The name Lilias Fraser might not be one that’s instantly recognisable to those outside the film industry, but within it she was one of Australia’s first female cinematographers. Yet being the first through the door is never easy and as her daughter Jane Castle begins going through the stories and footage of her life, she uncovers some of the discrimination, heartbreak and trauma that her mother faced as a trailblazer. Pursuing a career in the same industry and becoming an award-winning cinematographer in her own right on feature films, documentaries and music videos for the likes of Prince, U2, Mary J Blige, Usher and INXS (to name a few), in telling her mother’s story Castle starts to unpack her own and dissect how their own scars have become interconnected.
When The Camera Stopped Rolling follows in the steps of deeply personal, female centred documentaries that skim the edges of show business like Sarah Polley’s Stories We Tell (2012). The entertainment industry is just the entry point, providing context for what the audience will see and – in this case – the professional and personal pressures that Fraser was placed under and how that impacted her relationship with her daughter, Castle, going forward as she embarked on a very similar career with very similar obstacles to overcome not just in the Australian screen industry, but the international one as well.
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