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#1 Sam Kim

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Posted 26 February 2007 - 12:12 AM

Does anyone know if DPs still take on apprentices to teach the light and dark side of cinematography? Visions of Light and the new Cinematographer Style mentions DP taking people under there wing but I can't help but wonder if this is still the way it's done.
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 26 February 2007 - 01:47 AM

I've been asked by people if they could work as an intern under me, but it's only happened once, on "Akeelah and the Bee".

Basically, I ask the production about the possibility and they always tell me the same thing: an intern has to be part of some sort of school or union training program that is covering their liability so that the production isn't legally responsible in case they get hurt, etc. Also, since they are unpaid, then it has to be part of a training program or school program or else labor laws start to apply (like minimum wage, social security, etc.) But I think it's mainly the liability issue since the intern is not technically an employee of the production.

Otherwise, I'm always ready to give advice to anyone that asks.
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#3 G McMahon

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Posted 26 February 2007 - 05:22 AM

Hello all,

I was able to intern/ work experience on a feature in Australia (US feature shot in Australia). Same situation, but I was able to obtain liability cover from some insurance company. I just called different companies till one could offer me a type of work experience cover. That should get the production off your back. Just remember pick the right moments to ask questions.

Hope it helps,
Graeme
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#4 Scott Mannion

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Posted 26 February 2007 - 06:31 AM

Hey guys,

This is my first post! :D I also did some work for free in australia but on seperate commercials and i was taught by the first camera assistant so i guess it depends, you probably have to get to know someone before they will take you under their wing. They would have to like you so hopefully you are a good communicator. I dont think insurance is a big deal here but im not sure, im yet to have a problem.
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#5 Scott Mannion

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Posted 26 February 2007 - 06:53 AM

Well as Graeme said he needed insurance i guess that for extended periods of time you need it.
:0)

Edited by Scott Mannion, 26 February 2007 - 06:54 AM.

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#6 timHealy

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Posted 26 February 2007 - 09:13 AM

Cinematography intern positions are not very common.

Working on Departed last year Michael Balhaus had a two students from Germany visit the set for a week or two at a time. But they weren't "working". The only other interns I have seen on a job was Spike Lee movies. He tries to help his own community by getting african american students filmmaking experience and usually has one intern making lighting plots for each set up. One of his interns from "Clockers", Cliff Charles, now shoots small projects, commericals, or second unit on his movies.

Sometimes he has so many interns on a set, his jobs seem to be choatic.

Best

Tim
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#7 Sam Kim

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Posted 26 February 2007 - 11:16 AM

I've been asked by people if they could work as an intern under me, but it's only happened once, on "Akeelah and the Bee".

Basically, I ask the production about the possibility and they always tell me the same thing: an intern has to be part of some sort of school or union training program that is covering their liability so that the production isn't legally responsible in case they get hurt, etc. Also, since they are unpaid, then it has to be part of a training program or school program or else labor laws start to apply (like minimum wage, social security, etc.) But I think it's mainly the liability issue since the intern is not technically an employee of the production.

Otherwise, I'm always ready to give advice to anyone that asks.



That's sort of a bummer. I've always believed the best way to learn was to be there and to do with someone. Sort of a mentoring environment. I guess it just means you have to do all indie stuff and then come back here to ask the millions of questions that comes up. hahaha.

Is there ever a situation where you take on an apprentice and get them a very entry level job on a set?
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#8 timHealy

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Posted 26 February 2007 - 12:10 PM

For some experience one could get a job as a grip or electric third or pa, or get a job as the loader on low budget non union films.

But make sure you stay focused on shooting your own work.

Tim
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#9 Scott Mannion

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Posted 26 February 2007 - 08:19 PM

Sometimes its a matter of working your way to the top, here on commercials D.O.Ps can start as loaders then move their way to focus pullers then to operators and eventually to D.O.P.
they would usually get taught by the guy above them over the years, i guess alot would be self taught. keep working on your own projects like ^ said. Do you attend a Cinematograpy school?
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#10 chris kempinski

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Posted 26 February 2007 - 09:35 PM

I have found lighting is a far better way to learn. Camera assistants work too hard and don't really have time to look around, or examine too much, or ask questions. (unless it's whatt kind of frap do you want from starbucks sir)
Lighting is like a game of horseshoes, as long as it's in the general area you're golden. This gives you a ton of time to eat a sandwich and sit by the dolly, while the grips and such run aroung and fine tune. I know what lens, filters, even what the "important" folks did the night before for fun.
I find most DP's most generous in answering questions or taking the time to explain something. An internship is all about experience. It takes years to learn all the gear, tecniques, ratios that work with different stocks and so on..... get your hands dirty in another department and get paid while you learn!

Chris
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#11 Sam Kim

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Posted 27 February 2007 - 01:01 PM

Sometimes its a matter of working your way to the top, here on commercials D.O.Ps can start as loaders then move their way to focus pullers then to operators and eventually to D.O.P.
they would usually get taught by the guy above them over the years, i guess alot would be self taught. keep working on your own projects like ^ said. Do you attend a Cinematograpy school?


i go to school in SF but everyone here who goes into film making goes the indie route. if they go to LA they disappear or start from the bottom (which i might do). but i'm working on my own stuff. i try to do a lot of camera and gaf, besides a good DP needs to understand both right?

I have found lighting is a far better way to learn. Camera assistants work too hard and don't really have time to look around, or examine too much, or ask questions. (unless it's whatt kind of frap do you want from starbucks sir)
Lighting is like a game of horseshoes, as long as it's in the general area you're golden. This gives you a ton of time to eat a sandwich and sit by the dolly, while the grips and such run aroung and fine tune. I know what lens, filters, even what the "important" folks did the night before for fun.
I find most DP's most generous in answering questions or taking the time to explain something. An internship is all about experience. It takes years to learn all the gear, tecniques, ratios that work with different stocks and so on..... get your hands dirty in another department and get paid while you learn!

Chris



Chris,

I love lighting but I love being near the camera too. But, yes, I do find that when I AC sometimes I do run short on time to observe but I benefit by being closer to the DP and drill some questions and find out how they think.

sam
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#12 Jayson Crothers

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Posted 28 February 2007 - 01:34 AM

A number of DP's take interns, but it's always a very different scenario.

I interned with Tom Priestly, ASC - we had very limited interaction though; I spent a great deal of time with the camera crew and the G&E crew, I took EXTENSIVE camera and lighting notes/plots, and in general did very little hands-on work and a lot of observing.

A friend of mine interned with Janusz Kaminski, ASC on "Munich" and was very much interacting with him on a daily basis (he was even allowed to do a bit of C camera operating, but I think that's common with Mr. Kaminski since another friend of mine interned on an earlier film with him and had a similar experience of being allowed to operate a few C camera shots).

Another friend interned with Steven Postert, ASC on his most recent film and mostly worked hands-on with the camera crew, but still found the opportunity to view dailies with Mr. Poster and such.

In all cases, these were internships done via schools - not being a student will probably shut down any chance you have.
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#13 Sam Kim

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Posted 28 February 2007 - 02:13 AM

In all cases, these were internships done via schools - not being a student will probably shut down any chance you have.


what school are you guys affiliated with? mfa program?
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