Part 5: You as the Director of Photography: How the Hollywood Pros Can Help

file000247788530The Director of Photography (DOP, also known as a Cinematographer) works with the Director and the Production Designer to achieve the cinematic “look” of the film.  This involves choosing the type of film stock to use and the type of camera and the lighting style to complement and enhance the way the Director and Production Designer wish the movie to look.

What kind of camera will you be using for your video?  Who will operate the camera if you will be the actor?  Will you be operating the camera while another person from your team is the actor?

Initially the DOP works with the Director to plan and storyboard the way scenes are shot, and once filming has commenced, works with the camera team(s) and the lighting team to decide on camera and light placement.

Lighting is another consideration.  How do you want the scene to look?  Are you using multiple scenes?  If so, make sure there is continuity from scene to scene with both camera angles and lighting as well as sound quality and volume levels.

The director is probably the most important person in any video recording.

What this means to you is that you have to purchase a camera if you do not already own one.  There are places that you can rent video cameras from if you are not sure that you want to buy a camera.  You probably also have friends who own video cameras who might loan one to you.

You also have some decisions to make. What will the background of your video look like?  How will your lighting be implemented? What color of outfit will you wear to compliment the background of your video?

  • Become familiar with your camera
  • Determine the background for your video
  • How will the lighting help the background and subject in your video?
  • Do the wardrobe colors compliment the background?

From “Blockbuster Business Videos: What The Hollywood Pro’s Want You to Know About Creating Video That Will Increase Your SEO, Win Clients and Set You Apart From Your Competition,” by Ed Primeau and Laurie Brown. Laurie Brown helps individuals present themselves effectively in person and virtually through the camera lens. You can reach her or visit

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