Today, with the ability to shoot video on your iPhone, it seems anyone can call themselves a cinematographer. However, there’s more to it than that. If you really want to be able to call yourself a cinematographer unashamedly, you might want to take heed of some advice.
First, draw on your own experience. As Christopher Doyle said about his past, “that wasted youth was probably the most valuable asset for what I’m doing now. You see the world, you end up in jail three or four times, you accumulate experience. And it gives you something to say. If you don’t have anything to say then you shouldn’t be making films.”
Much like actors are taught to be mindful of the way they react in certain circumstances, express certain emotions, or of the intricacies of a movement as insignificant as striking a lighter, a cinematographer must try to observe the way he or she observes, even the subtlest nuance. You can’t just copy someone’s style. You can learn from, or be inspired by, other cinematographers, but you must discover your own style based on your own unique perspective.
Another common mistake among cinematographers, especially considering the rapid progression of technology within the industry, is allowing new tools to direct the project. You can’t let technology hinder your vision. Light meters, viewfinders, even cameras, are all just tools to help you achieve the image you believe is appropriate for the material.
Lastly, it’s extremely important to familiarize yourself with said tools. You want to be able to communicate with other departments and crew members accurately. Figuring out, not just how to work for the director, but how to work with the entire crew, is central to the quality of the work. From assistant cameramen to grips, the entire crew must be able to communicate.
KVibe Productions is a full-service video production company located in New Jersey and serving the entire New York/New Jersey area. Whether it’s a product video production, a corporate video, or a commercial production, KVibe offers the total package of multimedia services from development through distribution.