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advice in switch from photo to cinematography


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#1 shutterbug

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Posted 26 April 2006 - 11:05 PM

I recently graduated with an art photography degree, but several film friends have planted the idea of becoming a cinematographer into my head. Before I make a final decision, I wanted to read up about it and familiarize myself with film... I have read and have briefly seen the similarities. seeing how i have this degree, I feel a bit clueless on where to startin regards to film and cinematography, most important to me, what I should know. Do I need 'formal training'? what books are helpful? websites? anything that can help me decide if this is something I'd like to pursue further would be greatly appreciated!
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#2 Freya Black

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Posted 24 May 2006 - 06:11 AM

I recently graduated with an art photography degree, but several film friends have planted the idea of becoming a cinematographer into my head. Before I make a final decision, I wanted to read up about it and familiarize myself with film... I have read and have briefly seen the similarities. seeing how i have this degree, I feel a bit clueless on where to startin regards to film and cinematography, most important to me, what I should know. Do I need 'formal training'? what books are helpful? websites? anything that can help me decide if this is something I'd like to pursue further would be greatly appreciated!


You could maybe get a Super8 camera and a projector and play around and see how much you like it?

Then you would probably want to get a portfolio together if you wanted to go to film school. Some still photography but also some moving image work.

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#3 Morgan Peline

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Posted 24 May 2006 - 09:59 AM

My suggestion would be to get a camcorder and some actors and make a film over a weekend. Forget about lighting. Just make a film that you can edit on iMovie. Then once you've done that. See if you actually like the process.

If you do, then get a camcorder and a few actors, some lights, diffusion gel, CTO gel , CTB gel and .ND gel and make a film that you light yourself. Edit it in Final Cut Pro.

Then once you've done that, have a think. If you enjoyed making the first film more; you're probably a director. If you enjoyed making the second film more, then you're probably a DP. If you enjoyed organising everything, you should be a producer. If you liked writing, become a writer. If you liked editing, become an editor. In all cases, if enjoyed the experience think more and do more. If you didn't like the experiences at all, you should remain a photographer.

In other words, before you go down any road, make a few films and find out if you like it or not. Find out which bit of filmmaking you enjoy the most. Just because you do photography doesn't necessarily mean you will enjoy cinematography - most likely you will, of course - but it's not a given.
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#4 Adam White

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Posted 24 May 2006 - 11:46 AM

cant agree enough with Morgan, have a go and see what you think. Dont worry about what level of "training" you have. Coming from a film-based stills background, I am sure you have more knowlege of formats, composition and lighting than a lot of us!!! Whether you enjoy the transition is all upto you. Good luck!!
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