How to become a cinematographer.
Learn how to bring creative vision to life with a career in cinematography.
A cinematographer (also known as a director of photography) takes a director’s vision and makes it the reality that viewers experience. A lot goes into cinematography, but at its core it comes down to incredible lighting and tight execution.
If you’ve got an eye for light and a passion for film, cinematography might be the choice for you. It can be a tough industry to break into but with the right reel and crew, you just might be on your way toward an Academy Award. Use these tips about how to become a cinematographer to help you get into the film scene.
Build a reel to highlight your skill.
Your reel is a portfolio of work that showcases your skills and can help persuade film professionals that you’re right for their project. Basically, to find a gig, you’ll need to connect to producers, directors, guilds, and other film professionals with a reel that will make them sit up and take notice. Here are some ways you can develop an impressive reel:
- Work on a friend or family member’s passion project
- Post your resume on a cinematography job board
- Pick up freelance film gigs
You can also find entry level assistant positions on film sets to learn from more experienced cinematographers and directors.
Have an experienced crew in your back pocket.
If you’re hired, you’ll need to execute the project flawlessly — and you’ll probably need your own team to do this. Even if you haven’t landed a position on a set yet, it’s a great idea to network with grips, gaffers, and the like so you’re ready to go if you get the call. You can also learn more about video to work more closely with your team on set and in post-production.
Finding a job on set can take some time. Take advantage of excess downtime to experiment with different lighting and lenses, and explore the ways Adobe Premiere Pro can help you capture the perfect shot.