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HD Cinemtographers, A New Age?


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#1 Timothy Riese

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Posted 07 March 2007 - 01:39 PM

First off, please do not take this in any disrespect to the film cinematographers in the world. They are incredibly talented artists that have made some of the most beautiful images and stories in the world. Second, this is not a topic declaring "film is dead". It's merely a look at how individuals with HD experience can enter the realm of cinematography, for that is my current plight.

I recently have moved to California with the hope of one day becoming a cinematographer. I have HD experience from Florida, where I was working in Television and some indies, and don't want to leave all the knowledge I have gained from that realm. Since more and more features and narrative tv shows are being shot with HD, one would think I would be right in the game, unfortunately the narrative world still seems to be run from the 'film guys'. Do I stop work with HD to go to film and start as a loader or trainee? Or should I stay with HD and try to get on some video/narrative productions? and if so HOW! My guts tell me to stay with what I know becuase it's only going to get more popular, but I'm afraid I won't be able to meet the right people to get into the narrative world!

What do you guys feel about this? Any stories about your paths, decisions, and the people you have met along the way would be encouraging. As well as your opinions of the future of HD and Film production...
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#2 Michael Nash

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Posted 07 March 2007 - 09:25 PM

Capitalize on what you know and can do well, and try to fill in the gaps of your education however you can. If you want a career as a DP, you have to be able to shoot with ALL formats.

You don't have to start at the bottom again to learn film though. Go shoot some on the side; short films, experimental stuff, whatever. Offer to help out on film projects for the experience and connections.

My story is similar to yours; came from Florida 8+ years ago with lots of broadcast video shooting experience and a bit of film as well. When I came out here I kept shooting video and started AC'ing film to get more acquainted with the gear. The skills used to shoot film are not all that different from shooting higher-end video, but the camera gear is.

Regarding the future; I've found you have to learn ALL the formats and cameras out there, because the choice of technology is often made by producers before the DP is even hired. You have to keep up with the new technologies and production trends.
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#3 Robert Houllahan

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Posted 07 March 2007 - 10:02 PM

I think there is the desire for a new age with the advent of digital technology but the reality is that you are working with light, not camera gear, if you want to Cinematographotize a moving picture. Unless there has been a new revolutionary development in light it is still the same age :D Ok you have to use cameras too...

I dig on film and work with it daily, in many capacities, but have used video allot too from Dv to F900, etc. If you have a Dv or HDV camera already I would add a 16mm windup to that kit and try out some B+W and Color reversal. See how film stocks react push the film and video around under similar conditions and get a feel.

The thing is to care for the image like it was your baby and part of that care is knowing how far you can push the format your working in. Future video cameras are going to be allot less like video cameras and more and more will mimic film shooting.

-Rob-
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#4 Timothy Riese

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 12:45 AM

My story is similar to yours; came from Florida 8+ years ago with lots of broadcast video shooting experience and a bit of film as well. When I came out here I kept shooting video and started AC'ing film to get more acquainted with the gear. The skills used to shoot film are not all that different from shooting higher-end video, but the camera gear is.


I definitly believe that's my plan. If I can get work shooting video it will be possible for me to volunteer hours or get paid little to work on film sets to gain some of that experience. My philosophy is a little odd, I don't mean to become a DP as fast as possible, I have great respect for the guys that have ACd for five years and Operated for 10 and so on and so forth becuase they are excellent at what they do and have really mastered their craft. That's what I want!

I think there is the desire for a new age with the advent of digital technology but the reality is that you are working with light, not camera gear, if you want to Cinematographotize a moving picture. Unless there has been a new revolutionary development in light it is still the same age :D Ok you have to use cameras too...
-Rob-


You're so right! People don't really respect that fact that without light you have nothing. All of this is just the means to the end of capturing that reflected light. Once you understand that I think it makes things 'click'. I would like to learn how film reacts, I think that's the crucial difference. Somone told me once I could go to Panavision and try loading wasted film, I would like to do that too, just to get my hands on it. Not sure if you can still do that though becuase you would think they would have too many guys like me hanging around!
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Visual Products

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Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Paralinx LLC

Ritter Battery

Technodolly

Abel Cine

rebotnix Technologies

Glidecam

Tai Audio

Wooden Camera

Aerial Filmworks

CineTape

Willys Widgets

Metropolis Post