The job of a cinematographer is to translate the ideas of a director into visuals. The vision of the director is given life by the cinematographer as the visuals are very important to support the content.
What do they do?
The vision of the director is given life by the cinematographer as the visuals are very important to support the content. They are responsible for capturing the images, composition, lighting the set, camera movements (the smoothness of which determines the cuts) and visual styling of the film.
They work in different mediums such as film production, (which may include feature film, documentaries, advertising, etc) television and broadcast production. Aspiring cinematographers begin their career as assistant cameraperson to an established cinematographer. They select the film stock, lens, filters, etc., to realise the scene in accordance with the intentions of the director. Relations between cinematographers and directors vary; in some instances the director allows them complete independence; in others, the director allows little to none.
- The basic trait to be a cinematographer is to have an eye for good pictures
- He or she must begin with still photography
- Framing is the key to a good visual, when he or she has the eye to capture good visuals the rest should fall in place
- Lighting is another important trait; lighting plays around with the mood of the visual
How do I get there?
It is important to study pictures to learn and understand the aesthetics. One needs to observe the architecture, lighting, framing, colour, contrast and tone of the image. A diploma course in cinematography at the film institute would help you learn and improve your skills. There are short-term courses as well being offered. Practical knowledge has to be complimented with good theoretical knowledge, reading helps a great deal.