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Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

It is common with big budget films for the DP to operate the camera?

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Posted (edited)

Was watching Dunkirk specials. The DP Hoyte Van Hoytema looks to have shot most of it. I thought the DP directed the camera operator.

Getting back to Dunkirk...

It was impressive wachting Hoyte Van Hoytema at work. Just for the endurance of having to be 'on' all the time.

Edited by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

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Seems a few like too.. Arguably the most famous living DP,..or at least with the greatest body of work..Roger Deakins does and so does Barry Ackroyd .. they both come from a doc background which might have some influence..

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For big budget films, it seems much more common amongst DPs from Europe or Australia where DPs more frequently  operates the camera as well.

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Posted (edited)

Wasn't there some union thing against it? I feel like I remember reading something a few years back how the DoP isn't allowed to handle the camera on some bigger sets... could be wrong though.

Edited by Max Field

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A lot of DP's I've talked to, prefer to sit with the director in the video village area to insure the shot looks good. For the digital world, I get this because your final image is pretty much on that display. For film however, I think there is a certain security level that goes with a DP looking through the lens. Remember, it's THEIR crew operating the camera, so the fault goes back to them if something does go wrong.

I will say for the record, as a director, I generally run the A camera. It's more intimate to be close to the actors and shoot them that way, instead of being off in the distance. 

 

 

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The IATSE union dropped the requirement for a camera operator some years ago.  The DP is free to operate the camera if they so choose. Personally, I prefer a camera operator rather than doing it myself.

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