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is formal education needed...


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#1 pushpa

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Posted 21 July 2008 - 10:25 AM

hi to everyone who r reading this lines...

this may be a question for the pros but i was wondering whether one has to really go and study in an institute to become a cinematographer or is it ok to read the books which are written for cinematography...do the cinematographers take assistants based on ones formal training or their knowledge in the subject...

answers from the professionals will be greatly appreciated...

thanks...

cheers... :lol:

Edited by pushpa, 21 July 2008 - 10:27 AM.

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#2 David Rakoczy

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Posted 21 July 2008 - 11:01 AM

Not at all.. the best education (I feel) is on the job training. Many come out of Film School and have to start by filling coolers with cold drinks as a Production Assistant then work their way from the bottom up. I, personally, did not enjoy 'class room' education so I moved to Hollywood and joined the circus we call 'the Biz'. I worked my from an apprentice to Vilmos Zigmond's Production Company.. through Rental Houses.. as a Grip & Electrician... to Best Boy in each.. to Key Grip, Gaffer.. then started shooting UCLA and USC Student Films shot on Panavision.. and built my Reel until finally landing real DP work. Now, a 'formal' education can definitely help especially in meeting and developing relationships with upcoming Directors, Producers etc.. I would not have changed my route as working with Vilmos, Lazlo Kovacs, Jordon Cronenweth, Michael Chapman, Haskell Wexler, Caleb Deschanel etc... was amazing.. I learned SO MUCH watching these Masters Light and Frame. No matter which way you go, there is nothing better than simply exposing , exposing, exposing... shoot, shoot, shoot and get on as many sets as you can. I used to get up at 4am and go to the Lab and view the Dailies coming off. It was VERY instructional to watch the raw Dailies from big Shows such as Independence Day. I did this for one month straight and It really helped me a lot! befriend a Colorist! Take them out to dinner.. as ooften as you can.. see if you can sit in on an unsupervised Transfer Session...
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#3 David Rakoczy

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Posted 21 July 2008 - 11:09 AM

(cont'd)

If you are going to 'work' your way up I recommend working as a Electrician or Grip as LIGHTING is omni important! I never Loaded a Mag or pulled Focus until I bought my own Camera.. I had shot 4 Features for HBO and never Loaded a Mag or worked a day in the Camera Dept.. My first job in the Camera Dept. was DP! Knowing Lenses, Filters and Lighting are the keys to what you need to know and it is very difficult to learn Lighting while being a Loader or 2nd Camera Asst... if you want to be a DP, you don't want to be one of those Focus Pullers who now wants to DP but can only shoot when his Gaffer is available as his Gaffer is the one 'really' doing his/her Lighting. Not good!
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rebotnix Technologies

Wooden Camera

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Paralinx LLC

Glidecam

Abel Cine

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Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Opal