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Gaffing or Operating


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#1 Nick LoCicero

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Posted 07 June 2007 - 02:37 AM

They say Cinematographers usually come up through gaffing or camera dept. Does one have more leverage over the other? Why or why not?

Thanks!
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#2 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 07 June 2007 - 03:40 AM

Either way seems to work equally well.

The only downfalls I see through either method are:

Gaffer - SOMETIMES not as much experience/knowledge with cameras, lenses, magazines, etc.

Camera Op - Great eye for composition, however they usually lack in lighting and creating their own style or taste

Either way, they're both a huge jump. I've seen gaffers and cam ops with some fantastic reels from the projects where they've worked in the aforementioned roles. But then their DP reels are far from impressive.
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#3 timHealy

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Posted 10 June 2007 - 04:15 PM

There is no clear answer for one over the other. Much beyond technical knowledge is personality. Some people are better salesmen (or bullshitters) than others and get the jobs.

On smaller films it is easy for a camera operator to be bumped up to second unit DPs.

Or if the DP or a director really likes and trusts his gaffer, they'll make him or her a second unit DP for a shot or two, or perhaps a DP lower budgeted commercial or shot film.

Some people can connect with a director because they are the same age or have similiar tastes is art, music, or as funny as it may sound, even tattoos. It also helps to be shooting while you are trying to make a step up and have something to show.

It helps to have the technology down, but when shooting, gaffers need a good camera assistant to back him up on the camera side, and an operator needs a good gaffer to make them look good.

Best

Tim
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#4 Kieran Scannell

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Posted 10 June 2007 - 05:13 PM

Nick,

Tim & Jonathan have pretty much nailed it on this topic I've operated on commercials where the 1st AC was more clued up than me the
gaffer or the DP! Everyone knew it, you just get along and do the job. It's all about who gets the call!

Kieran.
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#5 Ram Shani

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Posted 11 June 2007 - 01:08 AM

being camera op there is beater chance you'll get to shoot second unit if they need it. DP want free his gaffer so fast on a show to let him shoot second unit :)


but being DP is much more then know your tolls. its to know how to use them to TELL A STORY to understand script dramaturgy, editing, art, and communicate most important

if you work in big system you'll can have exp gaffer and camera op that you can tell them what you want and let them do it maybe listing to them good advice

if you have vision you will know what you like and is right for the project and what isn't
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