Roger Deakins is no stranger to this site, but that's because he's been extremely generous throughout his career about giving advice and trying to help those who are just starting out (in fact that's why he started a forum). If you aren't an Academy Award-nominated Cinematographer (I'm guessing you aren't), Roger Deakins has some sage advice for you. Check out the video below.
Thanks to Cinefii for the video:
Video is no longer available: www.youtube.com/watch?v=zroANjaiZeQ
It might seem obvious at first, but it's clear that many of the great DPs have developed a very particular perspective not only with their work, but in their lives. This certainly gives their films a distinct character, and it's one of the reasons you can point out the work of your favorite Cinematographers. I think his comment about it getting harder to be a DP as your profession certainly has some truth to it. There is more competition than ever, and filmmakers are trying to make movies with the least amount of money possible -- which doesn't always mean that you're getting a healthy salary every time you step on set.
I think if you're trying to be a DP, it's also getting harder to simply make it as one kind of DP. Those who familiarize themselves with lots of different kinds of shooting can have an advantage when it comes to finding work. I think just like only being a director of low-budget movies is probably not enough to sustain you, just being a DP of low-budget feature films will probably not be enough either.
I don't think all hope is lost though -- a huge advantage to equipment getting cheaper is that anyone can go out a build a great-looking reel -- a lot of it comes down to how willing you are to put yourself out there.
What do you guys think?