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Career In Cinematography
Image Credits: Treebo

The first silent movie, The Great Train Robbery, was introduced to the world in 1903. Since then, motion picture technology has advanced significantly. However, the cinematography is still one of the most important aspects of making any motion picture. Today, however, the majority of cinematographers rely on digital technology.

The majority of cinematographers start their cinematography careers at the extremity and work their way up. For example, starting their work as an assistant to a more experienced cinematographer or director of photography. Some may even be able to land a gig as the primary cinematographer on low budget motion picture productions. As more experience is gained, directors and producers may start considering them for positions with more responsibility as well as higher budget productions.

Working on a motion picture isn’t the only option for those interested in a cinematography career. Television studios and advertising agencies, for instance, might also hire cinematographers.

Cinematographers and set designers usually work hand in hand to build contraptions to hold cameras that glide on rails.

Although by watching award-winning movies and experienced professionals at work cinematography skills can be learnt, most successful cinematographers choose to earn relevant degrees.

A two or four-year degree in the film can be an excellent way to start a cinematography career. Many traditional universities offer these types of degrees.

“While no course can make you good cinematographer, a good teacher can guide you to explore your curiosity towards the medium,” says Dani Raymond

Skills Required:

  • hands-on-experience of various film cameras, adapters, filters, various types of lens and the usage of the reflector.
  • Knowledge of Frames and Composition.
  • Feasible knowledge of Interior and Exterior set-lights.
  • Adaptable to the work locations and ready to face any challenge.
  • Able to meet the necessary deadlines.

Though the orientation in a film institute is predominantly fiction, many of cinematographers from film institutes lead satisfying careers working in documentaries. Even the ones who are moving towards a career in fiction do end up shooting a few documentaries. That invariably turns out to be very enhancing and valuable. One can also make good money from this line. Cinematographers are one of the quickest to start making money. The top DOPs (Director of Photography) is prized like film stars and directors and producers are constantly chasing them. Like any creative line, one has to be prepared for a struggle. However, Verily After Hardship comes Ease.

Perks With This Career

One of the biggest perks about becoming a cinematographer is the large demand that the future holds, thus ensuring that cinematographers find work when they look for it.

Downsides To Cinematography

The long working hours and late-night shoots are definitely one of the downsides to becoming a cinematographer. It is a physically demanding field to work in. Along with being a competitive industry. It thus can be hard to get the best jobs which might leave you settling for things you may not want to take on, just to pay your bills.

Locations Where You Can Study Cinematography

Locations for this career include all the places where the major film and television industries are located such as

  • New York
  • LA
  • Mumbai
  • New Mexico, and other such cities.

Best Institutes To Offer Cinematography 

The American Film Institute (AFI) is the most famous of all film schools in Los Angeles, and the whole of the United States.

The CalArts School of Film and Video, one most prestigious film schools in Los Angeles (CalArts is located in the suburb of Valencia).

Across The Globe

  • NYU Film School
  • USC School of cinematic arts
  • Toronto Film School, Canada
  • London Film School
  • Beijing Film School
  • Sydney Film School, Australia
  • Tel Aviv University, Israel

With the advent of the internet more and more visual content is being produced on digital platforms like Netflix, YouTube, Amazon, etc. which has opened a wide variety of opportunities for all the aspiring cinematographers. If you are one of them, you must definitely pursue your dream.


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