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#21 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 23 August 2006 - 02:10 AM

As far as the "culture" aspect, I'm not sure I understand that either. Are you talking about what is shot with either format (film or video)? Referring back to the above, because we now have feature narratives being acquired with both, where is the line drawn?


What I mean by culture is not what type of shooting you do. It is the fact that, in film, people would often break in and learn extensively from those whom did it before them, doing apprenticeships and such, and respect was given for those with experience and you did whatever you could to work around them and learn the unique film jargon.

Now with video (this isnt always the case, but moreso than not as I have seen) people get a camera and go out there and just go wild. They learn the hard way before they step back and ask for help. I haven't seen any apprenticeship type of thing going on and I haven't heard too much specific jargon that is unique to video. I actually heard on guy who said his video was "in the can." I thought it was humorous because there is no such can for video. I think that some stuff is negotible such as calling video movies "films" and such but where do we draw the line? Next do we start pointlessly slating video just to have film tradition? Do we use "in the can" to refer to the finished rough cut? Maybe we should refer to uploading DV footage as processing?
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#22 Deepak Bajracharya

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Posted 23 August 2006 - 07:40 AM

Inherent beauty of this forum having great thoughts.

May be any formal organization ( not necessarily, a person can also do ) that be able to redefining all these terms from the above mentioned thoughts to cover each aspect from indie filmmaking, news coverage up to documentary and big budget narrative features including the tvcs, teledrama, music videos and many more. So one could use the term not mistakenly.

Also that due to the evolving digital technology, one should be aware of the new terms like DIT etc.

As I believe one must effort to produce beautiful and meaningful images or control images regardless of the format and its even more skillful job to get the good picture quality out of the lower resolution format.

Regards,
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#23 Chad Stockfleth

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Posted 23 August 2006 - 08:50 AM

Film created its own unique jargon because it was a new technology. Nothing like it had ever come before. For sure video is piggybacking on the traditions of film, but I think we have to accept the fact that some phrases and terms have entered the public lexicon and aren't always going to be used in the strictest sense.

For example, sometimes my girlfriend asks me if I took out the trash and I respond, "Baby, it's in the can!"
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#24 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 23 August 2006 - 09:42 AM

What I mean by culture is not what type of shooting you do. It is the fact that, in film, people would often break in and learn extensively from those whom did it before them, doing apprenticeships and such, and respect was given for those with experience and you did whatever you could to work around them and learn the unique film jargon. Now with video (this isnt always the case, but moreso than not as I have seen) people get a camera and go out there and just go wild. They learn the hard way before they step back and ask for help.


I guess, but that isn't always the case. There are a few "big time" DPs out there who got there start by simply going out to do it. From the video end, I actually don't know ANY Videographers who just grabbed the camera. Most began as PAs or by doing sound with an established cameraman. I'm not quite sure where your generalization is coming from. I mean, yeah, with video, you can see what you're doing as you're doing it instead of having to wait a day to find out what your mistakes were, but that only serves to accelerate the learning curve. It doesn't mean there isn't one.

I haven't seen any apprenticeship type of thing going on and I haven't heard too much specific jargon that is unique to video. I actually heard on guy who said his video was "in the can." I thought it was humorous because there is no such can for video. I think that some stuff is negotible such as calling video movies "films" and such but where do we draw the line? Next do we start pointlessly slating video just to have film tradition? Do we use "in the can" to refer to the finished rough cut? Maybe we should refer to uploading DV footage as processing?


A few terms have been "borrowed" I guess, but I don't think it's rampant or anything. Certainly not with the goal of "pretending" that a video shoot is really Gone with the Wind. :D An "in the can" kind of comment (which I have never heard on a video shoot in the last 18 years) is most likely much like saying that "we're filming" which is just a function of being lazy with the language. The message gets across in the quickest way possible regardless of it being technically accurate. Aside from being maybe annoying because it isn't really what's happening, I'm not sure why it's that big of a deal.

There is one "term" that I haven't figured out a decent alternative to. When we shoot Time of Day timecode, it is imperative to wait ten seconds before anything happens. The machines in post need that preroll time to get up to proper speed before finding the edit point. Anyway, when I roll, I and others usually use the term "Speed" when we hit that ten second mark. It's not really accurate as the tape has been at speed almost immediately, but Actors and Directors are used to the word "Speed" to indicate that camera and sound are ready to go. I don't like saying it that way, but it gets the message across. I guess that's the point of using known language. If it gets the job done, why fix it?

Oh, and as far as slating goes, for the most part, no, we haven't slated video just for the sake of doing it. It has been done on occasion for very good reasons. The major advantage is as a safety if we are rolling multiple cameras and a multitrack sound recorder. The timecode SHOULD be accurate but for a variety of reasons, sometimes it isn't. Add to that the addition of a smaller HDV type camera that doesn't have TC in capability (to match the Freerun on the larger cameras) and the need for a slate of some kind becomes necessary. Other than that, depending upon the nature of the project, having a visual reference for the Editor to see as he's sitting at the AVID helps to speed up the post process.

The point is, I feel as if you're suggesting that video shooters just do film things arbitrarily to pretend that they are real filmmakers. In my experience, that hasn't been the case at all. There simply isn't time for that kind of nonsense. Besides, there is very little patience (in my circle at least) for that kind of pretentiousness. Honestly, those kind of people don't get called back. We do what we were hired to do as efficiently and professionally as possible while being genuinely pleasant to work with. That's what matters. :)
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#25 Richard Boddington

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Posted 23 August 2006 - 11:42 AM

"I could just as easily pick up an Arri 2C and shoot event coverage. The tool shouldn't be the thing that defines who we are and how we are judged. "

Really?

Are you going to pay for the film stock, processing, and transfer?

If not, good luck finding a client that will.

Things like event coverage and EPK are the realm of the videographer. Not even the biggest studios will pay to have the EPK for their film actually shot on film. I've seen a bazzilion EPKs and they where all Beta SP.

The tool does define us. When I use my underwater video system I can't call myself a cinematographer any more. When I use my BL2, then I'm a cinematographer again.

I'm surprised no one has made this argument yet: If a 14 year old uses a Super 8 camera is he a cinematographer? vs a 40 year old using a HD camera on a 100 million dollar movie.

I still vote for the 14 year old with his Super 8 camera :D
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#26 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 23 August 2006 - 12:11 PM

"I could just as easily pick up an Arri 2C and shoot event coverage. The tool shouldn't be the thing that defines who we are and how we are judged. "

Really?

Are you going to pay for the film stock, processing, and transfer?

If not, good luck finding a client that will.

Perhaps I should have added, "practicality and economic factors aside." :) The point was that a camera is just an object. I could point and shoot a Platinum the same way one could point and shoot with a consumer camcorder. Does it make practical and economic sense? Not in the slightest, but if someone did have some kind of jones to shoot their home movies on 35mm with a 535, who's going to stop them? The camera itself isn't what makes a DP a DP or a Cinematographer a Cinematographer or an Operator an Operator. It's what the user does with it that matters.

Things like event coverage and EPK are the realm of the videographer. Not even the biggest studios will pay to have the EPK for their film actually shot on film. I've seen a bazzilion EPKs and they where all Beta SP.

Funny, I haven't used an SP camera on an EPK in years. The majority are shot with the F900 and some still with Digibeta. But your point about EPK on video vs film is correct. Mostly economics, I'll wager, but the end use is most likely a more important factor. The ELECTRONIC Press Kit is designed specifically for broadcast purposes, not for theatrical screening. The cross use DVD material also is designed for the small screen, so there is no practical rationale for shooting behind the scenes footage on filmstock, though it has been done in the past, but likely only because they didn't have a less expensive and more practical alternative. That's why news shot on film for years...it's not because they wanted to be "artists" or "cinematographers"....they just didn't have anything else.

The tool does define us. When I use my underwater video system I can't call myself a cinematographer any more. When I use my BL2, then I'm a cinematographer again.

That's what I was getting at earlier sort of. Titles change, but not usually because of the camera I'm using, but because of the situation I'm in. I'm a lowly Videographer if it's just me and a soundguy shooting some interviews or doing "uncontrolled" event coverage. If I had a film camera to my eye doing the same work, would it suddenly become "art" just because it's now on film? I'm now suddenly a prestigious Cinematographer because I'm rolling film through the gate instead of seeing a red light in the viewfinder? I rather doubt anyone would back that argument.

I'm surprised no one has made this argument yet: If a 14 year old uses a Super 8 camera is he a cinematographer? vs a 40 year old using a HD camera on a 100 million dollar movie.

I still vote for the 14 year old with his Super 8 camera :D

:) I'm not even sure what to do with that. Maybe you're right. You'll probably have some interesting discussions with the ASC membership about that one. I'd love to sit in on it. :)
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#27 Richard Boddington

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Posted 23 August 2006 - 01:09 PM

"That's what I was getting at earlier sort of. Titles change, but not usually because of the camera I'm using, but because of the situation I'm in. I'm a lowly Videographer if it's just me and a soundguy shooting some interviews or doing "uncontrolled" event coverage. If I had a film camera to my eye doing the same work, would it suddenly become "art" just because it's now on film? I'm now suddenly a prestigious Cinematographer because I'm rolling film through the gate instead of seeing a red light in the viewfinder? I rather doubt anyone would back that argument."

Yes well, I see you add some interesting terms before "Videographer" and "cinematographer". You refer to a Videographer as "lowly", and a cinematographer as "prestigous". I know you're implying that both lowly and prestigous should be read in quotes, but you raise an interesting point. Video people have a chip on their shoulders when film people say they can't use the term, "cinematographer", to describe themselves. I don't see what the big deal is, when I shoot video I'm not a cinematographer, so why can't other video shooters accept the same thing? You imply that people shooting film regard their work as "art" just because it's shot on film, while video folks can't make the same argument. I feel the "I have a chip on my shoulder" again.

The bottoom line is really simple:

Cinematographer: Film is in the camera.

Videographer: Tape is in the camera.

Director Of Photography: The guy who is responsible for lighting, camera angles, lens choice, etc on a set regardless of whether it's being shot on film or video.

Oh and don't forget:

Diskographer: A hard disk is in the camera :D

R,
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#28 Stephen Williams

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Posted 23 August 2006 - 01:20 PM

The bottoom line is really simple:

Cinematographer: Film is in the camera.

Videographer: Tape is in the camera.

R,


Richard,

Couldn't a cinematographer choose to shoot on video, but still be paid as a cinematographer?
If I admitted to shooting on video then clients would expect to pay less. If they ask me as a favor then they are happy if I will!

Stephen :D
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#29 Dan Salzmann

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Posted 23 August 2006 - 01:49 PM

I believe that someone who has never shot film should not call themselves a cinematographer but a videographer.
I do not think that some one who shoots super8 on auto exposure can call themselves a cinematographer either.
There is no snobbism here.
There are "bad" cinematographers and "good" videographers. And vice versa.
Most of my work is shot on film but that does not mean that I snub video people.
On the contrary, I often count on the them for technical advice.
I wonder what the feeling was between veterinarians and car mechanics when the automobile was replacing horses.
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#30 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 23 August 2006 - 02:57 PM

Yes well, I see you add some interesting terms before "Videographer" and "cinematographer". You refer to a Videographer as "lowly", and a cinematographer as "prestigous". I know you're implying that both lowly and prestigous should be read in quotes, but you raise an interesting point. Video people have a chip on their shoulders when film people say they can't use the term, "cinematographer", to describe themselves. I don't see what the big deal is, when I shoot video I'm not a cinematographer, so why can't other video shooters accept the same thing? You imply that people shooting film regard their work as "art" just because it's shot on film, while video folks can't make the same argument. I feel the "I have a chip on my shoulder" again.

Interesting take on it because as someone who has worked extensively in both disciplines (film production and video production) I tend to see the "chip" sitting on the shoulders of those in the film arena. I used the adjectives "lowly" and "prestigious" as examples of how "film" people view those who shoot video. Just look through some of the posts in this thread alone to see how "film" people actively look down on video technology in general and those who use it. To many "film people," video is nothing but a cheap way to merely "capture" images by people who don't bother to learn the "craft" of lighting and operating. That's the general feeling anyhow. HD may be cheaper, but it still will cost someone $100,000 to pick up an F900 package. The tapes are $50 bucks a piece. I still have to light the talent just the same way that I would were I running film through a gate. That doesn't change. I still have to operate as well as anyone else. That doesn't change either. I learn like everyone else, by working with other cameramen and DPs and by making my own mistakes and finding my own successes. I suppose if you're sensing a "chip" on the shoulders of Videographers, it is more likely just frustration from being demeaned just because of the box they are using. Sure, some people just pick it up and go, but that certainly isn't the case with everyone.

The bottoom line is really simple:

Cinematographer: Film is in the camera.

Videographer: Tape is in the camera.

Director Of Photography: The guy who is responsible for lighting, camera angles, lens choice, etc on a set regardless of whether it's being shot on film or video.

Oh and don't forget:

Diskographer: A hard disk is in the camera :D

R,


:) So my grandparents WERE Cinematographers when they shot those home movies that we get to see every once in a while. And here I thought my Grandpa was a plumber. :unsure:

;) I have to admit that I haven't yet been able to add "Diskographer" to my business card, but I'm sure the time is coming....


I wonder what the feeling was between veterinarians and car mechanics when the automobile was replacing horses.

Veterographers vs. Autographers...that's a great analogy. :) Both get you from point A to point B, just in two different ways. :)
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#31 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 23 August 2006 - 05:05 PM

:) So my grandparents WERE Cinematographers when they shot those home movies that we get to see every once in a while. And here I thought my Grandpa was a plumber. :unsure:


I don't see why not. I mean, if you write a script, albeit an amateurish one, aren't you still a script writer on the credits? Same thing for an actor or anything else on the credits. Doing it well isn't a pre-requisite to being labeled as such if you are conventionally accurate.

Richard is right when he says that:

Cinematographers= film is in the camera
Videographers= tape is in the camera

Your point about what the ASC says is irrelevant. If that were the case, no one outside of the ASC members should even be considered Cinematographers.
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#32 Josh Bass

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Posted 23 August 2006 - 05:46 PM

I disagree.


To me, videographer carries certain connotations with it. Chip on the shoulder stuff aside, I hear videographer, I think:

Guy who shoots weddings
Guy who shoots news
Guy who shoots B-roll at an event
Maybe, MAYBE, a guy who shoots some nice looking documentary footage

Regardless of format, I think if it's a commercial, movie, short film, something like that DP/Cinematographer is more appropriate.

for EPK/corporate video/some type of interview situation with lighting that you (the shooter) manipulate, DP.

I say "I was the videographer on Collateral," that makes me sound like the dude who shot the behind the scenes footage.

You'd never hear someone say "What'd you think of the videography in Collateral/Sin City/Miami Vice?" (unless it's a film elitist being a douche).

For reality shows, I guess videographer'd be okay. Although, those are generally kinda scripted/planned out, so maybe DP (if you're the guy positioning cameras/deciding shots), or camera operator (if you're the guy/one of the guys doing the shooting, but are not the DP)

My thoughts.
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#33 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 23 August 2006 - 05:55 PM

I disagree.
To me, videographer carries certain connotations with it. Chip on the shoulder stuff aside, I hear videographer, I think:

Guy who shoots weddings
Guy who shoots news
Guy who shoots B-roll at an event
Maybe, MAYBE, a guy who shoots some nice looking documentary footage

Regardless of format, I think if it's a commercial, movie, short film, something like that DP/Cinematographer is more appropriate.

for EPK/corporate video/some type of interview situation with lighting that you (the shooter) manipulate, DP.

I say "I was the videographer on Collateral," that makes me sound like the dude who shot the behind the scenes footage.

You'd never hear someone say "What'd you think of the videography in Collateral/Sin City/Miami Vice?" (unless it's a film elitist being a douche).

For reality shows, I guess videographer'd be okay. Although, those are generally kinda scripted/planned out, so maybe DP (if you're the guy positioning cameras/deciding shots), or camera operator (if you're the guy/one of the guys doing the shooting, but are not the DP)

My thoughts.


Funny thing is, if anyone had made a movie back in the early 80s with one of those crappy RCA video cameras, do you think anyone would have called them a Cinematographer? Not hardly. I think the reason people think the rules should be changed is because video looks way better than it used to. But how good something looks has nothing to do with what term you use. If a guy shooting a movie on video back in the early 80s isnt considered a Cinematographer, I don't see why it would change now. I think you would be hard pressed to say that back then people would have considered him a Cinematographer.

And why is it being a "douche" to call someone a videographer? Are you ashamed that you use video? If not, what's wrong with it? I think it is a respectable title.

Edited by M.W.Phillips, 23 August 2006 - 05:57 PM.

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#34 Richard Boddington

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Posted 23 August 2006 - 06:04 PM

HD may be cheaper, but it still will cost someone $100,000 to pick up an F900 package. The tapes are $50 bucks a piece.


Ah well if there is any looking down upon video people by film people, your above post would be one of the reasons why.

$100, 000.00 for the HD camera? Big deal, many 35mm systems go way beyond that, and will hold their value much longer.

$50.00 bucks a tape? Oh my gosh how can you afford it? That's a one hour tape I assume? So an hour of shooting for 50 bucks, really, big deal that's nothing price wise. So one of the reasons a film person may look down upon a video shooter is that video people do take after take after take. I mean at 50 bucks a tape who really cares?

Film people generally put a lot more time and care into each shot before rolling camera because they have to. Film is way too expensive to just keep rolling the way people do on video shoots. The problem then becomes that the tape attitude passes all the way on down the line to the actors and crew. The actors screw up more because they can, and the crew screws up more, because they can. I mean it's just tape stock so who cares?

Work on a small shoot with 35mm, and tell the cast and crew, "OK we have just two chances to get this." They know what you mean, the film is precious, you can't just rewind it and tape over it again.

When I had the misfortune to work in the TV news biz some thing interesting would always happen. When an anchor was needed to do a taped update they would screw it up 5-6 times. When they where live they read perfectly. Why? Well, in the back of their minds they know they can just do it over for a taped update, when they are live there are no re-takes. A similar thing occurs when shooting film vs video in the low to mid ranges.

Of course I realize that on a 100 million dollar movie the tape or film stock are both irrelevant to the budget. But let's face facts, all of us on this board work in the low to medium budget range. Even our great David Mullen has not yet shot a 100 million dollar movie (I'm sure you will soon David :-).

And Stephen Williams....you are a god, I'm not worthy to be in your presence. Yes you're any thing you want to call your self :D
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#35 Keneu Luca

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Posted 23 August 2006 - 06:31 PM

Here's something interesting.

There's cinematography.com...and then there's this:

http://www.videographer.com/
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#36 Keneu Luca

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Posted 23 August 2006 - 06:54 PM

I shoot film. And I guess if I wanted to be an elitist, Id say a cinematographer only shoots film.

But it seems to me that the distinction is this: video is cinematography only when it involves a fictional narrrative or when it is a documentary incorporating a designed visual style.

That's how I look at it.

But Im still curious about something I posted before.
If you shoot a music video on film, why not call it a "music film"?

Edited by Keneu, 23 August 2006 - 06:56 PM.

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#37 Keneu Luca

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Posted 23 August 2006 - 07:05 PM

Actually, Id like to ammend my opinion. And I believe others may have stated a similar view.

A videographer knows how to operate the video camera. They know it's functions; they are proficient with it. They are a video camera operater.

But cinematography involves more than just the camera, be it film or video. It requires lighting, filtration, camera movemnt and lenses as well. And how all of those elements contribute to and affect the content of whatever is being shot.

There. That's got to be the definitive answer.

Edited by Keneu, 23 August 2006 - 07:10 PM.

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#38 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 23 August 2006 - 07:08 PM

I disagree.
To me, videographer carries certain connotations with it. Chip on the shoulder stuff aside, I hear videographer, I think:

Guy who shoots weddings
Guy who shoots news
Guy who shoots B-roll at an event
Maybe, MAYBE, a guy who shoots some nice looking documentary footage


EXACTLY! And the truth is far different, but we have guys like a few here who think that all video is used for are weddings, news, and porn. Toss in that cheeseball Videographer.com site and is it any wonder why there is little respect for those of us who actually do work hard to CONTROL an image, just as any prestigious ;) Cinematographer does? "Film elitist" is probably a very accurate term for those who actively demean anything that isn't shot with filmstock.

Again, I'd never call myself a Cinematographer when I'm using an electronic camera, unless maybe I was shooting a narrative with an F900 or above when it was meant for a filmout. But I'm with you in believing that it's more about what is being shot than about the technology being used to do it. Be that as it may, we're still left with the inaccuracies of the negative connotation surrounding "video" despite the carefully planned and lit shots that are setup.
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#39 Andy Lehmann

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Posted 23 August 2006 - 07:27 PM

I don´t understand this discussion: the words cinematography and photography have their origins in old greek. cine comes from the word kinetics and means movement- graphy stands for writing. photo means light. so, photography means writing with light. cinematography is a made-up word of photography (also a made-up word, but was invented earlier) and kinetics and means something like writing the movement or you better say moving image or writing the moving image.
video is latin and means "i see". videography is a made-up word, too and doesn´t make any sense. Probably, it should mean: i write what i see.. but then i see with latin eyes and write in greek ;)
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#40 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 23 August 2006 - 07:34 PM

Ah well if there is any looking down upon video people by film people, your above post would be one of the reasons why.

$100, 000.00 for the HD camera? Big deal, many 35mm systems go way beyond that, and will hold their value much longer.

Big deal? I wish I could be so cavalier about dropping a hundred grand. Might as well buy two, eh? ;)

So cost defines who is a Cinematographer and who isn't? Interesting, it just took me about 10 seconds to find an Arri 2C on sale for $17,000. Found a Moviecam for $82,000. What is it, like a buck a foot for processing and prints? I don't understand the relevance of putting a price tag on the issue of why someone using a $100,000 camera package isn't a "real" cameraman.

$50.00 bucks a tape? Oh my gosh how can you afford it? That's a one hour tape I assume? So an hour of shooting for 50 bucks, really, big deal that's nothing price wise. So one of the reasons a film person may look down upon a video shooter is that video people do take after take after take. I mean at 50 bucks a tape who really cares?

Film people generally put a lot more time and care into each shot before rolling camera because they have to. Film is way too expensive to just keep rolling the way people do on video shoots. The problem then becomes that the tape attitude passes all the way on down the line to the actors and crew. The actors screw up more because they can, and the crew screws up more, because they can. I mean it's just tape stock so who cares?

Hmm. When I was working on NYPD Blue a few years ago, it wasn't uncommon to shoot upwards of 25,000 feet BEFORE lunch. I've worked on a few comedies in the past couple of years where getting to take 10 wasn't out of the ordinary. In contrast, I'm not sure where you ever got the idea that we just "keep rolling" on video projects. There simply isn't time to do things over and over. Rare is the video project Producer who has the budget to put the crew into overtime. The reality is that we have to plan MORE, not less. I have less time to prepare, but the same expectation of quality that "elite" cinematographers have is there. We aren't always allowed to achieve it, but it isn't for the lack of desire or trying. I'm not sure what you've been working on, but it doesn't appear to be anything like the video world I've been working in.

Oh, and it's not an hour of tape. HD at 23.98P fps gives you about 50 minutes. HD at 59.94I gives you about 40 minutes. About a buck a minute.

Work on a small shoot with 35mm, and tell the cast and crew, "OK we have just two chances to get this." They know what you mean, the film is precious, you can't just rewind it and tape over it again.

I did more than a few of those in the past and I don't ever remember there being any undo pressure to "get it" in as few takes as possible. It's been awhile, but somehow the Producers managed to have enough film there. Granted, it was usually short-end city in the most dire of cases, but even Kodak was willing to donate film to aspiring artists. As I recall, filmstock was never an issue. If anything, time is the greater commodity, but larger features have the luxury of going as long as they have to to get the work done where smaller productions have to cut it off at some point. Regardless of the media used to capture the images, everyone pretty much rolls until they get it, film and video alike.

When I had the misfortune to work in the TV news biz some thing interesting would always happen. When an anchor was needed to do a taped update they would screw it up 5-6 times. When they where live they read perfectly. Why? Well, in the back of their minds they know they can just do it over for a taped update, when they are live there are no re-takes. A similar thing occurs when shooting film vs video in the low to mid ranges.

Sure, I suppose. But news isn't what most Videographers do, at least not what I've been talking about. I've purposefully avoided news like the plague for many of the reasons that I'm reading into your posts. I have a longtime friend from college who now shoots news in San Diego. He loves the quickness of it all (something I abhore), but he does admit that while he actively tries to inject some level of quality into his work, the reality is that nobody cares. He might take a little extra time to set up a shot (if he has the time), but more often than not, those better shots don't get used. It's the nature of the PROJECT to limit what individual cameramen accomplish, not the machines themselves.
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