Hello cinematography people. These are several related questions that have been bugging me for a while. I believe the answers are in a bit of a grey area, but being relatively inexperienced in the field of film I thought I would get some other opinions. Here it goes...
With the onset (some would say onslaught) of CGI and digital in contemporary film, does true cinematography still exist, or has its definition changed?
For example, if we look at films such as the Star Wars prequels, 300, Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland, we can see that there is a heavy use of CGI and greenscreen. If everything is virtual, does the Cinematographer have to make decisions in a virtual sense (i.e deciding camera movement, designing set pieces within a 3D environment) or do they have to take a back seat and leave it to the Digital production house?
Furthermore, if it's a sequence in a movie made entirely from CGI with no actor intervention, does this class the film as an animation? If so, doesn't this make the DP's role defunct, or do they have an ongoing creative input?
I hope I have worded my question correctly. The reason I am asking is that I'm having difficulty making a career choice. I'm finding it difficult figuring out the boundaries of the director, the cinematographer and the animating director, all career paths I have thought about pursuing. I am confused as to how much these roles overlap and furthermore how they are defined.
I would like to be in a position where I can have a real input into the creative decision making and not let my ideas get watered down too much. Maybe I'm just scared of collaboration and should trust my fellow man to do a great job! Anyway, if you have a look in my other posts you will be able to find some of my work and judge whether it is cinematography, directing or animation, or a mixture of all three and end my confusion.
I know I have rambled, but I think the question of cinematography as a true existence is an interesting point of contention. Thanks for reading and please discuss!