wasn’t exactly what I wanted to do. However, my interest in creating moving images kept growing. I’ve thought of it as creating visual poetry. Visual storytelling is a type of art that has inspired me through the years. I’ve always tried to learn as much as I can from paintings and photographs in terms of lighting and composition. Officially, I got into cinematography while attending Columbia College Chicago. I got an opportunity to shoot a few projects and I finally discovered the field I’m really interested in. Since then, I started shooting projects more often, learned a lot and enriched my approach to interpreting a script. Being a cinematographer is not an easy task, because it encompasses different areas of knowledge both technical and artistic.
Who were your influences in this industry?
There are few directors and cinematographers whose work inspires me to be better at what I do. For example, directors such as Terrence Malick, Darren Aronofsky, Pedro Almodovar, Christopher Nolan, Federico Fellini, and Roman Polanski inspire me with their style and approach to their stories. On the other hand, there are many cinematographers that I am interested in based on their projects and approach of film. Emmanuel Lubezki, Seamus McGarvey, Janusz Kaminski, Bruno Delbonnel, and Rodrigo Prieto are definitely among them.
What inspired you to get into this type of work?
I would say paintings, art, and films. Since I am from Bulgaria, I have had the chance to easily travel across Europe while still in junior high. The art and history that this continent contains enriched me at an early age. I saw that a painting or a photograph could tell a whole story or show metaphors and symbolism. In this way, I combined everything I saw into movies. A cinematographer translates a script from words to images, and then impacts the audience in a substantial way through powerful visuals. This is what has truly inspired me to become one.
What kind of training have you done?
I have being through an intensive curriculum in college. It combined working with directors, photo theory, chemical processes of film, image design, color theory etc. I also have experience in studio sound stages and on location environment along with a motion capture studio. I have a certification in flying rigs and aerial work platforms.
What kind of projects are you working on right now?
Mainly, I’m freelancing on television series whenever I get a chance as well as working at a camera house.
What would be your ideal project to work on?
An ideal project for me would be working on an independent project with a bigger budget and complete artistic impact on the cinematography. I would love to make a drama with a surreal twist to it.
Who would you most like to collaborate with?
I would love to collaborate with any of my favorite directors at some point in my life. Working together with someone who inspired me to focus my future in the film industry would be a dream come true.
What would your advice be to other aspiring cinematographers?
If you really want to become a cinematographer, shoot as many projects as you can. The experience and knowledge you get on set is incomparable to anything else.