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Tips for a Newbie


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#1 cine-mon_roll

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Posted 23 November 2005 - 12:30 AM

Hi everyone. i just found this site by looking up cinematography, and i am so glad i've found it. its exactly what i needed. now i know that most everyone here has some type of familiarity with cinematography. what i was needing is maybe some tips you may have for getting started in cinematography. i.e. gear, books, experience, etc.

i've always been facinated with movies, both on the screen and behind. acting is a personal love of mine, but even though i am a dreamer, i am also a realist. acting isn't ever something that is a sure thing. and i have always wanted to have a career in cinematography. i'm currently looking to attend a college in san francisco to study television and motion pictures, both in front and behind camera.

so in short, anything information that you could give to help me get started in cinematography would be GREATLY appreciated.

stay cool.
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 23 November 2005 - 12:32 AM

http://www.cinematog.../shop/books.asp
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#3 Josh Bass

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Posted 23 November 2005 - 02:15 AM

Thank God cinematography is an easy sure thing, so you have something to fall back on.
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#4 David Silverstein

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Posted 23 November 2005 - 09:33 PM

Thank God cinematography is an easy sure thing, so you have something to fall back on.


Give the kid a god damn fu**en break. You know what he meant. Im sure its easier to become a cinematographer then a professional actor. What the hell do you know anyway.

God,
David Silverstein
(STANDING UP FOR NEW PEOPLE IN THE BUSSINESS)

Edited by David Silverstein, 23 November 2005 - 09:33 PM.

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#5 Ronney Ross

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Posted 24 November 2005 - 02:38 AM

Hello

I am not sure what format of shooting you are shooting Video or film But two books I have found useful

are 1. Independent Filmmaking by Lenny Lipton (Focuses on S8/16mm camera,lenses,film and film history.)
2. Painting with LIght by John Alton. (Teaches lighting techniques.)


Don't know where you live but in GA the local public libraries are on the pines library system which allows you to order books from all over the state to checkout if the library your at doesn't have a book you trying to get.

The second book mentioned above I bought from of ebay 20usd or less I forgot. Check your library also could same some funds there.
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#6 cine-mon_roll

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Posted 24 November 2005 - 02:55 AM

For Mr. Bass, i wasn't implying that cinematography was a sure thing either. what i meant was just what silverstein said, it's way easier to become a cinematographer than it is to become a professional actor.

All of that is irrelevant, however.

Most of the experence I'm gaining right now is with my high school. We have a bi-weekly student news show that only a handful of students get to partake in. We use Canon digital recorders that use DV tapes. Not exactly the calibur I need to be spending a lot of time with if I'm going to get serious about a career.

I know that there are a lot of different style cameras, lenses, and film, and much more that maybe I don't know about. That was the whole reason for this post. To figure out what kind of equipment would be good for someone just starting out. Also help on where I could go to find equipment to purchase. I live in Kansas, about an hour south-east of Kansas City, if that helps at all.
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#7 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 24 November 2005 - 11:14 AM

I hate to say "read my book" because that sounds like I'm trying to sell you something, but the book I co-wrote with Kris Malkiewicz called "Cinematography" is designed to be a student guide to shooting, mainly in film, in particular 16mm. But it will give you general technical concepts.

Otherwise, I spent much of my time in university libraries just reading whatever cinematography and photography books and magazines I could find. It's hard to tell you to read just one book because I basically read them all! If you're truly interested in the subject, it would be hard to stop you.

Edited by David Mullen, 24 November 2005 - 11:15 AM.

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#8 freddie bonfanti

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Posted 24 November 2005 - 11:38 AM

I hate to say "read my book" because that sounds like I'm trying to sell you something, but the book I co-wrote with Kris Malkiewicz called "Cinematography" is designed to be a student guide to shooting, mainly in film, in particular 16mm. But it will give you general technical concepts.

Otherwise, I spent much of my time in university libraries just reading whatever cinematography and photography books and magazines I could find. It's hard to tell you to read just one book because I basically read them all! If you're truly interested in the subject, it would be hard to stop you.



i have recently bought david mullen's book and i must say, its the perfect way to understand cinematography and its vaste universe. i am learning myself and that book is helping me a lot. i really suggest you to get it, especially if you plan to shoot on 16 millimeter.

i guess this old italian motto works for cinematography too: who persevere, wins

keep on shooting

freddy bonfanti

edinburgh college of art
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#9 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 24 November 2005 - 03:22 PM

Blain Brown's book on cinematography is also a good introduction, and its much more thorough in terms of covering history, art, film grammar, etc. as it relates to cinematography, with lots of glossy color photos.

Our book was much cheaper to print with just a few b&w illustrations (at the request of the publisher) but then, it's also cheaper to buy... the idea behind "Cinematography" originally was really to be a companion book to a 16mm class in film school, so it sort of takes you thru the basics needed to shoot, from start to finish. Also in doing the rewrite, I was told not to let the book get much longer so I had to remove some (less relevent today) information in order to make room for new information.

We debated removing the material on cutting your own original -- it made more sense when most people were shooting 16mm reversal, pre-NLE days. But since no other textbooks seemed to have the information, we left it in for now. Maybe a future edition will remove it to make more room for other info.

I think the publisher wanted me to thow in some info on digital cameras, but that's really its own textbook, and it would be hard to write it and not have the info become out of date quickly. Plus it would have made the book much longer, which I was not allowed to do!

"Cinematography" has been updated about once a decade, which seemed OK when you're just dealing with 16mm.
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#10 dbledwn11

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Posted 24 November 2005 - 04:16 PM

Im sure its easier to become a cinematographer then a professional actor.


yes David to some extent you are correct, BUT unfortunately this has more to do with your mis-use of terms as well as your general mis-conception of how the industry views these two roles in film-making.

first of all you attach the word professional to the role of actor, yet leave the term cinematographer completely open to interpretation.

how are you defining these roles? and why draw a distinction between them with the use of the word 'professional'? are you trying to insinuate there is nothing professional about being a cinematographer?is this a deliberate game of semantics?

if however you had worded it more like this - "I'm sure it's easier to become a (professional) cinematographer than a professional actor." - then a fair comparison can be made, but in this industry, much like in the rest of life, becoming a recognised professional is down to hard work, persistence, dedication, skill, patience (oh the list goes on), but most importantly LUCK.

cine-mon_roll if deep down you want to become a professional actor there is no reason to believe its not possible. don't try and think there is an "easy" way cause there isn't. on the other hand if you really want to become a DoP stick with it.
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#11 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 24 November 2005 - 09:19 PM

On the other hand, a typical production employs more actors than they do DP's... so there are a lot more acting jobs out there available. Trouble is, there are a lot more actors out there competing for those jobs.

Anyway, either acting or cinematography is a hard craft to master.
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#12 Laurent Andrieux

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Posted 26 November 2005 - 03:24 PM

On the other hand, if you consider a 6 week shooting, it's 6 weeks for technicians, maybe 3 or 4 for the main carachter, 2 or some for second roles and only a couple of days for most of the cast...
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#13 cine-mon_roll

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Posted 28 November 2005 - 12:12 AM

i get the feeling that the main idea has been lost here.....
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Rig Wheels Passport

Opal

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

FJS International, LLC

rebotnix Technologies

Wooden Camera

The Slider

Visual Products