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#1 G McMahon

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Posted 19 August 2006 - 04:29 AM

I despise being introduced to people as a ?DOP?. I believe, if the day comes, when I am driving a leather interior 4WD and the only thing I have to bring to set is my meter and thermal mug then I will believe I have earned the title ?DOP?. I have lensed numerous independent productions and corpororates but I believe the title is still not apt.

If I have shot something on film, I ask for the credit, ?photographed by?. I do not know what is appropriate when a project is on video. ?Shot by ?, seems too Robert Rodriguez (no disrespect intended). If I say ?cameraman? then it looks like I just pointed the thing around with no concept of the feel or mood of the scene.

Any suggestions, comments, I am I just being finicky?

Thanks all,

G. McMahon
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#2 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 19 August 2006 - 06:38 AM

The lighting cameraman that you have on your signature is a recognised grade in the UK. It covers most television productions, including high end programmes and quite a few dramas. Commercials use the both titles, but the lighting camera(man/woman) credit is usually more used more on the lower budget commercials and DoP credit on higher budget jobs.

However, you do tend to get a crossover on the TV dramas, especially if they're shot on film and the head of the camera dept. comes from a feature background. Quite a few shorts tend to use Director of Photography in the credits.

"Filmed by" is another credit you seen, especially on DV documentary productions where the director is also shooting, commonly seen as "Directed and Filmed by". There is a "Director Cameraman/woman" grade to cover this, but it seems to have fallen out of fashion in the credits.
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#3 G McMahon

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Posted 19 August 2006 - 03:05 PM

Thank you, Mr. Drysdale, but in your opinion is the term "DOP" only approriate for select lens men?
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#4 Chance Shirley

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Posted 19 August 2006 - 03:31 PM

Thank you, Mr. Drysdale, but in your opinion is the term "DOP" only approriate for select lens men?


It's really just semantics, though taking a "director of photography" credit on a small shoot can feel strange sometimes. But "DP" implies the person in charge of all the people in the photography department. Even if the only person you're in charge of is yourself, you're still, technically, a DP.

I understand where you're coming from. On the last short movie I shot, I took a "photographed by" credit.
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#5 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 19 August 2006 - 04:02 PM

Thank you, Mr. Drysdale, but in your opinion is the term "DOP" only approriate for select lens men?


It's depends on the productions you're working on. I wouldn't feel right having a Director of Photography credit on a bog standard daytime TV life style programme. Although I do know some people who do have this. I'm fine about having it on a drama, commercial, or a music video, perhaps even on a high end documentary.

In the US DP is a more common job description than in the UK, so you go with the local usage.
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#6 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 19 August 2006 - 06:33 PM

Can't you say Cinematographer?
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#7 Drew Hoffman

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Posted 20 August 2006 - 02:58 AM

I believe, if the day comes, when I am driving a leather interior 4WD and the only thing I have to bring to set is my meter and thermal mug then I will believe I have earned the title ?DOP?.


Don't sell yourself short... it doesn't matter if it's a 2 minute short or a multimillion dollar feature, if you performed the duties of a Director of Photography... you've earned the title for that production. It's so common for people who are early in the game to hesitate referring to themselves as "filmmakers" but if you're placing the lights and looking through the eyepiece, why shouldn't you be called a DP? Also, don't sell short the role of Camera Operator, a good operator knows exactly the mood and feel you're going for and will capture it with you.
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#8 kentemporary

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Posted 23 August 2006 - 01:07 AM

Don't sell yourself short... it doesn't matter if it's a 2 minute short or a multimillion dollar feature, if you performed the duties of a Director of Photography... you've earned the title for that production. It's so common for people who are early in the game to hesitate referring to themselves as "filmmakers" but if you're placing the lights and looking through the eyepiece, why shouldn't you be called a DP? Also, don't sell short the role of Camera Operator, a good operator knows exactly the mood and feel you're going for and will capture it with you.


what can i say but wow... oh yeah... WOW! true that! :)
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#9 Adam White

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Posted 23 August 2006 - 02:40 AM

A few months back, I posted a similar question after filming a lo-budget feature. My issue was that I knew of so many highly-skilled DOP that I felt a bit foolish to place myself in that level of company. In the end, I requested the "Filmed By" credit.

On other projects, the director has often overruled me by stating that, in his opinion, I had provided the services of a DOP and would be insulting the film by requesting a non-professional title.

Mr McMahon, I know you hate the pretention with which some newbies flout big titles but the fact that you have asked this question shows you dont have that to worry about.
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