Sunday, July 29, 2007

What is Cinematography?

I know I know,most of you out there are quite sharp but lets face it, the average joe wouldn't know a beautiful image from a hole in the ground!! (Is that to harsh!!!!!) Seriously,without the cinematographer,the director could never really convey the mood of the scene!!!.

So in laymens terms here is what a cinematographer is:

Sometimes listed in the credits as the Director of Photography he is the creative designer of the films "look" by selecting the film stock, cameras, and lighting equipment to be used in shooting the movie; making the creative and technical decisions that will translate into the images that are projected on a wide screen at 24 frames per second, or on television at 29.9 frames per second.

The Cinematographer is responsible for the work of the lighting and camera crews, working with the films director to achieve his vision of the film prior to the editing process. He can create the look of different periods in history and change the mood of the film as it is created according to notes made to the "Shooting Script".

Selecting filters to compensate for changing ambient lighting conditions as months of filming go by is an important part of the process. Even in "sunny Southern California" overcast days occur and these changing lighting conditions have to be made to conform to the rest of the scenes already filmed so that the audience is unaware of any changes in weather conditions.

Cinematographers have hours more work to do after the days' shoot is in "the can". The shooting script provides the basic outline that has to be broken-down into sequences of camera moves, light placement in relation to the actors and the requirements of special equipment that is selected from the various rental companies that serve the movie production industry.

His crew members include: Camera Operator, Focus Puller (1st Assistant Camerman), Clapper Loader (2nd Assistant Camerman) Gaffer, Best Boy and the Key Grip (who is responsible for the electrical cables, switch boxes that power the lights). All the workers have to operate in sync, filming is successfully accomplished by teams of people. It takes the collected talents of many individuals to produce films.

It could be said of Cinematographers that they don't get no respect, except for the ones who receives an Academy Award each year.

1 comment:

Calista said...

Hi friend, u are so informative!