Tips for Film & TV Crew from BAFTA-winning DoP Barry Ackroyd

Barry Ackroyd recently led a series of one-on-one sessions with several Mandy members, helping them in their careers. Barry is an award-winning cinematographer and has worked with some of the industry’s top directors, including Ken Loach, Paul Greengrass and Kathryn Bigelow. He worked on 2008’s The Hurt Locker, for which he won a BAFTA Award and an Academy Award nomination for Best Cinematography. In 2014, Ackroyd became the president of the British Society of Cinematographers. Other notable films he has worked on include Bombshell, The Big Short and more.

During these sessions, Mandy members were able to ask career-focused questions and get advice and feedback on their projects and CV, as well as understanding the ins and outs of the industry from one of the greats.

Here are a few tips Barry gave to our members:

  • More than anything, keep up your "trust and nerve" to persevere in any project you are working on. Consider the notion of blending fiction and nonfiction visually, as well as on the technical/conceptual side.
  • You have to trust yourself; trust your own creativity and go with it.
  • While you may not be working as a DoP in your current projects, it is always good to work on side projects where you can develop your own style as a cinematographer.
  • To operate a camera, you not only have to narrate a story and to react to what is happening on the screen, but you also must tune in to what is happening inside the character, and the camera will do the rest. You must know how to listen.

Our members loved the opportunity to chat with Barry. Here are a few testimonials from them:

  • “It was incredible to get some one-on-one time with one of my favorite DoPs, and his insights and perspectives were invaluable!” - Liza Gipsova
  • “I had a great conversation with Barry Ackroyd. He was a very easy person to talk to and very generous with sharing his experience and advice. It was really helpful in regards to a challenge I was facing on a recent shoot. I could not be more thankful for this opportunity.” - Claire Pie
  • “My session with Barry was interesting and inspiring. As an aspiring DoP, it was wonderful to get to chat to someone who has made it in the industry.” - Caitlin Driscoll
  • “Talking to Barry was incredible. Having the opportunity to speak directly with one of the most important cinematographers in the social realism genre has been very nutritious for me as a cinematographer. I was able to see the artist behind those memorable images; being able to learn about his experiences working with important directors such as Ken Loach and Kathryn Bigelow was highly inspiring.” - Andrés Gallegos

Do you want to attend the next Mandy Surgery?

Mandy Surgery sessions provide an opportunity for professionals to get free one-on-one career advice from top industry professionals in the industry. These events are run exclusively for Premium Members. Keep an eye out for the next Mandy Surgery here.