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How talkative can/should a DP be? (2 replies and 1 comment)

Tim
1 month ago
Tim 1 month ago

Hello Roger and hello everyone,

 

often when you are young and not quite that experienced yet you often find situations on set that are new or you are doing for the first time. 

 

Often you also work with new people, new talents etc. I myself don‘t like to be in the spotlight but still feel its important to be open, kind and communicative on set to everybody. 

 

But there is also the point that youoften hear you shouldn‘t talk to much on set as a cinematographer as the director is the one who leads everything. 

So where does being communicative and organizing end and where should a good relationship to e.g. the actors should begin?

I myself find it really difficult to never talk to the talents. Especially when I am operating myself and for example see that the position of the head does not fit the eyelight or something else. Should I always only talk to the director and never to the talents or what is acceptable? Where does my duty as a cinematograper begin and where does it end in terms of this?

Interested to hear what you have to say about this. 

Regards. 

Roger Deakins
1 month ago
Roger Deakins 1 month ago

I think there have been previous discussion on this subject.

For myself, it is a 'judge it by each film' answer. There are times when I don't want to talk and don't feel I should talk but there are times when the opposite is true. As I say on countless occasions and relative to many aspects of the cinematographer's job, every film is different. I also operate and it is so hard not to talk with an actor when you are often so close to them.

Tim
1 month ago

Thank you for your reply, I will definitely search for other posts regarding this topic. But let me quickly add:
Would you say its a normal thing and important for learning to stumble across those things and make mistakes besides all the artistic and technical stuff?

By the time one will probably get a fine sense for when to say and when not to say. But in general it might be the better idea to talk to the director first I guess.

Roger Deakins
1 month ago
Roger Deakins 1 month ago

Yes, in the beginning always refer things through the director. That is a given. But once you have established a relationship the director may actually welcome your input and help in communicating with the actors and making them feel at ease. It really does depend on the people involved. Some actors, you really don't want to talk to when they are performing whilst others welcome some feedback from the operator and are more than happy to have someone nearby to talk to.

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