How does someone gravitate from historically ancient and culturally rich Bulgaria all the way to Hollywood and then get herself into arguably the most desirable industries in the world? Good question! Well, we asked Ekaterina Doldjeva that question and we got several answers that all boiled down to determination and persistence.
If anyone on this planet exemplifies those two attributes it is indeed Ekaterina. She came from a very small town in Bulgaria and realized when she was in high school that she was not only interested in visual storytelling, lighting and animation, but knew that she wanted to make a career out of it. And here’s an interesting tidbit on Ekaterina: To go to the high school that she wanted to go to she had to move to Bulgaria’s capitol, Sofia – when she was only 13. And she did this all alone with no family members to stay with or to lean on. She says that the experience in Sofia helped her grow up quickly and formed her as a person at a very young age. That certainly could be defined as determination and persistence.
In high school she studied numerous subjects but was always drawn to graphic design, animation and visual effects. After graduating high school Ekaterina Picked up and moved again, this time to Los Angeles, California, which is only 6,600 miles away. She enrolled in college and took classes in camera operating, editing, lighting and film history and worked on countless short films and independent features as she honed her production skills.
Hard work, determination and persistence will get you – everywhere! Ekaterina got a job as an electrician on the TV series Chicago Fire and then moved on to other famous series such as, Betrayal, Chicago PD, Sense8, Shameless and Empire. These are all big productions and Ekaterina learned a lot from each of them. She already knew lighting techniques from college productions but when she lit the sets for these shows and others of the same high quality, she saw that time was of the essence and etiquette was the name of the game. Communication with the cinematographer was all-important because he or she calls the shots as far as lighting the scene goes.
Ekaterina has also been the camera operator on several shows and films and being an electrician is extremely satisfying for her but one of her goals in the film business is to become the cinematographer. With her persistence and determination, it’s only a matter of time before she achieves that goal.