Monday, May 10, 2010

Day 173: Being the Cinematographer

9 May, 2010

This shoot is turning out to be more interesting and challenging learning experience than I thought. That is the most positive articulation I can give this eventful process.

After a very colourful first day of shoot on Saturday, this morning both my cinematographers didn't turn up for whatever reasons. I had a couple of actors lounging around in my house, waiting for the shoot to begin and so I decided to make the best of the situation. I took my own handycam and did a proper shoot of the scene I had in mind. Thus I turned cinematographer for the day.

The good news is that, the scene came out pretty well in terms of the performances, the feel and the flow etc. I could imagine how nice it would be post editing because the raw footage in itself was satisfactory. The news-that-could-have-been-better is that my camera is not really the best one around. While it is super suitable for short films, I am a bit hesitant to use it for a feature film. To shoot the whole thing and then see that it's crap on a bigger screen some day, would be a waste of effort.

While I was contemplating these issues, one of the cinematographers who didn't turn up called me up and apologized for his disappearance. Then as a patch up gesture, he offered me his camera (a very good one) to be used as per my own, and has offered me lessons on how to use it so that I can take up cinematography as well. Since I am my most reliable option in terms of time commitment, this would be the most perfect solution. On top of that, in spite of a last minute notice, another friend came down to support during my distress period and gave me some tips on cinematography as well.

So at night, I started messing around with this advanced camera and took some shots in different angles and different lightings, and I must say I am beginning to produce some decent results. I am definitely not as clueless about cinematography as I was when I started out and it looks like something I would really enjoy. Yeah, I need to re-shoot pretty much everything from last weekend but I think all this is happening for a reason.

So here's to me being a cinematographer.

827 more to go.


  1. A useful learning for me atleast is that when you're doing something, however small, on your own - you need to know or atleast understand the whole pipeline very very well. In the early days atleast, it makes sense to even do the whole thing by ourselves so it'll come to a point where we can delegate effectively..

    Not sure if the explanation makes sense. Sometimes, the thoughts to words translation is not perfect. :)