Cinematography is a wonderful profession. You get to understand dramatic uses of lighting, play with the latest gear, become addicted to lenses, congregate with some of the best visual artists in the world and um…did I mention play with the latest gear? Seriously, one of the areas that aren’t talked about as much are the roles of being a Director. And not just of the Photography portions. Those consist of commanding the Gaffer, G&E crews, working with makeup artists for the best portrait shots or working with production design to setup lighting. No, I mean the act of Directing in its rawest most potent form: communication.
Like many nerds, I am—or WAS mostly an introvert. I’d stick to the lunch room or library drawing comic pages, thinking of great martial arts stories, creating game designs and level layouts and become excited at the thought of going to the arcades later that afternoon. But, that doesn’t tend to lead to a very social-able lifestyle beyond a small clique of friends usually. Flash forward to today, as a filmmaker you’re forced to overcome shyness unless you don’t mind your project failing in production. Communication is such a powerful tool that it can totally shape the scope of your actors’ performances, and how the images are painted on camera. Essentially, this is a nerd’s PARADISE. From my own recent experiences, not only have I learned to express what I want as passionately as I can, but I’ve learned to call onto my old creative experiences as a visual artist, a young storyteller within game design and action scene scenarios from martial arts direction.
This is probably one of the strongest areas where being a total geek can cause you to succeed. Think about it, we have the fanatical drive, technical know-how and obsession for information and tinkering. So if you can tap into that zone, (the zone of a total child, really) and express yourself to the actors, you’ve crushed it! What’s more is that I’ve had the opportunity to work alongside some very strong Directors and watch them work, watch them communicate and gain some insight on how to express an element that you’re going for in a variety of situations with a variety of different types of people.
Directing isn’t about having an insanely grand vision — for some directors it absolutely is and we get some really cool-looking movies — but directing is all about like communication. If you can communicate to somebody else, if you can communicate a thought, you can direct, it’s that simple. – Kevin Smith
It’s been a very, VERY crazy journey as of late. Thank you guys all for so much support! A special thanks goes out to great friends in Richard O’ Sullivan from Lost Colony Productions (for being a great friend and creative partner through self-funded filmmaking ventures) , Shane Hurlbut, ASC from Hurlbut Visuals (for being that forward thinker we as young Cinematographers need and personally helping me in times of creative need, Bob Primes, ASC (for giving me the best advice that kick-started my career) and Michael Grady (for inviting me to observe and sit in the production DIT for the upcoming Annie remake film).
Here’s some latest work from a variety of different projects within the last 5 months. Some are still in production.