A cinematographer or director of photography (sometimes shortened to DP or DOP) is the chief over the camera and light crews working on a film, television production or other live action piece and is responsible for making artistic and technical decisions related to the image. The study and practice of this field is referred to as cinematography.
The cinematographer selects the camera, film stock, lenses, filters, etc., to realize the scene in accordance with the intentions of the director. Relations between the cinematographer and director vary; in some instances the director will allow the cinematographer complete independence; in others, the director allows little to none, even going so far as to specify exact camera placement and lens selection. Such a level of involvement is not common once the director and cinematographer have become comfortable with each other; the director will typically convey to the cinematographer what is wanted from a scene visually, and allow the cinematographer latitude in achieving that effect.How to Become a CinematographerA cinematographer or Director of Photography (DP), is responsible for all the visual elements of a film; in other words, this professional is literally, the eye behind the camera. Under the guidance of the film’s director, the cinematographer makes creative decisions affecting the picture’s lighting, camera motion, shot color, depth of field; as well as scene composition with regards to actor positioning, zoom, lens usage and techniques. A successful cinematographer must be trained and knowledgeable regarding all aspects of photography, including special effects, filmography, modern equipment; as well as possess a marked talent for communication with film directors.
Learn the Basics of Cinematography
The cinematographer job description is a little difficult to pin down as they sometimes work various jobs, ranging from director of photography to camera operator. Most often, however, a cinematographer is the director of photography on a film or TV show. With that in mind, cinematography gives a story life by adding movement to a script and capturing the story in a way that will entertain and command an audience’s attention. Iconic films like Star Wars or Lawrence of Arabia wouldn’t exist as we know them without a talented cinematographer; also, commonly known as the Director of Photography, or DP. To become a successful cinematographer, you must be able, willing, and ready to work quickly and creatively. The needs of one client will be vastly different than the needs of another. It’s true that the movie, Transformers doesn’t necessarily require the same creativity and camera work as a Kia car commercial. Yet, the best DP’s in the world will successfully employ their talents and skills from set to set, movie to movie and television show to television commercial.A cinematographer must be comfortable making creative choices while also working within the limits of a client’s budget and skillset. A good cinematographer will have a well-rounded understanding of filmmaking and an arsenal of camera skills and thus may opt for an educational path that takes them from one end of a
A cinematographer has a crucial role in the production of a movie or video. With the help of the art department, cinematographers craft images from scratch and use specific tools in order to make sure the images are meaningful and drive a story home. They have an artistic perspective and a unique vision for what they are creating. This, combined with their extensive knowledge of cameras, composition, and lighting, brings their vision to fruition.
Even as early as pre-production, cinematographers have to make important decisions about the look and feel of a movie: is it going to be shot in digital or film? is it going to be in colour or black and white? will the colours be vivid or faded and dull? is the camera going to be tied to a character? is the film going to have a realistic tone, or a expressionistic one?
The film director oversees and approves all aspects of a production. However, the film director works very closely with the cinematographer throughout the whole process. A cinematographer’s job is to express the story of the screenwriter
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