October 11, 2014 at 3:16AM

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Which advice would YOU give to all cinematographers out there?

My father used to say “I am who I am today because of the mistakes I made yesterday.” But I don't know, I believe that a teachable spirit the humbleness to admit your ignorance and your mistakes can always save people a lot of time/pain.

What do you think? What would be your advice?

-Tommy Plesky
www.pleskyfilms.com

10 Comments

My advice would be: "It's not really the advice or plans in the long run that matters, it's the execution by the person. Execution matters more than plans, advice or ideas."

October 11, 2014 at 3:19AM, Edited October 11, 3:19AM

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Tommy Plesky
Director / D.P / Editor
1959

Always be open and willing to accept constructive feedback regarding your work.

October 11, 2014 at 1:11PM

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Basil Yeo
Director of Photography
312

The important thing it's not the technology, is the story.

October 11, 2014 at 2:23PM

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Ragüel Cremades
Film producer and director
7705

Hear hear.

Deeder Murray-Holmes

August 22, 2015 at 12:33AM

I would suggest them to:
-Take still photos to learn composition, lighting, economy of capturing a moment which tells a story.
-Try to grade the taken photos, create looks, see what works and what doesn't.
-Learn their tools and use them in the best way
-Study many different films (all budgets and genres) to see how cinematography serves each story
-Expose themselves to all kinds of visual art: photography, films, video, painting. Inspire from there but don't just copy, see what you like and make it better, integrate your own POV, adjust for the story you are trying to tell.
-Shoot as much as they can... short films, music videos, promos. Use it as learning experience but take it seriously.

Doing all these, hopefully one will develop a personal artistic style.

October 12, 2014 at 2:29PM

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Stel Kouk
Filmmaker
3132

Great advice, thank you!

Tommy Plesky

October 12, 2014 at 3:40PM

Bryan Peterson gives the best advise ever: "You Keep Shooting"! I learned as long as I put myself behind the camera I learn from my successes and my mistakes. I feel the rest of the people do the same -- as long as: one keeps shooting ;)

October 12, 2014 at 8:49PM

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Alex Zakrividoroga
Director
4025

Dunno if this is great advice or not but...don't listen to anyone when they say you "can't" or "shouldn't". Doing what I knew would work or look good despite everyone saying it wouldn't is why I have a career as a DoP. So go with your gut.

October 19, 2014 at 1:09AM

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Brannigan Carter
Cinematographer/Director/Editor
98

My advice would be to take manual film stills. Without auto-exposure. Buy a light meter and learn how to expose. Experiment with your stills film, different exposures, putting subjects in different light, different areas of light. Find what works, and what you like.
Shoot as much as you can whenever you can on whatever you can. A teacher at film school said to me 'if you can make a crappy camera look good, you can make anything look good.' It comes down to exposing 'correctly' (i.e. the way you want), lighting it the way you want and framing it the way you want. If you're using a DSLR, try and lock the look in on set, rather than 'shooting flat'. Make sure it's you who is in control of the image, and exposing the image, rather than the camera.

Be humble. Be realistic about your abilities and your work. Be realistic about your knowledge. You can never know enough, and you will never know everything. There's ALWAYS something to learn, even from people who you don't think are worth learning from.

And try and get into a camera dept to see how things work properly - contact some DPs whose work you like and see if the might be interested in having you on as an intern.

November 11, 2014 at 6:43PM

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J
Director of Photography
88

Don't use a technique or style just because it's currently popular or "what the pros do." Shaky cam doesn't belong in every project just because Hollywood thinks it does. Long lenses and shallow DOP aren't requirements for getting a good shot. There are aspect ratios other than 2.35:1. Your color grading doesn't have to look like anyone else's. Let your own taste and circumstances inform your decisions rather than trying to blend in with the crowd.

July 27, 2016 at 4:32PM, Edited July 27, 4:32PM

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