A cinematographer, also known as the director of photography (DP), is a person responsible for the look and feel of every shot in a movie. He works directly in coordination with the director, transforming the written screenplay to a visual story through camera placement/movement, lighting, lens choice and exposure. He gives orders to the camera operators and lighting technicians for placing cameras and lights and using specialized filters and other camera and lighting accessories, as required. Often, a cinematographer is considered as the magician of the big screen and more important than the director himself. Over the years, cinematography has evolved largely and the position of cinematographer is highly in demand in the entertainment industry.
A cinematographer is required at three stages of filmmaking. In pre-production, the cinematographer works with the director to map out each scene and understand what mood and look is required for each shot. During the film’s production, he takes orders from the director and chooses the best lenses, filters and lights to capture the shot the way the director wants it. While in the post-production, the cinematographer works with the film developers to maintain the movie’s color. Apart from that, he reviews rough cuts so that the shots meet the director’s vision. In case, you are one of those who love shooting people and movies, find tips for becoming a cinematographer in the following lines.
Tips For Becoming A Director Of Photography
Attend A Film School
A film school is the best place to learn the basics of cinematography skills and meet people from the industry for networking. Pay special attention to film emulsions (film chemistry), camera types and uses, lighting techniques, basics and film lenses.
Cinematographers are movie buffs. Hence, watch as many films as possible to view the movie from a technical perspective. Watch movies from different categories, right from art house film to summer blockbusters.
Get A Camera
Shoot in your leisure time and get them distributed at your internship or learning institution through networking. Your movie might just reach the people who could help you start your career. Also, gain knowledge about other film supplies, such as control sound, film lighting shades and wind machines. Know the different versions of these equipment pieces.
Create a website or a reel with stills of your best shots. Compile the good scenes into a book of work so that it can sell you to a producer or director, based on your quality of work. Remember, do not fall in love with your work and always compare your work to the higher levels that you admire. This is the only way you can grow.
Create A Network
Since the creative community is very small, film professionals seek out for the best cinematographers. Make connections with filmmakers, actors and other directors of photography. The more networks you create, the more opportunities you are likely to get. Approach the decision makers and find opportunities to learn from experienced people.
After you have got your first break, make the most of it and keep learning and building relationships with directors, producers and other crew members. While the director and producers will help you find better work opportunities, a good team of crew members can help you with improving your work and moving ahead to the next level.