Born the youngest of five girls from a traditional Chinese American family, Patti Lee did the unthinkable and went into show business. After graduating UCLA’s film school, Patti began her career lighting feature films, commercials and television shows, working first as a set lighting technician, then later as a gaffer. Lee’s career continued to rise, and she got her first big break as Director of Photography on “The Bernie Mac Show” (FOX). Some of her other cinematography credits include “Men at Work” (TBS), “Whitney” and “Perfect Couples” (NBC/Universal). In addition to shooting, Patti produced the acclaimed feature documentary, A SMALL ACT, which premiered at Sundance and was broadcast at HBO. The film was named by Roger Ebert as one of “The Best Documentaries of 2010”.
We asked Patti questions about the challenges in different media formats, who her idols are, and why it’s good to be the youngest in the family.