Every film lover has worshipped Quentin Tarantino and his filmmaking. The most beautiful thing about his films is his cinematography which leaves his audience is awe-struck. Cinematography can create a lot of things, but it’s mainly about capturing your desired photographs. Communicating with different techniques utilized to capture these pictures is what separates a professional cinematographer and a student.
Technically, cinematography is the creativity and the science of capturing light either electronically onto a photosensor or by artificial means onto film stock. In other words, the cinematography is meant to capture every sad moment to happy moment with the help of a camera. It captures every movement, whether the actor is having a character development or the camera is giving you a tour around the city while the character is traveling. The cinematography captures beauty as it records the color change of every moment depending on the place and the character’s emotions.
Here are some techniques every CinematographerCinematographer should follow:
Think outside the box
Every famous Cinematographer is known for their uniqueness in a specific film because they think outside the box. When Stanley Kubrick was planning to start filming Barry Lyndon, he and his favorite Cinematographer John Alcott wanted to do something fresh and break new ground as they tried to develop new cinematography techniques.
They longed to shoot the whole film with natural light to show their audience something new. This was a pretty bold step that they took, knowing the consequences if they fail. They consider it to be an ambitious film lighting idea that was worth the risk. The candlelight scene, which was indoors, was filmed in candlelight. The result of this idea was extraordinary as the scene turned out to be very beautiful and aesthetic.
Finding the following incredible camera technique may be a matter of developing a creative solution to get your visual goals though it also requires strategies with specific details that will help you and your group build the shots you want.
One of the most helpful techniques is to use a shot list to communicate your artistic goals. Having a shot list increases your work efficiency as all the shots, or specific scenes are organized in order. Thus it saves a lot of time. With the list of shots, you can narrate each scene in detail, label the scene size, camera movements, frameworks, and any other specific point that help can provide your shots.
Study great cinematography
Studying great cinematographers will keep you inspired and will support you to chase your goal. Many cinematographers study other great cinematographers who inspired them, so you see knowledge doesn’t stop even if you have achieved great power as there is always something to learn.
Orson Welles created Citizen Kane, and often when he is questioned about how he made it, he always replies with John Ford’s name.
This indicated Ford’s film Stagecoach, which pioneered the eastern and western culture and the dramatic film lighting and shooting techniques.
It’s often said that Orson Welles loved Ford’s work, so he employed some of the most incredible cinematography techniques ever. Ford’s extraordinary cinematography was so inspiring for Welles that it led him to build his all-time classic as Ford had some groundbreaking movie lighting techniques.
Be an artist (but be a reasonable one)
It would be best if you were not too involved with your work to serve your story. Therefore, you should be versed in design terminology and visual art. You can also save a lot of time by using the shorthand technique with your Designer, Production House, Director, and others. So being artistic is not a piece of cake as you have to have a clear mind to create something extraordinary.
You should complete your work in the given time as great cinematography need not be diligent. At the same time, you should not hurry about your shorts and treat them with time, and each frame should look excellent, like a work of creativity you want to get right.
It would be fantastic if you were careful about your framing, as you have to make sure that it works from a whole other visual standpoint. There are many extraordinary camera techniques you can use to achieve this.
Take some time to get used to yourself with great artwork. The tools of creating powerful pictures may have changed, but the original principles have remained the same for hundreds of years.
Know the script
It often happens that the camera crews and DoP have no idea of the script back and forth. And you will see the exact mindset at play in social forums and groups where the main thing is skewed so deeply towards the gear and technical cinematography methods versus the creativity of visual storytelling. Being a cinematographer is as art as it is technical.
Make sure the techniques you bring to the table are related to the knowledge of the given script. We know debating high-tech and new cameras and gimbals are enjoyable, but the most incredible DP’s aren’t just gearheads.
Make detailed notes in your script and create visual suggestions, ideas and questions. The more you know the project and the script, the more you’ll be able to make progress and serve it.
Use the right gear for the job
Not every scene or shoot will need a whole decked-out Alexa speaker with cinema zooms. Sometimes a shoulder riding ENG camera is exactly what you need for your project.
Get used to all types of cameras, sets, and lenses. Not just the blockbuster cinema stuff. Being specific about what you need is one of the most vital cinematography techniques you’ll develop. This is because whenever your director will ask you to go for something new or out of the box, then not only do you have to give suggestions and ideas but also have the knowledge to implement them on your project.
Knowing how to reach the same end goals will get you more attention, and you will be every producer’s first choice, which means more jobs.
Perform camera tests
It’s essential to learn how to do camera tests, especially the traditional ones with a chip chart, human models and designs, color chart; practice them or do them once, you will be able to get your hands on the camera.
With the correct amount of testing, you can precisely analyze how the camera reacts before you start your work on set and determine many lighting, sound change, and shooting strategies beforehand. As you are a professional who knows the camera on stage, many people would be waiting for you as they want to see the camera. You might have been taught to do this in film school. But, we’re keeping it here because we don’t want someone to take it for granted. Sometimes few basics fall by the wayside. That is why you should never let this happen to anyone.
You probably left your school with specific dreams and ideas about what Role a cinematographer plays on set. It won’t always be that easy for you.
On some sets, you’ll have to be your gaffer and set up the electricity, grip and also be a production designer.
Your Role on the set
Every Cinematographer should know about the Role of the set as the lighting changes depending on the character’s current situation. This isn’t just in case you have to fill in. This is one of the essential responsibilities of a good cinematographer as it shows how much you respect the work of the people you are sharing a film set with.
Knowing how much time to give hair and make-up is crucial. Knowing that even the last look or touch-up matters before you start filming the scene. And all this knowledge comes with experience. The set needs to be comfortable for both you and your co-workers; you should try to be on the same page as everyone else. So, getting to know the whole process is necessary because everything is connected, and you must be ready to fill in.
In conclusion, cinema keeps human beings alive, and cinematography adds some spice and plays with the lighting in various scenes. The illumination helps your audience to understand the situation of the character in the film. The more you practice and follow your favorite CinematographerCinematographer who inspired you, the more you get better with the technicalities of cinematography.
The other part of cinematography depends solely on your creativity. If you are a beginner, you will stumble often and get hurt, but as Natasha Romanoff said, ‘Pain only makes us stronger. Knowledge is a crucial aspect in every field, so try reading different books that will help you grow your creative world and inspire you to think outside the box. I hope my article has helped you understand the various techniques of cinematography every CinematographerCinematographer should know.