Posted 12 May 2006 - 02:06 PM
This got me thinking about how far "director loyalty" extends. If the director has a hit, as a DP, do you ever progress to great heights too?
It seems very rare that a DP starting out who lights a successful feature/short gets to stay beside the director. I suppose union rules and what not come into play (as do gambling on limited experience), but given how important the contributions of a DP are as visual collaborator in a visual medium, I can't get my head around this one. If you can afford to invest in a young hot new talent driving your movie as director, why is it too much of a risk bringing in an equally underqualified DP?
Has anyone on this board lit a hit and the director has left their cameraman behind?
Something to think about.
Posted 12 May 2006 - 04:44 PM
And sometimes directors like to stretch and learn by working with other DP's, and return to their favorites for the right project.
But there are plenty of examples of directors and DP's sticking together from their "undiscovered" days. It usually turns out that the DP has proven himself independently from the director collaboration, though. Our own David Mullen and the Polish Brothers comes to mind.
I believe John Schwartzman and Michael Bay are buddies from USC film school. It was Schwarztman who actually turned down Bay for his first feature "Bad Boys," because it was his self-imposed year off from features to do commercials instead. Robert Richardson was not yet huge when Oliver Stone tapped him, and they went on to make cinematic history.
Posted 12 May 2006 - 05:23 PM
Posted 12 May 2006 - 06:40 PM
Director David Fincher commonly gives commercial DP's a chance to step up, but that's probably because he's so technically adept and knowledgeable that he really could shoot it and light it himself, if he watned to (or were allowed to).
Posted 13 May 2006 - 06:59 AM
if the Polish brothers had gone from TWIN FALLS IDAHO straight to ASTRONAUGHT FARMER, do you think they would have been forced into hiring a big name DP at the time?
Also, in the case of Harry Potter, do you think a music composer has an easier job going up the ladder than a DP?
Posted 13 May 2006 - 10:43 AM
Yes, I would have had a hard time getting hired to shoot a 12 mil. movie if I had never shot anything bigger than 1 mil. up to that point, not to mention that I wasn't even in the union at the time I did "Twin Falls Idaho." On the other hand, the Spirit Award nomination would have helped a little.
Trouble is that once you have a certain amount of money, every big DP becomes a possibility to hire. Agencies tell the producers "John Schwartzman / Roger Deakins / Emmanual Lubezsky, etc. is interested in your project and wants to meet the director".
Posted 13 May 2006 - 11:14 AM
It's like I've said before here when it comes to careers: When you can finally afford to buy your own drinks, that's when they're all for free. Morality being; it's only when you don't need all these offers for work that you will get them.