How to Become a Sundance Worthy Documentary Cinematographer

The best kit for beginners and the best tricks for lighting like a legend.

The documentary cinematographer is a special kind of cinematographer. Whereas in narrative, the role is more defined, DP’s of the more truthful persuasion may find themselves piling on more hats than their fiction bound counterparts. Take it from David Paul Jacobson of Ask Dr. Ruth and Kristy Tully of Raise Hell: The Life & Times of Molly Ivins, two Sundance caliber cinematographers who join us on today’s show.

Both of their projects revolve around strong women. Ask Dr. Ruth chronicles the incredible life of Dr. Ruth Wertheimer, a Holocaust survivor, former soldier, immigrant and two-time divorcee who became the world’s most influential sex therapist. Raise Hell: The Life & Times of Molly Ivins memorializes the former journalist who made a name for herself as rough talkin’ six foot Texan who was quick to expose corruption wherever she found it.

Together in this roundtable we talk about how to grab the most effective b-roll, the perfect kits for the job, and not overstepping boundaries with directors and editors as you must also direct and edit yourself. 


For more, see our ongoing list of coverage of the coverage of the 2019 Sundance Film Festival.

No Film School's podcast and editorial coverage of the 2019 Sundance Film Festival is sponsored by RODE Microphones and Blackmagic Design.     

Your Comment