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does my colorist deserve DOP credit?


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#1 Leo Conway

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 10:25 AM

very tricky scenario i need advice on:
just shot promo material for a feature film with good commercial potential.

one experienced DOP shot it.
another experienced DOP graded all the material and pushed it miles further than the original DOP was capable of (the 2nd DOP is a master colorist and had creative control over the grade, according to my visual design)
the original DOP also made several big mistakes on set that DOP 2 fixed in the grade.

now DOP 2 (the colorist) has asked for co-DOP credit, with his name second.
he didn't set foot on the set, but the material after his grade is like day and night.

please help, I'm stuck Ian very tight spot.

thanks in advance.
Leo.
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#2 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 10:31 AM

Well that's a tough one... It sounds like you have a Colorist credit, for the Colorist who is coloring the film.... and then a DoP credit for the person who was, ya know, there on set, shooting the thing....


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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 10:56 AM

Sorry, even though the colorist here made a major contribution, that doesn't mean he photographed the project.   He could get a special made-up credit of some sort to emphasize the importance of his contribution, but he shouldn't get co-DP credit if he never shot one second of footage.  If this was a live-action shoot (not an animated film) the DP has to have been on set, working with the camera, actors, crew, director, etc. -- i.e. doing the cinematography.

 

Expert people do beautiful jobs reprinting Ansel Adam's negatives but I don't see them asking to be listed as co-photographer.


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#4 Alan Rencher

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 11:58 AM

If the colorist did such a great job, then he will be able to put before/after shots on his colorist reel.

 

... Or maybe you can give the editor a co-director credit since he created such a compelling story out of such raw footage.


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#5 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 12:23 PM

The colourist credit is for the person who grades the film. The DOP credit is for the person who shoots the film and is responsible for the decisions on the set during the shooting. Unfortunately, there are lots of films for which the DOP isn't at the grade, but the colourist on those productions doesn't become a DOP.


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#6 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 12:29 PM

I actually ran into a similar problem with the sizzle reel for "The Hunted" which we've been working on these last 2 weeks. The way I solved it was to give my editor/colorist a WELL DESERVED Editor / Post Production Coordinator credit, which is essentially the same thing as a DOP credit except that it refers to post production work. I used it in reference to all the visual post work done on the production then also, of course, gave my sound editor his proper credit, He did, in fact,  coordinate with my post production coordinator an a few small things but was otherwise autonomous in the sound editing process except for my input (I was at both sound and visual editing  sessions for the duration of that process) so though their collaboration was minimal, I do feel the credit was justified. THAT would probably be the correct credit under your circumstances because it infers that your colorist did far more that simple grade the images. I wouldn't concern myself too much about all this (although, giving him a DOP credit is pushing it a bit too far). It IS, after all, a promo reel so there is some license that can be reasonable applied as often times promotional material is a relatively low (and sometimes NO) budget affair which means labor structure is generally much looser and people end up doing more than one job during the process. The credits in promo material are really a nod to your team and a way to show the caliber of professionals involved so IF you can snag a well known person or 2, it might help strengthen your ability to secure funding for the project and THAT is your ultimate goal and the whole purpose of creating the promo in the first place. B)


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#7 Bruce Greene

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 03:00 PM

I think your colorist deserves credit as a colorist.  

 

Maybe because color grading has become so much more manipulative than film "color timers" work, we should think of a new title to describe this work.  "Colorist" just seems kind of limited as a description of the process.

 

"Director of post production image enhancement" ?

 

Any better suggestions?

 

I color graded one of my own features last year.  I sure did my best to fix my on set mistakes!


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#8 Mike Lary

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 08:05 PM

Editors don't get credited as writer or director when they "save" a film. People need to keep their egos in check and accept the credit for the actual services they provided.


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#9 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 08:40 PM

If he's made a big contribution, give him a prominent credit - at the start, or before the main scroller on the end.


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#10 Freya Black

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 08:23 AM

I never really quite understand this kind of thing.

 

You talk as if the actual DP almost didn't do that great a job, in which case why would this guy want to be taking credit for his work?

 

I have to say that the idea of a colourist sitting down and slating the work of a DP makes me shiver somewhat.

Surely the work of the colourist is to help the DP? They may fix things that have gone wrong for sure but that is what they are supposed to do! It seems to me that the last thing that the colourist should be doing is undermining the work of the DP or the DP themselves for that matter.

 

I just can't understand people wanting to take credit for the work of others but here is a really clear example.

It's alien and makes no sense to me.

 

For the record I do know what it's like to be desperate and prepared to do many things, but I don't think that would include taking credit for someone elses work. I'm guessing they really want to get more work as a DP and are feeling quite desperate about it all, I can understand that bit as it's hard out there.

 

Maybe instead of a credit as DP you could shoot something with them, although I do wonder if once they are on set they might start thinking that they did so much work there, that perhaps they need a co-directing credit too!!!

 

Freya


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#11 Kieran Scannell

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 02:45 PM

And this where we are right now where a colour grader who did his job feels he's entitled to a co- DP credit. This is democracy I'm afraid. We have marginalized the job of cinematography to a point where who does what and gets the credit for it are disputed!
I recently shot a short film where the Director insisted on shooting B-camera along with 2 very inexperienced camera op's. I can see every shot in the film that wasn't mine. Democracy has It's negative points in our business I'm afraid.
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#12 Leo Conway

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 07:59 AM

guys thank you very much for the feedback. I have some tough decisions to make.
it's all the more confusing because DOP 1 used DOP 2's lighting plan on one day of the four-day shoot and shot 2 time lapse shots for the final edit!
he was a


aargh! very frustrating situation! might an 'additional photography' credit be appropriate?

off-topic, but David, Jennifer's Body is a great-looking film with a very sassy script! congratulations.
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#13 Mike Lary

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 08:34 PM


it's all the more confusing because DOP 1 used DOP 2's lighting plan on one day of the four-day shoot and shot 2 time lapse shots for the final edit!
 

 

 

You could credit him as Lighting Director, then. The fact is that he didn't perform the role of Cinematographer / D.P. and therefore does not deserve that credit. This is actually not confusing at all. Just take this person's emotion out of the equation and use logic.


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#14 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 09:08 PM

I wouldn't even give him a lighting director credit, nor do I understand why your colorist is doing lighting diagrams? Look even if the director gives me all the blocking, lens selections, demands x film stock on y camera, and tells me to put a SR with 251 as a key-- I , as the person ON SET in charge of the Camera/G&E have the credit of director of photography because I am the one Directing the teams of people (how ever many or few there are) responsible on set for making a photographic image.

This is not as difficult as you are making it out to be and if "DoP 2" is being such a pain in the ass, then you as director/producer need to let them know that's not cool. Further they really ought to grow up a bit and learn that if they want to be called the DoP they have to actually show up and direct the photography.

This is all just infantile at this point.


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#15 Alan Rencher

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 12:47 AM

Leo, you're colorist didn't do any photography. Could a graphic designer get photographer credits for just doing his job?


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#16 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 03:19 AM

You could give the colourist a time lapse photography credit. I got an additional photography credit for doing some pick up/second unit type shots in a short, so you could go that route. However, I wouldn't put him with the main DOP credit.


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#17 Leo Conway

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 06:05 AM

okay thank you guys. I'm going to act as you've directed. layers of personality and politics have made this tricky, but I've got a film to think about and need to put this behind me.

thanks to everyone for their advice.
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