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  • Hollywood Magazine

From Intensive Care Nurse to Cinematographer

Cinematographer Ingrid Abrams on set
Cinematographer Ingrid Abrams on set

Storytelling has been part of the human experience for thousands of year. From hieroglyphics and the codex's to movies an books. Although the methods of sharing stories have changed over time, we still find ourselves captivated by the power of a good story.

By far, storytelling is one of the most powerful ways that we as humans connect to one another, and in business, your relationships are important.” And no one knows that more than Ingrid Abrams, the author of that quote.

Ingrid is an up and coming American Cinematographer, and co-owner and founder of 24 Dorsey Street Studios in Southern California. A graduate of both UCLA’s Cinematography Program, and the notable Global Cinematography institute started by ASC Cinematographers Vilmos Zsigmond (Close Encounters of the Third Kind), and Yuri Neyman.

We had a chance to catch up with Ingrid to find out how she is dealing with the impact of Covid-19 on her growing business, but also to learn more how professionals can use content an storytelling to drive traffic to their website.

HM: So Ingrid, tell us a little about your background.

Ingrid: Sure. I am a native Californian, my dad and brother are musicians, and my mom was a trained visual artist, as were most of their friends, so we always had tons of talented people coming through our doors when I was growing up.

HM: But, you didn’t go that route

Ingrid: (Laughs) No… I wanted something a little more predictable, so I became a nurse. In 2013 I went to the Academy of Art, SF and studied film and screenwriting. I decided to retire early from nursing in October 2019, I had no idea the pandemic was coming down the pike, but it turned out to be a good idea after all. While I was working as a nurse, I went back to school for Cinematography.

My business partner, Lenka Talska and I started a production company officially in 2014. Originally, as a screenplay writer, I did okay, I placed and won in many contests, such as Page, Houston Worldfest International Film Festival, and others. One of my scripts was attached to Cecilia Peck (Brave Miss World) to Direct.

After that, seeing something on the big screen became foremost on my mind.

HM: Tell us more.

Ingrid: For fun, we filmed a short script I had written that had done well in the 72 Hour Film Festivals ago, entitled: Rico San Marco, and it went on to win about nine Film Festival Awards, and is currently on Amazon Prime. While doing that film, I decided I loved being behind the camera and playing with light as a cinematographer.

HM: And how has Covid-19 effected your business and film goals?

Ingrid: Well, pretty much like everyone else, it put plans for production of my feature that was slated for November 2020 on hold till 2021. We also film Corporate videos, staged productions, and Social Media Campaigns for small businesses. We use our experience as a storytellers to help business owners tell the origin story of their businesses in a passionate way, why they started their business, and what makes them different. I find that people connect and relate better via storytelling.

But, a lot of these business owners had to temporarily shut their doors, but we still have plans to carry out creating those video assets for clients when it is safe to do so. Actually film and video production are starting to pick up utilizing Covid Compliance Officers on set. I also am a Covid -19 Compliance Certified Officer, which I feel is important for my clients to know.

HM: Yes, we’re all hoping for a safe and expeditious return to normal life. What other plans do you have? Earlier you mentioned a feature film?

Ingrid: Yes, actually I have two things imminent. I have a feature entitled “Melchizedek’s Men.” It’s the story about a sort of lost African American young man discovering who he really is and where he really belongs via his DNA results. We filmed a short teaser for the WOMAS (Women in Film Festival). The teaser starred actors Darrell Philip and Hugh McCray Jr, (who have done other notable projects on Netflix), and it screened in Los Angeles in 2019. We were supposed to be in Israel last Spring to do some footage but our flights were cancelled, and the borders were closed when Covid hit, and so they rescheduled for 2021. The other project is a untitled documentary about a famous Czech Theater Director, who died recently, and led a very interesting life during the cold war years. Hopefully, we will be able to continue these projects and get back to serving our business clients very soon.

HM: Well Ingrid, we have no doubt that you will continue to be a success! Keep us in the loop when your projects drop!

Ingrid: Thank you, it was nice talking with you.


Ingrid lives Binationally in Southern California, US, and Brno, Czech Republic with her family. She has two daughters, an energetic jack Russell Terrier named Auggie. Her interests include Films, Theater, Philanthropy, Social Justice, and she is a BIG Streisand Fan! You can follow Ingrid at, Instagram: @dp_Ingrid_Elisheva