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Theory Vs Practice (2 replies and 2 comments)

Max A.
4 months ago
Max A. 4 months ago

Hello Mr. Deakins and all the Dp's over this fantastic platform, I hope you having a good day.
I want to share with you all an experience that happens to me a few days ago and I would ask you (Mr. Deakins and all) If it is something that happened (and sometimes happens) also for you.

First of all, since I "found" this fantastic site and got the luck to ask questions and advice to masters like Roger Deakins and David Mullen (it is really hard to find people that want to share knowledge with me here in my country) I really learned a lot about light and its behavior (there is still a lot to learn) so when I see movies and I like so much certain image I'm able (more than before) to understand how and why the cinematographer made that choice to tell the story, I also used in the last year (due covid period I didn't work so much) some software to simulate ambiances and atmospheres for certain scene and I liked some results, but, last day I faced with a big "enemy" (for me): the way to put into practice some important "theory" with 100 (almost) variable that happens in so few time.
For 5 minutes my brain stopped and luckily a friend of mine (also a camera operator) warned me that maybe I was wrong with that light scheme after this "warned" I found again my way and felt better but it was a bit frustrating being there and make a "banal" error cause the stress of the rush.

At that point, I realized how important is to learn about theory but also (and maybe mostly) the practice because is not everything about my "desktop pc and my empty room" where I can think in silence about a certain light scheme or certain compositions, but is mostly react in that time of situations when the sun is not how I thought, or (how happened to me) a last-minute set changing while people waiting for me "to go"..

I also realized how important could be a film school just because brings a "student" into practice and give him/her the possibility to "make mistakes" without a big amount of stress (as you Mr. Deakins say in your old podcast).
Since I couldn't go to film school (unfortunately) the only way to learn, for me, is to practice.
I will try to found people with interesting (is subjective) stories and ask them if they want to collaborate with me, or I gladly accept advice on how to practice cinematography art and grows in a path.
I'm not so "young" anymore (almost 34years) but I would like to learn and improve every day this great art/job/way to see the world.

I apologize for my bad English and I want to thank you Mr. Deakins for his constant availability (this is very rare and it's sad at the same time) and all the members of this fantastic Forum.

Have a good day!

4 months ago
Mike 4 months ago

Where abouts are you Max? Btw, Take it from me, 34 is not old!

I am sure Roger will reply when he gets time, I think he is going to be ‘Knighted‘ this week. Very important day for him and James. And more importantly for the film industry in general. 

Max A.
4 months ago

Hello Mike! Thank you for your reply. I'm from Italy (south), I hope that my age is not old too much to do experience, I think that consciousness comes with time and practice, what I felt during that episode (that happened to me) I guess is mostly due to the lack of experience in practice side.

I apologize for my ignorance about the celebration of Mr. Deakins I didn't know about this. I'm so happy for them, he deserves the best!

Roger Deakins
4 months ago
Roger Deakins 4 months ago

The 'kinghthood' is on hold for covid so that is not happening anytime soon. We have been doing a little prep for a project but are otherwise relaxing at home at the moment.

I would suggest that all the study in the world is no substitute to shooting images. You can learn a lot just using a stills camera though every year it becomes easier to make a film of your own. 'Professional' equipment can include an iPhone.

Max A.
4 months ago

Thank you as usual for your reply and your patience Mr. Deakins! The idea that you are involved in a "new" project makes me so excited!

Thank you for your suggestion, I can't agree more. When I start to take photos on the street I really believe that there isn't better equipment than eyes and somewhere inside me that "rule" is still alive.
Take photographs is a big "training" to the personal way to observe the world, compose shots and interact with "available" light to tell stories, not so much easy but I think we must not have fear to make mistakes (which I sometimes have uselessly) and learn from those.

Ps. Last week I saw your photographs "archive" on Beaford site and just thought immediately about your talent already in a young age, those images are really beautiful and the awesome thing is that some of those compositions, I have then found in some of your movie shot, this demonstrate your own point of view and your "voice" during the years.

Thank you again for your patience and your reply Mr. Deakins! I wish you a peaceful and relaxing day/s.

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