Things I’ve Learned as a Moviemaker

Tadpole

Tadpole

The DP has the hardest job.

From the microskill to the macroskill, I feel with
the level of DV that InDigEnt uses, the hardest job on making a
DV movie is really the cinematographer’s job. It is really a wonderful
medium for the performers and the directors, and then you get to
the cinematographer. They really need to be incredibly up for the
task because of the nature of what those cameras inherently want
to do, which is be on automatic the whole time.

Mistakes in blow-up equal larger mistakes.

Every time you turn that camera on, it’s so important
to be able to check the exposure gauge, shutter speed and focus
and make sure that you keep the image as refined as possible. Because
when it does get blown up to 35mm, any little mistake you see gets
magnified hugely.

Documentaries lead to DV success.

The most successful people with our films have come
from documentary backgrounds. I think it’s because they’re used
to not having a big crew around, so they’re used to actually having
to do all those things that you have to do when you turn on a camera.
In documentaries, primarily you deal with operating, so framing
and composition are a big thing in these DV movies. I feel that
[those with a documentary background] are more inclined to focus
and be more fluid with that. And the intimacy that they’re used
to sort of carries on.

Passion is key.

The number one thing is to be passionate about the
story you’re telling.

Be prepared but flexible.

Be prepared to do all the preparation so that you
can be able to be disciplined—and yet spontaneous enough when things
change.

The best DV stories.

I think very intimate stories. Character-driven stories
are best suited to DV. And then very formalistic stories where you
can play with form and structure work well, too.

Choosing a medium.

It’s always like, for me, when an artist goes to paint
a picture: Should this picture be watercolor? Should it be oil?
Should it be acrylics? I think it’s the same approach. Should this
story be done in DV? Or should it be done in film?

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