Recently I had to rethink my current tactics getting into the cinema world. Right now as a semi-pro I have been working on a lot of smaller projects that show off my skills versus going for feature film pilots or web series.
I got to work on the set with someone who worked in the VFX department of Judge Dred, The Matrix, and Spider Man. But at the end of the shoot we had a moment to talk and he basically told me the best way to make money is to make a short that is the introduction of a feature film. Which is great advice, or at least that is the advice I get pretty much anywhere.
As an aspiring cinematographer he asked me if I had used a RED. I had to tell him I have not, and the school I was at was very selective on who got to use the RED. Which he did replied that you could simply buy one for less than film school.
But that really got me thinking about the current status of cinema and where I wanted to be.
Personally, I feel like RED is a camera for people that suck at operating cameras. I guess it makes a difference when you put hundred of millions of dollars on the line. But it seems the only strengths of RED is the RAW format and global shutter. (I would list ridiculously large sensors but at this time science is proving that having large sensors can be more detrimental)
Sure you can literally adjust everything in post; but then are you just relying on your camera operators to just get focus and the correct movement?
Anyway that is enough about RED. What did I learn in film school? And was it worth not buying a RED?
Well, that is the thing about Cinema its really easy to get stuck over equipment and software. Where is at school I was able to learn from the best in the nation when it came to story development and all of the theoretical parts of cinema ascetics.
Even if I did just buy an overly expensive single piece of an amazing camera, I would still lack all of the information, experiences, and networking that is required to use that camera in a meaningful way. Considering optical lenses still work roughly about the same way as they do in a photo-graphical camera… you could get the same experience of using a RED with a cheap SLR and film stock… It might not be quite as fancy and straight forward when it comes to software and digital files.
But all of that Cinema incite of the history, experience, art, techniques that I learned from my “film” school actually are impossible to get anywhere for super cheap as most of them were master classes.
So I probably could have saved some money and bought everything and stumbled around till I finally found something. But now I know much more about cinema in general that I can use a consumer grade DSLR and make it look just as good as any project shot in RED. (Well except for all the crazy 10K stuff)
Because really its kind of silly that we still call films… films, because in today's age there are simply so many different kinds of mediums that can take composed images and display stories.
Its really the cinema; the skill of using these images and sounds that really will continue.
Especially whenever those holographic disks finally become consumer friendly.