In Her Own Voice WFT Panel Podcast: Spotlight on Crew

With the support of Screen Skills Ireland and in partnership with the Cork International Film Festival, last November, WFT Ireland presented a very special panel ‘In Her Own Voice: Spotlight on Crew’ as part of the First Take Industry Day. Moderated by our chair Dr Susan Liddy, this lively discussion featured director/camera woman Edel O Brien, Grip Hollie Tsan and DOP and WFT Vice-Chair Jaro Waldeck.

This event was organised with the support of Screen Skills Ireland.

Hollie Tsan is an assistant grip. At 5 years old she was out on the set of single handed helping her dad with loading trucks and prepping grip equipment and meeting new people. When she was 12 she was on Fergie the little grey tractor pushing the dolly and since then she knew she wanted to become a grip. She was a trainee on Striking Out, End of Sentence, Miss Scarlet and the Duke and Conversations with Friends and then an assistant grip on holding, and a second grip on the Queen Mary in London. She helped build rigs for the Galway Girl music video. She also flies drones, she did her first drone shot when she was 14 on a commercial and did a few drone shots on Holding. She is 17 and has been working in the industry for the last 5 years. She has various departments in the industry such as stunts and hair and makeup however finds gripping more exciting and interesting.

Edel O’Brien: For over 30 years, Edel has worked in documentary and factual programming in Ireland and abroad as both a Series Director and Shooting DP. The focus of her work is to portray powerful, entertaining stories that reveal characters whose voices are not so often heard. Over the last decade, award-winning Irish television series include: Raised By The Village, The Rotunda, The Shelbourne, Life & Death, Ireland’s Battle With Covid and Bullyproof. It all began donkey’s years ago with a short live-action animation combination Bread & Honey, which won awards at Cork, Annecy, Berlin and Chicago Film Festivals as well as C4’s First Work award. A last minute opportunity to travel to Russia with a group of Irish teens to the Perm State Ballet School sparked a long-term solo-shooting project which became a BBC Video Diary The Reluctant Mamoushka. This adventure and success sparked the beginning of an on-going passion to capture and convey true lives as they unfold. Edel is currently working on Heaven Made, a new BBC2 series about Monastic life in Ireland and the UK, to be broadcast in December 2021.

Jaro Waldeck started her journey in cinematography with undergraduate photography studies in the USA. Soon, she realised she was interested in movement in her images and made the transition to cinematography studies at Columbia College Chicago. She graduated in 2008 and was placed on a coveted internship with Oscar nominated DOP Phedon Papamichael, ASC (Sideways, Walkd the Line, Nebraska, Ford vs. Ferrari) on a movie “W.” which he was shooting for Oliver Stone. After the internship, Jaro moved back home to Prague, Czech Republic, where she pursued further cinematography studies at the world renowned film school Film and Television Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts (FAMU). She studied under the guidance of accomplished and award winning cinematographers such as Miroslav Ondricek (Amadeus) and Vladimir Smutny (The Painted Bird), and graduated with a Masters Degree in Cinematography in 2011. The following year Jaro moved to Ireland, where she’s worked on short narrative and documentary films, commercial and corporate productions and kept up her photography work alongside it all. She’s also collaborated with some of her former classmates from Columbia College and FAMU on a documentary feature and served as a camera operator on a season of reality television series Survivor. Jaro is a member of the Czech Society of Cinematographers and is Vice Chair of Women in Film and TV Ireland.