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Working with a DP


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#1 Douglas Wilkinson

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Posted 09 September 2007 - 08:09 AM

A relatively experienced cinematographer has provisionally agreed to shoot my next project, which, for me, is very exciting.

What makes for an efficient, fruitful Director/DP relationship? For a long time, my understanding was that the DP provided a technical solution to the Director's vision, but I think this is a limited view. I like the idea of working conceptually with the DP. Obviously there is a spectrum; I imagine some DPs prefer to be given a few instructions, then set to work, while others prefer extensive consultation on each shot.

What is the best general approach, from the director's perspective? When to insist, when to defer, etc..

Thanks.
Doug
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#2 Ram Shani

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Posted 10 September 2007 - 08:16 AM

its always a personal experience

your personalty and the DPs

you have to talk to him and built a working system together

you have understand that its the project needs is what important not who is right and who wrong

if he has more experience take his advise

do your home work and came ready to the set

know its a team work

don't afraid to make mistakes

remember its your project your vision
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#3 Douglas Wilkinson

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Posted 10 September 2007 - 03:32 PM

thanks Ram.
this one is especially important, I think: do your home work and came ready to the set
i hate the idea of wasting someone's time.

i gather it can be fun relationship too. there's a bit on the DVD for Capote that describes a night when the director and the DP went out alone to get just the right shot of a train in the distance. big buget film, but at that moment it was just two guys and a camera.
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#4 Adam Dautry

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Posted 11 September 2007 - 11:54 AM

as a producer/dp/director. I can say that I as a DP like the freedom to do what i want.. as a producer and director I like to give other DP's this freedom..
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#5 Laurent Andrieux

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Posted 11 September 2007 - 04:47 PM

You can give him references of what you like. It can be a general tone you want for the whole film, or specifications for particular scenes. Go and see movies with him, or talk films you have both seen or talk from what he has done before.

Have a comprehensive common language. The home work can then be to become self confident with terms like contrast, density, colorimetry (warm/cold), diffusion etc.

The more you can agree in prep, the better it is. On set, you'll have to manage a lot : sets, talents etc. You won't have time to talk light a lot. Sure, you can discuss a little (if you have the tools to discuss...) but the best is you to possibly rely totally on him so that he doesn't waste time and you neither. Prep, talking, be confident, that's the key.
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Visual Products

Rig Wheels Passport