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What it's like to be a cinematographer

August 14, 2014, 10:40 pm | This story has an Influence Score of 1056

By anaghakulkarni

Cinematography came to me when I was busy being a Director. My imaging brought everyone's attention to my work. I am a very eccentric individual,but when the camera is placed in my hands I become one with the Camera and surprise even myself. It’s like getting the best of both worlds.

There is nothing in this world I would rather do or be.

The joys versus the disappointments.

Cinematography brings the joy of colors and the art of painting with light. For me every light that stands on the set is like a brush stroke that enhances the painting. The joy of taking the story or the mission statement forward. The only disappointment here is being an independent individual living with oneself. Hardly get time off and constantly working away from home.

The best thing about being a Cinematographer is that you get to be the very first audience to an amazing story. You get to watch it before anyone in this world gets their eye on this amazing story.

What's the absolute worst thing about it?

A lot of physical excertion. Standing - running - bending - being crunched in back of the trunk or climbing a tree to get a shot. It's fun but very challenging. Twice we shot at -29 degrees (Celsius) in Winter.

The advice that I would love to give someone who is considering this profession is that you have to absolutely love the Camera, this profession is both ART and SCIENCE (Technology) -- both to the tee. Be creative and careful at the same time.  You have to be a people person, we all spend 13 hrs a day together, we have to like each other and have fun.  

If I won the lottery tonight, would I still keep at it, and why?

Yes, definitely I will go crazy buying necessary equipment and start making my own films with my team. You have to be loyal to your team that's the key!  

In terms of challenges to be overcome in order to be successful at being a cinematographer, the first battle is to know what you really like doing on the Camera team, lighting - Camera - DIT [digital imaging technician] etc. Then the next step is working on getting good at it. It was very difficult for me to relax on the set, my team would call me “MILITARY”, but I have learnt to breathe while I am working and getting better at my skills. One has to find work to develop the skills. Its all Team work! They have to respect you and have fun working with you. And share the passion. Trust me it sounds easy but it is most difficult.

What would I say to someone if they wanted to be a cinematographer just for the money?

There is no money here. Find something else to do. And be so good that you will not be denied. Doing your duty is what you hold the right to, the money or reward will follow, if your work deserves it. Passion is the force that drives you to be the better you.

In short, to be a Cinematographer is the ability to paint with lights and be the first audience of your story.

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