May 20, 2020 at 1:16PM

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Becoming a Cinematographer

Hi, I'm a 17 year old filmmaker going into my last year of high school, with no intention of going to film school. I've been taking filmmaking/photography seriously for about a year now and intern at a local advertising agency where I basically just cut backlog footage and edit there more dull and boring videos. I shoot a lot of skateboarding videos with my friends as well as mini docs and spec commercials. I just got my portfolio website up and I'm working on building up some freelance clients doing commercials for small businesses, low budget music videos, ect. Even though right now I'm just a general filmmaker, my interests lie more in cinematography than anything else, and in the long term I'm hoping to find work as a DP.

I guess I'm just confused about the road to becoming a DP, here a some of my questions:

* How do you go from working on jobs where it's just you, to say working on sets with multiple crew members?

* How do I go from being considered just a filmmaker to specialising and getting DP jobs?

* Do I need to start at the bottom and get a PA or camera assistant job first? Or as I get better and do more local freelance work, will my demo reel of working by myself be enough to get my foot in the door?

* Would it help for me to get a job at a smaller production company or rental house?

* I live in Georgia and the closet big city to me is Atlanta. They have a good film scene and once I graduate I have plenty of people I could room with. Or would it just be better to go strait to LA?

Sorry, I know there's a lot of questions. I'm just hoping to find a more specific direction I can go in to take some of the stress and uncertainty away from graduating.

Any advice, answers to questions, or just general knowledge is very much appreciated.

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