Last year, I shared an interview with one of the most prolific commercial and music video DP's in the country, Matthias Koenigswieser. A good portion of that article was centered around the importance of cinematographers finding representation, as well as some best practices for young cinematographers looking to land an agent. Representation is definitely a tremendously important subject for folks who are looking to make a sustainable living as a DP, but there are so many important questions to consider. Luckily, our friends over at Cinefii tracked down two of LA's premier cinematographic agents and got them to spill the beans on things that up and coming cinematographers need to know about representation.
The following video interview features Richard Caleel and Kristen Tolle-Bilings of Worldwide Production Agency, as they answer a few of the most pertinent questions related to cinematographers finding representation.
Video is no longer available: vimeo.com/97338993
One of the most compelling pieces of advice that Caleel and Tolle-Bilings have for cinematographers is that they not only need to have an updated reel with their most accomplished and recent work, but that it's essential to have a website or online portfolio of some sort that allows potential employers to get a quick overview of your work and your style. Websites are often the first stop for people looking to hire talent -- before they ever start calling around to agencies -- so having a portfolio that shows off not only your work, but also your unique aesthetic and personality, is key.
As for actually finding representation as a cinematographer, it's much more about letting the agents come to you than it is about tracking them down. Agents and agencies are always on the lookout for new talent for their rosters, and they're often at film festivals and industry events trying to find new talent. What this means for cinematographers is that it's paramount to showcase your best work as often as you can, because you never know who might see it.
Additionally, it's incredibly important to constantly be working on creative projects, even if they're unpaid or low-budget, especially if it's something that will end up on your reel or portfolio. By constantly creating work and putting it out into the world, cinematographers can greatly increase their chances of finding an agent. Beyond that, developing and fostering a unique aesthetic, or personal style, can help you stand out in a market that is incredibly saturated with camera-savvy kids, thus making you even more attractive to an agency.
What do you guys think about the issue of cinematographers finding representation? What tips or advice would you give to a DP looking to find an agent? Let us know down in the comments!