Reed Morano is the youngest active member in the American Society of Cinematographers and one of only 13 women out of approximately 345 active members in the organization. In 2011, she was the recipient of the Kodak Vision Award for Cinematography at the Women In Film Crystal + Lucy Awards and was named one of Variety’s “10 Cinematographers to Watch.” As a DP, Morano’s been a regular on the festival circuit, having multiple films in competition for the past six years. Morano’s most recent features include “The Skeleton Twins,” “And So It Goes,” and “Kill Your Darlings.” Last year she wrapped up the first season of the original HBO series “Looking.” “Meadowland” is Morano’s first feature as a director, and she also served as the DP on the film. (Press materials)
“Meadowland” will premiere at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival on April 17.
W&H: Please give us your description of the film playing.
RM: It’s a story about a tragedy that causes two people to become desperate, disconnected and very lost. They are not only losing themselves, but each other and their grasp on their sanity. Their loss of judgement results in dangerous actions that become more and more out of character.
W&H: What drew you to this story?
RM: The challenge of conveying a unique, honest and visceral experience of a very dark journey.
W&H: What was the biggest challenge in making the film?
RM: Olivia [Wilde], our lead, got pregnant, and I became sick and had to have cancer treatment all the while we were in prep for the film. But to be honest, I would have to say that getting financing for a film with a female lead as a first-time female director was actually our biggest challenge in making the film.
W&H: What do you want people to think about when they are leaving the theatre?
RM: I want people to think about what and who they have in their lives and then run home to hug them and tell them how much they love them.
W&H: What advice do you have for other female directors?
RM: Don’t think of your gender as a handicap. Don’t think about it at all. Just tell the best story you can, and don’t stop until you do.
W&H: What’s the biggest misconception about you and your work?
RM: Definitely the biggest misconception is that it is overly burdensome to be a woman and pursue this line of work. But being a woman gives me a unique perspective and style, which is probably why I get the work that I do.
W&H: How did you get your film funded? Share some insights into how you got the film made.
RM: It was financed by a traditional independent film model of debt, equity and tax incentives. Before we were financed, we put the script out to the agencies and we were able to find our “Sarah.” Eventually, with the massive help of Olivia’s attachment as both lead actor and producer, we were lucky enough to get the script in the hands of a Canadian company called Bron Studios that was interested in telling the same kind of story we wanted to.
W&H: Name your favorite woman-directed film and why.
RM: “Ratcatcher” for its beauty, honesty and Lynne Ramsay’s sublime ability to tell the story through images.