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A question for DP's


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#1 chris dye

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Posted 25 January 2008 - 02:09 AM

How do you feel about directors operating the camera?
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#2 Saba Mazloum

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Posted 25 January 2008 - 02:21 AM

How do you feel about directors operating the camera?


Nothing... because they can operate the camera anytime they want.. so its easier to just not think about it.. ha...
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#3 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 25 January 2008 - 05:37 AM

I work with a lot of directors that operates. I don't mind and ultimately it's their thing. However, two of my regular ones are pretty bad operators, I must say, so at times I do find it a bit frustrating. But normally, if the operation is objectionable even after the edit, then I'll just not have it on my reel.

Sometimes it's nice to be able to concentrate more on the lighting and have an operator, even if it is the director.
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#4 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 25 January 2008 - 06:08 AM

If a director's unhappy with your framing and operation and just wants to operate him/herself, then there's probably something else going on that has to be dealt with. Some directors are very hands on, and that's OK. But then sometimes it could be the Director and DP just aren't in sync, so the Director probably feels he/she has to dive in and do it. Trust in the DP is so important. The director should instruct how the frame should be, back away, check the frame again when ready, approve it, then stay away for the rest of the setup...I'm just sayin'!

I think, really, it's fine if it's a scene that isn't performance heavy. Honestly, if there's a scene where the actor's performance and communication with the director is crucial, the director can't be worrying about camera and should be focusing on the scene with his/her bare eyes.
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#5 Chris Keth

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Posted 25 January 2008 - 03:02 PM

Honestly, if there's a scene where the actor's performance and communication with the director is crucial, the director can't be worrying about camera and should be focusing on the scene with his/her bare eyes.


This is the only beef I would have with it. The director has things to watch for. If the director is operating and watching the actors, who is watching focus? Who is watching the framelines? I would hate to be the person who gets bitched at for the best acted take being soft when the director was operating and didn't notice or report it and so nothing was done to fix it.

I really think that it would generally be better for the movie for the director not to operate. There are always exceptions.
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#6 Ruairi Robinson

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Posted 25 January 2008 - 03:26 PM

This is the only beef I would have with it. The director has things to watch for. If the director is operating and watching the actors, who is watching focus? Who is watching the framelines? I would hate to be the person who gets bitched at for the best acted take being soft when the director was operating and didn't notice or report it and so nothing was done to fix it.

I really think that it would generally be better for the movie for the director not to operate. There are always exceptions.


Ridley Scott swears by it. He specifically argues that it's better for working with actors.

R.
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#7 Richard Boddington

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Posted 25 January 2008 - 04:01 PM

Having directed and operated on all of my projects I can say it definately draws the director into the action, that is for sure. Besides it looks better for the production stills!

R,
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