[Tig] from James Wicks - Learning the trade

Marc Wielage mfw at musictrax.com
Mon Aug 6 13:02:47 BST 2012

On 8/6/12 3:18 AM, "James Wicks" <jim at jimwicks.com> wrote:

> And after all is said and done and you have learned and experienced all you
> can, give all that you have learned away to someone so you can help and
> inspire them. 

I agree with all of James' points.  I would also add:  learn as much as you
can about the work of the cinematographer.  Understanding their challenges
and coming up with solutions is one of the biggest parts of our job.  Know
the basics of fill light, key light, color temperature, exposure, and how to
solve photographic problems.  Being able to speak the DP's language is
essential in order to communicate and gain their trust.  Knowing the pros
and cons of different cameras (and yes, even film stocks) will help as well.

I would point towards past issues of AMERICAN CINEMATOGRAPHER and also the
AMERICAN CINEMATOGRAPHER MANUAL as being good references as an intro to the
art of the cinematographer:


I also find that learning basic file workflow, understanding the various
dailies systems out there, knowing timecode, and having a basic grasp of
sound for film will help as well.  Ditto with knowing the ins and outs of
conforming and editing tools, as well as having a general grasp of workflow
issues, particularly for specific facilities and file formats.

The major manufacturers (particularly Blackmagic/Resolve and Baselight) make
available downloadable copies of their latest user manuals for free, and
they also have demo versions of their software that will run -- to a point
-- on recent laptops.  That's a good way to wrap your head around the basics
of the programs, but I think both work far better with their respective
control surfaces.

--Marc W.
occasional colorist

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