Jump to content


Photo

Cinematographers job, angles, and "D.I"


  • Please log in to reply
7 replies to this topic

#1 andrew heggli

andrew heggli
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 45 posts
  • Student

Posted 27 July 2007 - 08:53 PM

Hi

I've been reading alot of posts of this site lately and "D.I" always seems to come up. What does this stand for?

I also have read a few posts about movie on the silver screen and peoples opinions. Its seems that they usually base their opinions on technical stuff (lighting, choice of camera etc.). Thats all well
and good, but for me I think that a movie that has the right camera angles and movement is rare. Therefore my question is, who is it that decides this? Is it the DP? or the Director? Both maybe? I
am becoming a cinematographer (very slowly though... will pick up pace in a few weeks when i start a university course for film and television). I would really be dissappointed if the only decisions
a DP can make are technical. You can have all the technical skill you want, for me, if you can't understand angles, your "talent" isn't really worth that much, it basically means you've read alot.

Am I the only one with this opinion?

Peace

(Ps: not sure whether this is the right place to post this but i couldn't see it fitting in anywhere else. and remember! the comment above is just about my opinions, you are entitled to yours as well without making to much of a fuss about this stuff.)
  • 0

#2 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 19759 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 27 July 2007 - 09:14 PM

You (as DP) collaborate with the director on choosing lenses and camera angles; some directors collaborate better than others. Some dictate, some leave a lot up to the DP. There is no single type of director.

You have to know all the technical stuff but the job is primarily creative.

D.I. means "digital intermediate", when film is scanned into a high-resolution digital format, post work is done (color-correction, etc.) and then the digital files are recorded onto 35mm film.
  • 0

#3 Micah Kovacs

Micah Kovacs
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 29 posts
  • Student

Posted 27 July 2007 - 09:20 PM

I disagree that everything a DP does (i.e. lighting, lens choice, stock) is purely technical - it mostly involves working with light which I see more as an art. Light is what puts mood and texture on screen and conveys emotion so it is NOT a purely technical job. I leave the technical stuff to my gaffer.
Even lens choice can be artistic since you have to select the right focal length and find the right depth of field to convey the proper mood and sub context in a scene.

A film with the world's best angles can be ugly if no artistic thought is given to light, lens, and stock
  • 0

#4 Micah Kovacs

Micah Kovacs
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 29 posts
  • Student

Posted 27 July 2007 - 09:30 PM

and I don't mean I disagree with David, I mean that I disagree with this:

You can have all the technical skill you want, for me, if you can't understand angles, your "talent" isn't really worth that much, it basically means you've read alot.


  • 0

#5 andrew heggli

andrew heggli
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 45 posts
  • Student

Posted 28 July 2007 - 05:52 AM

David: Thank you for the reply, it was very easy to understand. I've seen a few posts of yours on the forum and you seem to be a serious (do not mean lack of humor though) cinematographer. Btw David, I'd love to hear what your views on angles/lighting/lens choices etc. are. Which you think really brings out the movie.

Eric: Thank you for your replies as well. I think I might have written it a bit wrong. What i meant wasn't that angles are the only artistic or creative decision made that determens whether or not
the DP is a good one, what I meant was that so many movies today look great in terms of colour and how crisp it looks, but what really (for me, as I said in the PS just opinions) seperates great
cinematographers from eachother or the cinematography aspect of movies I should say, is angles. Though thinking back on what you said lighting is a very important part of cinematography as
well. I am NOT a professional cinematographer, there are probably loads of things I don't know that are really important when filming, but from what i can SEE, angles seems very important.

Like the 1.61 rule. To make a "beautiful" picture the item in focus should be in the smaller area of the screen (can't explain this too well, google it if anyone is interested, its the so called "golden rule" of composing pictures").
  • 0

#6 andrew heggli

andrew heggli
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 45 posts
  • Student

Posted 28 July 2007 - 05:54 AM

A film with the world's best angles can be ugly if no artistic thought is given to light, lens, and stock


I very much agree with that statement.
  • 0

#7 Kevin Riley

Kevin Riley
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 13 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • New Zealand

Posted 28 July 2007 - 06:08 AM

The DP works for the Director make no doubt about it. The Director has chosen to work with you because they believe you can translate the artistic vision on paper into an artistic vision on screen through the use of a technical processes. The basis for the directors trust in a DP is often one of communication. The Director feels you understand his vision, they believe you will lead them through the technical maze and communicate with all the technical departments so that the end result on screen is worthy of all your teams efforts but especially the end result should reflect the original vision of the Director. I'll let someone else answer your DI question.
  • 0

#8 John Brawley

John Brawley
  • Sustaining Members
  • 834 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Atlanta Georgia

Posted 28 July 2007 - 08:46 AM

I disagree that everything a DP does (i.e. lighting, lens choice, stock) is purely technical - it mostly involves working with light which I see more as an art. Light is what puts mood and texture on screen and conveys emotion so it is NOT a purely technical job. I leave the technical stuff to my gaffer.
Even lens choice can be artistic since you have to select the right focal length and find the right depth of field to convey the proper mood and sub context in a scene.

A film with the world's best angles can be ugly if no artistic thought is given to light, lens, and stock



Every choice on set is both a creative and technical one...

Ive always thought of it like this....

Cinematography is the creative use of a highly technical range of information and knowledge of optics, photochemical process, particle physics, not to mention human psychology. A cinematographer uses all this geeky information for a creative outcome. An image on the screen that speaks and connects with an audience that have no knowledge (or care) of what went into the creation of that image. They only interact with the end result and hopefully make some kind of emotional connection with it.

To me, cinematography is the ultimate bridge between geek and artist?

The illustrious Mr Mullen?s words on collaboration with directors is spot on as well. It?s always different with each director. Some are very hands on, others don?t want to have anything to do with it.
  • 0


CineTape

Wooden Camera

Rig Wheels Passport

Technodolly

Glidecam

FJS International, LLC

Ritter Battery

Paralinx LLC

CineLab

Metropolis Post

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Opal

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Aerial Filmworks

Tai Audio

rebotnix Technologies

Abel Cine

The Slider

Visual Products

Willys Widgets

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Glidecam

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

CineTape

CineLab

Abel Cine

Ritter Battery

Technodolly

The Slider

Paralinx LLC

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Visual Products

FJS International, LLC

Tai Audio

rebotnix Technologies

Willys Widgets

Metropolis Post

Rig Wheels Passport

Aerial Filmworks

Wooden Camera

Opal