Thread: Seeking advice - My freedom as a DoP?

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  1. #11  
    Senior Member Ruben de Boer's Avatar
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    Thanks again for the responses. I have been listening to a dozen episodes of the Wandering DP and this helped me a lot to figure out the angles. It's a great source to get to understand the role of the DP better :-)

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Giambrone View Post
    Sounds like you expected to be in control of the image, and these conversations should have transpired in pre-production.

    Since the film is already filming, for consistency's sake, the best thnig is to keep it in the same style range as is already shot. There's a point to argue, anyway. Good luck.
    I think this is the main point. For my next projects I need to invest more in the pre-production...
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  2. #12  
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    The absolute truth of the matter is no one knows until you get into editing what shot is going to be the shot, correct feel, angle, light, pacing etc. I've just come off of a really huge learning experience on the last feature. The director always felt he knew best and every shot upset me because it didn't feel right. So, I started saying, 'sure let's try it your way, then I would add but I have something I'd love to try too.' Once he started seeing some of the choices I was making he soon became more trusting of my judgement. I knew what was going on since I was there during the final shaping of the script but I think that system is great. Then everyone gets one. It allowed me to feel like I was a part of the shoot and not just an op. What do you think?
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  3. #13  
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    I think you have to understand also the other side. Normally nobody wants to make a bad movie, so naturally everyone tries their best to get whatever they are capable to achieve. This director has not developed enough confidence in you to blindly trust your choices, so he tries to micro manage you to play safe. Like a helicopter parent. For some people it is also hard to give up control.
    So the first step would be to have a talk about how things are going and what can be done to improve the set workflow, speed, and climate for everybody on set. That can only work if they are willing to change things, improve and cooperate.
    If they are absolutely resistant to any changes than you might rethink your workplace relationship and in the worst case leave the project.

    If they are open for improvement then just insert some suggestions for different shots, try it out together, stay calm and friendly if they say no sometimes, as long as you can get here and there nice additional shots you suggested, your relationship should improve and the director will start to trust your judgment more and more. That could develop into a very creative way of working with much better output than either you or he alone could achieve.
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  4. #14  
    Senior Member Ruben de Boer's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the feedback, I really appreciate it.

    An update:
    I talked with them both first, and had a long conversation with the "image director" privately. I explained our overlapping roles and had a conversation about how roles are divided in the industry (mind you, the guys aren't full-time professional filmmakers). I listened to a dozen WanderingDP podcasts over the summer to help me understand all the perspectives and roles.

    We ended up re-dividing the roles. The "image director" will be more of a art / set director from now on. That makes an interesting triangle - director, DP and art director. Your feedback helped me to see that I wasn't crazy. And the podcasts from the WanderingDP helped me to see what roles belong to what person. That way I could easily explain how thinks should / could work.
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  5. #15  
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    This saying always helped me... - "This one is for my craft or this one is for my mortgage and when both are covered I have a career."
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