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What is great cinematography made of?


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#1 Andrei Spirache

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 04:40 AM

What do you guys think is good cinematography? Does the DP have to set the lights, angles etc in a way that is best for telling the story or for creating striking, beautiful images (of course, while still telling the story)?

I know it's probably best to do both, if possible, but what about when you have to choose?

What are the attributes that make great DPs?

Thank's
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#2 Dan Salzmann

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 06:09 AM

What do you guys think is good cinematography? Does the DP have to set the lights, angles etc in a way that is best for telling the story or for creating striking, beautiful images (of course, while still telling the story)?

I know it's probably best to do both, if possible, but what about when you have to choose?

What are the attributes that make great DPs?

Thank's

A good eye and a thirst for adventure.
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#3 Serge Teulon

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 06:37 AM

Absolutely.

I would also add that he/she would need some very strong collaborative skills, patience, understanding, a good listener and a good delegator.
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#4 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 08:47 AM

good sense of humor, and people/networking skills. Also money management skills (hard to live job to job sometimes...)

Also, ya know, some idea of how things should "be" for the film/scene/shot as well as a rough gauge of how to get there.

style and visuals come from the script in collaboration, as mentioned, with all other departments. the story informs the style as do the tastes of those involved. A better question is what is "beautiful cinematography?" It's nebulous to think about. My beauty isn't necessarily the beauty of anyone else. Same for striking, stark, forlorn etc..
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#5 Dan Salzmann

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 09:17 AM

Absolutely.

I would also add that he/she would need some very strong collaborative skills, patience, understanding, a good listener and a good delegator.



Perhaps "patience" in bold!
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#6 Serge Teulon

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 09:33 AM

Perhaps "patience" in bold!



100% Agreed!!!
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#7 Andrei Spirache

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Posted 06 November 2009 - 06:26 AM

good sense of humor, and people/networking skills. Also money management skills (hard to live job to job sometimes...)

Also, ya know, some idea of how things should "be" for the film/scene/shot as well as a rough gauge of how to get there.

style and visuals come from the script in collaboration, as mentioned, with all other departments. the story informs the style as do the tastes of those involved. A better question is what is "beautiful cinematography?" It's nebulous to think about. My beauty isn't necessarily the beauty of anyone else. Same for striking, stark, forlorn etc..



This is what i'm asking. I'm sorry if I hadn't made myself clear but this is what i'm curious about - the job itself. People skills are a must in 99% of jobs I think.
So, what does the cinematographer has to do, in order to be a good one? NOT REGARDING PEOPLE SKILLS, BUT STRICTLY JOB RELATED.
Thank you and sorry for the misunderstanding
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#8 Rob Vogt

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Posted 06 November 2009 - 10:20 AM

Know qualified people to work with that you can trust. Be ready to shoot before the director. Know the script backwards and forwards. Have basic knowledge of editing to be able to see what angles would cut together and what will look jumpy
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#9 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 06 November 2009 - 10:24 AM

I don't think there is any list of things a good or great cinematographer does to be good or great. I think we all tend to approach things in our own way. The simplest answer is doing what is appropriate and necessary to tell the story in the way that is thought to be best. Now, what that means will vary project to project, shot to shot, director to director. In essence, being a good or great anything comes down to being able to accomplish the ideas you [and the director] have. This will take both technical knowledge as well as, I think, a basic intuition and vision. And, all of those things come from lots and lots of practice and experience. So long as each time you roll something you're learning and getting better, then you are on your way to being a good cinematographer. Of course, whether or not you're a good DoP, often, isn't up to you. It's up to your viewers and your peers.
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#10 Dan Salzmann

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Posted 08 November 2009 - 01:31 PM

Alot of making a film is making the best of what you have available and knowing when less is more.
Basically how to best orchestrate the compromises.
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Wooden Camera

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

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