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Old October 8th, 2013, 06:38 AM   #16
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Re: Cinematographer ? what's that ?

People getting all hot and bothered about the 'real' definition are missing the point.

A word becomes redefined or co-defined when it becomes commonly used in a new way

Gay means happy, now its widely accepted to mean homosexual also.

The only thing that matters is - are you or are you not, what a bride defines a cinematographer as.

And I think we all know plenty well what the new meaning of the word is, in this context.
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Old October 8th, 2013, 07:14 AM   #17
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Re: Cinematographer ? what's that ?

I still like Paul's term "Video Producer" as it's technically correct but lifts you out of the Uncle Bob category without making you sound overly important.

Even if like Noa I was putting a lot of slomo, slides and shallow DOF into a wedding production I still would rather not call it a "cinema production" as to me cinema productions are not shown on a TV but shown on the big screen and not many brides watch their DVD on a 50' x 30' screen with 100 handpicked guests so it's a video production.

Of course if calling your effort a cinematography masterpiece helps rake in the sales then I guess there is no law against calling your product whatever you wish to, as long as it works for you and you make money..isn't that the bottom line in the end?

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Old October 8th, 2013, 09:10 AM   #18
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Re: Cinematographer ? what's that ?

Quote:
Even if like Noa I was putting a lot of slomo, slides and shallow DOF into a wedding production I still would rather not call it a "cinema production"
If I use slowmotion I only put it in my trailers, my trailers are also more "cinematic" looking then the final longer version, those are more documentary with some cinematic elements inbetween like glidecam, shallow dof, slidershots etc. so there is definitely a difference between my trailers and the longer versions which is something I tell and show my clients when they visit.

My clients almost always want a trailer but they want to have the longer "I want to see it all" version, not with a story, just a document of the day, the trailer however is by far the most popular tool for advertisment and reaching new clients when they place it on their facebook account and it seems that those cinematic elements I was referring to (I have had clients commenting when they see my glidecam shots; "That's like cinema") have a big influence on getting their interest. That's why I spend enough time to building trailers and incorporating elements that clients would refer to as cinematic as it does seem to sell.
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Old October 8th, 2013, 09:32 AM   #19
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Re: Cinematographer ? what's that ?

I guess I was a "cinematographer" after all. according to that video sample.
It also sounds much more better than the common, uncreative "videographer"
Wow ! now I can change my business card to reflect my new found status.
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Old October 8th, 2013, 10:17 AM   #20
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Re: Cinematographer ? what's that ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Danny O'Neill View Post
Difference?

Marketing
I agree with this!
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Old October 8th, 2013, 12:57 PM   #21
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Re: Cinematographer ? what's that ?

+1 for Marketing.

Wow, interesting. I understand almost every point made here. And went through all this myself at one time. I literally “produce” corporate audio visual events and I “produce” videos. But for many years I was reluctant call myself a Producer. For two reasons, I do not like the Hollywood connotation it conjures up and I did not want to sound arrogant. Finally, it was one of my clients (whom I have produced many shows for) that scolded me and said never be afraid to say what you are. He is also a marketing genius, I am not. So, for several years now, my business cards and e-mail signature do say Producer under my name. It was the right thing to do. I have only benefited from it. My clients hire me to produce their videos, it was stupid of me to be afraid of calling myself a Producer.

Also, look at this thread. Here we are, the guys working in the industry, and there is a great deal of confusion here among you guys about the terms. I suggest you not sweat the small stuff. There is a lot of grey that could be debated. Choose what works best for you from a marketing perspective (as mentioned). I may be out of line with this suggestion since I am not a wedding guy but recently I think the term “wedding films” is perfectly appropriate for what you guys do. Even though there is no film, who cares. Don’t sell yourself short. If Arthur would have had that term anywhere in his materials he probably never would have had the conversation with the client in the first place that started this thread. You give them what they want, be what they want. We should not have to defend ourselves as videographers, I am proud of that. But this whole conversation is about PERSEPTION and definition. The guy that masters perception in a marketing sense will be the guy with the most clients.

I have learned my clients like having a “Producer”. It was my hang up not theirs. I earn my money, and I know what to call myself, they are hiring me to produce for them.

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Old October 8th, 2013, 03:53 PM   #22
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Re: Cinematographer ? what's that ?

Fun discussion, and I'll jump in. My 2 cents go to Kren as I feel he pretty much summed it up, with the caveat that I also agree with others who point out that the definitions are soft -- and changing over time -- so there is a lot of latitude to use the term you wish and not be "wrong."

A quick look-up indicates that cinema is the older term for "motion picture" and doesn't necessarily define the medium on which the motion picture is recorded; derived from Greek or Latin kinema, "to move." Most of us still commonly think of cinema as "film" but perhaps that's just common parlance since that's all there was for a long time. M-W defines video as motion picture recorded electronically:

Cinema - Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary
Online Etymology Dictionary
Video - Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Still, to me even the current M-W definition of video falls behind the times. As was alluded to earlier in this thread, many of us think of video as analog (video)tape recordings. So where do movies "filmed" with, say, a Canon C300 fit into this labeling scheme, as is the case for parts of the current Ron Howard "film" Rush? I don't think many of us would call it video. It is certainly artistic motion picture. The original definition of cinema still works great.

Some would object to the word film, but we're getting to the point where many people are starting to ignore the medium/format and accept it as simply meaning cinema. With celluloid nearly dead (I know, I know...Monty Python comes to mind, "I'm not dead yet..."), the labels of cinematographer and filmmaker are gradually becoming synonymous, at least to my way of thinking.

But doesn't it sound odd to say, "I just finished the short cinema I've been working on"? Language is a peculiar thing, eh?

What do I call myself? Any of the above. It depends on the circumstance and with whom I'm communicating.
:-)
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Old October 8th, 2013, 05:21 PM   #23
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Re: Cinematographer ? what's that ?

Someone using who is able to use basic techniques to make a cinematic style wedding video does not qualify for the label of 'Cinematographer as far as I am concerned. If a big Hollywood studio were looking for a cinematographer for their forthcoming blockbuster movie, would you fit the Bill?

Unfortunately the modern requirement for status and peer admiration seems to dumb everything down to a meaningless label. The local pub has a cook preparing mediocre pub meals, but he seems to like to be called a chef. Someone has a couple of appearances on a reality show and is billed as a star. I ran a small recording studio alongside my home for many years and was regularly described in the local paper as a Music Entrepreneur. I have a friend who plays in a good band who describe themselves a a professional touring rock band, whereas they are a mixture of office staff, farmers and builders who play in pubs around the county. They would never describe themselves as amateur because it doesn't sound so upmarket.

I'm a video producer of small scale corporate, music and celebratory videos. If you want to see me as a cinematographer or professional film maker then who am I to complain :-).

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Old October 8th, 2013, 06:08 PM   #24
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Re: Cinematographer ? what's that ?

This is actually a very interesting thread and brings up some very good points. I do not shoot weddings. I do mostly theatrical events, concerts and corporate videos for "paying" jobs. But I am also working at becoming a cinematographer in the movie industry sense of the title and have worked on several shorts and feature films. For me, just because you use a DLSR, shoot with shallow depth of field, and use a slider or jib, does not make you a cinematographer. It goes way beyond making a pretty picture and doing a bunch of fancy editing and FX.

You can say what you call yourself is only a matter of marketing but I believe that you should respect the craft that others have worked so hard to develop. Change the situation for all you wedding videographers. Would you be happy if some kid with his new Canon Rebel DSLR took out an add saying they were a wedding videographer just because they have shot their cousins wedding? Yes they would produce sub par videos and some people will get ripped off and be very upset about it. Some people will never know however that they received below acceptable services. But, in the end the entire wedding video industry will be labeled as an industry that contains unprofessional people. For those of you who have worked so hard to truly turn your wedding videos into wonderful art, would you be ok with other people who have not taken the time to work and learn to simply say "it's only a matter of a title and it doesn't matter, it's only marketing."

I only use cinematographer or Director of Photography to describe what I'm doing when I am truly fulfilling the role. Other times I go by camera operator or video producer.

As always, that's just my POV.
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Old October 8th, 2013, 06:27 PM   #25
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Re: Cinematographer ? what's that ?

If you have never used lighting to stage a controlled scene (no matter to what end) to record on video, then you're simply abusing the terms "cinematographer" or a "director of photography" in my opinion. That I think needs to be the distinction, since everything is technically "video" now.

I see a lot of "Cinematography" reels that feature nothing but outdoor event coverage, and so if you actually need someone to stage an interview, or a scene, or something else that is not something that is automatically what it needs to look like on camera, you would do well to stay away from those individuals.
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Old October 8th, 2013, 06:32 PM   #26
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Re: Cinematographer ? what's that ?

Quote:
For those of you who have worked so hard to truly turn your wedding videos into wonderful art, would you be ok with other people who have not taken the time to work and learn to simply say "it's only a matter of a title and it doesn't matter, it's only marketing."
I actually don't mind what title other people use, it's easy to use expensive words but at the end your videos cant lie, they will show if you have got what it takes to be called a cinematographer, and even then, it would have a different meaning to many. I always say; show, don't tell.
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Old October 8th, 2013, 07:07 PM   #27
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Re: Cinematographer ? what's that ?

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Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
I actually don't mind what title other people use, it's easy to use expensive words but at the end your videos cant lie, they will show if you have got what it takes to be called a cinematographer, and even then, it would have a different meaning to many. I always say; show, don't tell.
It is true Noa that in the end your work would have to stand on its own. But, in an industry such as wedding videos, the potential clients may only use your industry's services once. When they have a bad experience and their friends are contemplating whether hiring a videographer is worth it, and they ask their friends who have had a bad experience, they will likely say save your money, spend it elsewhere. Other industries have faced this. You may not care what you are called but it does have an affect on others and the industry in which they work.
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Old October 8th, 2013, 07:26 PM   #28
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Re: Cinematographer ? what's that ?

And if you want to abandon the artistic or professional labels, jump on the academic bandwagon as a visual historian.
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Old October 8th, 2013, 08:06 PM   #29
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Re: Cinematographer ? what's that ?

And then we have the issue about what potential brides want to call us. When a bride is looking for someone to film/video/produce their wedding what would they type into "Google" ???

If the most common term used by brides is videographer then that's what I want to be called ...I very much doubt that brides would search for "wedding cinematography" ...it's more likely to be "wedding video"

Does anyone know what the most common terms brides use to look for us when presented with a blank Google page??

Chris
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Old October 8th, 2013, 08:35 PM   #30
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Re: Cinematographer ? what's that ?

Hmm... Looking at Google Keyword Planner, here's some average monthly searches relevant to New South Wales:

video editing software - 1900
video production Sydney - 720 hits
wedding video Sydney - 590 (does that mean 590 couples, or 10 couples, plus a lot of videographers checking out the competition over and over again?)
wedding videography Sydney - 480
wedding videography - 390
video production - 320
video editing - 320
videographer - 260
wedding videos - 260
wedding video - 260
videographer Sydney - 210
Sydney wedding video - 210
wedding movies - 170
videography - 170
wedding videographer Sydney - 170
wedding videos Sydney - 170
production companies Sydney - 170
Sydney video production - 140
corporate video - 140
corporate video production Sydney - 140
wedding photography and video Sydney - 140
videography Sydney - 110
corporate video production - 110
corporate video Sydney - 110
film production companies Sydney - 90
wedding videographer - 90
production company - 90
film production - 70
tv production companies Sydney - 70
production company Sydney - 70
production companies - 70
video marketing - 70
video production company - 50
music video production Sydney - 50
film production companies - 50
media production - 50
Sydney production companies - 50
movie production companies - 40

In comparison:

wedding cinematography - 90
wedding films - 30
cinematic wedding video - 20
wedding cinema - 10
wedding cinematographer - 10

which is the same as if you misspell a keyword:

weeding video - 10

To be honest, I've got "cinematography" in my business name; and probably I'm going to keep it there, though this thread has given me pause. I think what I do is different enough from traditional video that I want to highlight this to brides. And the plan, anyway, is eventually do more narrative and music video, and work as a proper DP. Of course, if I'm not actually lighting "scenes" at weddings -- and most of the time, I'm not -- then maybe "cinematography" is a bit of misnomer.

I do know that "cinematography" is not a great thing for wedding marketing. I was doing a bridal expo recently, and noticed at least one couple walking past, reading the sign, and trying to pronounce it, as if it was unfamiliar -- "Cine... cinema... cinematography." Then at least another person say to their friend, "Cinematography. What's that?" And then another person who seemed to be put off by the name, saying to their friend and walking on before I got a word in, "I don't need anything high quality. I just want a basic video. Alex from work can do it." Consider also that the most well-known cinematic video companies don't use the word, but go instead for something like "Films".

Last edited by Adrian Tan; October 8th, 2013 at 10:55 PM. Reason: Added more keywords
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