Nikki Bramley of Massachusetts – Director of Photography Member of WIFVNE
What’s the best part about your work?
Vérité camera work is all about intimate moments. When a subject trusts me and my work communicates their experience- that is the best part of my job.
What challenges have you’ve faced in this industry as a woman?
A glib answer is- height! I’ve shot far too many on the shoulder interviews standing on my tiptoes or on one foot just to get the correct angle when filming a tall person. Seriously- because of comments from a non-supportive producer early on, I have felt I need to work harder, and have a better attitude than any man on set in order to keep my place on the crew. My hope is that women coming up in the industry now never feel that they have to compensate for their gender. In Boston we are lucky to have incredible people working in our field, and I’ve been fortunate to work with smart, talented teams & learn from many mentors and colleagues.
In the age of #MeToo & #TimesUp, what do you hope to see happening in the future for women in our industry?
My hope is that our industry becomes more diverse- not just in who we see on screen, but in our crews doing production work behind the lens.
What’s one way you would suggest people “Change the Lens”?
I know it sounds small, but I’d love to see more opportunities for women within the industry to share experiences and mentor one another. The informal dialogs that popped up on mostly-women documentary crews have been rich, unique, and thought-provoking.
What advice would you give to a new female filmmaker?
Don’t lose faith in yourself, and don’t be afraid to ask for help- filmmaking is a team sport.
What goals do you have for this year?
I’m looking for a new verite project to collaborate on, to get my online portfolio up to date and to learn, learn, learn- my biggest goal is to keep progressing in my camerawork so that I have new tools in my toolbox by the end of 2019- new ideas to shape light and texture for interviews, new ways to think about shooting a vérité scene, compositions that are more refined and creative. One of the best parts about our industry is that it requires constant professional growth.
What women in the region (New England) inspire you?
Allie Humenuk, Jill Tufts & Mary Jane Doherty- these women make beautiful films and images.
Upcoming Events or Announcements? What are you working on?
Councilwoman is playing in festivals, including the Big Sky Film Fest. The film (directed by Margo Guernsey) follows Carmen Castillo- an incredible community advocate who works as a hotel room attendant and ran for city council in Providence, RI. I’m currently co-producing a documentary with Margo Guernsey about the first (Episcopal) women priests in the U.S.- that film is in pre-production.
How can your fans find you!?
www.nikkibramley.com, https://www.instagram.com/nikki_bramley/, https://www.councilwomanfilm.com