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Meet Ruixi Gao

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ruixi Gao.

Ruixi, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
My name is Ruixi Gao (Royce), I m a Director of Photography. I am from Shanghai, China. When I was young, in order to cultivate my interests and hobbies, my parents had me learn painting. I wasn’t exposed to film and television industry until college. After graduation from college, I tried working at a TV station and also an advertising agency. I found what I always wanted to do as last, being a professional director of photography. Five years ago I picked up my bag and left China for America, to further my study in Los Angeles, where the most advanced film technology is practiced. After getting my master’s degree in cinematography, here I am, working as a director of photography in Hollywood.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I must say the path is not easy. First of all, as a female director of photography, it’s already a struggle to survive in a male dominant field; people having doubts about your ability or judging you based on your physical appearance. You probably don’t get to work with a camera that often. Of course, there’re always open-minded people who look beyond all these and believe that the female director of photography offers a refreshing point of view through the lens. I’m glad to see that we had our first female director of photography being nominated for “the best cinematography”.

Secondly, as an Asian female director of photography in Hollywood, I’m not only competing with the best cinematographers in the world, but I’m also striving for opportunities as a minority. It is not easy. Language barriers, cultural differences can all be the reason to not get hired; of course, such problems are common in Hollywood. Everyone is working hard for their dreams. It is indeed difficult; I don’t know when I’m going to be able to joke about the Oscars, but I think I’ll keep working for what I love.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I don’t think I’m a lucky person, I almost always had to deal with the most absurd scenarios you can imagine. But I can proudly say, that I always was able to solve the problems with a suave, and make the rest of the team more respectful of me, not only for my skills but mostly, a person of good heart and integrity.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Raymond Zhang, Sussan Yeo

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