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Cinematographer - VFX Supervisor


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#1 Mukesh Chander

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Posted 27 March 2008 - 12:29 PM

hello buddies... rit now am working in a post production house as a trainee..

and i hav seen many people through web who are cinematographers as well as vfx supervisors or even cg artists..

me too previously was working in camera dept. and rit now i feel like to go back to cinematography..

i am in a little confusion to choose wat profession..

cinematography or vfx?

OR both..?

can u people guide me by keeping the future in mind..

thanks in advance friends..

Please!
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#2 Will Earl

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Posted 27 March 2008 - 06:48 PM

I can think of only a few VFX Supervisors or Cinematographers out there who can both jobs well. The Computer Graphics part of VFX tends to prevent most Cinematographers from doing the job, and while most VFX Supervisors are required to know a lot about what goes into an image, you couldn't put them on a set and expect them to do what a good cinematographer does.

There was a time when the roles could be easily exchanged - when being a VFX Supervisor meant that you could light a miniature, shoot bluescreen or FX elements, but that was back almost 20 years ago now.

However I think there is a real need for DP's to become more involved in the VFX process, they should really be taking 'ownership' of the lighting, composition, colours, etc - all the things that they take ownership of when shooting onset. The times I have seen a Cinematographer invited to comment on the progress of VFX shots they've provided insight that you would have never have gotten without years of experience actually lighting and shooting onset. The Lighting TD should really be an extension of the Cinematographers team along with the ACs, focus pullers, gaffers, grips, etc.

The only studio (I can think of at the moment) doing CG work that utilises a Director of Photography is Pixar.

If you wish to pursue both career paths then go for it. I don't expect it'll be easy to do both, they are both fairly demanding jobs.
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#3 Hugh Macdonald

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Posted 28 March 2008 - 04:45 AM

I would agree entirely with Will in pretty much everything he said.

He's coming at it from a camera perspective, and from the other side of the fence, I'd agree and say that it's very important for a VFX Supervisor to understand cameras, F stops, lighting, etc. A VFX Sup might be given the second unit to shoot some plates, too, so it's important for them to understand how things work on-set and how to work with the crew.
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#4 Mukesh Chander

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Posted 29 March 2008 - 01:00 PM

so Will Earl u do both camera operator and vfx.. so how u are managing it? is it stressful and making u busy 24/7 hours? can u give me some tips plz!
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#5 Will Earl

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Posted 30 March 2008 - 06:24 AM

The camera operating stuff I do normally has nothing to do with the VFX stuff I do, although I've shot reference footage in the past. VFX tends to pay the bills (and take up most of my time), while the camera stuff is typically documentaries or shorts that I shoot every so often (once every few months).

I don't do both at the same time. It'd be too much work.
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#6 Matt Hildreth

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 03:56 AM

This is excatly what I am doing; as I am studying tobe a cinematographer, in between my main course I will be taking a 18 week course in Visual Effects & Compositing I think it is the best way to go in my honest opinion as you will have a good knowledge on both spectrums. As people said it is a lot more work to take on but in for a penny in for a pound; it could get you a lot more jobs in the future.

Edited by Matt Hildreth, 29 April 2008 - 03:59 AM.

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#7 Mukesh Chander

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Posted 11 May 2008 - 01:02 PM

This is excatly what I am doing; as I am studying tobe a cinematographer, in between my main course I will be taking a 18 week course in Visual Effects & Compositing I think it is the best way to go in my honest opinion as you will have a good knowledge on both spectrums. As people said it is a lot more work to take on but in for a penny in for a pound; it could get you a lot more jobs in the future.


So Matt what are u learning in vfx?
How you are managing things?
What the instructors of cinematography in ur institution saying regarding this?
sorry many questions:)
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Aerial Filmworks

Visual Products

Metropolis Post

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Tai Audio

CineTape

Abel Cine

CineLab

rebotnix Technologies

Ritter Battery

Wooden Camera

Glidecam

Broadcast Solutions Inc

FJS International, LLC

Rig Wheels Passport

Paralinx LLC

New Pro Video - New and Used Equipment

The Slider

Technodolly

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Willys Widgets