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From Amateur to Pro


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#1 Jed Shepherd

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 12:41 AM

I understand that professional DOP's have plenty of knowledge over what I have but i thought i would see what people on here think.

I was discussing with someone the other day about wether the fact of a huge budget all of a sudden makes a dop's work look much better if that makes sense. Like anyone on here who might have been DOP on a feature and then gone back to shoot on a worse format do you notice a drop in quality. I understand of course camera quality will play a part but it seems that movies have nothing amateur feeling about them. Does this mean these pro's could go back to a worse format and create something that still looks great.
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#2 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 03:53 AM

Quite a few DPs shoot on or have shot on everything from Super8 to 65mm and DV to HDCAM SR or RAW. Some feature films have a mixture of these formats in them and are part of the visual style of the film.

You'll notice a difference in that each format has a characteristic eg higher or lower resolution, but much also depends on your lighting rig (large or small) and how the DP uses light, composes their images and exposes within the dynamic range of the format they're using.
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#3 Markus Rave

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 09:41 AM

I would say that a professional will deliver repeatable results for the given task. Also he will deliver a continuity in his or her work so that you can semlessly match footage shot on different locations or in a studio environment together.

As for equipment money may show in a picture, as for some locations you really may need huge crew and setup. But I find your thought coming from the wrong end of the line. First there is story and script. Second you may think about a budget if you happen to have one and plan your production accordingly. There is no going back to a bad format. All formats deliver a potential in the hand of a skilled cinematographer and even in expensive movies artistic decisions may call for a "cheap" camera to express the given mood. A professional filmmaker will know the limitations of the equipment he is working with and this can add to the overall look of the film. So in the end skills and artistry make a picture and a look for the film. And here of course experience is very very helpful.

The amateur feeling you describe has many facettes as lack of skill and craft, missing inspiration, bad script and much more. I feel that my craft has developed over the time and that can be seen on any picture I make. If there is no budget you can go back on experience you made earlier so stepping up the ladder and keeping your eye open is a good thing.
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