We always hear about movie people not working very much. I’m not talking about actors, although they, too, have the same problem of working on a movie and then maybe not working again for another year and a half. I was specifically talking about the technicians, the behind the scenes experts who are vitally necessary for the show to go on but who at the same time, remain unseen and too often, unemployed. Not so in the case of Ekaterina Doldjeva, the electrician.
She’s good at her job and always in demand because she knows what she’s doing, works safe and efficiently and is a team player. She has worked steadily almost all of last year and into this year so she must be doing something right. The electrician is the one who lights the show. That is, she sets up the lights throughout the stage or set or location and makes sure the cinematographer and director are happy with what they see.
Lighting is one of the most important things one must do in order to get the ‘shot’ right. If the scene isn’t lit perfectly, then time is wasted and that means money is wasted, too. Of course, in the movie and TV business whoever wastes time and money on a shoot is not going to be there very much longer and they are definitely not going to be invited back to work on another project.
Ekaterina learned a lot about lighting and cinematography in college and she got to actually apply what she learned when she got her first big professional job on the TV series Chicago Fire. She did so well and apparently impressed the right people that she then worked on other TV productions such as Empire, Sense8 and Shameless, to name just a few and she just finished a movie with Jennifer Aniston called Office Christmas Party.
Ekaterina is from Bulgaria but speaks fluent English and understands what lighting can do for a movie or a TV show: it sets the emotional tone and the mood and enhances the visual storytelling. She got to work with cinematographer John Toll, not too long ago, whose work includes, Braveheart, The Last Samurai, Iron Man 3, Thin Red Line and Legends of the fall, among others. She enjoyed that a lot not only because Mr. Tool is one of the great cinematographers in Hollywood but because she studied his work while she was in college. Working with expert professionals only makes you better, she says.