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How'd you go about achieving your cinematographic dreams?


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#1 evangelistik

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Posted 11 November 2005 - 03:26 AM

I'm immensely interested in the field. What you guys are doing is absolute art.

I remember as a kid i'd see a really amazing shot and i'd wonder, "how did they do that? what did the cameraman do to achieve that kind of shot?" It's the same thing these days. Whether it's a T.V. advertisement, an epic movie... anything.

Nowadays i just feel the urge to buy a camera and start shooting. basically, i'm camera-dumb and have had no experience on these things...

How does a young, naive but enthusiastic college student like me get on this? did you take any classes? What kind of camera (and computer software) does a newbie start off with? How did you "break into" the business...

any info would be greatly appreciate,
Thanks!
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#2 Dimitrios Koukas

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Posted 11 November 2005 - 07:05 AM

I'm immensely interested in the field. What you guys are doing is absolute art.

I remember as a kid i'd see a really amazing shot and i'd wonder, "how did they do that? what did the cameraman do to achieve that kind of shot?" It's the same thing these days. Whether it's a T.V. advertisement, an epic movie... anything.

Nowadays i just feel the urge to buy a camera and start shooting. basically, i'm camera-dumb and have had no experience on these things...

How does a young, naive but enthusiastic college student like me get on this? did you take any classes? What kind of camera (and computer software) does a newbie start off with? How did you "break into" the business...

any info would be greatly appreciate,
Thanks!


Hello,
Cinematography is Art, but technical too.
Yes you should take any class that includes photography (not digital), directing, filming or scriptwriting, then u will be able to find out what u like to do most.Anything that includes fine arts is good too.
As for how we get the jobs it has to do with the pottential cappabilities of each.
You can make some good friendships from your class and continue together, one as a director and the other as a cinematographer or the opposite, or both.
After u get some experience you can go out and start looking for any job related to the things you know.
Try to experiment and don't affraid to make mistakes to your personal projects, learn from them and carry on.
Dimitrios Koukas
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#3 Tom Banks

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Posted 11 November 2005 - 12:11 PM

The film bug caught me when I was a freshman in highschool. I am now a freshman in filmschool in CA, but in between then and now:

- I studied "The Filmmakers Handbook" and a few other cinematography books. This was my nightly reading and "homework" Since I didn't have a film class offered in highschool I took it upon myself to learn as much and as soon as possible. A year later was on the same page as a friend that was taking a intro college course.

- Watch anything you can, movies mainly. When you're watching, take a step out of the story and just look at the picture. Ask yourself where and how far back they place the camera, where each light is comming from (by the shadows they cast) and take note on certain movements and what motivates them. This can be one of the best tools to learn.

- Either start shooting still pictures on an old manual film camera, or invest in a camera that will let you manually control Iris, focus, gain, etc.. or do both! This will allow you to get familiar with the properties of the lens and especially taking pictures will improve your composition incredibly!

- Get ahold of anyone you know in the film business to ask about either an internship or a job. If you dont know anyone, put together a resume and send it to the smaller local production companies around. This will get you familiar with what its like on a larger filmset, versus shooting a DV movie with friends.

Thats about all I can come up with now, but best of luck!
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#4 evangelistik

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Posted 11 November 2005 - 06:25 PM

Your responses have been very helpful. Thanks!

About using a manual film camera, would it be possible to go for digital instead? I would really save a lot of money by not having to buy film ... after all, i am a college student, and i have a tight budget.
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#5 Brian Wells

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Posted 11 November 2005 - 06:35 PM

How did you "break into" the business...

I don't know anyone who "broke into the business" but I do know a number of guys who've been in the business for many years and have accumulated their skills over time.

You do quality work and get it in front of people who make decisions. B)
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#6 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 11 November 2005 - 08:58 PM

Hi,

> You do quality work and get it in front of people who make decisions.

B being enormously more difficult than A, especially if you live in an area where the individuals referenced in B are particularly thin on the ground...

Phil
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#7 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 11 November 2005 - 09:10 PM

Hi,

> You do quality work and get it in front of people who make decisions.

B being enormously more difficult than A, especially if you live in an area where the individuals referenced in B are particularly thin on the ground...

Phil


Maybe, but there are probably some folks out there for whom doing quality work is damn near impossible, yet making industry contacts is easy. Certainly explains some Hollywood directors' careers...
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#8 Tom Banks

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Posted 12 November 2005 - 09:32 AM

Your responses have been very helpful. Thanks!

About using a manual film camera, would it be possible to go for digital instead? I would really save a lot of money by not having to buy film ... after all, i am a college student, and i have a tight budget.


I'm not sure if the manual film camera is intirely necessary if it is out of budget, but it will be much closer to shooting film for movies. If you do go digital, take all the auto controls off. One advantage to manual film is that there are no ways to get around manually setting exposer, etc... I would check around on Ebay for a cheap old camera. I use the Pentax K1000
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Tai Audio

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The Slider

Rig Wheels Passport

rebotnix Technologies

Broadcast Solutions Inc

FJS International, LLC

CineTape

Glidecam

Visual Products

Technodolly

Wooden Camera

Metropolis Post

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Aerial Filmworks

Abel Cine