Interrelation of Roles of Cinematographer and Film Director

For a successful film production, the Director of Photography (DOP) or cinematographer has to work in coordination with the film Director at various stages. For this, the DOP need to have high knowledge of the techniques and film shooting concepts. Also, if a director knows about the cinematography techniques, he might be successful in utilizing the full talent of a DOP. His/ Her real strength is to utilize the full potential of the team to make the motion picture a grand success. The role of a cinematographer in this is to act as eye of the director.

The main purpose of this article is to highlight the significance of interrelation between the DOP/ Director’s roles as there might be a situation where sudden clashes of ideas and thoughts may become problematic for the film. So, for the smooth functioning it is necessary to make the director satisfy with what he/ she is looking for. If there’s a problem in principle photography on film set, it is the duty of DOP to handle and sort it out. It is true that verbal storytelling is little easy than visual storytelling because in verbal we only need sound but in visual we need to handle light, camera and a suitable location for shooting, but nonetheless, visual storytelling is more interesting and impactful.

While director gives instructions to the team, the DOP is responsible for the shoot, lighting, theme, mood, color scheme etc., which clearly means that he/ she is responsible for smooth and adequate implementation of the given creative brief. He/ she works like the administration in the government; while the government makes schemes and plan, Administration implement those plans. The full team of DOP which Include the Gaffer, 1st camera person, 2nd camera person, best Boy, the Electricians’, and the grip team support to fulfill the artistic vision of the Director through their technical knowledge.

The DOP’s have some duties which are pure technical, same as the Film director has duties with the Talent and the script, but in between they both are involved in common tasks, such as, Location Scouting, storytelling practice on camera, background, costumes and every other aspect that may impact the scene to be shot. Film Education can improve the basic communication between the Director and the DOP so that they can achieve a common goal. The main purpose of a film making course is to teach students, what points are to be known by a director about the camera and what the DOP needs to know about directing films so that their coordination is smooth and fruitful.

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