September 30, 2023


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Mastering the Art of Visual Storytelling: Your Guide to Becoming a Cinematographer

7 min read

We all like to watch movies and often we talk more about the actresses, directors, and producers of the film and also give credit for the success of the film. But perhaps you do not know how many people contribute to the making of a film and what a major role the cinematographer plays in filmmaking.

But who is a cinematographer and what is the cinematography, let us know. Cinematography is such an integral part of filmmaking that it manages the visual elements. The branch of cinema is very tough and all the visual elements that are seen on the screen are possible only because of the cinematography. Involved in cinematography, the technical process includes all the visual effects seen on the screen, camera moments, lighting, different angles of the camera, lenses, filters, focus color, and exposure extras.

A cinematographer is a person who is responsible for the filming of a video, movie, or short film. How would be the lighting, how would be the placement of props, how would the actors appear, and all that would be reflected on the screen? The cinematographer is in charge of all of them and this role is so important that it would be impossible to capture any motion picture without a cinematographer. The cinematographer is also called the Director of Photography i.e. DOP.

A cinematographer is the person who converts the director’s vision into reality on the basis of his artistic skills, creativity, and technical knowledge. Cinematographers help decide how the picture will appear on screen, which angles should be shot, and the lighting and set design. Cinematographers do not work alone, rather they have to work closely with a team of light technicians, set designers, and directors.

Now if you also intend to become a cinematographer and want to make a career as a cinematographer in the film industry, then you must know how to reach this position and the scope available to you in this field. That’s why today through this video we will give you all the information related to becoming a cinematographer.

So let’s start by first knowing about some specific job responsibilities of cinematographer. Study and analyze the storyline characters, screenplay, and other parameters involved in the film and provide your creative visual element based on that. Researching shots, climate conditions, available sites, and other important aspects related to the shooting of the scene. Packing relevant tools and equipment for movie shots. Finalizing the characters’ costumes, hair, makeup, and set color combinations. It is the responsibility of the cinematographer to give advice to the team members so that they can get a decided result after shooting the scene thus maintaining the mood of the entire film’s visual impact.

So after knowing this far, it will be beneficial for you to know about the popular courses in cinematography. So let’s know about it. Certificate Course in Cinematography, Diploma in PG Diploma in Cinematography, BA Cinematography, and MA Cinematography. The duration of certificate courses ranges from six months to one year. The duration of the Diploma and PG Diploma is from 1 to 2 years. UG courses are of 3 to 4 years duration and PG courses are of two years duration.

Talking about the criteria for these courses, to do a certificate course, you must have passed ten plus two classes in any stream from a recognized board. The same condition is also applicable for admission in the Diploma course and UG course. For admission in a PG course, you need to be a graduate in cinematography or a similar stream. As far as the fees of these courses are concerned, the fee for a certificate course can be up to ₹ 1 lakh, and for a diploma course the fee can be up to ₹ 5 lakh. The fees for UG courses can be up to ₹ 2 lakhs, while for PG courses it can be up to ₹ 5 lakhs. These courses can also be done online, for which you can choose from options like Course in UG, Diamond Tax, and Land. You will find both free and paid courses.

Now let us know some popular courses in these courses and the names of the best institutes in India for them. First up are the popular certificate courses and the institutes offering them. Certificate Course in Acting and Dubbing Techniques for Radio and Television. Delhi Film Institute Second only Certificate Course in Direction and Production and TV Journalism Foundation. Institute for Learning Media i.e. New Delhi. The third one is the Nine Months Course in Cinematography. Mind Screen Film Institute ie MSI. Chennai. Similarly, if we talk about popular diploma and PG diploma courses and institutes offering them, then the Diploma in Cinematography, Asian Academy of Film and Television i.e. Noida, Diploma in Film Editing and Television Production, Ramoji Academy of Film and Television, Telangana Top Undergraduate Courses and Offers in them.

If we talk about the institute, then a Bachelor of Arts i.e. Cinematography like Bharati Vidyapeeth School of Photography, BBS Maharashtra can be done from the State Institute of Film and Television Haryana. B.Sc in Film Making Cinematography which can be done from CMR University, Zee Institute of Creative Art, Chandigarh. Bachelor of Arts Honors Direction and Cinematography offered by FT University. Similarly, MA Film Studies can be done in post-graduate courses, which are offered by the University of Mumbai and Jadavpur University, Kolkata. And now let us tell you the names of such top institutes in India from where you can do a course in cinematography. Film and Television Institute of India ie FTII Pune, Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute, and FTI Kolkata. Whistling International ie WWI. Mumbai Biju Patnaik Film and Television Institute, Odisha. National Institute of Design ie NID, Ahmedabad. Asian Academy of Film and Television, Noida. Government Film and Television Institute, Bangalore and KR Narayanan National Institute of Visual Science Arts, Kerala. Similarly, there are top international schools of cinematography.

American Film Institute Wet Los Angeles School of Cinematic Arts, California, Florida State University. University of Texas at Austin Columbia University New York School of the Art Institute of Chicago. By the way, you should also know that according to your selected course and college, you may have to take an entrance test as well, so you have to prepare well for that. You have come to know about the required education to become a cinematographer. That is, by taking a diploma or degree in this field, you will understand the basic and theoretical aspects of this field very well and if you do a course from a good college, then you will get good practical knowledge there which will definitely support your career.

But it will not be enough to become a cinematographer, to reach the position of cinematographer, you must have camera operating experience. Knowledge and experience of lighting and photography are also required. That’s why you may have to start as a camera operator to enter this field. But you can be happy to know that nowadays due to the expansion of the film and commercial industry business, the demand for cinematographers has increased a lot and this means that if you are talented then you will definitely get a chance. But with zero experience, you cannot become a direct cinematographer, can you? So you have to join the film industry as an assistant cinematographer and learn the new dimension of camera handling and capturing shots while in this position. And the faster you learn, the more your experience and skills will increase and your chances of becoming a cinematographer will also increase.

Apart from this, your creative vision will help you reach this position and now the cinematographer’s walk area is not limited to the film industry, but cinematographers can work in TV and web series, documentaries, short film studios, and video business. And you can search for such job options outside India as well. As far as the main job profile for a Cinematographer is concerned, a Director of Photography, Video Editor, Cameraman, Videographer, and Cinematographer can also do freelance work on different projects.

But it is also very important for you to understand that you will not reveal your plan of becoming a cinematographer by being attracted by the glamor of the film industry. Rather, if you find this profession suitable to justify your skills, then only think of moving forward in it, because like every other area, you will get a lot of scope in this area, earning will also be very good, but the struggle will not be less. And if you have unique talent and related knowledge, then only you will be able to progress fast in this area. And in this job, you have to be prepared for long and late nights. Considering it as a friend’s suggestion, first think about it, then take action.

Now if you want to know how much a salary package would be offered to a cinematographer when there is so much hard work then it is difficult to tell because there is no fixed salary package for this type of creative work. This salary is affected by the candidate’s job profile, work experience, knowledge, skills, specialization, and industry types. Yes, it is easy to tell that the earning in the film unit is more than the media business. Nevertheless, it can be estimated that the average starting salary for a cinematographer can be ₹ 3,60,000. In this way, now you have all the necessary information related to becoming a cinematographer, using which you can find out the worth of this profession for yourself or someone around you is thinking about it. His idea is that if he goes, please share this Article with him, because it is very important to have the right information.

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