Anything Goes : Directors: How to Choose a Camera System by Joe Giambrone

Joe Giambrone

Directors: How to Choose a Camera System

http://wp.me/pwAWe-1W2 New article. Any feedback, suggestions or technical corrections will be taken into consideration. Thanks.

Directors: How to Choose a Camera System
Directors: How to Choose a Camera System
by Joe Giambrone (Article is from May 2013, and newer camera models release constantly. The principles remain the same.) So you're confused by all the choices, and you don't know what they really all…
E.B. Laird

The DP and Director should collaborate on the system to make sure there isn't any creative confusion. A good DP will make sure he has what the director is looking for and a Director doing his do-diligence will want to go over everything anyways, unless the DP and director have a previous working relationship.

Julian Nabunya

great article its really informative to some of us who are merging in the biz . thanks any way i enjoyed reading . Julian

Joe Giambrone

Thanks, Julian. As for E.B., knowledge is power. I can't really understand the opposing argument on that one.

Joe Giambrone

Seriously? There's every kind of filmmaker under the sun out there. Manny of them ARE the DPs. Many of them don't know what they're doing or why. If they have no idea what they want to achieve then they probably won't be making very good movies. How do you know if the DP is telling you the best way to make the film or what they prefer to do because they already own equipment or whatever? A director is responsible for every single facet that goes into a movie. They should understand the process.

Moses Mugo

I agree with you Joe its a collaborative process. The director is ultimately responsible for the overall vision of the film that includes everything from camera choice to set design to choice of actors etc etc

Joe Giambrone

Hi Moses-- I think the system is having glitches, and posts are appearing twice for some reason. I'm considering a more technical follow up to compare the common lower price cameras to the big boys and expose the differences. Thanks for stopping by.

Justin Kapr

Love it!

Parker Reeve

As a DP I am a little disturbed by the message you are sending. That the DP might not have the best interest of the movie in their mind seems to put down the job of director of photography. I take it that this is written for directors who do not use DP’s. I can see this post being good for those people. But making a movie is a collaboration and the DP is a valued, creative member of the team. It’s too bad that you need to put down the integrity of DP’s “How do you know if the DP is telling you the best way to make the film or what they prefer to do because they already own equipment or whatever?” I’m sorry you have had bad experiences in the past with DP’s. I assure you that the vast majority of DP’s are well versed in camera equipment and care very much about making sure the director gets exactly what they want for the movie.

Joe Giambrone

"Disturbed?" Seriously. Jesus. I had a guy here yesterday disputing whether directors should actually know what the hell they're doing. Do I really need to argue that one? I'm not going to. The article is a general introduction for the massive amount of people out there shooting video who probably don't have DPs on their speed dial. I guess myopia is the problem here. If anyone will make the effort to actually read the thing, it shows how and why the expensive formats and cameras are preferred to better understand why they are used, and so one can compare the capabilities of lesser systems. Not actually all that controversial,so I'm done here.

D Marcus

For the record I am that guy. I did not dispute directors knowing what the hell they’re doing. I simply asked why directors should know all aspects of camera equipment. It was a question. An attempt to better understand your point. That made you angry so I apologised and removed my posts. No controversy, no dispute, no opposing argument. Just tried to better understand your point. Something you clearly did not expect when you posted this. I'll bet you aren't done here...

Joe Giambrone

Completely unrelated - you guys like Bill Hicks? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uvs2g5Nj0NI

Parker Reeve

Yes, Joe, seriously. I did make the effort to read what you wrote. It’s an interesting general introduction to cameras. I was disturbed by your comment that that DP’s might not tell a director the best camera to use because of their personal bias. Even though you asked for feedback you really don’t like people asking you about your article do you?

Joe Giambrone

Well, Parker, it doesn't seem like you're commenting on the actual article, because, hey, guess what? You're not. You're responding to some comments that also aren't about the actual article. Are you comprehending the pattern here? Unless your comment is about CAMERAS then I'm not interested in the slightest. If people are made "disturbed" over this,I suggest professional counseling.

Brian Heath

Hello Joe, as a Director, DP who started as a photographer(30 years) I understand your point but a lot of Directors do not understand the techniques of lens work. Most of the work for Director is to tell the story visually by explaining the look, feel, texture of the film to the team - DP, Art Dept, Wardrobe... heads so that they convey his vision. If a project is budgeted a DP will get the right camera package for the job, if the budget is not adequate for the project then yes there will be compromises but not just because the DP prefers a certain camera(his work and resume is the visual look of the film produced) so he will not just wing it in the way described 98 percent of the time. There's always that 2% + - in the mix:)

Brian Heath

P.S. choosing a camera system is subjective based on the budget available, look based on the directors read of the film after he/she does notes, research, visualize the scenes, its an artistic process that becomes very technical once the DP, Editor are consulted. ...reason why the DP would not be able to be the sole person deciding on the camera used. The film tells us what we need to make it come to life...

Joe Giambrone

Brian, I don't know how much of this thread you read before posting. But your first comment is continuing on this irrelevant off-topic strand that I have no interest in pursuing. Your second comment is fine, but please: enough about God damned DPs and directors. The article is about CAMERAS. The word "director" appears once. In the title. Stick to the topic. The article is an introduction for people who DON'T KNOW THIS STUFF ALREADY. Obviously you do, so you're probably not the intended audience. If you have corrections to the article text, have at it. Understanding different looks to a better degree is part of the game. It's quite odd to me how people can get so wrapped up in their own points that they fail to take in the actual point of the entire article, and the numerous examples listed therein. I've responded to these off-topic posts enough, and I have real work to do. If you don't want to read it,then don't. Read something else. Please.

Parker Reeve

Yep, I’m comprehending the pattern here. You do not like it when people challenge your statement. You are not interested in anyone's opinion except those who agree with you. You cannot defend your statement so you attack me as a person. You put “Directors” in the title of your article and now you want everyone to ignore it. You wrote this article for directors. You shouldn’t find it odd that so many people misunderstand your intention when your intention is unclear.

Joe Giambrone

Are you guys lonely or something? Since logic is irrelevant hereabouts, what's the point really? Now I have to "defend your statement?" Which statement is that? What has it got to do with the article that is the actual topic of the thread? Since you want to talk about what you want to talk about, why not make your own thread so I can ignore it, Parker? I was hoping to inform some people about the current generation of cinema cameras,but apparently that's not enough. It's not even close. There's so much more demanded of me,apparently. The article is irrelevant because some people can't find anything better to do than harass me. But, hey, let's address your big issue, if I can comprehend it from this series of nitpicks. Directors in general need to be as you imagine them and behave as you suggest they do. The idea of many thousands of newbies shooting video without the luxury of budget or a director of photography to consult apparently never occurred to some. Yes,that's right people shooting their own material, who could be called Director / DP as opposed to some other designation. Now I don't really feel the need to discuss this or to "defend" a God damned thing. My beef is with the blatant anti-intellectualism shown behind some of these comments. As if directors should not become knowledgeable about cameras and photography. Since the point of the article was to actually inform and enlighten (mortal sins I know), people showing up disputing the very idea of learning these things strike me as more than a little bit rude. No, frankly it's very, very rude. If the article contains factual errors, that's one thing. To dispute whether anyone should read it, as they should be consulting with their nonexistent ghost DP is a very different matter. That explains my use of the word "myopia" in an above comment,which hey I guess I'm defending as per Parker's requirements. As lonely fellas like you probably are brimming with more irrelevant challenges, this doesn't seem to have hope of going away. Until the next joker displays some relevance, with an actual comment about the text of the article, the TOPIC of the thread (is the Internet new to some here?), I'm done. Go write your own article and get a life.

Brian Heath

Try www.bhphoto.com they will help you buy a camera Joe. They will surely tell you whatever it is you want to hear.

Parker Reeve

Of course you feel the need to discuss this. If you didn’t you wouldn’t. I never suggested directors show not be knowledgeable about cameras and photography. You made that up so you could put me down. You become sarcastic because you can’t talk about the issue I raised. You call any challenge to what you write irrelevant because you can’t defend what you wrote. It’s much easier for you to put down anyone who asks you a question than to actually talk about the answer. You’re not “done”. You have said that three times yet you continue.

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