A boxing match in Brooklyn; life in postwar Bosnia and Herzegovina; the daily routine of a Nigerian midwife; an intimate family moment at home with the director: Kirsten Johnson weaves these scenes and others into her film Cameraperson, a tapestry of footage captured over her twenty-five-year career as a documentary cinematographer.
A magnificent documentary from amazing cinematographer Kristen Johnson. It should be watched by anyone who has ever worked on a documentary, anyone who has ever shot a film, anyone who truly loves the miracle of film. Brilliant and beautiful.
And yes, there is a story, if you watch carefully. (Even a three act structure!)
And make sure to read her inspiring statement and her incomplete list of what the camera person enables. I am sharing it with my entire film crew.
Raw footage packaged under the guise of showing us what only the cameraperson has been privileged enough to see. But after fifteen minutes of B-roll that is standard at best, without single moment of insight or storytelling, I turned it off. Maybe it eventually goes somewhere. But from what I saw, this is an embarrassment to the craft of videography and the notion of documentary filmmaking.