Alum Rachel Morrison Receives Emmy Nod for "What Happened, Miss Simone?"

Friday, Sep 2, 2016

Rachel Morrison, an alumna of the Photography & Imaging, has received a primetime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Cinematography for a Nonfiction Program for her work as one of two Directors of Photography on the documentary "What Happened, Ms. Simone?" Shoot magazine interviewed her and fellow DP Igor Martinovic recently on their collaborative work:

While Martinovic lensed all the interviews for What Happened, Miss Simone?, Morrison shot new sequences. These different elements captured separately by Martinovic and Morrison had to blend naturally with the considerable volume of archival footage gathered for the documentary...

...helping the interviews to naturally mesh with the archival fare was an approach which Martinovic described as “different than usual. We didn’t do talking heads. All the interviews had wider shots--not just closeups--to incorporate the environment, mirroring the existing footage. We went to closeups only at emotional points in the interviews.”

Meanwhile Morrison was shooting 16mm and 8mm film “because we wanted a visible, palpable grain.” Her footage not only had to match earlier filmed material but more often than not the spirit of audio interviews.

Cinematographer Rachel Morrison is based on Los Angeles, CA. She previously received an Outstanding Cinematography Emmy Nomination for her work on Showtime’s RIKER'S HIGH, a documentary about the high school within the Riker’s Island prison system.