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#1 Adam White

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Posted 24 July 2006 - 12:58 PM

at the moment I seem to be inundated with projects that either

1) fail just before shooting
2) fail at the start of shooting
3) succeed magnificently in a watching-paint-dry level of exitement

to keep my showreel (and spirits) up, I am thinking of doing something myself, something a little more interesting, visualy.

Question: Do a lot of you guys do this? If so, are there any pitfalls to avoid when camera guys try and direct?

thanks
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#2 Richard Boddington

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Posted 24 July 2006 - 03:45 PM

All my work is self generated, I don't know how to work any other way.

No one has ever hired me onto their film. Hmmm, what does that tell me? Ok well I guess that's another story.

There are of course pros and cons to each scenario. The major con for me is that I won't ever work on a 100 million dollar feature. Unless of course I come up with 100 million of my own funds.

But I feel that over all the pros out weigh the cons. For example, I own the end product and can receive residual income from it for years after completion. I'm exempt from layoffs and firings. I have 100% creative control. I'm never at the whim of any one else with regard to whether I work and earn money. I go direct to the end user and let them judge my work with their wallets. I can live where I feel like, so I don't have to deal with NY or LA. The list goes on.

I've seen the other side, I spent five years as a producer at CTV Toronto. Wild horses could not drag me back into the working for some one else world. Unless of course it was a 100 million dollar feature :)

R,
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#3 Chad Stockfleth

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Posted 24 July 2006 - 03:50 PM

I get in the same rut. I work for a production company which is nice for the benefits and stability, etc. but it is rarely very fulfilling artistically. On the side I try to do independent music videos little short documentary type things, just to maintain a little bit of passion towards the craft. Mostly though, I think I want to be a musician! ;-)
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#4 Adam White

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Posted 25 July 2006 - 03:14 AM

thanks guys, its good to know the positives. :)
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#5 rajavel

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Posted 25 July 2006 - 01:34 PM

the rule of the game is keep your spirits high.....and shoot anything and everything
that comes your way...with the same passion that u will put in in a 100 million dollar
production.....
i believe only that beastly passion can take u there.........i started as an assistant....
shot DV short films.....then got to shoot a feature and now finished with my second feature.......
but still it doesnt mean i have made it.......am yet to get my next project.......but hanging on there
with that beastly passion.......for that 100 million dollar film!!
cheers!
rajavel


and i forgot to mention that 20 odd projects that came and went.......without seeing the LIGHT!
but hang on........light will get u!

rajavel
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#6 Eric Steelberg ASC

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Posted 25 July 2006 - 02:24 PM

Adam,
It would help if you let us know where you are in your career. My guess is very early. Becoming a working DP takes a LOT of time and even more patience. I've done 3 features that never got finished or distributed, even to video. I have also had 2 films shut down during pre-production. It's the way it goes. That takes a toll on me because of all the hard work and passion I put into each and every job I do.

It's even more difficult when you've done a feature and have to wait a year or more before people can see it so you can benefit from it. But if you're patient and your work is good it will pay off. I shot QUINCEAƑERA in the spring of '05 and I'm only now starting to benefit from it despite the fact it won the two top awards at Sundance. It's going to be in theaters in 2 weeks.

So you see, you are experiencing a large part of a DPs job...the business side. Everyone always thinks being a DP is all about photographing nice images. That's half..maybe less...of the job. There're the managment and business aspects too. You need to be able to roll with the punches. If you can, and if you have patience, it will happen. We are all eager, but you have to be smart too.

As far as self generating work, I'd avoid it. You'd be better off, in my opinion, taking the resources you'd put into creating your own work into getting more DP jobs. You have to stay on track. Directors and Producers want to hire DPs, not DPs who think they can direct. I've found many Directors get put off by DPs who have directed their own work.

Best of luck...
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