Straight to the point: Where / how should I pinpoint a great DP for a first-time filmmaker's project?
I'm a first-time filmmaker who is finally setting out to direct and produce his first narrative short film. In terms of storytelling, I've been in preparation since fall 2011 -- creating a compelling script, regularly feeding on my cinematic inspiration (the Nouvelle Vague films of 1959-1967), and honing the visual aesthetic of this story.
2013's first month is about to wrap, and I'm anxious to move into the next phase of this journey, assembling a cast and crew to realize this story of mine.
The more I research DSLR filmmaking (I plan to shoot with a Canon 550D), the more I realize how essential it is that I pin down and hitch myself to a genius DP, as soon as possible. The rigamarole of focus pulling and building a lens kit and aliasing and moire and on and on and on.... is, granted, VITAL for me to deeply understand as the filmmaker, but ultimately overwhelming and disheartening.
I simply do NOT have the time (I work 9-5) or the expertise to accomplish this task completely on my own. I really need to pin down a brilliant cinematographer in order to move forward. To move at all, really.
I aim to maintain a petite crew. Myself, a DP, a sound tech, and (potentially) a PA, particularly for scenes involving complex light duty.
Funny enough, the cast has come together without too much of a problem. They're chomping at the bit to get this material in the can.
I have roughly 30 days to track down this angel of a DP/cinematographer, before I intend to enter prepro (in March) and principal photography (in April). I am for 12-18 shooting days in total (primarily Fridays - Sundays), including any potential reshoot(s).
I live in Los Angeles (Santa Monica). Because I recognize how seriously essential a DP is to my goal, I am prepared to provide financial compensation, commensurate with reel and experience, for my DP.
Here is the storyline:
Bobo Noir (French for "spoiled Parisian brat") is a pastry arts dropout with a heart of gold (or opal, his birthstone). His dream: become the black John Belushi. His skill: awful-awesome. His parents -- a professor of 19th-century Namibian watercolors and a Montgolfier Prize Winner in toy plane aviation -- have banished him from the family olive oil fortune. But a hospitalized second cousin and a sketchy student visa have earned him a summer in L.A. to fulfill his funnyman dream.
Again I ask: Where / how should I pinpoint this spectacular DP? Are YOU, genius cinematographer, willing to partner with me in the capturing of this narrative? Or would you happen to know of someone who might be?
Please e-mail me, Jeff, at firstname.lastname@example.org immediately. Thank you! You're a lifesaver.
Desperate in Los Angeles: I Need a Great DP... STAT!
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