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Am I the only one here that cringes when...


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#1 Dan Salzmann

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Posted 04 July 2009 - 05:33 PM

They hear the word "shooter" to describe a film maker and/or camera operator.
For some reason this sounds really, really low class to me.

Any others bothered by this?
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#2 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 04 July 2009 - 05:39 PM

Nah, not really. Just don't say that you're here to "shoot someone" when you're in customs...
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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 04 July 2009 - 05:49 PM

I don't use the term "shooter" much, it's not that it's lower-class, but it is a bit too hip and casual for my tastes. Sounds a bit macho too. And it also reminds me of oysters.
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#4 John Sprung

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Posted 05 July 2009 - 03:25 AM

Yeah, not my favorite bit of jargon either -- It has unfortunate law enforcement connotations.



-- J.S.
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#5 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 05 July 2009 - 10:56 AM

The way I (capitalize, underline, italicize the word "I") define the words:

Shooter: a random Cameraperson who isn't really great at lighting or the "art." Simply someone who knows the buttons to turn the thing on and point it in the direction of something that's happening, whether it's worth recording or not. Typically with small, non-professional style cameras.

Videographer: Someone who CAN light and primarily uses professional level electronic acquisition cameras. Usually working on entertainment type programs or interviews, or corporate, industrial, or even news.

Director of Photography: Someone who is in charge of multiple cameras and the crews/departments that manage the camera, grip, and electric necessities of a particular production. This can be on film or electronic acquisition. It can apply to narrative or non-narrative equally.

Cinematographer: A bit of a pretentious title, typically self-referring when someone is "anti-video" and wants to let other people think that they are "above" the hacks who make a living. Someone who sees himself as an "artist" and wouldn't demean himself to ever shoot video or "sell out" by "shooting" anything commercial (ie, Transformers).

Cameraman: Someone who is comfortable shooting anything from news to narrative and doesn't really care about the title so much as just working to keep income coming in so that he/she is able to continue working in the profession he/she loves.
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#6 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 05 July 2009 - 12:38 PM

Director of Photography: Someone who is in charge of multiple cameras and the crews/departments that manage the camera, grip, and electric necessities of a particular production. This can be on film or electronic acquisition. It can apply to narrative or non-narrative equally.

Cinematographer: A bit of a pretentious title, typically self-referring when someone is "anti-video" and wants to let other people think that they are "above" the hacks who make a living. Someone who sees himself as an "artist" and wouldn't demean himself to ever shoot video or "sell out" by "shooting" anything commercial (ie, Transformers).


Some would say the reverse is true, that "Director of Photography" was a pretentious term created by cinematographers to give their job more importance.
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#7 Gary Lemson

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Posted 05 July 2009 - 12:44 PM

...
Cameraman: Someone who is ...


My preference, but gotta' be careful these days. Maybe it should be "cameraperson".
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#8 Dan Salzmann

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Posted 05 July 2009 - 12:52 PM

My preference, but gotta' be careful these days. Maybe it should be "cameraperson".


I prefer camera operator.
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#9 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 05 July 2009 - 12:58 PM

Some would say the reverse is true, that "Director of Photography" was a pretentious term created by cinematographers to give their job more importance.


Perhaps! :)

But I see the word "Director" as someone who has PEOPLE as his/her tools as much as the equipment. So like the Director of the film, the Director of Photography "directs" multiple departments and various people in order to achieve a result. In contrast, the singular "Cameraman/Videographer/Cinematographer" is relatively autonomous, having to transport the gear, set it up, and use it by him/herself. The DP has a group or an army of individuals who get their hands dirty to achieve the shot. The typical "DP" arrives late, confers with the Director, pulls out the light meter, tells the crews what to do, then oversees the entire operation while rarely touching any equipment and getting his/her hands dirty. Then he leaves while everyone else is wrapping for another hour. This usually comes with a bigger paycheck. More responsibility, less physical work, and more money.

A "Cameraman" is able to be autonomous AND direct people (when the occasion calls for it) AND doesn't get hung up on titles. Titles are generally just marketing tools in order to keep working and get a better paycheck. For me, for most of what I do, I consider myself a "Videographer" or "Cameraman," but on occasion, I am just an "Operator" when someone else is in charge of lighting and the rest of the Operators (and my resume reflects those times). On other occasions, I am a DP when I am in charge of the lighting and the other Operators. Overall, I consider myself a "Cameraman" because the gist of what I earn my living doing is camera and lighting work autonomously (a position that IATSE Local 600 still doesn't recognize or understand... or represent). Some days I have more responsibility and some days I have less. Titles change as the job requirements do. NEVER am I always just one thing.
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#10 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 05 July 2009 - 04:55 PM

I prefer camera operator.


That can be a position that involves operating the camera without any lighting.

Lighting cameraperson sis a grade in BECTU, which seems cover the position of director of photography without sounding too pretentious for many productions. They also have the later grade, but it's more used for people working on dramas and commercials rather than documentaries. Although, Director of Photography has become more fashionable in recent years.

Just "camera" or "photography", then your name seems pretty good for a lot productions, they have a nice understated quality.

I must admit shooter does imply something that's of inferior quality and is just thrown together. Perhaps "sniper" might be better or "shootist".
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#11 Paul Bruening

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Posted 05 July 2009 - 05:09 PM

What about Camera Biped? Though, the doggie-cam union might sue. Do aliens have a related union? "E.T. pan right."
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#12 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 07:06 AM

When I worked in news we called each other "shooters". It's much more fitting for news than it is for entertainment.
Lots of old school A.C.'s call DP's "cameramen", normally referring to old school DP's, but you know what they mean when they say it.
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#13 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 10:15 AM

When I worked in news we called each other "shooters". It's much more fitting for news than it is for entertainment.


That would go with the free wheeling world of news where reporters are hacks and still photographers are snappers. I say this having shot my fair share of news in the past.
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#14 Serge Teulon

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 11:04 AM

If I got a £1 for everytime that I've said "director of photography", followed by the reply of "HUH??? :blink: ", I would be a very rich man.

Outside of the industry I always just say cameraman. Inside I say DoP.
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#15 Chris Durham

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 02:21 PM

Cinematographer: A bit of a pretentious title, typically self-referring when someone is "anti-video" and wants to let other people think that they are "above" the hacks who make a living. Someone who sees himself as an "artist" and wouldn't demean himself to ever shoot video or "sell out" by "shooting" anything commercial (ie, Transformers).


Really?

I guess I find the name game is either self-defeating or self-serving. I used to fear calling myself a DP or Cinematographer (I think I've got a thread on here somewhere about it) because I'm not in the same class as a big-leage pro (Deakins, Mantle), or because I haven't come up through the system and "paid my dues" to earn it. My first *real* gig I felt like such a damn charlatan. But then I started to put things into perspective and realized that if I ever don't feel like a charlatan then I'm doing something wrong - either letting hubris get the best of me or failing to challenge myself or both!

So I use the term cinematographer and I don't think it's pretentious, it's what I do. A cinematographer is someone who draws cinema, like a photographer draws light or a cartographer draws maps & charts. Drawing Cinema, as in bringing the various disciplines involved - photography, light design, camera choreography, etc. - to paint a moving image that tells a cinematic story. It doesn't matter if I do it on video or film. It is separate from the discipline of videography, which is a discipline in its own right, in that videography seeks to capture an event, usually un-orchestrated "live" event - where cinematography conspires with a set of orchestrated events to capture a moment.

I don't know if I'd call that a pretentious distinction.

I think the term shooter is very generic. I'm not overly-fond of it but if I think about it, the times I might have used it have been to describe someone I know works with a camera, but I don't know in what capacity. Cinematographer, Videographer, Operator, Good, Bad, dunno? That' a shooter.

DP is a job title.
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#16 Bob Hayes

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 05:17 PM

After 9/11 I have gone out of my way to avoid using the term shoot. You just don't want to be over heard at the airport saying "I gonna shoot the Mayor next Wednesday".
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#17 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 07 July 2009 - 05:30 AM

"I gonna shoot the Mayor next Wednesday".

The second you wrote that sentence the FBI was alerted. Watch your back Bob! :o
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#18 Gary Lemson

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Posted 08 July 2009 - 08:05 AM

...A cinematographer is someone who draws cinema...

Well stated.

I don't really use a title much, but when I do, producer, cameraman or camera Op seems to fit. I have a friend that calls me a "cinematographer" whenever I'm introduced to others. Okay, nice...that works for me, too.
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#19 Tom Lowe

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Posted 08 July 2009 - 10:33 AM

I like the term. When you work on a project you are "shooting" it, so I don't see the issue. You shoot movies, you shoot commercials, you shoot stock footage, you shoot music videos, etc.
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#20 Paul Bruening

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Posted 08 July 2009 - 11:09 AM

The second you wrote that sentence the FBI was alerted. Watch your back Bob! :o


Then, I guess, the title, Complete Psycho Terrorist Camera Whatever is right out?
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