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Vittorio Storaro


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#1 Artyom Zakharenko

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 02:54 PM

In Cinematographer Style Vittorio Storaro says: ''im a cinematographer, not a director of photography''... does anybody know why he was trying to emphasise that?
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 03:48 PM

In Cinematographer Style Vittorio Storaro says: ''im a cinematographer, not a director of photography''... does anybody know why he was trying to emphasise that?


"Director of Photography" was or is a title created by the U.S. camera union; it suggests a certain level of managerial & creative responsibility over a number of people and departments, sort of how "Chief Lighting Technician" is the official title of a gaffer. I think Storaro believes that the word "director" was inserted into the job title to suggest a greater level of power in terms of the direction of a movie than perhaps he feels is correct -- I think he feels that there is only one director on a movie, period.

The other thing is that he likes the term "cinematographer" because it more directly expresses what he does -- he sort of translates it as "writing with light" (i.e. the cinematographer is a storyteller who uses light to tell stories instead of words) though the term more literally means something like "writing with motion"; "photography" means "light writing". I think he feels that "cinematographer" is an honorable title and he doesn't like the non-artistic associations that come with the title "director of photography".

I am paraphrasing bits and pieces of interviews I recall hearing; I could be misrepresenting his position on the topic.
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#3 Francesco Bonomo

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 06:44 PM

I am paraphrasing bits and pieces of interviews I recall hearing; I could be misrepresenting his position on the topic.


I've read many interviews in English and Italian where Storaro explains this whole thing, and I can confirm David is right. Storaro basically believes there's only one director on a movie and strongly dislikes the title of "director of photography".
The difficult thing (at least here in Italy), is that there's no exact translation for "cinematographer" in Italian, so people keep using "director of photography" as a job title (the closest transliterations are "cinematografo" and "cinematografaro", the first being an old word for movie theater, and the second a very broad - and somehow dispregiative - definition of someone who works in movies).
Sometimes in Italian credits you see "photographed by" or "author of cinematographic photography" (literal translation from the Italian "autore della fotografia cinematografica", where "cinematographic photography" is meant as "cinematography").
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#4 Artyom Zakharenko

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Posted 25 June 2011 - 03:58 AM

Funny to see the different namings for the job title in different languages. In Russia the word cinematographer (kinomatograf) is a general word for 'filmmaker', a DP is usually called a 'kino operator' which is a straight translation for ''movie operator''.

David, what job title do you prefer?
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#5 John Holland

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Posted 25 June 2011 - 04:58 AM

I stll like Lighting Cameraman/Woman .
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#6 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 25 June 2011 - 10:50 AM

David, what job title do you prefer?


I feel fortunate to have either title...
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#7 frank cieslik

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 03:24 PM

Cinematographer sounds more like a artist, than a technical supervisor to me
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