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Essentials for Learning


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#1 Geoffrey Sexton

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Posted 26 May 2007 - 01:54 PM

I've been reading through these forums the past few days and I am incapable of following a great many of these conversations. I need to educate myself quite a bit more until I am fit to offer my services as a profession. I saw that there was list of books recommended and I ordered a few from that. It is a technical knowledge I am seeking. I don't just have a lot to know about equipment but with the technology introduced today and the gradual transition digital video is presenting I feel there must be twice as much one must know in this age. I would like to know what I must do or read before I would be qualified to be a cinematographer.
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#2 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 26 May 2007 - 02:24 PM

I've been reading through these forums the past few days and I am incapable of following a great many of these conversations. I need to educate myself quite a bit more until I am fit to offer my services as a profession. I saw that there was list of books recommended and I ordered a few from that. It is a technical knowledge I am seeking. I don't just have a lot to know about equipment but with the technology introduced today and the gradual transition digital video is presenting I feel there must be twice as much one must know in this age. I would like to know what I must do or read before I would be qualified to be a cinematographer.


Basically, you are screwed. Either you learn the "classic" way first, and fall behind your peers as you then try to keep up with all the lastest software programs, or you become like the masses from the start and bow to the software programs first even though they constantly change, the latest version always being the one that you just gotta have or you will never "make it" as a professional.

The best thing, in my opinion, is to always get a hands on overview by being a Set PA on somebody else's production. Just the mixing in with so many other people can prove invaluable, especially if you click with anybody on the set and work with them on future productions. Now you have a place to stand and evaluate and you probably will have learned enough to know what to ask about.
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#3 Chris Keth

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Posted 27 May 2007 - 03:53 PM

There's an awful lot more to being "qualified to be a cinematographer" than reading the books and talking about it. Reading is a good start but it no more makes you fit to work as a cinematographer as a subscription to the "New England Journal of Medicine" makes you fit to perform surgery.

Edited by Chris Keth, 27 May 2007 - 03:54 PM.

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#4 Phil Savoie

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Posted 27 May 2007 - 09:21 PM

Depending on the level you want to work at it can take years. And more work than most imagine. Having said that it can be a very rewarding career path. When I started out I asked an ASC fellow the same question; the old boy looked at me and smiled, he said, " It's only knowledge, it's easy to get." I remember it to this day- years later I'm still learning.

He recommended getting a job as a broom pusher at the local rental camera house. I did. It was a great intro to the gear and the community. I went to film school as well, and for me it was a good experience. I worked quite hard, shot many of my classmate?s films and just soaked up information. Today I'm back in school as a film production professor, still learning.

From my POV it's all about putting your time in and realizing it will never stop. Start reading everything you can get your hands on - the trades, texts and these days lists like this one are an absolute goldmine of information. Find your way into getting on shoots by whatever it takes. News, docco, commercial, music vid, feature, whatever they always need worker bees. Show up ready to work with a good attitude and on time. No matter what or where you'll learn something on every shoot. I do. The previous posts are right on. Get out there and get into production by whatever means necessary.

So you?re in the right place, the rest is all up to you.
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#5 Geoffrey Sexton

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Posted 28 May 2007 - 01:41 AM

I've got a long way to go. Thanks everyone for your advice.
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#6 Adam Lambert

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Posted 28 May 2007 - 08:59 AM

Depending on the level you want to work at it can take years. And more work than most imagine. Having said that it can be a very rewarding career path. When I started out I asked an ASC fellow the same question; the old boy looked at me and smiled, he said, " It's only knowledge, it's easy to get." I remember it to this day- years later I'm still learning.

He recommended getting a job as a broom pusher at the local rental camera house. I did. It was a great intro to the gear and the community. I went to film school as well, and for me it was a good experience. I worked quite hard, shot many of my classmate?s films and just soaked up information. Today I'm back in school as a film production professor, still learning.

From my POV it's all about putting your time in and realizing it will never stop. Start reading everything you can get your hands on - the trades, texts and these days lists like this one are an absolute goldmine of information. Find your way into getting on shoots by whatever it takes. News, docco, commercial, music vid, feature, whatever they always need worker bees. Show up ready to work with a good attitude and on time. No matter what or where you'll learn something on every shoot. I do. The previous posts are right on. Get out there and get into production by whatever means necessary.

So you?re in the right place, the rest is all up to you.




Phil,
what a great response, any wonder you have taken on the honorable profession in teaching.

Edited by Adam Lambert, 28 May 2007 - 09:01 AM.

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Tai Audio

Metropolis Post

rebotnix Technologies

CineLab

Aerial Filmworks

Ritter Battery

Wooden Camera

Opal

Visual Products

Abel Cine

The Slider

CineTape

Rig Wheels Passport

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

FJS International, LLC

Willys Widgets

Paralinx LLC

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS