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#1 Ben Willcox

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Posted 21 May 2007 - 06:21 PM

Hey,
I'm 18 and love filmmaking and such,
But I'm wondering what the average yearly income of a Cinematorgrapher is to see if it's truely worth getting into?
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#2 Chris Keth

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Posted 21 May 2007 - 06:43 PM

Hey,
I'm 18 and love filmmaking and such,
But I'm wondering what the average yearly income of a Cinematorgrapher is to see if it's truely worth getting into?


If you're even thinking about money, it's not the career for you. If you want to be a success in the film industry, you have to love doing it. Money may or may not follow.
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#3 Ben Willcox

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Posted 21 May 2007 - 07:06 PM

If you're even thinking about money, it's not the career for you. If you want to be a success in the film industry, you have to love doing it. Money may or may not follow.


I do love doing it.
I just want my kids and such to have a good childhood, not living poorly.
So I'm just making sure its enough to live of off
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#4 Patrick Neary

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Posted 21 May 2007 - 07:20 PM

I do love doing it.
I just want my kids and such to have a good childhood, not living poorly.
So I'm just making sure its enough to live of off


-then make sure your wife has a good job :)

I remember when I was in high school and went to one of the big (well, maybe one of the only) production houses in Seattle and asked a guy there about opportunities in film production, and he just buried his head in his hands and made some noise that sounded like defeat itself.

Having scrapped away at freelancing for the last ten years, now I know what he meant!
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#5 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 21 May 2007 - 10:35 PM

Incomes range from nothing to tons of money, and generally are not consistent from year to year either. Somehow people manage to have children and raise a family and support themselves, but it's not easy and not everyone can do it.
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#6 Jamie McIntyre

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Posted 21 May 2007 - 10:40 PM

That REALLY should not be the first question in your mind.

It should be, 'How can i be the best i can be? And how can i get there?'

Money will come with success, success will come with determination, determination will come with passion.
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#7 Z Will Ham

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Posted 22 May 2007 - 03:12 AM

Are you all talking about feature film DP's or lower budget/non feature DP's?

Edited by Z Will Ham, 22 May 2007 - 03:13 AM.

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#8 isaac_klotz

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Posted 22 May 2007 - 03:43 AM

my friend is 28 and has been living in LA for 6 years since getting out of college. my friend makes between 25,000 and 35,000 per year as a cinematographer. 10 years from now, who knows what he'll be a part of. but i wish him luck.
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#9 Jesus Sifuentes

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Posted 22 May 2007 - 06:44 PM

a major factor is where u are located at and since you are just starting, the ideal job would be Production Assistant. You could actually make a decent living doing PA work. I did it for about 2 years. Good PA's are hard to come by and in demand. Any where from 15,000 - 25,000, depending how much work you get.

Edited by Jesús Sifuentes, 22 May 2007 - 06:44 PM.

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#10 Natalie Saito

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Posted 22 May 2007 - 11:44 PM

That REALLY should not be the first question in your mind.

It should be, 'How can i be the best i can be? And how can i get there?'

Money will come with success, success will come with determination, determination will come with passion.


I agree.

if the main concern is money than this is not the field for you. you don't invest your life into something you think is cool or going to make you rich. you do it cuz it's your passion..maybe you might have to spend some of your own money to get started (and I'm not talkin college tuition). if so, it's a sacrifice you're willing to take. that's my 2 cents.

-Natalie
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#11 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 25 May 2007 - 01:25 PM

Learn to love Rammen. Live for the moment on the set and the smile you get seeing something you envisioned come to life. Don't worry about how much you'll make; so long as you can get by, somehow, what does it really matter?
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#12 Richard Boddington

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Posted 25 May 2007 - 02:34 PM

Learn to love Rammen. Live for the moment on the set and the smile you get seeing something you envisioned come to life. Don't worry about how much you'll make; so long as you can get by, somehow, what does it really matter?



Perfectly fine for a 22 year old, not so fine for a 42 year old. :)

R,
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#13 Alexander Joyce

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Posted 25 May 2007 - 05:40 PM

I was just sitting here reading this thread and I had a sip of this coffee that I just got at a gas station and it was the same coffee I used to have when working late nights as an editing assistant. I used to hate that work and that coffee just brought it all back...
Anyways... enough mad rambling.. The income in this line of work can be quite variable, so if you are looking to go the safe route with a pay check coming in every month for the same amount I guess you might not want to get into this. It can be a little nerve wrecking at times since you might have a good chunk of work for a few weeks, but then you might not have anything for another couple of months after that.

If your one goal in life is to be a cinematographer and you are ready to put that one shot you had at life to get to that goal then go for it! I can't imagine anything worse than looking back in 30 years and saying to yourself, "I wish I would have given it a try back then.." There are so many people out there with dreams that were never realised.. For different reasons surely, but if you had the choice between doing something you really wanted to or doing something you felt obliged to do out of the necessity to earn a steady wage, what would you do?

I could perhaps give you a 100 reasons not to get into this and only a handful why you should. They would be good ones though. Anyways if you do, don't come looking for me in 10 years if you didn't cut it. See disclaimer below.

**disclaimer** don't listen to this person!
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#14 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 25 May 2007 - 08:37 PM

How can you possibly survive in LA on US$25,000?

I presume what you do is, you live with your parents...

Phil
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#15 Nick LoCicero

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Posted 07 June 2007 - 05:49 AM

Hey,
I'm 18 and love filmmaking and such,
But I'm wondering what the average yearly income of a Cinematorgrapher is to see if it's truely worth getting into?


Everyone who tries to become a cinematographer has a unique story how he or she got there. There is no formula for it. You have to have excellent networking skills, technical skills, and artistic ability to be competitive - something that few people even have one of. That said, you have to start somewhere, but there is no where to start unless you have experience. Once you have experience, it better be worth something, and then people will start paying you. No one is going to throw a bunch of money at you if they don't know what you can do or if they don't even know you. You have to pay your dues until you can earn a living doing what most people will do for free. Start as a loader or grip (if you don't know what that is, start as a PA), move your way up slowly, learning everything can, busting your ass, and making lasting contacts.

Making it is like this: 1/3 is what you can do, 1/3 is who you know, and 1/3 is luck; you have to have all three to do it! If you can't take the chance, then this isn't for you because there are hundreds of people ready to take your spot and do regardless of dough.
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CineLab

Gamma Ray Digital Inc