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How to Become a Cinematographer ? (Student Question)


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#1 Wissam Kamal

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Posted 25 April 2011 - 05:49 PM

Hello ,

im a Lebanese film making student, im adoring Cinematography , i worked in a small film ( 2 minutes tops) as a project for the university , but i wasn't lighting that good , which it had so many cinematographic faults of continuity between the cuts . What should i do to become a good cinematographer , and how should i start working on my self , and what are the steps to become a true Cinematographer ?
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#2 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 25 April 2011 - 10:18 PM

Hello ,

im a Lebanese film making student, im adoring Cinematography , i worked in a small film ( 2 minutes tops) as a project for the university , but i wasn't lighting that good , which it had so many cinematographic faults of continuity between the cuts . What should i do to become a good cinematographer , and how should i start working on my self , and what are the steps to become a true Cinematographer ?



My advice, for what it's worth, is to EDIT a lot. Once you see how shots are edited together and which shots go well together, then you can do your work as a Cameraman much better, in terms of shot choices, angles, lenses, and blocking.

As far as lighting goes, you can learn a lot by watching what other Cameramen do and have done, so study other movies and commercials and try to figure out how YOU would create that same look.

This forum has a lot of wonderful advice in the archives so search through often. Also, look at cinematography.net for more advice from working professionals and look through the resources listed on the forums at www.realfilmcareer.com.
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#3 Wissam Kamal

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Posted 26 April 2011 - 05:34 AM

Thank you Brian :) well i do edit a lot of university films so it is helping a little , what i want is to start working into lighting and camera , i work in a local TV as a camera operator , but i want that in movies and TVC.
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#4 Mike Miquael

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 11:59 AM

Hello ,

im a Lebanese film making student, im adoring Cinematography , i worked in a small film ( 2 minutes tops) as a project for the university , but i wasn't lighting that good , which it had so many cinematographic faults of continuity between the cuts . What should i do to become a good cinematographer , and how should i start working on my self , and what are the steps to become a true Cinematographer ?

If you want to know about the first steps, you could try reading this link.. It's not really for a cinematographer but for an ENG cameraman, but I think the same basics apply:

http://www.askthecam...onal_Cameraman/
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#5 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 06:52 PM

what are the steps to become a true Cinematographer ?


1. Buy yourself a Canon EOS 5Dmk2

2. That's it, apparently.

;)
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#6 Austin Michaels

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 01:37 AM

Wissam,

To be truly honest, Yes watch as many movies and commercials and try to recreate scenes, BUT to become good at lighting alone is to practice and experience on how light is used. Being able to be contain and manipulate light sources with material, height & angle, and reasoning behind why you are placing the light there makes you become an aspiring Cinematographer. For instance it took me forever to wrap my head around that the closer and bigger the source is to the subject the softer the light is. A SOURCE is for instance if you put a Silk in front of a light, The silk is now your source of light.

Lighting you can not just read a book and know it, YOU have to know how to use your equipment no matter what kind it is.

As far as camera angles, zooms, dollies, cranes, focus pulling are to help the story in a creative way. It can be just a slight move that is just what you need, my favorite is a slow dolly in on a emotional scene where the dolly will move maybe a foot in a minute. I had a reason for doing the dolly and it fit what the story wanted.

Sorry if it is alittle out of place, Late night posting :)
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#7 Priyonto Zaman

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 02:42 AM

Hello.
I have completed "Diploma in Digital cinematography" from "Alliance Fran├žaise de Dhaka" & want to go for undergraduation too in cinematography.
Can you help me out in finding a good university in France or elsewhere in Europe? please...
Thank you
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#8 Paul Brenno

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Posted 30 May 2011 - 04:30 PM

In echoing similar posts from others here, there is NO one right path to become a Cinematographer/DP. I've been a non-Hollywood or NY City DP/Digital Cinematographer fulltime for about 5 yrs. I would suggest, if you live in a major city, to go to a good film school and educate yourself on making films, not just studying films, but actually shooting them. In film school, you have the opportunity to shoot as many things are possible and make contacts with those who want to direct, shoo their projects....a common motto is " shoot, shoot, shoot, then when you are tired, shoot some more "....the best way of learning how to be a better DP/Cinematographer is frankly doing it....make mistakes and learn from them....

Another way many have started is being able to PA or assist on film crews, if they are available to them. If film school or university is not reachable now, then I would suggest contacting all local film/video production companies and volunteer to work on sets with their camera crews. One more way is to do the same thing at TV stations where they actually shoot/edit commercials to long form productions...
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#9 Kemalettin Sert

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Posted 30 May 2011 - 08:15 PM

1. Buy yourself a Canon EOS 5Dmk2

2. That's it, apparently.

;)

lol :D thats trueeee
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#10 jun keung cheung

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Posted 31 May 2011 - 05:21 PM

If you can get access to a camera- any camera- you can at least start shooting your own material/short films to gain experience/make own mistakes. Don't worry about the lighting yet if you do not have access to lighting- try to using natural light (which i am sure there is an abundance of in Lebanon). Terrance Malick just won the Palm Dor at Canne and 99% of The Tree Of Life was shot without artificial light. Train you eye through practice to see like a camera, two dimensional, with a lens.

Look at still photography and read about it.

Dont worry about the technical stuff for now. Like another post said, just shoot shoot shoot, and edit. Then shoot some more.

In the real world, Cinematography has more to do with communication with a director and managing what you have- with what time you have to do it in. Get practice to help you shoot quicker and still make things look appropriate and great. It's a craft after all.

JC
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The Slider

Aerial Filmworks

Ritter Battery

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Glidecam

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Metropolis Post

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Wooden Camera

rebotnix Technologies

Willys Widgets

Rig Wheels Passport

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

FJS International, LLC

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS