Getting work as a cinematographer starts in the same place as other jobs, with an impressive cover letter and resume.
Cover letters and resumes: they're not the most exciting things in the world, but they're incredibly important for landing that DP gig you've been eyeing. But as a DP, what information do you include? How do you compose them? How do you direct your potential employer to your demo reel so they can see your amazing cinematography skills? DP Matthew Workman of Cinematography Database walks you through the application process so you can impress the producers, directors, or production companies that will be considering you for the job.
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Workman's approach to writing a cover letter and resume for DP work is a great place to start, but it may not be exactly how you want to represent yourself. However, the advice he shares about other areas of the application process is ironclad and will really help you look good to potential employers.
Researching the company you're applying to is a great idea for any job. It shows maturity and intention—and no company wants to feel like they're receiving one of many boiler plate applications from some DP who's just looking for a gig—any gig that will put money in their pocket. Furthermore, it'll help you understand the needs and expectations of the specific business you're applying to. This also helps you put your cover letter into context.
Another tip from Workman: include only DP jobs you've had on your resume. Even if you've worked on a ton of films as an AC, PA, or whatever, it's not going to impress a company that is looking specifically for a DP.
DPs, what do your cover letters and resumes look like? What tips can you share with someone who may be applying for a DP job for the first time? Share down in the comments!