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Apprenticeship with ASC Cinematographers


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#1 Chris Pritzlaff

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Posted 24 April 2006 - 02:24 AM

Does the industry still do apprenticeships or is this a thing of the past? If so, how can this be aranged? If not, what would be the best way to get to see how Cinematographers in the industry work?
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#2 Nathan Milford

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Posted 24 April 2006 - 08:20 AM

what would be the best way to get to see how Cinematographers in the industry work?


P.A. -> Camera Intern -> Loader -> 1st AC -> Samurai Assasin -> DP
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#3 Mario C. Jackson

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Posted 24 April 2006 - 09:55 AM

The camera route is not the only way to go. You can also go the grip or electric route. Which is the route I am currently taking (electric).
Mario Concepcion Jackson
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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 24 April 2006 - 12:09 PM

If you are part of a university program, you can arrange to be a camera intern for a cinematographer for school credit.
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#5 Bob Hayes

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Posted 24 April 2006 - 02:35 PM

You really need experience as a camera AC to learn how to keep cameras running and shots in focus. Operator experience for composition, blocking, and communication with cast and director, Gaffer experience so you understand what lights and power do and why. The great thing about working as an AC is you are always on the set and get to watch many different Directors, DPs, Gaffers, Grips, and Operators work. You watch the whole process from blocking to print. And much of that time is spent just observing. Electricians and grips work very hard when they are on the set and then often leave during the shooting process.
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#6 Jamie Metzger

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Posted 24 April 2006 - 04:24 PM

You really need experience as a camera AC to learn how to keep cameras running and shots in focus. Operator experience for composition, blocking, and communication with cast and director, Gaffer experience so you understand what lights and power do and why. The great thing about working as an AC is you are always on the set and get to watch many different Directors, DPs, Gaffers, Grips, and Operators work. You watch the whole process from blocking to print. And much of that time is spent just observing. Electricians and grips work very hard when they are on the set and then often leave during the shooting process.



Good point.

Although, if the electricians/gaffer get's to leaves, that usually means they did a pretty good job.
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#7 Chris Keth

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Posted 24 April 2006 - 05:10 PM

Good point.

Although, if the electricians/gaffer get's to leaves, that usually means they did a pretty good job.



Yes, but the point of that is that they don't always get to observe the actual shooting taking place.
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#8 Rik Andino

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Posted 24 April 2006 - 05:53 PM

What would be the best way to get to see how Cinematographers in the industry work?


Well the most common way to work your way up from the bottom...
You can work in either two departments the lighting/electric dept. or the camera dept.

I don't know which one is better...(could be a good topic to discuss ;) )
but usually gaffers become DPs much easier than 1st AC, who usually become camera opts.
(there's a difference between a DP and a Camera opt. in bigger union shoots
Even though there may not be a difference in smaller indie shoots)

Working your way through the system isn't an easy task and can take years...
And by years I mean 20-25--a whole lifetime in the minds of most of us twenty-somethings.
However it is the most common way to become a cinematographer...


The other way to become a cinematographer is to work your way up as a DP
Starting in smaller students shoots to the bigger more prestigious shoots
This is a more modern way and not so common.

It's hard because for several years--meaning 10-15 years you'll be virtually scrounging around...
Competition is fierce and you'll struggle for recognition and more important for work experience...
It also often involves having another job to make the ends meet

& ultimately you'll never have a guarantee of sucess...it's really a gamble.
You could wind up becoming a sucessful cinematographer...
Or you could wind up being in your mid-thirties with a failed career and no other skills outsides of that.
It's a toss-up.

Anyways you can choose your path.
Both ways are hard and you'll need to have talent and more important perseverance.


Good Luck
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#9 Richard Boddington

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Posted 25 April 2006 - 01:56 PM

Finance your own film and appoint your self DOP. That is the fastest way.

R,
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#10 Chris Pritzlaff

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Posted 27 April 2006 - 01:10 AM

Finance your own film and appoint your self DOP. That is the fastest way.

R,



Essentially that is where I am at now. I have shot several student and independent short films, but I want to learn how the process is different on larger productions. The process that I read about in ASC magazines is significantly more extensive than it is in the student realm, and I wanted to "sit in" on the process and see how it is done professionally.


If you are part of a university program, you can arrange to be a camera intern for a cinematographer for school credit.


Thanks for the info. I contacted the ASC office today about doing something like that. Hopefully they will get back to me soon.
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Metropolis Post

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