88 Cinematographers Share the Best Advice They Have Ever Been Given

Here at No Film School, we're massive fans of Evan Luzi's website, The Black and Blue. If you're an aspiring camera assistant, or if you're aspiring to any camera department position, then the B&B is the single best resource on the entirety of the internet (not to mention that the newly re-designed site is absolutely gorgeous). Evan recently posted an article featuring advice from 88 of the world's best cinematographers, and seeing so much great advice in one place can only be described as astounding.

In order to dredge up this plethora of cinematographic advice, Evan had to dig into the archives of American Cinematographer Magazine and pull quotes from the ASC Close Up, which profiles a new cinematographer in each issue.

Some of the advice is straight-forward and practical, some is philosophical and contemplative, while some of it is just downright funny. Here are just a few of my absolute favorites from Evan's roundup.

‘Keep it simple.’ It’s always exciting to try a new piece of gear, but sometimes two grips pulling a camera on a blanket is still the best solution.
Glen MacPherson, ASC


I’ve learned so much from reading American Cinematographer, and the best professional advice I ever received was from an interview with Gordon Willis. In it, he stressed the importance of always having a point of view when approaching a scene. It’s the first question I ask myself when I’m designing my coverage: what is the point of view, or whose? Once I’ve answered this question, everything falls into place with much more ease.

Ernest Dickerson, ASC


‘The edges of the frame are often more interesting than the center.’
Luciano Tovoli, ASC, AIC


Don’t let yourself become too obsessed with technology. Find a balance with your creativity.
Jerzy Zielinski, ASC, PSC


From my grandfather, Carmine Coppola: What you do with your non-working time is more important than what you do with your working time.
John Schwartzman

Of course, there's no single piece of advice that will instantly make you a better filmmaker (except maybe this one). However, through a combination of working hard, creating fantastic content, being a respectable person, and a little bit of luck, a career in the filmmaking industry is absolutely attainable.

There are many, many more pieces of cinematography advice just waiting for you over at The Black and Blue, so get over there check them out.

What do you guys think? What's the best advice you've ever been given in regards to filmmaking, and what's the best advice that you could possibly give to up and coming filmmakers? Let us know down in the comments!

Link: 88 Cinematographers Share the Best Professional Advice They've Ever Received -- The Black and Blue

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Your Comment


kodak 35mm…stunning

December 17, 2013 at 1:53AM, Edited September 4, 8:45AM



December 17, 2013 at 10:02AM, Edited September 4, 8:45AM


Do something... even if it's wrong.

December 17, 2013 at 6:27PM, Edited September 4, 8:45AM


Thanks for the write-up, Robert! Really pleased that everyone has had such a positive reaction to this article.

December 17, 2013 at 7:43PM, Edited September 4, 8:45AM


December 18, 2013 at 8:19AM, Edited September 4, 8:45AM


Awful, stupid! How many times are you going to use this pseudo "lexus" stylistic.

December 20, 2013 at 3:34AM, Edited September 4, 8:45AM


"Just do it" is the best advise. Pick up your camera and film stuff and edit stuff. Then you'll get the passion, others will see your passion and things will move on from there.

June 19, 2015 at 6:55AM

Eddy Bergman
Film maker

wow 88 Cinematographers sharing knowledge.

April 23, 2017 at 12:00AM, Edited April 23, 12:00AM

Kat Phill
Senior Editor

"The owner of theblackandblue.com has configured their web site improperly. To protect your information from being stolen, Firefox has not connected to this web site."

January 21, 2019 at 2:21AM

Karel Bata
Director / DP / Stereographer