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is it a good idea to continue to become a cinematographer?


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#1 Faye Lynch

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 12:15 AM

I'm 16, so I am still deciding what I plan to do in the future and such. I am seriously considering cinematography, but wanted to know some other opinions and/or advice. I am currently homeschooled, and when I am going to attempt to find a  class I can take. I plan to move out as soon as I can and I probably won't have a huge amount of money for college (even though I plan on getting a job soon and I don't plan on squandering all the money I make what so ever). I have a very crappy camera and I use windows movie maker currently, but I am trying to get something with better quality ASAP.  
So, my question is, despite my love of making videos and stuff, should I work toward making that a real job? or just make it a hobby?
 


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#2 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 07:08 AM

Well; the only way you can know where it'll fall is by giving it a shot, says me. Now granted, you generally won't and probably shouldn't, just jump right into being a DoP. I think it takes some seasoning beyond just having a cool new camera-- though plenty of people probably make some money that way. What I would suggest is perhaps, when loking for colleges ect, to go to one which is in a major production city (la or new york, or even Albuquerque). Get into college and major in what you want to major in. It doesn't have to be film, necessarily, i think you should learn what interests you. And while there, start working in film. It's really not as hard as it sounds-- though the first few jobs will probably be really crappy and unpaid, just get yourself onto a set and meet people. As a PA, which is what you'd start as, you don't really need much experience, if any at all. 

Read books (there is a PA handbook somewhere), learn on set, and see if the lifestyle as film work is much more of a life style than it is a career, fits with what you want out of life.


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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 10:57 AM

You have time to change your mind -- when I went off to college, I was hoping to become a doctor. I started making movies when I was 15 or 16, and got paid to shoot something when I was 25, so I had about a ten-year period of doing it as a hobby.


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#4 Shelagh Healey

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 10:39 AM

I'm 16 too so I feel ya haha. Were you going to go to college for film? Also if you find a good editor please let me know! Thanks.


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#5 Darryl Shaun Palapuz

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 07:45 PM

Only time and yourself can tell that, if it's something you're passionate about (which I believe you are), then go for it. You're still young so you'll have plenty of time that would be enough for you to realize that by the time you reach a certain age, it would be something that you may want to do for the rest of your life or perhaps move on something else. I used to make videos back in High School when I used to take courses that introduced me to digital videomaking. I thought it was boring, maybe it's because of the fact that it's different when you're being told what to do compared to now, where sky is the limit because I decide what I want for my films. I'm currently taking Film courses to further educate myself in the field so that I can make better films in the future. My goal is that every time I produce something, it has to be better than the old one, ALWAYS. Otherwise it's a joke, well for me anyway. I started as a hobby three years ago, when I felt such a newbie with my first DSLR, but now I just can't live without it. It came to the point that I used it to start making my own money by doing weddings, birthday parties, concerts, etc.

 

One thing I gotta say with taking on this hobby, if you're going to get serious, it will be a very expensive hobby for you because equipment doesn't pay for itself. You'll start with a better camera and lenses, then next thing you know you'll want to invest on a better audio recorder if you're going to be doing interviews, short skits, etc. Then there's lighting, sturdier tripods/monopods, and even steadicams, until you come up with your own set of studio equipment, maybe. I may have exaggerated on that last part, but we never know.

My final piece of advice, again, if you're serious about becoming a cinematographer, keep doing what you're doing, and always aim to be better. Watch plenty of movies, tv shows and even music videos and focus on the cinematic side of it. Learn the terms and start living it. Becoming a film enthusiast has given me the ability to enjoy movies and become a better critique, especially on my own work. Lastly, never ever compare yourself with others than yourself. There may be others that will discourage you at some point, but use that opportunity to prove them wrong. Good luck!


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#6 Nicholas Bedford

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 07:04 AM

You have time to change your mind -- when I went off to college, I was hoping to become a doctor. I started making movies when I was 15 or 16, and got paid to shoot something when I was 25, so I had about a ten-year period of doing it as a hobby.

A doctor hey! Quite a change.

I wanted to be a games programmer, until I finished the degree in 06. Ended up working data entry as a job whilst funding being in a band. I then discovered a passion for photography in 2010 which led me to quit music last year and now I'm hooked on cinematography.

So as a 16 year old, it's entirely likely that you may end up an actor, a physicist or a monster truck driver :) The only way you can figure out if you really must be doing something is to try, learn and improve and see where your instinct and passion leads you.

That's what I do anyway!

Edited by Nicholas Bedford, 05 December 2013 - 07:05 AM.

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#7 joshua gallegos

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 01:28 PM

I'm 16, so I am still deciding what I plan to do in the future and such. I am seriously considering cinematography, but wanted to know some other opinions and/or advice. I am currently homeschooled, and when I am going to attempt to find a  class I can take. I plan to move out as soon as I can and I probably won't have a huge amount of money for college (even though I plan on getting a job soon and I don't plan on squandering all the money I make what so ever). I have a very crappy camera and I use windows movie maker currently, but I am trying to get something with better quality ASAP.  
So, my question is, despite my love of making videos and stuff, should I work toward making that a real job? or just make it a hobby?
 

I felt the same way, but I wanted to be a writer, I actually wanted to be an SNL writer because I loved it so much, but overtime my love for movies grew and I started to write screenplays as a hobby, I never tried to enter any competitions or anything, but recently I've decided to make them. I wish I could have considered college, it's a great way to network and begin filming short films, doing it on your own is difficult - I tried to make a short on my own and failed, but it was a good learning experience. I think you can still make a good movie with your camera, if you look at Paul Thomas Anderson's first short film, he filmed it with a VHS camera at the age of 17, it's called 'The Drik Diggler Story', which later was remade into Boogie Nights. As an example, you will see that the camera you use is irrelevant, just make a film. https://www.youtube....h?v=qnyYGFTg8YI Paul did his own cinematography as well, impressive short for such a young age.


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Metropolis Post

Visual Products

Wooden Camera

The Slider

Tai Audio

Aerial Filmworks

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Paralinx LLC

CineTape

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Technodolly

Ritter Battery

CineLab

rebotnix Technologies

Willys Widgets

Opal

Rig Wheels Passport

Abel Cine

Gamma Ray Digital Inc