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Deepak Bajracharya

cinematographer or videographer

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Well, chief assisted for more than 35 features on 16mm to 35mm ( blow up ) projects. Shot two full length features, one on 16mm to 35mm and the other on super 16mm to 35mm wide screen. Equally shooting on BetaSP, DVcam and miniDVs. Definitely looking forward to shoot on 35mm anamorphic and HD format. Now shooting almost no-budget culture based documentary using my 3ccd GS 400 handycam. So, where do I stand in between cinematographer or videographer?



Who knows? Any more questions?

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Certainly any serious filmmaker who wants to get his work into a film festival these days has a much harder task ahead of them. Every festival, big and small, is flooded with cheap DV crap from these so called "story tellers." This means the festivals have to wade through this waist high bog of hideous digital garbage. Each DV "film" having the same traits, way too long with shots way too long. I wonder why that is? A mini DV tape costing only $7.00 for one hour of shooting could have some thing to do with it.

Maybe. I don't have any numbers to back this up, but from my experience at film festivals, I don't blame formats, film or video, for the quality of the projects. For instance, several years ago I made the trip to Sundance just to see what that was like. I can't remember how many films (yes, they were all film at the time), maybe 2 at best I would consider above par, a big chunk of so-so in the middle, and about five which truly blew. I approximated the percentage to be just about even with what I experience in a normal Hollywood distribution.



Fact is DV has not in any way raised the quality of work out there, it has made it spiral down to the bottom, now that my grandmother can shoot her "artistic vision." Yeah yeah yeah I'm an elitist, big flying deal.

Well, I don't know if that's a "fact" or not, but the one thing "video" has done is open the "market" up to more people. Some have good ideas and good execution while many don't. Again, the marketplace weeds out the mess, but I can't see how DV could actually make quality lessen. There might be more garbage out there, but the law of averages would suggest then that there would also be more great stuff too. :)


Then of course there's the stock footage industry, the web is now over run with the worst amateur hacks on the planet, each one claiming to be a "cinematographer." As they run around "filming" stuff with their DV camcorders. Again, now the the customer has to wade through a waist high pile of poop to find the quality work that is being stiffled by the weeds of DV shooters.


Just once I'd like to get a hold of one of these kids and say, "If you're going to shoot DV at least use a bloody tri-pod!!!!!"

Well, I can't argue with that, but the last time I checked, anybody can print up any kind of business card he/she likes. :D The inexperienced get found out pretty quickly in the professional realm. I mean, unless the film/video industry creates some kind of quality or experience merit system by which employers could get a quantifiable measure on someone's technical and artistic skill, I think that we're stuck with this "wild west" situation wherein everyone just does what they individually feel is right for them. I mean, to get anywhere in this business, a certain amount of "chance" has to be taken as we do jobs that we are sometimes not fully prepared for. Of course, we must also be prudent and not stick our necks out too far lest we get in over our heads.


That said, I'm not a firm believer that it is always the cream which rises to the top. That saying suggests that quality work is always discovered and rewarded while the not-so-worthy maintain their status quo (or worse). There are an awful lot of hacks working in every aspect of this industry while quite number of very capable people just never catch the break that would take them to the top or even just in the middle.


I think that with those realities in mind, we find people calling themselves things (ie, Cinematgraphers) before they are truly ready just to get some kind of credibility that might give them a chance to prove themselves. I mean, I'm sure nobody ever got a DP job by handing out a business card that said "Loader: Local 600" on it. Just not gonna happen. Same with "Videographer." One of those guys might actually be a brilliant lighting cameraman who just happens to have more experience with HD than with filmstock. So should his relative lack of real "film" experience preclude him from calling himself a "Cinematographer" when he gets an offer to shoot a narrative on HD? I would hope not.

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Hi all,


Would like to get infos regarding whether a cameraperson who never exposes celluloid strips in his/her life and just records image on tape got the right to use the term Cinematographer in the credit title or even the one who works equally exposing celluloid and recording tape, when shoot on video or hd is okey to use this term or be credited under the title Videographer?


In National Geography and Discovery Channel, in many documentary programmes, does the title cinematography suggests that the projects principal photography was done in celluloids?


with best regards,



I had the opportunity to discuss the same question with Brian Tufano BSC, and what he told me was very interesting: the term Cinematography comes from the combination of the two greek words kinema, that means movement, and grapho, which means "to descibe", Therefore cinematography means the art of describing movement... nothing to do with the medium used.

Hope I have helped answering your question.


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Think about this debate for a second.


After all a camera is just a pencil, a brush, a tool, albeit a very expensive and elaborate one! It's not about how "cool" your tool is or what's in it. It's about WHAT you do with it.


The person doing motion pictures from the earliest periods on was called a cinematographer, that term comes from movement. If they were named for the medium they used they would have been called a "celluloidographer".


Cheers, Dave

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cinematographer is independent of the media he records to.

The same applies to photographer.

Or designer.



Edited by jan von krogh

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Hi Guys,


First and foremost I would like to say that I am a self confessed interloper here.


I'm a 25year + veteran of high end stills advertising photography, and I'm now starting to shoot moving images. So you can take anything I say with a pinch of salt.


This thread has been interesting, because as a photographer, guess what, I take pictures!!!!!! Do you know what I use to take pictures, tools, tools of every type that gets the job done.


Do you get me?


I'm very much enjoying crossing over to the moving image. And I'm going to follow my same idea from the stills side of things, and use some tools to get the job done.


The biggest compliment I've had so far on my moving images was when a very respected art director saw some footage and said " thats beautiful composition and lighting, it looks very cinematic, fabulous".


Now what should I call myself, because I'm used to being a photographer?



Best Regards



Matt Wicker


PS: I'm thinking I am going to call myself what one of my favourite clients calls me.


Matt Wicker, Light Poet!

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