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#1 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 05 July 2010 - 06:06 AM

I have never (or at least extremely rarely, in very specific circumstances) referred to myself as a "director of photography", nor would I ever.

This raises two issues:

- I only very occasionally shoot stuff, and invariably for people who don't really know what they're doing. As such they commonly attempt to credit me with a title such as "Cinematographer" or "Lighting Cameraman", which makes me extremely uncomfortable. What do I say to these people? There's almost no way of raising this issue without insulting the production.

- What is the correct credit for everyone in the sort of circumstances where there's three or four of you forming a sort of ad-hoc camera, grips and electrical department?

It's almost impossible in these circumstances not to be at risk of coming off as a self-aggrandising idiot, or conversely to look like you're trying to do someone's production down by suggesting that the people involved aren't worth certain credits - even when that is actually the case.

P
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#2 Oliver Christoph Kochs

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Posted 05 July 2010 - 08:32 AM

Hi Phil, the most important thing is that you are satisfied with the final product. If so, why not take your credit? I mostly choose to be a "Second Unit cameraman" because the documentaries i work on are mostly BBC inspired ripoffs and have no use except earning a living. If i ever shoot something narrative and i like what came out i'd definetely fight for the credit. For all the crew members, they may be geniuses or idiots, they will credited the job description written in their contracts. The production company doesn't even have to ask you for crediting you if they hired you for this particular job. If you don't want to continue production say so. Without blaming other crew members you can state politely that things are moving under a quality level that you feel uncomfortable with. They will listen!
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#3 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 05 July 2010 - 08:41 AM

"Camera" is one of those low key credits that does get used at times.

The BBC still use "film camera", even though not a frame of film has been shot. I noticed it on Top Gear, I suspect it's a left over from when the location shoots were on film and this was a grade within the Beeb.
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#4 K Borowski

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Posted 05 July 2010 - 09:27 AM

Camera Operator?

That is, IIRC, the American term. I forget the British version.


I like "Camera" as a nice generic description.
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#5 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 05 July 2010 - 11:17 AM

Hi Phil, the most important thing is that you are satisfied with the final product




I'm trying to remember the last time that happened!


Pleased to find that other people's thought process on this mirrors my own. Camera Operator is a very specific grade that, well, I'd have to have actually operated a shot on a geared head to claim, I think as a sort of basis! Film Camera is clearly wrong on digital shoots.


Probably just "Camera" is best.


Personally I don't care what anyone calls me, I'm just trying to avoid offending one of the very touchy groups that exist in the UK, all of whom are desperately protective of their little patch of turf!
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#6 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 05 July 2010 - 12:14 PM

Lighting Camera was used all the time in factual TV until about 5 years ago when suddenly production started called us DPs. I imagine this was done in order to lend their programmes an air of quality.

I wouldn't worry about offending anyone, just keep it simple:

Camera & Lighting Camera would apply to PSC Camerapeople who are probably working alone, or with just an assistant, and lighting interviews and small setups.

Director of Photography would apply when working with a full camera crew, grips and sparks.
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#7 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 05 July 2010 - 01:33 PM

Lighting Camera was used all the time in factual TV until about 5 years ago when suddenly production started called us DPs. I imagine this was done in order to lend their programmes an air of quality.


Quite a few UK dramas had the Lighting Camera credit as well, in recent years it has changed. I seem to recall the BBC producer guidelines used to say that you had to clear the "Director of Photography" credit and even then it could only be used on drama.
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#8 Simon Wyss

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Posted 06 July 2010 - 02:46 AM

Taking titles?

Make sure they're perfectly horizontal and evenly lit.

Joke!
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