November 13, 2014

This Hilarious Parody of the 'Being a Cinematographer' Video Will Make Your Day

'Being a Cinematographer' Parody
Every now an again, something comes along that reminds us that we need to stop taking ourselves so seriously.

This past summer, we shared a short video about what it means to be a cinematographer. Just in case you missed it the first time around, here it is once again.

Just as swiftly as it was posted, an outpouring of comments calling the video unbearably pretentious rolled in, proving once again that internet comments are often far more entertaining than the content itself. When the dust settled, the consensus seemed to be that the only requirements for being a cinematographer were having a beard, tattoos, and an insurmountable sense of self importance. 

Granted, we all know that being a cinematographer is an incredibly complex job, one that requires both an innate sense of how to tell a story visually and the ability to manage a team of people. However, this video was absolutely ripe for parody, and I'm happy to report that Adam Khamis did exactly that.

Ultimately, this parody serves as a gentle, albeit hilarious, reminder that what we're doing isn't rocket science or brain surgery. As fun as it can be to pontificate on our professions (or hobbies) from time to time, at the end of the day, we're just making movies, plain and simple.      

Your Comment

50 Comments

"...steady on God, I am the light.."

lol brilliant

November 13, 2014 at 9:21AM

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Dan Keeble
Video Editor + Cameraman
208

Having never seen either of these videos, I watched the first one (the original) and thought that it was the parody. It's so hilariously pretentious that even the parody doesn't outdue its pretentiousness.

November 13, 2014 at 9:45AM, Edited November 13, 9:45AM

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Yep, the first one is funny in it's pretentious way. The second is a parody, which (I have been told) are supposed to be funny. Meh. The title should be "I'm a pretentious hipster DP". Luckily, I don't hire DPs that fit the Williamsburg stereotype as well as this guy does.

November 13, 2014 at 9:48AM

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Christopher Holt
Producer/Director
99

I thought the original was an elaborate set-up for a silly payoff, like they'd be shooting a mayonnaise commercial or something.

November 13, 2014 at 10:54AM

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Greg Andersson
Editor
81

I had the exact same reaction.

November 13, 2014 at 1:13PM

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Benjamin Lebeau
Cinematographer, Colorist, Editor
349

Me too! I kept waiting for the payoff in the 1st one. It was so ridiculous and when it ended I couldn't believe that someone actually read that script and said "Yep"

November 13, 2014 at 2:36PM

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Caleb Price
Director
462

Haha! A final product shot of mayonnaise would've salvaged the whole thing. It was probably conceived by students. I remember the self-important days of film school, before you go out into the world and get beat up. Although the cinematography in the spot was quite nice.

November 14, 2014 at 10:30AM

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Jon du Toit
Writer / Director
242

I was hoping he'd save the world by jumping off the building in the end.

November 16, 2014 at 11:47PM

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Marc Curtis
Photojournalist (video type)
103

Yes! I thought the same thing.

November 13, 2014 at 8:26PM

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Ricardo Hernandez
Dirección de Arte
81

Bottom line: If you take your own work seriously, let the work speak for itself. Or be prepared to get taken down a notch or two.

November 13, 2014 at 10:02AM

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Benton Collins
Camera aimer
270

ain't funny bro, even the original is a fail.

November 13, 2014 at 10:26AM

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Firas Mojbani
Director/Filmmaker/Editor
81

The original strikes as me very odd (as well as being pretentious) because the voiceover is Welsh, but he's reading a book in Spanish (portraying him as an intellectual?) - and there's some Spanish featured on some of the boxes. So it's the story of a Welsh cinematographer living/working in Spain..?

November 13, 2014 at 10:47AM, Edited November 13, 10:47AM

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Myles Thompson
Videographer
82

Efti is a Spanish school, but I guess they did the narration in different languages to pull in some more of those sweet hipster trustfund dollars.

November 13, 2014 at 11:03AM

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Chuck McDowell
1st AC
443

Well to be fair, the original video is supposed to be a commercial for a film school in Spain which I am assuming is trying to attract international students. Which doesn't make it any less ridiculous or pretentious - actually, the fact that it is promoting a FILM SCHOOL probably makes it even MORE ridiculous and pretentious :)

November 13, 2014 at 11:14AM

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Oren Soffer
Director of Photography
2111

So pretentious and trendy that it has to be self-reflexive right? I love the parody too. I hope he is really a cinematographer...from Spain...

Good for the film school for promoting itself either way, some nice shots.

November 13, 2014 at 11:25AM

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Hazel Watts
Producer - Director
81

I wish I got to sit in the same room as the cinematographer that worked on the commercial as he watched it for the first time.

November 13, 2014 at 12:12PM

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Chuck McDowell
1st AC
443

Some things are so ripe that they require no parody. Exhibit A.

Also, parody is funnier without a preface of, "Hey everybody, here's a hilarious parody!"

November 13, 2014 at 1:43PM, Edited November 13, 1:43PM

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"I, am a cinematographer.... eeeeuuuuuugggh"

That last line was just perfect. The original is way too far up it's own ass, though. Hopefully students coming out of the program have a more realistic head on their shoulders. It's hard to act as god, and light the nothingness of existence, when you're doing a corporate interview with Steven from accounting and he can't though a sentence without saying 20 "ums" and "uhs" #onset #setlife #stevenfromacct

November 13, 2014 at 1:44PM, Edited November 13, 1:44PM

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Alex Enman
Filmist/Colormaker
311

I love satire.
I take my work seriously, but not myself. So I took a shot at myself with some satire.
I'm thinking I need more tattoos?
https://vimeo.com/98773539

November 13, 2014 at 1:55PM, Edited November 13, 1:55PM

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Erik Stenbakken
Videographer & Photographer
383

My "Being A Film Student" parody of a pardoy? I guess that's what you'd call it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hGlyDamG6eU

November 13, 2014 at 2:38PM

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Kat Wilson
Director/Writer/Editor/1st AC
81

I understand that many think we are "just making movies" but to me and i'm sure plenty of others, this our life. We are obsessed, we live an breathe cinema and understand what it can do. It can be a tool just like a book to help influence and inspire. It can spread knowledge and information as well as make a statement. It can be extremely hard work but very rewarding and is the most collaborative industry you can get into. You make friends and family and get lost in a moment. All the professionals will tell you to treat it just like you would at a normal job, yeah you can joke around and have fun which you should be doing, but at the end of the day you have to take it serious if you want to get anywhere and make it your career and not just a hobby. Just my .02 cents but I agree the first video is pretentious and makes it seem like we do more and really hypes things up. Some of it is true though and some people really feel like they are doing something magical.

November 13, 2014 at 2:42PM

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Brad Watts
Filmmaker/Creative Director - Redd Pen Media
481

I was sure the first clip was the parody until I saw the logo at the end.

November 13, 2014 at 3:09PM, Edited November 13, 3:09PM

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Marc B
Shooter & Editor
533

El primero ya es una parodia, el segundo ya es un abuso, jajajaja.

Ernesto

November 13, 2014 at 3:49PM

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Ernesto Figge
Sound recorder, editor and mixer. Teacher
107

I truly hope the original was not serious because if it was, WOW, what pricks, hehe. Too bad the sound mix was edited by an armature....no offense. You could barely hear the VO at times. The parody version was mixed better=)

November 13, 2014 at 4:06PM, Edited November 13, 4:06PM

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Josh.R
Motion Designer/Predator
1027

First of all: I love em both, the original clip and the parody.

The efti commercial, really inspires me every time I watch it. I don't get the comments I've read so far. I don't see no pretentiousness. But what I do see is passion and love for cinematography.

I am no big shot in the industry and I did my share of ENG. I did my share of crappy business interviews and TV magazines. Before that even countless hours as a set electrician and boom operator.
Also I failed a couple of times with my photography for short films and I'm embarrassed to look at my early work in narrative storytelling. But also I see my work as art and myself as an artist, and I do spend weeks in the library studying the photographic masters. I do try to see the pictures between the letters of a script and work very closely with my directors. I love being a cinematographer and directing the photography is all about responsibility. That is exactly what I think the efti commercial is trying to remind us of. A mentor of mine said "The greatest power in the world may be money - but the second greatest is Film" I truly believe this. Without Eisenstein there would not have been a Soviet Union and without Iblackers film no hospice movement.
Talking the art of cinematography down is pure anxiety neglecting the artistic values and running away from responsibility.

Please reconsider after watching again. Not hiring someone because of his beard or tattoos is superficial and shallow. What it really means to be a cinematographer is very hard work and passion combined with knowledge far beyond technology. If you don't believe this, please make your money with something else.

November 13, 2014 at 7:11PM, Edited November 13, 7:11PM

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Denis Kunz
Director of Photography
87

So-called conservatives hate beards, tattoos, and probably, tank-tops as well. But I suspect the crowd that is hating here is the opposite of such a critic. (Which makes the social jungle of the 1960's seem quite simple.) Modern "Hipsters" never cease to amaze. They bash all things not hipster - and then they proceed to bash hipsters for being hipsters. I'm finally (though I may have been naive) beginning to believe that the word, "hipster" is synonymous with jealousy, which breeds cynical anger toward... well, very nearly everything and everyone. I suppose I agree that the original video was a bit too serious. And I suppose the parody was warranted. But the hypocrisy that has managed to seep into this thread is fairly blatant. I guess what I'm trying to say is whether the video was pretentious or not makes no difference. Anyone who likes photography should have been able to spitelessly watch and enjoy the visual aesthetics of the original video. No need bash something that, in all actuality, isn't bad.

November 13, 2014 at 8:15PM

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I think you're pretty much on the mark. However, it is the fact that it is in some ways very good--and from an apparently reputable source--that makes the bad part remarkable. I don't think anyone here is saying the photography stinks...if it did, we'd have never seen the film in the first place.

November 14, 2014 at 3:51AM

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This represent everything I hated back when I was studying in these film/photo schools from Spain. Full of hipster/pretentious people.

November 13, 2014 at 8:52PM

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It did. It did make my day :)

November 13, 2014 at 11:59PM

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Stephen Herron
Writer/Director
1497

Simply awesome! When I was first watching the original video I started thinking, "Is this a joke?"... But I thought it's shot quite nicely, that'd be a big use of time and energy for a joke. And sadly... it was not a joke. This parody nailed it. Well done. Hillarious

November 14, 2014 at 12:26AM

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Dean Butler
Writer Director Shooter Editor
626

Slightly off topic (heh!) but I wish my T2i could produce footage like this.

November 14, 2014 at 3:11AM

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Sahit Anand
Director and Co-Founder of DO. Creative Labs
364

It can...if you can ;)

November 16, 2014 at 11:59PM

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Marc Curtis
Photojournalist (video type)
103

Jesus Hellfire. El beardo tattooman is talent he's in every shot, he's not the cinematographer he's a model, unless his beard gives him forcelike powers to run a camera and light remotely. This is an ad selling a lifestyle to wannabe hipsters, and kids that didn't have the grades to get into a real college. The cinematographer is the guy who actually shot the piece and did a nice job, for the record he's not attractive or cool at all.

November 14, 2014 at 5:11AM

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Howard Roll
Boss
195

A hipster is that person who follows trends and is the opposite of the independent thinker. He or she is void of true identity. Hipster equals cliche. They create their identities based on others and become parodies, eventually, by proliferation, making what was once cool, extremely uncool. They post photos on Facebook of themselves holding Alexa's but, if you get a glimpse of what they're shooting, it's a how-to video for installing a garbage disposal. In this particular era, it's copious amounts of facial hair and as many tattoos that can fit on one's arms. I know several guys who look just like the guy in these videos. I avoid them like Ebola.

November 14, 2014 at 9:18AM, Edited November 14, 9:18AM

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Richard Krall
richardkrall.com
1497

Tatoos and a beard doesn't make someone a "hipster", judging someone because they have tattoos and and beard does kinda make you a tiny bit of a prick though. The word "hipster" has been used so widely that it practically lost its meaning anyhow.

November 14, 2014 at 10:34AM

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Andrés
82

Meaning?

November 14, 2014 at 2:51PM

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Jonathon Sendall
Stories
1701

That VO is timed perfectly. #BOOM #oscarbound

November 14, 2014 at 9:46AM

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Jon du Toit
Writer / Director
242

Hilarious! We do take ourselves too seriously sometimes... Be great at what you do, but don't make it more than what it is. Great post!

November 14, 2014 at 11:17AM, Edited November 14, 11:17AM

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Terrell Lamont
Director, Director of Photography
415

I thought the first one was a parody

November 14, 2014 at 11:36AM

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Like the others, I thought the first one was the parody. I laughed my ass off and then I find out, it was suppose to be serious. Then I laughed even harder.

The parody of the first video was actually not nearly as funny, because the first one was so hilarious.

Good stuff.

November 14, 2014 at 12:22PM, Edited November 14, 12:22PM

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Gene Sung
DP / Director
725

#lightmetersareforpussies

November 14, 2014 at 2:00PM, Edited November 14, 2:00PM

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Jackson
74

you don't need the parody at all! the original ties its own noose..I too thought the first video WAS the parody; I also thought it would end with him shooting a mayonnaise commercial ( I really thought mayonnaise, exactly like Greg Anderson).... " standby God, I'll have this lit in ten more minutes...." unbelievable!

November 14, 2014 at 4:50PM

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Wait, did he make a metaphorical parallel between himself and God in the first one? Holy shyte the 2nd one didn't even top that. Reminds me of the South Park episode where they sniff their own farts in wine glasses.

November 15, 2014 at 12:36AM, Edited November 15, 12:36AM

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Zero Kazama
Actor/Stuntman
74

epic.

November 15, 2014 at 2:53AM, Edited November 15, 2:53AM

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Dave Lang
ShareGrid: Camera Sharing Community
86

"Light metres are for pussies"

Haha, fantastic!

#DoP

November 16, 2014 at 6:29PM

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Sunil
Director of Photography/Photographer
81

I do think the original is good if it's being shown to new Cinematographer students. However, the pretentiousness of this is quite disgusting.

November 17, 2014 at 12:02AM, Edited November 17, 12:02AM

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Marc Curtis
Photojournalist (video type)
103

when I read "I don't get the comments I've read so far", I am reminded of way back, when my gaffer ( and best friend) and I went to see This Is Spinal Tap during it's initial theatrical run.... there were two metal heads a few rows up from us who kept turning around, pissed off at the audience laughing at "this poor band".They truly didn't get it and thought this was a real documentary about "Britain's hardest working band"!!! truly hilarious...

November 21, 2014 at 1:00PM

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"I am the blog commentator... I commented on God's creation before she was even done creating it... while I sipped my latte"

superb work on the parody folks...

November 25, 2014 at 5:19PM

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I like both of them.
The first was inspiring.
The second was a riot.
We can all afford to take a break from the critique and enjoy the view and the story.
Nice work.

November 25, 2014 at 7:03PM, Edited November 25, 7:03PM

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David Steinhoff
Head of Development - Presence Global Entertainment
74

Tattoo's, a beard, and a RED camera (and a mandatory REDuser account). Glad I'm not the only one that finds that annoying lol. the hipster cinematographer's. In a way they are like the DSLR Cinematographers who buy a camera and think they are graced with skill in an instance. Not sure which is worse lol. The DSLR guy can learn because he didn't drop $20K+ on a camera that comes with a potentially elitist mindset!

December 16, 2016 at 12:24AM

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Nate O
Cinematographer/Video Editor
86