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Old January 24th, 2010, 12:26 AM   #31
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Hi Bill,

The American Society of Cinematographers is an industry association, not an organisation that gives qualifications. Currently there are 302 members, and membership is by invite only and reserved for the best of the best. There are literally thousands of cinematographers around the world who are not members of the ASC. So to imply that one needs to be an ASC member to use the term 'cinematographer' is incorrect.

If someone studies a medical degree, at the end of it they are a doctor. If someone studies a cinematography degree (or a film degree with a major in cinematography), surely at the end of it they are qualified to call themselves a cinematographer - regardless of what they go on to shoot, or how many years it takes for them to be invited to join the ASC.

I'm sure the 302 ASC members are well aware that they are not the only cinematographers around, but they have achieved a level very few do, and therefore get the honour of using the letters ASC after their name. That's the thing that separates the elite cinematographers from the rest of us. And the ASC is only one of many cinematography societies around the world.

And as for wedding cinematography being different from feature film cinematography - of course it is. Just like documentary cinematography is different, just like a cinematographer shooting a news story on the afghanistan war is different. All forms of cinematography are different and have their own unique challenges. But they are all forms of cinematography - capturing motion pictures to tell a story.

The term videographer is the new term in the grand scheme of things. Prior to electronic camera systems, the term was cinematographer. It is only with the introduction of 'filmless' cameras that people felt the need to differentiate themselves. But whether you are using film or not, what you are doing is the same.

On a wedding shoot, if you are the one in charge, planning each shot, which angle to shoot from, where to put lights etc etc - then you are doing the role of a cinematographer. Whether you want to call yourself that or not is irrelevant. Sure it's different from shooting a feature film where you have much more time to meticulously plan, but the role is the same.
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Old January 24th, 2010, 06:52 PM   #32
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Don't forget the CSC and BSC. They may take offense at being considered any less than the ASC. :)
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Old January 24th, 2010, 07:27 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Aaron Kamp View Post
All forms of cinematography are different and have their own unique challenges. But they are all forms of cinematography - capturing motion pictures to tell a story.

The term videographer is the new term in the grand scheme of things. Prior to electronic camera systems, the term was cinematographer. It is only with the introduction of 'filmless' cameras that people felt the need to differentiate themselves. But whether you are using film or not, what you are doing is the same.
I totally see your point here Aaron, and I do agree with you. It's not the definition I'm calling/pointing out - it is the expectation from the film industry of someone who calls themselves a cinematographer. A film school grad would most likely be able to live up to those expectations. I just doubt that someone who shoots on HD with little or no film experience would be able to. The point I was making about the ASC was that by their definition/expectations I doubt that your typical wedding shooter would make the grade.

People in our industry are already using the title. It's not for me to say whether anyone should or shouldn't. I agree that the definition is changing. I agree that what we do is cinematography, at least to a certain degree. But, I not sure the film world has completely accepted the idea of the broadened definition - especially when it comes to whether a person has actually worked with film - stocks, processing houses, film color correction, etc. I think anyone who is pitching their resume or CV for professional entertainment industry work and claims that title might appreciate knowing that information, because it is bound to come up in the process of getting hired for a film production. I'm just sayin'.....
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Old January 24th, 2010, 11:38 PM   #34
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Point taken Bill,
I agree that people in the entertainment industry would probably find it amusing for someone to call themselves a cinematographer if they'd only shot weddings and never used a film camera!
And I also agree that there are many in the wedding industry that probably shouldn't use the title of cinematographer.

My point is simply that there are trained cinematographers shooting weddings (as well as other things), and they should therefore be able to still call themselves a cinematographer.

In any case, whatever each person chooses to call themselves and regardless of what they are shooting, we should all be continually striving to improve our craft.
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Old January 25th, 2010, 03:35 AM   #35
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We went with Filmmaker. It covers it all off from start to finish.

I do care what people call me, on the day the photographer shall call me Danny. But often its "Video man", "Video guy". Which I find highly insulting. Not because I think im better than that. Simply because minutes before I told him my name and I remembered his name.

Do you hear me photographers!!! My name is Danny! I dont go around calling you 'flash gun boy' or 'can't shut up his noisy shutter in the middle of the vows man' do I?
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Old January 25th, 2010, 07:04 AM   #36
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Fellas,
I appreciate the broad chested defense of cinematographer as a title. MY intention was to say that we are not JUST cinematographers, and I think that point is getting lost in semantics which was the point the whole time.
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Old January 25th, 2010, 07:38 AM   #37
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Is it just me here thinking that we should call the annoying photographers "shutter bugs"?

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Old January 25th, 2010, 08:09 PM   #38
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Digitographers cause most photographers have never touched real film.
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Old January 25th, 2010, 08:25 PM   #39
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Strictly speaking, photography is derived from the (most probably Greek word) [i]phot·os[i/] ie photon / light.

It's why lighting is just about everything else when it comes to photography. After content, composition and a good optically clear lens.

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Old January 25th, 2010, 08:54 PM   #40
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I'm going to play the other side of the coin here, and just remind us all that calling ourselves "Cinematographers" is downright misleading to those already in the entertainment industry, and, in some ways, actually insulting. True Cinematographers spend years training and learning various film (NOT video) cameras, techniques, film stocks, lenses, gates, and a whole host of other things related specifically to film production (16mm or above). To consider ourselves in a league with them is really neither accurate nor fair to those who are true film Cinematographers.
Agreed. To consider what I do and what someone like Emmanuel Lubezki does to be the same thing is absurd.
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Old January 26th, 2010, 04:36 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by Bill Vincent View Post
I'm going to play the other side of the coin here, and just remind us all that calling ourselves "Cinematographers" is downright misleading to those already in the entertainment industry, and, in some ways, actually insulting. l
Then they better not use those new HD cameras.. Better not see them use a RED, or help shoot the next 3D feature in an all digital medium...

If they do, we can call them "videographers".... Right?
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Old January 26th, 2010, 06:27 PM   #42
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Agreed. To consider what I do and what someone like Emmanuel Lubezki does to be the same thing is absurd.
To pose a counter-point .. if you're calling yourself a wedding cinematographer, then you're not comparing what you do to what Emmanuel Lubezki does. Kind of like calling yourself a personal accountant doesn't mean you do what a corporate accountant does.
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Old January 26th, 2010, 06:47 PM   #43
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Kind of like calling yourself a personal accountant doesn't mean you do what a corporate accountant does.
Both require certification - a better comparison might be "bookkeeper and CGA"
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Old January 26th, 2010, 07:40 PM   #44
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Perhaps all that is needed is a few adjectives to clear things up. For example:

Wedding cinematographer

Event cinematographer

Documentary cinematographer

etc.
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Old January 26th, 2010, 07:52 PM   #45
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Fair enough. I think you get my point. A wedding cinematographer isn't necessarily the same thing as a movie cinematographer.
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