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What goes through my head on set?


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#1 Andrew Lynch

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 06:04 PM

Hi guys,
just joined today, this seems like a useful place for feedback and opinions.
i'm a freelance/no-budget/starter DP, with some experience from my film course. not that I'm out on my own working with people, I want to step up and improve my skills, and my technical abilities. i know i need more than technical abilities required to be a great DP, but it's a start.
i want to know what kinds of things i should 'by heart'? what should any self-respecting DP be able to do, technically?
i hope this is not too vague a question...
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#2 Jon Amerikaner

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Posted 17 February 2011 - 07:11 AM

Hi guys,
just joined today, this seems like a useful place for feedback and opinions.
i'm a freelance/no-budget/starter DP, with some experience from my film course. not that I'm out on my own working with people, I want to step up and improve my skills, and my technical abilities. i know i need more than technical abilities required to be a great DP, but it's a start.
i want to know what kinds of things i should 'by heart'? what should any self-respecting DP be able to do, technically?
i hope this is not too vague a question...


It's a vague question with many answers. But I am bored so I'll give it a shot...
Composition, lighting, exposure, color, and movement are all things every DP will know. Everyone's abilities in this area will change with experience. I started as a news cameraman so I feel strong in composition, and weak in lighting. I'm learning...

Once you get past the may technical aspects of cinematography (which are constantly changing so you won't learn everything 'by heart'), it is my personal opinion, that the best cinematographers bring the emotions of the work onto the screen. And the true artists, are able to reach an audience emotionally.
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#3 Nathan Blair

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 11:35 AM

If you're interested in Cinematography for Film, I suggest checking out the book "New Cinematographers" by Alex Ballinger: http://www.amazon.co...r/dp/1856693341

It's essentially a chance to peak into the minds of all the modern Cinematographers today, and how they conceptualize/work on set.
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#4 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 12:15 PM

It is a general question with quite a lot of avenues to travel to get all the answers. In addition to all of the generic "how to light a set" books that are out there, I recommend that you browse through the book I've written called, "What I Really Want to Do: On Set in Hollywood." Specifically the first FIVE chapters and the entire section on the camera department as well as grip and electric. I'd read those first so that everything else you learn and read will have some kind of context.

In general, though, you should know everything you can about basic photography (lenses, depth of field, aperture, effective ASA, color balance, etc.) Those things have to be second nature to you at some point. You also need to know everything you can about lighting... what tools are available to create light and what tools are available to control it.

Also, as a Cameraman, you have to be aware of the needs of other departments, like Sound, Production Design, Makeup, and Wardrobe.

AND, not least, no matter what level you're at, you must make choices based around the parameters of each project (budget, schedule, weather, etc.)



There's a LOT more to being a professional Cameraman than just shooting pretty images.
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Visual Products

Glidecam

Rig Wheels Passport

Wooden Camera

CineTape

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Aerial Filmworks

Technodolly

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Ritter Battery

Metropolis Post

Paralinx LLC

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

New Pro Video - New and Used Equipment

rebotnix Technologies

FJS International, LLC

The Slider

Willys Widgets

Abel Cine

CineLab

Tai Audio