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.
‘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.
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!