Jan Pieter Smith
Motion Picture Photography
"Cinematography pertains to the art and technology of motion-picture photography. Through the use of lighting, composition, equipment choice, and a variety of other factors, a cinematographer is able to tell or enhance a given story."
- Cinematography Subreddit
FRANK IN PERSON
Film or Digital
"It’s about the texture that fuels the story. For each different project or scene, I try to find what color, what texture, what will work. And definitely the format you shoot affects that. Digital has a certain look to it. Let’s say it’s more clean. It doesn’t have the movement of the film grain. It doesn’t have that sensation that film gives you. And there’s certain things that digital cameras can do — with a shutter, for example. On a film camera you can’t go with a wider shutter than 180 degrees. So, I used that on The Wolf of Wall Street for certain scenes. I used the shutter nearly 360 degrees to blow the images. I like both. I like the depth of film. I love the film grain. It’s something that I do gravitate to, but I also appreciate the benefits of digital for certain things."
– Rodrigo Prieto
"I love the discipline of filmmaking... I love that you can't see it, that you might be fucking yourself. [...] There's respect for film. It's enormously expensive, and because if you waste time, you're gonna have to switch the mag before you know it. With digital you just turn it on and... you just bullshit until you feel you have it. It starts to happen. With film it's like "are you guys ready? But no, are you really, like really ready?"
- Louis CK
"Get a camera, get a light, think about how the two will work together, shoot something, you're now a cinematographer. There is no real 'way' to get into cinematography. We are all just people who started shooting with cameras until we started getting good enough to make a living at it. Everyone is along that line somewhere, from the kid who just got a camera for his birthday, to Roger Deakins."
"[...] do not turn into a tech head. Good cinematography has nothing to do with what camera or what lens or what filter. Good cinematography is taking the time to do the absolute best with what you have. Sure some nice toys help the process. However don't let that idea consume your thoughts on to why you cannot achieve a certain look or style. Also do not let the cinematography get in the way of the story. Make sure that if you want to shoot a black and white short, it has a reason to be black and white. I guess what i'm trying to say is gear is just a tool for the job. There are a million different ways to achieve an artistic approach. The gold is really in how you do it. Don't get caught up on needing the latest greatest RED weapon/dragon/pokemon/zeiss/gearhead/etc."
"[...] I get asked all the time what I shot this film on. I shot it back in 2009, so most of it was actually shot on a Panasonic HPX170. It's funny how people get so hung up on the latest and greatest camera. The reality is that if you know what you are doing, you can make it look great even on a cheap camera. I think that's something young filmmakers need to concentrate more on. Don’t worry about the budget just worry about the story! Honestly, the camera means so little when you have a great story and you know what you are doing. 'Drivers Wanted' is a good example of this.”
"4K doesnt necessarily equal production value. The latest GoPros and iPhones shoot 4k -- it's a terrible way to judge the quality of cinematography by only its resolution. It would be the equivalent to judging music by the bitrate of the mp3 file -- and not by the sound of the melody, instruments and vocals."
- Allen Ho