The Importance of a Director and Cinematographer Relationship



There is no denying that a film director is responsible for the visual integrity of the film. Directors are expected to work hand in hand with writers, crew members, actors and producers in order to correctly move a film through its various stages of production. During the pre-production phase, a director works closely with producers and screenwriters to have their project given the go-ahead and budget-approved. During post-production, the director, editor and after-effects crew convert the raw materials into a finished storyline ready for viewing. In these two phases, the script is converted into a film, the success of which significantly depends on the director and cinematographer relationship.

The responsibility of a cinematographer lies in the quality of the movie’s picture. This is quite a big deal considering that films ate essentially moving pictures. It is the role of the director to take the script and plan the kind of shots to be used, and at what points. Then, it is up to the cinematographer to execute them. This means that the cinematographer should be familiar with the principles of still photography together with the language of movie photography. Location, movement and lighting should all be put into consideration when a certain scene is being shot. Due to this reason, most cinematographers, if not all of them, have a Bachelor’s degree or even a Master’s degree.

From a strictly filmmaking viewpoint, the manner in which a director interacts with his or her cinematographer is crucial to how a movie turns out. Of late, a myriad of changes have been witnessed in the film industry as the indie genre continues to evolve and expand. A director is expected to deal with a number of challenges that include a tanking economy that makes rather difficult for a movie to be made. Other challenges include upcoming technologies that are altering the rules in many filmmaking techniques.

A director adopting an excellent working condition with his or her cinematographer can go a long way in ensuring the shooting experience is successful. Being in possession of sophisticated editing equipment would be of no good if the image is absent in the first place. There are first-time directors out there with no background or practical experience in filmmaking. This is quite common nowadays as more and more people speak the film language even without any formal training. For such directors, having an experienced cinematographer can come quite in handy.

Making a director and cinematographer relationship work is no minor task for experienced filmmakers, leave alone amateurs. So many variables are involved when it comes to hiring and working with an excellent cinematographer. Pre-production is crucial, and things are bound to change in the course of principle photography. All in all, every set member should understand his or he role on a film set. The history of movies is full of bloated epics as well as curiously shot personal movies that flopped because egos got in the way. A director and a cinematographer should always discuss their plans beforehand. It is a cinematographer’s role to ensure the director tells the best story he or she can.