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cinematographers masters&servants


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#1 Ram Shani

Ram Shani
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Posted 06 August 2006 - 01:28 PM

hi

i was thinking lately about our profession and
its seems that master&servant is right for it .

you master the techniques of cinematography. but you always there to serve the directors vision not your own.

my question is

in what way your see ourselves as artists?

what make your voice unique?

what is the "place" you look for your self in a movie or in the relationship with the director?

is having "style" makes you artist

how you keep being honest with your self in the day to day shooting?

were do you find your self in the show business equation?

i find my self thinking about it a lot and want to hear what you guys think
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 06 August 2006 - 05:52 PM

Unless you are some hotshot commercial/music video DP trying to be known for a "look", I don't think you need to worry too much about your "style" because it will grow naturally from who you are as you exercise your own developing aesthetics, your taste.

What you look for are projects that appeal to you emotionally, that make you feel excited about the images you will be creating for it. Those are the sorts of projects where your personal style will start to emerge without pushing it.

Now if you are trying to make a living, you do take a certain amount of work just for the money, but also as a shooting opportunity that will teach you new things. In every project, I try and do something I haven't done before, as a way of expanding my knowledge. You also occasionally take projects not obviously suited to your style and taste as a way of pushing yourself into unexplored territories; you never know, you may find you have an affinity for something that didn't interest you previously.

Since I tend to favor controlled, pre-planned shoots with a lot of mental pre-visualization on my part, I sometimes take jobs where I will have to shoot from the hip and think on my feet more, just to exercise those skills.

But occasionally you get offered stuff that seems totally unappealing to you with no artistic opportunities, and you have to ask yourself if you need the money that badly. I got offered several bad comedies this year that I turned down, for better or worse, because I felt there was nothing that I could contribute other than mechanical technical skill. But if things had been slow for a long time, I might have been tempted to take one of those projects and see what I could do with it.

My agent told me that Warners was interested in me possibly shooting "Dukes of Hazzard 2", a straight-to-DVD feature to be shot in Super-16. I had just gotten back from New Orleans and was about to leave on vacation with my wife, so I said I was not interested in reading the script. But now I wonder if I was being too snobby, because Roy Wagner, ASC, who I admire a lot, took the job. I don't know; under different circumstances, I might have persued it.

On the other hand, you probably are better off going after projects that you can get excited about.
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Tai Audio

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Aerial Filmworks

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