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Need some advice about which way to go!!


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#1 Naomi Digby

Naomi Digby

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Posted 29 September 2009 - 10:45 PM

Hi, everyone! I am new here at Cinematography.com and I'm happy to have finally found a place where I can meet fellow amateur and professional DP's!

To make my story short as possible, I graduated from Tufts University and The School of Museum of Fine Arts (located in Boston) in 2008. My art school didn't have an impressive film and photography department, but I learned what I could...Mostly worked with 8mm film, crappy 1-chip mini DV cameras, analog still-photography (both color and b&w), and plenty of Final Cut Pro. We had virtually NO good/new equipment at school. Almost all of the newer equipment were either stolen, broken or hogged by grad students...But I made the best out of the stuff they did have and I learned to do so much on my own. While it was a good thing that I became adept at creating my own home-made lights, and putting weird little contraptions on my camera to create the image I wanted, I had no knowledge of how to operate higher-end, professional cameras, and I didn't know how to do lighting professionally.

So the summer before my senior year at college and up until this past summer, I interned/PA-ed at HSI Productions in Culver City and Indie Rental (a camera house) in Hollywood. As useful as it was to PA in commercial and music video production, I didn't get to work on set as much as I had liked and Indie Rentals didn't give me ANY work to do...I literally had to beg someone everyday to do something. Usually ended up being a super menial task too. Thus, I didn't get to learn more about cinematography from either internships.

So here's my situation: I have found a program where I can become an apprentice to a cinematographer. I met face to face with the guy who I will probably be apprenticing for, his name is Matthias Koenigswieser, and he's pretty awesome. However, the program costs $7,000, which lasts for one year, and one extra year for help with job placements. The program people may help me fly out to out-of-state shoots too.

The other option is an opportunity to possibly work for Pat Derrin (who is a longtime of my neighbor's), but I haven't met him face to face yet and I think he isn't working as constantly as Matthias is...But if that were to work out, I wouldn't have to pay anything.

I have no idea which path to take!! It's a risk either way, but in the end what I ONLY want to do is to learn cinematography and strike out on my own eventually. I just need to learn the ropes, and from there, it'll all be up to me. I believe that I have the creative capacity, motivation and dedication. Plus, I think we seriously need more female DPs anyway! ;)

Is it better for me to choose a pretty legit program, where I know I would receive training for sure, or go work for someone pretty well-known DP but who may not be working as much?? Or do both perhaps? Any advice will help.

Thanks!

- Naomi Digby
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The Slider

Technodolly

Wooden Camera

FJS International, LLC

Opal

Willys Widgets

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Broadcast Solutions Inc

rebotnix Technologies

Paralinx LLC

Tai Audio

Ritter Battery

CineTape

Metropolis Post

Abel Cine

Visual Products

Aerial Filmworks

Glidecam

Rig Wheels Passport

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

CineLab