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To all cinematographers, where does it start?


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#1 Daniel Dahlman

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Posted 24 February 2008 - 07:51 PM

Hello everyone,

I have been a low budget HDV DOP for several films now and am now looking for a career in cinematography. I know composition, i know the basics of lighting. I have a BA degree and graduted from several short courses. I want to be the best cinematographer I can be. And most of all help out the dying film industry over here in Australia. But its so confusing to know where to start. I want to learn everything! I dont know much at the moment aside from the Z1, VIP and a few lower DV and HDV models. How can I learn more? I research all that I can do and read a lot but theres no school for cinematography over here! I have joined a series of groups, but what else can I do? What can I do to learn everything? Lighting, lenses, 35mm, 16mm, HD. I can't afford more school. what do I do?
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#2 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 24 February 2008 - 08:04 PM

Being a Camera Assistant for various DP's and varying camera packages has really exposed me to all those aspects of cinematography. If you network and get onto various sets as a 2nd or 1st AC, you'll really receive a baptism by fire, so to speak, and really kick into gear as far as learning the equipment goes.

Otherwise, there are a lot of books out there.
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#3 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 24 February 2008 - 10:27 PM

To all cinematographers, where does it start?


In the beginning the Earth was void and without form and darkness covered the abyss and God said "Let there be light" and there was light and God divided the light from the dark and called the light "Day" and the dark "Night" and there was evening and morning the first day. :D

Edited by James Steven Beverly, 24 February 2008 - 10:29 PM.

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#4 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 24 February 2008 - 11:55 PM

Amen!

I know when i first started, which isn't to say I finished, I worked shooting a lot with an SLR, just to get an idea of film. I tried out all the films I could. B/w, Color Print, Color Slide etc.
Then I read, and I read, and I read. I buy/read American Cinematographer constantly, and I scrutinize every set photograph I can just to see how they do things (what light is where, etc).

I worked as a PA/Grip for some things in studios here in Phila with my dad, who was a Lighting Director, mostly video shoots for aerobics and cooking shows, but I learned. And then, I just started shooting more and more. It's an ongoing process. I have a whole shelf full of books on cinematography, and I re and re-read them. And I try to get onto any shoot I can as a DP, with any format.

Also, I'd recommend looking back to art and photography, and how they told stories in a single frame with just light. Go to museums, and go to screenings whenever you can. Look past the image and ask why things are being done the way they are.

my .02. Hope it helped
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