One of the most vital roles in the film industry is that of the director of photography, often called the cinematographer. Cinematographers are so important that they have their own Oscars and other industry awards. They supervise the lighting and photography of a film, helping to design its overall 'look'. Learn in this article how to get such an important job.
To become a cinematographer, training and specialist education are essential as well as experience gained from working within the video and film making industry. Train to be a camera operator, preferably as part of a university degree in Film, and also learn the craft of lighting. Camera operator role Most film students learn how to operate cameras, and how to work technically and artistically with them. On set, the camera operator follows the action with the camera according to instructions from the film's director and its cinematographer. What the cinematographer does Directors of photography carry out the director's vision for the look of a film which is discussed and worked on during months before filming begins. The cinematographer also plans and supervises a team of lighting specialists and camera operators to achieve the right camera shots, lighting, concept design, etc.
Director of photography job description
Cinematographers are interpreters of directors' ideas and vision for a project. Cinematography also involves management skills such as complex decision making and taking responsibility. The director of photography must choose the appropriate film stock, lenses, lighting, and framing for filming each scene. Other duties will include the transportation of equipment, storage of prepared footage, and overseeing the activities of a team of camera operators and lighting technicians. Gaining experience Photography on many media projects will bring experience. Working as assistant, or even as runner to a DP (Director of Photography) will give insight into the additional responsibilities of the role. However, small independent film making projects will also add to the understanding of the role.
Getting a job as director of photography
This is considered as one of the most stable career choices within the film making industry. The number of jobs is said to be increasing, especially within the cable television production area, and the salary scale can rise very high. Job hunting strategies Early experience may be gained by watching university project boards or local industry job boards where leaders of small projects can offer experience and a small wage. Being a member of a professional organisation or of BECTU will bring access to jobs information. Join some of the many agency job sites on the internet such as ExpatJobs77.com, and watch the media industry websites such as Grapevinejobs.com.