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Do too many people label themselves as 'Cinematographers'?

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#1
richg101

Posted 23 December 2012 - 09:02 PM

richg101

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Something I have been wondering recently.  It seems everyone with a dslr that happens to use movie mode now and again is suddenly labeling themselves as cinematographers.  

 

I remember a day when if someone told me they were a director of photography or a cinematographer, they would have shot something real.  Back in the days of playing with Sony Handycams, - which at that point they were in the same price bracket as a dslr, The people making short films, and skate videos with them would have never considered themselves 'cinematographers'.  Does a dslr with a 50mm f1.8 and the resultant shallow dof warrant the camera owner to label themselves as a cinematographer?  

 

I guess it is an attempt to make people take them more seriously?  I'd be happy undertaking 'camera operator' role in my own, or a friends film, and would be happy to shape the visuals in my own style, but would be worried about advertising myself as a cinematographer who is given artistic license to drastically shape the visual aspect of a proper production.  I consider myself artistic and have an eye for beauty, and trust my artistic decisions for my own scripts but would not yet label myself a cinematographer.  

 

 http://en.wikipedia....Cinematographer

 

Reading this initial description on wikipedia, I would certainly not agree that any more than 1% of the dslr showreels you see posted on forums, with the label 'cinematography portfolio' shows the ability of someone I would want to employ to undertake the role of shaping the visual aspect of any film I wanted to produce.

 

The dop's shooting stuff like Poirot were creating cinematic stuff for tv but even they probably didnt refer to themselves as cinematographers.  but more DOP's.  So why are 19yr olds labeling themselves as cinematographers?  in the same bracket as men we see with A.S.C and B.S.C after their names?  just seems mad to me!



#2
markm

Posted 23 December 2012 - 09:26 PM

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I think the clue is in the name Cinematographer or Cinematography. This is a name like Photographer. A cinematographer shoots movies destined for the Cinema.

 

A DoP would need a camera department to be able to direct a Camera crew that would need to have A Gaffer Grips and AC's and is an American term Not used professionally in this country.

 

Many on the internet now use the names loosely.

 

Poirot is made for TV and in any case they are neither DoP DP or Cinemtographers. The UK job description for a DoP is a lighting cameraman.

 

Many who have NOT worked hard through the ranks to be Lighting Cameraman have awarded themselves the title of DoP.

 

Fortunatly MOST can easily tell how good someone is with a Camera..



#3
Zach

Posted 23 December 2012 - 09:27 PM

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I will say that getting a cinematic image is certainly easier than it has ever been for the masses. 



#4
MOONGOAT

Posted 23 December 2012 - 10:42 PM

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It's a bit laughable for someone like a hobbyist to call themselves a Cinematographer, but not necessarily untrue. Whats bothersome is when people call themselves a DoP. Becoming a DoP takes years of experience on a professional level to achieve and shouldn't be devalued by people who shoot their cats with a DSLR.



#5
Leang

Posted 23 December 2012 - 10:45 PM

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to be a DP it is a REQUIREMENT to know how to light, and not just a shot but a SCENE.   most DPs nowadays think they've got the perfect ISO for interiors and think everything is solved and no stylized lighting is required.


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#6
brucker

Posted 24 December 2012 - 12:53 AM

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i'm an anti-viral sanitation engineer :)  



#7
powderbanks

Posted 24 December 2012 - 06:02 AM

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anyone can go buy a canvas and some paint, are they not a painter/artist? i wouldn't call myself a cinematographer, maybe videographer,..or the even more generalized 'camera man' is probably more apt for myself; but if someone else wants to call themselves a cinematographer, go for it. judge someone by their work, not their title.

 

when i do the credits for a music video or other short, i usually just credit myself with 'shot by' or 'shot and edited by.' it gets around those tricky nomenclature issues. having said that, the people i've worked with, i'm given free range of what i envision for the given song/idea (the perks of low/no budget i suppose); and after reading the wikipedia entry on 'cinematographer,' it's actually spot on to what i do..in addition to directing. but i still wouldn't put 'cinematographer' on a resume.



#8
Matt

Posted 26 December 2012 - 07:00 PM

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Times change.

Anyone can now buy a camera kit and call themselves a cameraman.

But you can't buy a set of knives and call yourself a surgeon. Well not just yet :)
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#9
MattH

Posted 27 December 2012 - 02:21 AM

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I think people are looking for a term that is analogous to "photographer":   Someone who uses a camera but shoots motion instead of stills.

 

The reason I don't like "Videographer" is it can give the impression (whether fairly or not) of someone walking round with an automatic camcorder just pointing it dumbly at things.   Whereas "Photographer" has inbuilt connotations of artistry.

 

The good thing about "photographer" too is that it doesn't imply pro.   You can be a amateur photographer or an enthusiast photographer.  To imply pro, you would probably say "pro photographer".

 

You don’t have to be a high earning pro just to take part in the activity of photography.  So shouldn't the same apply for cinematography?

 

Perhaps "Motion Photographer" would be a good term for most enthusiast video people?  : more artistic sounding than "videographer" but less pretentious and assuming than "cinematographer".



#10
septemberdawn

Posted 27 December 2012 - 03:55 AM

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Perhaps "Motion Photographer" would be a good term for most enthusiast video people?  : more artistic sounding than "videographer" but less pretentious and assuming than "cinematographer".

 Motion Photography is also used for stills .....a Google image search will list samples.

 

How 'bout:

Cineographer?  Cineography

 

Cine:

Adjective = Cinematographic

 


#11
Zach

Posted 27 December 2012 - 05:15 AM

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I usually prefer/present myself as a "film-maker" 






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