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MICHELLE CLEMENTINE, Camera Operator, IATSE Local 600

Where did you grow up?

I’m from The Bronx. My mom is Dominican and my dad is Ecuadorian

What are your responsibilities or roles in your department? When I DP, I’m managing three departments- camera, grip and electric to get the look I need while also communicating with production, production design, wardrobe and HMU about certain looks. As A camera op, I support the DP by helping the set run smoothly in partnership with the 1st AD and contributing to the overall creative process.

Are there any films that inspired you to start working in television and film?

From the moment I was a kid and saw AHA’s

music video for Take On Me, I was fascinated

with how on earth they made that happen

What has been your favorite project to work on?

Working on If Beale Street Could Talk as the B cam 1st AC. Barry Jenkins told me I helped him feel the scene through the eyes of a woman and thanked me for my creative contribution. That moment changed everything for me

What made you want to work in your department?

The first time I saw an Angeniuex 24-290mm

zoom lens, I thought “I want to play with THAT”.

And I do!

How did you begin working in the industry? I was a student at Brooklyn College trying to

figure my life out and got an internship at Tribeca Film Festival. Between that and being praisedfor my skills by my darkroom photography teacher, I was curious about camera. After a stint as prep tech at CSC, I joined 600.

What advice would you give someone starting out in this industry? Respect the PAs! As a PA, I asked people questions and shared my goals. As an AC, I shared with PAs my goals to DP, who then connected me to people and programs looking for diverse DPs. It’s the perfect position to share dreams and ideas with peers who will respect and listen and connect.

What are you working on these days?

I just wrapped on a narrative short for program with Tribeca FF where we had a 100K budget- my largest to date. It’s called GAPS and premiers at the festival next year. I’m new to LA, so I’m floating around between my shoots. I also host free AC workshops for Black and Afro-Latina

women interested in learning camera.


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