Reed Morano (born April 15, 1977)) is an American cinematographer and director. Morano is known for her cinematography on feature films such as Frozen River (2008), Kill Your Darlings (2013), The Skeleton Twins (2014), all of which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.
In 2013, Morano became the youngest member of the American Society of Cinematographers, and one of 14 women in an organization of approximately 345 active members. Two years later, she made her directorial debut with her feature film Meadowland. She also directed the first three episodes of Hulu's The Handmaid's Tale, for which she won an Emmy Award. She also won a Directors Guild of America Award for directing a drama series for the episode "Offred" of The Handmaid's Tale, which makes her the first woman to win the Emmy and Directors Guild Award for directing a drama series.
Morano was born in Omaha, Nebraska, one of two children of Lyn and Winslow Mankin. Sometime after she moved her with family to Minnesota at 8 months old, her parents divorced, she and her brother Justin lived with their mother on Long Island, in New York State. After summering on Fire Island, they moved there year-round when her mother married Casey Morano. Morano acquired two older step-siblings and, later, half-siblings Jordan, Morgan and Ali. The blended family moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico, when Morano was in third grade; they returned to Long Island three years later, and Morano attended Beach Street Middle School in West Islip. After further family moves, Morano attended high school in New Hampshire and Vermont.
Her stepfather, realizing her interest in theater and drama, "gave me a video camera and said, 'You’re gonna be the family documentarian.' So I documented birthday parties and things. When it was time to go to college, I was going to apply to Boston University for journalism and dad said, 'Why not apply to NYU film school, because you love telling stories and taking pictures?' And I thought, 'Oh, I can do that for a job? Cool!'"
Morano subsequently attended New York University and graduated from the Tisch School of the Arts Film and TV program in 2000. She returned to NYU as an adjunct cinematography professor and co-instructed the first Advanced Television classes offered.
Morano's cinematography has appeared regularly at the Sundance Film Festival beginning in 2008 with Frozen River (credited as Reed Dawson Morano), which won the Grand Jury prize. The film was also nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best Picture. In 2011, Little Birds, shot by Morano, premiered at Sundance as well. The following year, two films shot by Morano premiered there: a feature-length documentary about the band LCD Soundsystem, Shut Up and Play the Hits, and So Yong Kim’s For Ellen, starring Paul Dano.
In 2013, Kill Your Darlings, a 35mm period piece about the beat poets, set in 1943, premiered there , and screened as the Toronto International Film Festival and the Venice film festival. The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete (2013) premiered at Sundance as welll. and theatrically released;
In 2014, two feature films shot by Morano premiered there: The Skeleton Twins, a dark comedy starring Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader, directed by Craig Johnson, and Mark Jackson’s War Story, a dark drama filmed in Sicily starring Catherine Keener and Sir Ben Kingsley.
Morano was director of photography on her first directorial feature, the drama Meadowland, starring Olivia Wilde, Luke Wilson, Giovanni Ribisi, Elisabeth Moss, Juno Temple and John Leguizamo. It premiered in the dramatic competition at the Tribeca Film Festival in April 2015.
In 2017, Morano directed three episodes of the television adaptation of Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, which was released by the streaming service Hulu in April 2017. For her work on The Handmaid's Tale, she won an Emmy Award. She also won a Directors Guild of America Award for directing a drama series for the episode "Offred" of The Handmaid's Tale, which makes her the first woman to win the Emmy and Directors Guild Award for directing a drama series.
|Year||Film and television||Role|
|2007||Off the Grid: Life on the Mesa||Cinematographer|
|Yelling to the Sky||Cinematographer|
|Shut Up and Play the Hits||Cinematographer|
|The Magic of Belle Isle||Cinematographer|
|2013||Kill Your Darlings||Cinematographer|
|The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete||Cinematographer|
|2014||The Skeleton Twins||Cinematographer|
|Looking||Cinematographer (season 1)|
|And So It Goes||Cinematographer|
|2015||Meadowland||Director and Cinematographer|
|Halt and Catch Fire||Director|
|The Handmaid's Tale||Director and Executive Producer|
|2018||I Think We're Alone Now||Director and Cinematographer|
|2016||Sandcastles||Beyoncé||Director of Photography|
|No Love Like Yours||Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros||Director of Photography|
|Eaten Alive||1-800 Contacts||Director of Photography|
|Is It Still Paint?||Benjamin Moore & Co.||Director of Photography|
|iPad Pro||Apple||Director of Photography|
|Anthem||CitiBank||Director of Photography|
|Title unknown||American Airlines||Director of Photography|
In 2011, Morano was honored at the Women in Film and Television International's Crystal + Lucy awards with the 2011 Kodak Vision Award. The same year, she was named one of Variety's “10 Cinematographers to Watch”. Morano has also been featured as one of Ioncinema.com’s “American New Wave 25″ and one of five innovative cinematographers in ICG Magazine’s “Generation Next” spotlight.
Later in 2012, Morano's work was featured in IndieWire’s "On the Rise '12: 5 Cinematographers Lighting Up Screens in Recent Years." IndieWire also featured Morano as a “Heroine of Cinema” in both 2011 and 2013. In 2012, Morano was featured in Kodak’s long-running OnFilm series. The following year, she became the youngest member of the American Society of Cinematographers, and one of 14 women in an organization of approximately 345 active members.
In 2015, Morano was named Woman of the Year at the Fusion Film Festival.