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Am I a fraud?


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#1 G McMahon

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Posted 27 June 2006 - 09:47 AM

I have come from a video background and I am impressing people with my lighting and composition.

I believe that I have numerous styles which stay congruent to the narrative but I still lack the confidence as I think there is allot of serendipity with the results I achieve.

Shooting video I believe I am cheating as I am getting direct feedback to the monitor (lighting and exposure direct to you). I have shot some film but I feel like I am playing the tables at the casino waiting for the rushes to come in. Loosely quoted, John Seale talked about the two slopes of knowledge, up hill, the first slope, the development of knowledge with your technical equipment and the second, down slope, knowing when and how (and control not to use) the technical knowledge in implementation which would best tell the story.

Question 1, am I a fraud or do other cinematographers have a certain element of luck or are they concise with the look in their head as with their results?

Question 2, besides the obvious and shoot more, is there a test method to gain confidence in exposures and how light falls?

Thanks all
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#2 Morgan Peline

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Posted 27 June 2006 - 09:54 AM

Use your eyes ;)
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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 27 June 2006 - 10:58 AM

We all feel like frauds from time to time...

The more you shoot, the more situations you learn to handle, the less fear you'll have, but you can't eliminate chance altogether.

Besides, you should be seeking out work that makes you a litte scared anyway, doing something on the borderline of being beyond you, or else you never learn and grow. I'm sure if I lit the same sets for years on end, my fear of them would diminish, but where's the fun in that?
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#4 Chris Keth

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Posted 27 June 2006 - 11:18 AM

You're having a fear that I think a lot of developing (no pun intended) cinematographers have. Am I good, or am I just lucky? The thing you have to realize is that in filmmaking there is always an element of luck, no matter how good or how experienced you are. There is always a chance of something happening with the film or you got tired and miscalculated a filter factor, et cetera. The thing that skill and experience does for you are to minimize those elements of luck. If you shoot things and they come out fine, just breathe a sigh of relief (I know all cinematographers do when they see good rushes come back) and do it again next time. I guess I'm saying: don't worry about it. :D :blink:
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#5 Adam White

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Posted 27 June 2006 - 11:30 AM

The more you work with a medium, the more you understand its limits and the greater freedom you gain to play with it.

Are you a fraud? Of course not. Respect film, but dont assume its a totally different world to video. Your composition and lighting skills/preferences arent dependent on you being within 20yards of a video camera are they?

Why not take film stills on your video shoot? You could start to compare how your lighting style would transfer. Also, super8 is a blast to shoot and relatively cheap to get kitted out.


Every shot you are asked to do will be a challenge if you want it to be the best.

look forward to seeing some film pieces on the critique forum

All the best
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#6 Dan Salzmann

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Posted 28 June 2006 - 05:07 PM

Fear keeps me on my toes. If you are making images that work for the film of the moment than you are not a fraud. The proof is in the pudding!
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#7 Mark Dunn

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Posted 29 June 2006 - 04:41 AM

It's an old tip, but still good: shoot 35mm slides on-set for reference.
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#8 Ram Shani

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Posted 29 June 2006 - 10:44 AM

thats why every DP is preforming tests befure going to production tast stocks, lenses, camera, lab and prossecing , light , makeup, hair, sets and color

and read books and manuls
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#9 Tom Bays

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Posted 29 June 2006 - 10:58 AM

My best advice and some of it comes from experience. Years from now don't ever say "Should Of". Bust your ass and do what you can to be successful. "Should of" is worse than failure.
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#10 G McMahon

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Posted 05 July 2006 - 10:27 AM

Thanks all for your prompt valuable replies.
Graeme
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