What does a Director of Photography do?

The director of photography or also referred to as the cinematographer plays a vital role in video production. The DP (Director of Photography) must have a very vast knowledge and understanding of cameras, composition, lighting, and film. A DP’s duties and responsibilities include the work he does before, during and after film production. Learn just some of the steps a cinematographer takes in making a video.

Pre-production
The DP is needed in the early stages of video production since they decide instrumental decisions such as how to interpret the script in line with the director’s vision and they also set the cinematic style and tone.

Storyboards
While the DP may not always physically draw the storyboards, the cinematographer must still go through the script and create a visual representation of every shot. The storyboard will lay out the film in its entirety so that the director and producer can schedule and plan production.

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Cameras
A large part of time is spent selecting cameras and lenses to create a uniform style for the film. Along with camera selection, comes the specific lens kit and lenses to best capture each shot.

Lighting
The DP gets to dictate how he or she wants every scene lit. In some cases, a DP is in charge of a single gaffer or an entire lighting department depending on the type of project.

Framing
Framing each shot requires great attention to detail from the DP. Working alongside the cameraman, the DP properly frames each shot. This process can take hours depending on the film.

Once all of the production is done, the DP can get into the post-production process. This includes the digital grading and film development process.

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