Born in Russia to a family of mathematicians, scientists (and a businessman), All Our Eggs Director of Photography Ashley Barron lived in Ireland before calling Australia home. She worked as camera assistant before being selected as 1 of 28 Cinematographers in the world to train at the American Film Institute Conservatory in Hollywood.
Ashley’s work there earned her a nomination at the prestigious Camerimage Cinematography Film Festival and has been profiled in both the American and Australian Cinematographer magazines.
Ashley spoke to us from Bali, where she is currently shooting Superhuman, a drama-documentary .
Why cinematography for you?
It’s where the technical meets the creative. Coming from a family of scientists and mathematicians, it seems to feed into both sides of my brain. The collaboration and, though not always easy, I love the responsibility and leadership it requires, too. Garnering emotion from an image(s) – that’s indescribable.
How do you as a cinematographer work with your director?
To be as much of mindreader, a bodyguard, confidante and counselor. A director’s job is very difficult so I try to shield them and relieve them from as much as possible. The ultimate is where you become an extension of the director – where your mutual understanding leads to not having to say a word to each other.
Which cinematographers are your inspirations?
For different reasons:
- Bradford Young (ASC) (Selma)
- Greig Fraser (ASC) (Bright Star; Foxcatcher; Rogue One)
- Dion Beebe (ASC) (Memoirs Of A Geisha; Collateral; Edge of Tomorrow)
- Stefan Duscio (ASC) (The Turning; Canopy; Barracuda)
- Seamus McGarvey (ASC) (Godzilla; The Avengers; Atonement)
- Rodrigo Prieto (ASC) (Amores Perros; 21 Grams; Alexander; Argo)
- Natasha Braier (ASC) (Neon Demon; The Rover)
What films have knocked you out with their cinematography?
Every time someone asks me this I go completely blank so off the top of my head – A Most Violent Year, Killing Them Softly, Memoirs of a Geisha, Wasted On The Young’ Requiem For A Dream, The Witch… I’ll wake up at 3am with more 😉
Your most exciting moment working as a cinematographer?
There have been a few moments where you feel your training coming together. Where something works because of your knowledge of how to get to what you visualised, rather than a happy accident.
Your proudest shot as a cinematographer?
My second film at the American Film Institute, Breathe, was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. The whole project was an enormous learning curve of various kinds. But my proudest moments as a cinematographer are always those moments where you feel your training coming together. Where something works because of your knowledge of how to get to what you visualised, rather than a happy accident.
Any online resources for cinematographers you recommend?
Off the top of my head: The Wandering DP Podcast; the Cinematography Mailing List, and the online sites of the Cinematography Associations (US/AUS). What works best for me is just looking at images and figuring out what makes them work or not work, and their elements of design. Instagram is great for this but just looking up websites and following vote of photographers, too. I’ve found analysing one image a night is all it takes to start teaching your eye to see.
What are you looking forward to about All Our Eggs?
I’m looking forward to working with this team. It’s all about the right team for me. I’m also intrigued to see how we can make the story universal – accessible to both men and women whether they’re interested in children/IVF or not.
And finally, how do you like your eggs?
I love eggs. But fried would be my choice.
The Awareness (Director: Henry Dunham; DOP: Ashley Barron)