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Fifteen years old and interested in a carreer in film.... Any advice?


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#1 Joe Tweaky Rickards

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Posted 18 April 2011 - 05:03 PM

Hey, my name Is Joe I'm fifteen years old and interested in a carreer in film. I really love film and want to learn to make,edit,direct films. Im currently taking GCSE's but would like to know what is the best route to become a cinematographer/directer? Any advice would be really appreciated. Oh and I've never worked with actualy film before only digital so if someone could give me an insight to the different formats and why we still need them if we have digital (Silly question but I don't know. Also, the benefits of different formats.

Thank you for your time

Joe
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#2 Kevin Masuda

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Posted 18 April 2011 - 05:10 PM

Three words: Practice, Practice, Practice.

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#3 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 18 April 2011 - 10:56 PM

Hey, my name Is Joe I'm fifteen years old and interested in a carreer in film. I really love film and want to learn to make,edit,direct films. Im currently taking GCSE's but would like to know what is the best route to become a cinematographer/directer? Any advice would be really appreciated. Oh and I've never worked with actualy film before only digital so if someone could give me an insight to the different formats and why we still need them if we have digital (Silly question but I don't know. Also, the benefits of different formats.

Thank you for your time

Joe



Hi Joe!

The first thing to figure out is which job you want to do professionally for a living: cinematography or directing? Those are two distinctly different jobs with VERY different paths and requirements so the sooner you figure out which one you want to pursue, the better off you'll be.

Technology-wise, volumes have been written about "film" and "digital" and it would be nearly impossible to impart everything you need to know in this forum thread. In general, though, the basics of photography don't really change whether you're using a camera that uses film or a "digital" camera. You still need to understand basics of lenses, shutter, aperture, ASA/ISO.... and LIGHTING!

In any case, you'll find a treasure trove of information scattered throughout the archives of this forum. I also HIGHLY recommend that you read the following resources as soon as possible as they will provide you a picture of how this all works. Using THAT information, you'll be able to make wiser choices about what you really want to do and will know what it is you need to learn more about to get there:

www.wordplayer.com : an EXCELLENT source for aspiring Writers and Directors. I HIGHLY recommend that you read EVERY PAGE. There is a lot, but it is free and invaluable.

http://www.randomhou.../9780823099535/ - Disclaimer that I wrote this book, but I wrote it precisely for aspiring "filmmakers" like you. Of course I recommend it! It WILL give you the information you're looking for as to what your life will be like working in the professional film industry and how to get there. The first five chapters are critical and then read as much of the rest of it as you can to get the fullest picture of what you're getting yourself into.

Also, go to www.realfilmcareer.com and in the FORUMS section, you'll find countless additional resources and articles and editorials that have been meticulously consolidated for your convenience.
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#4 Tom Jensen

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Posted 18 April 2011 - 11:04 PM

Can you act?
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#5 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 18 April 2011 - 11:27 PM

If you're doing GCSEs you're in the UK.

If you're in the UK you probably can't have a career in film.

If you don't have any route to work in the US, you are stuffed.

Sorry.

P
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#6 Andrew Lynch

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Posted 19 April 2011 - 06:36 AM

If you're doing GCSEs you're in the UK.

If you're in the UK you probably can't have a career in film.

If you don't have any route to work in the US, you are stuffed.

Sorry.

P


as someone who also wants to work in the UK, this is worrying to hear.
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#7 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 19 April 2011 - 11:52 PM

There is NO WAY I'm calling you Joe when you have "Tweaky" in your name!!! So Tweaky, there is an old Hollywood adage that goes if you want to be a director, write a GREAT commercial feature script and hold it hostage until they let you direct it after all it worked for Stallone. Another way is to make some small film that is TOTALLY original which worked great for Lynch who had Mel Brooks, after seeing a screening of Eraserhead was convinced to have him direct The Elephant Man.

http://www.guardian..../2008/jul/27/42

Now IF you want to be a "cinematographer/directer" (BTW, you may want to change that to Director for the credits) Like say Robert Rodriguez, You could always just take credit for someone else's work :rolleyes: (I actually like a lot of Rodriguez's movies but HE'S the cinematographer? Come on). IF I were you, I'd get an S8mm or 16mm movie camera, some film, do some research and shoot some footage, maybe do a short. it's not that expensive, especially S8mm. A camera can be had for 10 to at the very high end 400 bucks, cassettes say 5 to 10 bucks, processing like 12 bucks for a 50ft cassette. A 16mm can be had for as little as 50 bucks all the way up to 40K but a good, inexpensive and widely used little camera is the Krasnogorsk-3 which can be had for under 150 bucks, film 100 ft roll plus x Black and white maybe 30 bucks on ebay, processing 12, 14 cents a foot at Movelab

http://www.movielab.com/

Do some research on this forum.....Wonder what ever happened to Matthew Buick? :D

Edited by James Steven Beverly, 19 April 2011 - 11:55 PM.

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#8 Mark McCann

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Posted 20 April 2011 - 05:33 PM

If you're doing GCSEs you're in the UK.

If you're in the UK you probably can't have a career in film.

If you don't have any route to work in the US, you are stuffed.

Sorry.

P



What upbeat and positive advice for a 15 year old to hear.
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#9 Tom Jensen

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Posted 20 April 2011 - 07:05 PM

What upbeat and positive advice for a 15 year old to hear.


It's sad but true. And even if you make it to Hollywood, it doesn't mean you're going to make it. Working in Hollywood and film is one of the most competitive things you will ever encounter. There is no guarantee to success.
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#10 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 20 April 2011 - 09:04 PM

What upbeat and positive advice for a 15 year old to hear




You'd rather I lie?
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#11 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 20 April 2011 - 10:09 PM

The kid's got a WHOLE LIFETIME to become jaded. You'd be amazed what power there is in youthful enthusiasm and cock-eyed optimism. ANYONE can tell one they can't do something but if you're being TRULY honest, that is your opinion and the truth is you don't know. People make it against the odds every day of the week. He'll have plenty of time for disappointment, set backs and disillusionment, BUT he may have the talent and luck to beat the odds. The fact of the matter is he has a long hard road to walk down and he'll find out all on his own. B)
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#12 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 20 April 2011 - 10:37 PM

for a bit of optimism; hey, they did let Phil in ;)
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#13 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 20 April 2011 - 11:09 PM

While it IS difficult, it is not impossible. My own story is semi-proof of it. I say "semi" because I didn't know anyone in the professional film industry, yet I managed to build a career anyway, first as a Camera Assistant and now as a Cameraman shooting behind-the-scenes (mostly). The "semi" part comes in because while this is fun and all, I've not yet achieved what I set out to achieve. But, despite the odds, I didn't have to turn my car around and go back home in disgrace because I couldn't hack it.

Difficult? Yes. Impossible? Not even close. If you really want it, that is.
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#14 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 20 April 2011 - 11:21 PM

Yes Brian.

But you are in the US.

It is not the same in the UK.

I can't in good conscience recommend anyone pursue film and TV work in the UK. There simply isn't a living in it for more than a very, very few people.

P
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#15 Tom Jensen

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Posted 20 April 2011 - 11:59 PM

I'd say Phil was encouraging the kid to move to Hollywood.
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#16 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 21 April 2011 - 11:25 AM

I never truly understood things like proper exposure, ISO, f-stop, shutter angle, etc. until I started shooting film. Even if you plan to work in video for the rest of your life, it's a base that you really should start with.
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#17 Tom Jensen

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Posted 21 April 2011 - 02:08 PM

I never truly understood things like proper exposure, ISO, f-stop, shutter angle, etc. until I started shooting film. Even if you plan to work in video for the rest of your life, it's a base that you really should start with.


That's an interesting point. I'm not sure if I agree or disagree. Digital is a completely different beast and at some point, I don't know when, film may just disappear and digital will be the taught standard. I worked with a few DPs who lit by eye. They had learned the basics of course. But, with a monitor right in front of you can simply say, "Put some fill from here, take that down a little, clean that up" and get a perfectly acceptable image just from viewing a monitor.
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#18 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 21 April 2011 - 02:12 PM

I Would argue, that while you can do that on the day, it doesn't much help you to visualize how a location looks when you're scouting in order to know what you'll need for that day. I certainly hope against hope that DP work does not degrade to such a state that we need monitors in order to do our jobs-- a crutch which we must lean on instead of inherently knowing how to get it where it needs to be. And, of course, this is all assuming you can really trust the monitor, which honestly, I'm never really convinced we can/should in the middle of god knows where under all the pressures of making the day.
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#19 Tom Jensen

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Posted 21 April 2011 - 04:37 PM

I Would argue, that while you can do that on the day, it doesn't much help you to visualize how a location looks when you're scouting in order to know what you'll need for that day. I certainly hope against hope that DP work does not degrade to such a state that we need monitors in order to do our jobs-- a crutch which we must lean on instead of inherently knowing how to get it where it needs to be. And, of course, this is all assuming you can really trust the monitor, which honestly, I'm never really convinced we can/should in the middle of god knows where under all the pressures of making the day.


The monitor has evolved to some extent as a tool and not a crutch. Hey, telecine operators use them all the time. There are some great monitors out there. I get the feeling that what we learned in film may end up slowing us down in the digital realm. I did see something yesterday that Steven Poster had posted. It was an article in which he was quoted as well as John Baily, Read what it says about the "democratization" of filmmaking. http://www.variety.c...le/VR1118035664

Hey, I started from the bottom, learned exposure through stills. There other day I was at a Thrift store and say a printer and thought, "wow, those days are over." Who here has made a print lately. Now, all that manipulation is done on a computer. Is it more advantageous to learn to develop and print film or can you learn all you need to know with a digital camera and a computer with some very simple software? I'm beginning to wonder.
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#20 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 21 April 2011 - 11:35 PM

I Would argue, that while you can do that on the day, it doesn't much help you to visualize how a location looks when you're scouting in order to know what you'll need for that day. I certainly hope against hope that DP work does not degrade to such a state that we need monitors in order to do our jobs-- a crutch which we must lean on instead of inherently knowing how to get it where it needs to be. And, of course, this is all assuming you can really trust the monitor, which honestly, I'm never really convinced we can/should in the middle of god knows where under all the pressures of making the day.



I think both are right, but if I relied on the monitor then I wouldn't be working as much as I do. I have to walk onto a location and KNOW without a lens or monitor what I need, where to put it, and what it'll likely look like BEFORE anything comes out of case. Of course the viewfinder (and monitor) are necessary once the setup is being built, but in most cases, if I waited for a lens to be up to look through before I decided how to light, I could never set up in time. The viewfinder and/or monitor are wonderful tools, but they really should just be there to confirm and fine-tune. The broad strokes of lighting and lensing really have to be known by the Cameraman sooner.
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