Director of Photography
What is a DoP, or Director of Photography?
- Creates the visual identity, or look, of the film
- Works with the Director, camera crew and lighting department
- Manages all aspects of filming: from ordering and overseeing to recces to reviewing footage
What does a DoP do?
- Must discover photographic heart of the screenplay
- Create the desired look using lighting, framing, camera movement, etc.
- Works with Director to discuss visual style of film
- Prepare lists of all camera equipment needed
- On each day of the principal photography they come early with camera crews on set to prepare the equipment
- During rehearsals Director and DoP block the shots and discuss special camera movements or lighting with crew
What skills are needed?
- Have good technical knowledge of photo-chemical and digital processes
- Know about camera equipment
- Know about lighting techniques and how to achieve them
- Make decisions quickly
- Be flexible
- Be creative
- Have artistic vision
- Be detail oriented
- Be able to give and accept direction
- Have good communication skills
Are there any qualifications needed?
- Take a degree in stills photography for knowledge on understanding of composition
- Drama, art or film degree is good place to start
Where do I start?
- Start your career in a junior capacity, like as 2nd Assistant Camera to progress through the camera department
- Go through either camera or lighting department
- Work on a camera crew to fully learn the on-set hierarchy and traditions of working
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