View Poll Results: As a photographer, have u ever thought or venturing into film making n videography?

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  • yes

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Thread: Calling all film makers & videographers

  1. #21

    Default Re: Calling all film makers & videographers

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Lim
    Sorry, but i honestly think this remark is very one sided. I am a film student. Shot my thesis project recently in digital DVC pro 50m. The significance of photography helps in the initial composition. Not much on lighting and anything else. And the title of DOP (Director of photography) Does not apply to videographers. It only applies to Conventional film shooters. There is a certain amount of experience and ability needed before a camera man can be quantified as a DOP. As what Boddah has said. A good DOP MAY make a good photographer but not vice versa. Dop is not for everyone who wanna just grab a cam and shoot. It is an in born talent. If you have it, then you have it. If you don't have it. you will never have it. I have a few stories to show that this fact is quite true if any of you want to know pm me.
    I sincerely apologise for this bad sounding attitude. But i really find it hard to swallow when people keep calling themselves DOP when they cannot hardly even operate a videocam much less a film camera. Cheers.
    come on, film & digital.. its just a format. its the type of work that determines whether you are a dop or a videographer, not the equipment. the only thing i agree with you is that a dop is more than just knowing how to operate a image-recording device.. it encompasses translating the director's vision into visuals, selection of lenses & gear, colour & lighting, framing & composition (with the additional element of camera motion).

  2. #22

    Default Re: Calling all film makers & videographers

    Quote Originally Posted by edfck
    i think photographers will make better film makers than videographers... wat do u think?
    resorting to controversy now huh?

    videographers have to work with the additional elements of sound and camera motion (pan, tilt, dolly, crane, zoom). they may not be the person handling the microphone or manning the boom pole but they need to understand how it works so that conflicts can be worked around on set. so why would someone working with stills be better at making films?

    if you assume that film-making is all about visuals then its still not too late to know that the core of a filmmaker's work is centred round a plot or script, and not led by visuals. approaching film-making with a photographer's perspective is akin to putting the carriage before the horse.

  3. #23

    Default Re: Calling all film makers & videographers

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Lim
    Sorry, but i honestly think this remark is very one sided. I am a film student. Shot my thesis project recently in digital DVC pro 50m. The significance of photography helps in the initial composition. Not much on lighting and anything else. And the title of DOP (Director of photography) Does not apply to videographers. It only applies to Conventional film shooters. There is a certain amount of experience and ability needed before a camera man can be quantified as a DOP. As what Boddah has said. A good DOP MAY make a good photographer but not vice versa. Dop is not for everyone who wanna just grab a cam and shoot. It is an in born talent. If you have it, then you have it. If you don't have it. you will never have it. I have a few stories to show that this fact is quite true if any of you want to know pm me.
    I sincerely apologise for this bad sounding attitude. But i really find it hard to swallow when people keep calling themselves DOP when they cannot hardly even operate a videocam much less a film camera. Cheers.
    Doesn't matter whether film or HD. DPs need to know framing, lighting, perspective, etc, both technically and artistically. He should be able to creatively translate the Director's intention for the script into visual art. There are more films now shot on HD than film now, so does that mean the DPs will not shoot if they're asked to shoot HD instead of film?

    Maybe some stuck up DPs will demand they shoot on film very much like a few film advocates in this forum. A good DP will shoot on any media if the clients can pay his price. Similarly, a good photographer should be able to shoot on any media also.

  4. #24

    Default Re: Calling all film makers & videographers

    I retract my statement about DPs only shooting on film. Yes you guys are right that DOPs do shoot on HD medias and some other high quality media. But DOPs/cameramen VS videographers are different. DOPs do not select the shots to translate the director's script into a visual instead, he gives his creative opinion. He should know almost everything that is technical on set with regards to what his crew is doing in order to solve problems and to execute commands to work more efficiantly.

  5. #25

    Default Re: Calling all film makers & videographers

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Lim
    I retract my statement about DPs only shooting on film. Yes you guys are right that DOPs do shoot on HD medias and some other high quality media. But DOPs/cameramen VS videographers are different. DOPs do not select the shots to translate the director's script into a visual instead, he gives his creative opinion. He should know almost everything that is technical on set with regards to what his crew is doing in order to solve problems and to execute commands to work more efficiantly.
    Yes. Which is why he is called the Director of Photography. He is the one who call the shots and he creatively translates the script and the Director's intentions into shots which can best convey that intention. However, if the Director's intentions are not good artistically, the DPs can override that decision and come up with something more suitable.

    Therefore, the DPs has to be both artistically and technically very competent to do his/her job well.
    Last edited by lsisaxon; 14th March 2006 at 11:31 AM.

  6. #26
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    Default Re: Calling all film makers & videographers

    Its not easy for many to distinguish the 2 and its also not about one upmarkship. its about interest, many videographer I've know are also photographer but not all photographer are videographer.Having worked with many photographers before, we always complement each other and maintain good mutual working relationship. I've done a video appreciation course and the turn out is encouraging. Maybe, organizing a joint photo-video event is a great idea of a get-together.

  7. #27
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    Default Re: Calling all film makers & videographers

    Quote Originally Posted by lsisaxon
    Yes. Which is why he is called the Director of Photography. He is the one who call the shots and he creatively translates the script and the Director's intentions into shots which can best convey that intention. However, if the Director's intentions are not good artistically, the DPs can override that decision and come up with something more suitable.

    Therefore, the DPs has to be both artistically and technically very competent to do his/her job well.
    generally agree, except for one major point.

    DPs can suggest something more suitable, but he/she must never override the director's decision.

    big no-no at least, that's my opinion.

  8. #28
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    Default Re: Calling all film makers & videographers

    Quote Originally Posted by desmond-
    i studied video productions as my poly major, but i just made the switch to photography as a career choice recently...

    had a conversation with stereobox a few days ago and a similar topic came up. we both agreed that a motion picture requires the collaboration of a team, and the creative input as an individual is largely reduced. in photography, the creative decisions are very much, if not solely, mine... so i prefer photography a lot more.
    ah..sorry i'm replying to this so late. i think the 'few days ago' is now '1,2 weeks' ago already

    thinking about it, it's not entirely true that creative input as an individual is largely reduced in motion film. it all depends on how the whole production from top to end is directed. in certain cases, creative input can even be enhanced and encouraged - though it may fall into the danger of being 'creatively chaotic'. it's up to the director/producer/etc to pull the reins (or not). although usually, the process takes place during the brainstorming sessions.

    but agree, depending on the 'type' of stills-photography one does, it does allow a certain latitude of 'control' and responsibility (both creative and technical) placed solely on the photgrapher.

    am i making sense?
    Last edited by Stereobox; 15th March 2006 at 02:24 AM.

  9. #29
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    Default Re: Calling all film makers & videographers

    the main difference between stills photography, and motion film/videography/whatever-hd-ography ...

    in stills, when we press the shutter release button, we are exposing 1 or 2 frames at a time (not refering to sports/wildlife)

    in motion capture, a few frames per second gets exposed.

    in stills, the meaning/intention of the photographer has to be communicated via that 1,2 frames (or series of 1,2 frames)

    in motion capture, the story has to be told via a continuous series of frames.

    i guess different emphasis is placed on the importance of the 'frame' here and how it is used.

  10. #30
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    Default Re: Calling all film makers & videographers

    no, as I can't afford another expensive hobby.

  11. #31
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    Default Re: Calling all film makers & videographers

    for me, i've always been intrigued by the 'cinematic' possibilities of stills-photography.

    not only in terms of technical production (working, interacting and directing 'cast and crew' to realise a common photographic vision) but also in the explorations of 'cinematic' themes and lighting styles.

    sometimes u just get bored shooting alone (poor excuse for lack of individual creativity =P )

  12. #32

    Default Re: Calling all film makers & videographers

    Quote Originally Posted by hangten
    Hey everyone, why don't we go over to sgfilm.com? It's a community for filmmakers and movie lovers. It isn't as active as CS, but maybe we could get something going.
    I beg to differ. (most, not all) Folks there are the arm chair film critic. Not many as filmmaking experience, less the passion to go out and make something, unlike the predominantly photographers here in this forum ...


    I think people here take photos more than theysit around to talk about how the latest Russell Wong (just an example, no malice meant) photograph is good/bad or how they feel about it.

    I go to that forum to play the devils' advocate since I don't agree to what people there think, if they don't experience the 'making' process of it.

  13. #33

    Default Re: Calling all film makers & videographers

    Quote Originally Posted by edfck
    i think photographers will make better film makers than videographers... wat do u think?
    not necessary. I don't know what's your opinion to state as such. love to hear why.

  14. #34

    Default Re: Calling all film makers & videographers

    Quote Originally Posted by Boddah
    a good dop may make a good photographer, but a good photographer may not make a good dop.
    I disagree.

    I think its all up to the individual and their eye for details and creativity

  15. #35

    Default Re: Calling all film makers & videographers

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Lim
    The significance of photography helps in the initial composition. Not much on lighting and anything else.
    Here I disagree already. Some photographers do choose to use lighting over strobes. so why can't they become good at lighting too ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Lim
    And the title of DOP (Director of photography) Does not apply to videographers. It only applies to Conventional film shooters.
    I disagree somewhat. Why not ? If an independent filmmaker has chosen digital film (video) to shoot his low budget story, I think his visual representantion of the story (in sync with the director's) will be base on cocepts of photography. Only the techinical differences of the medium of video and film ( 8/s8 , 16/S16 and 35mm etc) will determine his techinical differences in the ways in applying the similar photographical aspects to contribute to the final visuals presented to the audience. As such, the control over the lighting prospects of each scene, will be determined by the DOP. But mostly in large scale (budget) productions done on commercial movies that mostly utilises the film medium, the DOPs will be specifically named cinematographers, since theire work is done predominantly for the cinema screen.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Lim
    There is a certain amount of experience and ability needed before a camera man can be quantified as a DOP.
    this statement, for me, rather applies to the relationship of terms 'camera operator' and 'DOP' in the commercial movie context. On those , the amount of budget serves for the DOP to only be focused on the overall lighting aspects of the scene. his primary tool would be the light meter and perhaps the director's viewfinder. his skill set would included extensive knowledge of grip setups and how ultimately it will look on film. (he might takes peeks into the actual camera occasionally)

    the camera operator's jobscope will solely be operating the camera after decisions by the dop to the lens choice (director obviously can have say in all fields of a film's shoot but only if he is absolutely sure, or else he wouldn't be a good one to begin with), location, camera movement (if any) or camera choice film speed , shutter angle, (under/over) cranking concerns. good camera ops do have the opportunity to move up to DOP status after years of experience .

    Union laws in US do not allow DOPs to work inclusively as cam ops (as far as I know) unless it is a non-union sanctioned motion picture (which means you do/might not get credited /paid officially as those job titles as well.) This results in various freshmen revelling working in non union conditions for creative freedom and portfolio building , as well as deciding what they ultimately want to pursue (even if those young bloods are already pretty talented and on par with working professionals that has made a name for themselves)

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Lim
    A good DOP MAY make a good photographer but not vice versa.
    I dunno if this means the nature of DOPs working in a team, while photographers working solo (creatively, at least), or else I can't understand why they cannot be good vice versa or both ways. It is totally up to the individual's talent, creativity, skillsets and his passion to pursue those skillsets. Many Hollywood players move from photography to DOP to director. case study : Indian medicine - turned - photography grad, Tarsem Singh. Who did the movie 'the Cell' with J-lo, one of the most lusciously photographed films.


    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Lim
    Dop is - It is an in born talent. If you have it, then you have it. If you don't have it. you will never have it. I have a few stories to show that this fact is quite true if any of you want to know pm me.
    again I don't agree. don't have to pm me. Passion - drive - Practise learn learn learn. peer exchange. If your statement is definitive, then China as a single, most populated country with the proportionately large per capita of talent in various skillset (let's assume here , since this is highly probably to find more talents where there's more people) , should have the best and most number of good DOPs than US or eastern europe, where most of the DOPs , really come from, thus far in the (over) 100 years of filmmaking.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Lim
    I sincerely apologise for this bad sounding attitude. But i really find it hard to swallow when people keep calling themselves DOP when they cannot hardly even operate a videocam much less a film camera. Cheers.
    I totally understand how you feel, and I agree. BUT DOP is just a name, like taxi driver. there are good and bad. doesn't mean all DOPs mean they are good ones. As much as the term 'Professional' is mis-interpreted, so is 'DOP' . Going pro simply means your livelihood is based on it (skillset). It doesn't necessarily mean you have to be good. higher chance of it being somewhat true, only because if you were really bad at it, you wouldn't be a pro for a very long time .

    Good luck to anyone who wants to follow this road less travelled . I know I want a lot of it for many years to come

  16. #36

    Default Re: Calling all film makers & videographers

    Quote Originally Posted by cheese
    come on, film & digital.. its just a format. its the type of work that determines whether you are a dop or a videographer, not the equipment. the only thing i agree with you is that a dop is more than just knowing how to operate a image-recording device.. it encompasses translating the director's vision into visuals, selection of lenses & gear, colour & lighting, framing & composition (with the additional element of camera motion).
    I think you're implying that the format choice will not have bearing on the terms 'DOP' and 'videographer' . actually I would put videographer within the bracket of the term 'DOP' and soley as such when he only works on video (digital or analogue) withing that specifc project. 'DOP' liked I previously posted is just a term for the jobscope , akin to , say taxi driver. whether a good one, or a bad one ; crown or benz, or maxicab.

    I agree DOP has to know more than operating, which will be a plus, but doesn't have to be exclusive. He could, theoratically go from a grip background and have strengths in lighting equipment over , say, camera operation and photography elements like composition ... but its a longer, harder path but because the field of photography is more informative to learn (more books written on photography because of its nature as an effortless solo pursuit, than say comparatively more expensive books about exclusively expensive motion picture cameras and lighting equipement and grip setups - which involve ultimately teamwork and very exclusive to the profit-minded world of motion picture business), and thus such a path might even be easier somewhat since his hard earned chops in grip / cam op proves to be his winning career ascent.

    I hope these make sense and help.

    Glad to discuss further. Keep this thread up !

  17. #37

    Default Re: Calling all film makers & videographers

    Quote Originally Posted by lsisaxon
    There are more films now shot on HD than film now, so does that mean the DPs will not shoot if they're asked to shoot HD instead of film?

    Maybe some stuck up DPs will demand they shoot on film very much like a few film advocates in this forum. A good DP will shoot on any media if the clients can pay his price. Similarly, a good photographer should be able to shoot on any media also.
    Not sure what type of films you are refering too that HD is overtaking film, but in the context of the biggest movie market, i.e. Hollywood, not true. Film is preferred and used more still and doesn't seem to dramtically shift towards HD rapidly just yet, unlike still photography. Technicaly reasons are simple to explain. easy to shoot on film, but HD res is still under , say APS size CCD/CMOS sensor res. So if digital still with say 10 MP (nikon D200), single photo raw will be approx 16Mb (from Dpreview review) . Ok, now for motion picture, multiply that by 24 times (in film context 1 sec of motion picture is made up of 24 individual frames of snapshots of stills to recreate motion, basic motion picture law) . approx 384Mb/s and thus with maths, 1 min approx 23,040MB already... thus for digital film (video formats,) there isn't yet a film conquering medium to easily outdo (even super16mm) film in terms of data integrity and ultimately picture quality (digital is still relatively new compared to 100 years of technology in the field of emulsion tech for the silver halide.

    don't even get me started on HDV and 'true' HD etc. but for the present, HD is relatively cheaper when all the cost factors are finally added up. Thus most low-er budget companies lean towards HD as its is (almost) WYSIWYG styled, video shots , while film is a highly techinicaly and expensive discipline to master. (yes, those tapes are like CF cards, can reuse. at your own data's integrity risk)

    since the tech skillsets are different, often we hear urban legends (and truths) that some DOPs (or DPs for short in USA) would ultimately make mistakes at either ends when crossing over formats. like I stressed b4, pro doesn't mean always good.

    so in addition to lsisaxon' statement here, a good anybody should be able to do any format on any tool. imagine if you bump into Russell Wong (sorry, I use him e.g. again, no malice intended, apologies.) and ask him to take a photo of you travelling with your P+S, and he can come up with a great photo (btw his first time using your model) , that is, IMO, the mark of a good photographer... all direct factors being equal and someone can come up with exceptional work.

  18. #38

    Default Re: Calling all film makers & videographers

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Lim
    DOPs do not select the shots to translate the director's script into a visual instead, he gives his creative opinion.
    True to some extent. but when a working relationship between a director and a DOP is so strong and trusting, who's to say director wouldn't give some creative reigns to the DOP ? filmmaking is a collective effort, if everything he wants to decide, means film Nazi already lah. speaking of which Speilberg now mostly only works with Kaminsky and a lot of those decisions are already easily made by Kaminsky since
    a) Speilberg's most important task as a director , should easily be working with his actors. Wouldn't you want to, when actors are the most transistional part of your (regular) filmmaking team ?
    b) after so many collaborations, without any violent differences (would u still stick together if the paring just doens't work out smoothly?), wouldn't you as a DOP, already know what the Director wants ? Its all teamwork.

    DOPs of course can and should suggest, since he should ultimately know better in terms of visual composition. He should also fight for his cause and explain, with supportive reasons, why he would disagree with what a director wants, that maybe ultimately non-constructive to the storytelling.

    If a new director who's weakest area is in DOP/cinematography (videography simply means shooting video and shouldn't be the video equivalent of the term 'cinematography') , then he/she should obviously hear out the DOP. Teamwork should also mean a bit of easy democracy and exchange of ideas. If not what's left to learn off each other ??

  19. #39

    Default Re: Calling all film makers & videographers

    Quote Originally Posted by lsisaxon

    Therefore, the DPs has to be both artistically and technically very competent to do his/her job well.
    I would also like to point out that not all technicalities will be handled by the DOP. He's not a film wikipedia. some cases, for eg., sometimes camera models differ, and are so complex, that camera providers (yes they don't need to own themselves or can/want to afford to own cameras of their own) will often have their own tech representatives on site to provide assistance (these scenarios are obviously big budget productions akin to hollywood, for illustrations purposes here) .

    DOP's technical resposibilites are simple to translate some of his decisions and suggestions into painting the visual representation of the script , from the storytelling pov , into what the directors ultimately , wants the audience to see, with simply his manipulation of light. DOPs are sometimes better referred to as painters of light (coined by the great John Alton, who wrote about DOPs 'painting' the moving picture 'with light' )

  20. #40

    Default Re: Calling all film makers & videographers

    Quote Originally Posted by Stereobox
    ah..sorry i'm replying to this so late. i think the 'few days ago' is now '1,2 weeks' ago already

    thinking about it, it's not entirely true that creative input as an individual is largely reduced in motion film. it all depends on how the whole production from top to end is directed. in certain cases, creative input can even be enhanced and encouraged - though it may fall into the danger of being 'creatively chaotic'. it's up to the director/producer/etc to pull the reins (or not). although usually, the process takes place during the brainstorming sessions.

    but agree, depending on the 'type' of stills-photography one does, it does allow a certain latitude of 'control' and responsibility (both creative and technical) placed solely on the photgrapher.

    am i making sense?
    Quite agreeable. That's why awards (ugh, yuck) are presented to the specific people in their area of responsibility in the movie. They are mostly the deciding factor but not the only one, and that's why they all include the mandatory 'pats on each other's back' when thanking for the award. Sometimes the fame of the name will make or break the film itself, as such. Jerry Bruckheimer films will (almost always) have his namesake above others (when paired with lesser known directors) , but especially true if you start to feel that 'his' film has its own represented subcategory , regardless of the nature of the subject. thus I feel, quite demoralising to be creatively involved in projects that fall under a similar stigma .

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