VOL 96 (2015) FROM ASC CLOSE UP – BEST PROFESSIONAL ADVICE RECAP

 

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From ASC CLOSE UP american-cinematographer-logo Vol 96(2015)

What’s The Best Professional Advice you’ve received?

THEO VAN DE SANDE, ASC

In Hollywood: Stay on schedule and on budget, and you are free as a bird.

ATTILA SZALAY, ASC

In 1992, I sat across from Georgy Illès, who was then president of the HSC. He learned forward and said,’ Do you want to know the secret of success in this business? As a freelancer, you’re like a call girl; never stop selling yourself.’ I pass this advice along to students whenever I get the chance.

MICHAEL WEAVER, ASC

Never show fear.

TAMI REIKER, ASC

Pick your battles, and never eat the fish.

JON JOFFIN, ASC

You’re never done lighting, but at some point you have to stop.

MAURO FIORE, ASC

My father once told me that a true master only needs a few tools. Pride in your work is a paramount.

FRANCIS KENNY, ASC

‘How to walk the line between clever and stupid.’ Through discipline comes freedom.

STEVEN V.SILVER, ASC

Make sure your chosen profession is your passion.

LEX DuPONT, ASC

From Gil Hubbs [ASC]: We are freelancers and must make tough career decisions.There will be times when it’s best for us to leave a project early.Some people won’t understand that; one probably  won’t have an enduring relationship with them anyway. And  from Julio Macat: be optimistic even during the darkest moments.Cinematographers are highly visible on set and our mood can affect the crew.

JAN KIESSER, ASC

In my early days of operating for Vilmos Zsigmond, we were discussing lighting, and he advised me to observe light in the real world all the time. I often reflect on that as I continue to observe and learn every day.

MARK VARGO, ASC

Don’t ever give up.And make lots of friends in the business.

TOM HURWITZ, ASC

Always listen to the story.Great cameramen use their ears as well as their eyes.

 

VOL 95 (2014) FROM ASC CLOSE UP – BEST PROFESSIONAL ADVICE RECAP

 

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From ASC CLOSE UP american-cinematographer-logo Vol 95(2014)

What’s The Best Professional Advice you’ve received?

MICHAEL BONVILLAIN, ASC

‘Never stand when you can sit, and never sit when you can  lie down.’

JAVIER AGUIRRESAROBE, ASC, AFC

I don’t remember ever receiving advice about my work from anyone except my gaffers, who advised me not to be so impatient.However, I once received  this general advice : ‘ A movie is like the Tour de France: It’s not necessary to win all the stages. It’s more important to resolve the worst situations,maintain the consistency, and then arrive in Paris as the winner’.

REXFORD METZ, ASC

‘Never say no!’

GEORGE MOORADIAN, ASC

At the bottom of a silver mine in Park City, Utah, 1 1/2 Miles underground Garland Wilde intoned, ‘Don’t be afraid of the Dark.’ You can take that advice anywhere.

JAMES A. CHRESSANTHIS, ASC

Vilmos Zsigmond told me, ‘Jim, it takes 10 years to become a cinematographer, so be patient and remember, nice guys finish first. And promise me that when you are a successful, you will help the next person.’

ALEX FUNKE, ASC

‘Never ask the crew to undo something  they already done!’ And, ‘Always finish the day leaving a shot ready to start right away the next morning.’

KRAMER MORGENTHAU, ASC

‘In this business, if you aren’t early, you are late.’

JONATHAN FREEMAN, ASC

‘Trust your instinct. Your first choice is usually the best.’

KEN KELSCH, ASC

John Cassavetes told us at NYU not to stop shooting.Just figure it out a way to do it.

JULIO G. MACAT, ASC

When you shoot, take chances, don’t play it safe; push the envelope into that scary and dangerous place; do not settle  for mediocre work. There is always  for improvment . Be original; do ordinary things in a extraordinary way. Don’t forget you are telling a story- so what does each shot say? Shoot images that you would enjoy watching.

To Be Continued… –つづく…

VOL 94 (2013) FROM ASC CLOSE UP – BEST PROFESSIONAL ADVICE RECAP

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From ASC CLOSE UP american-cinematographer-logo Vol 94(2013)

What’s The Best Professional Advice you’ve received?

NEWTON THOMAS SIEGEL, ASC

Find a way to keep shooting, no matter what. That is how I have learned and how I have grown.

STEPHEN GOLDBLATT, ASC,BSC

My gaffer in England, Martin Evans,advised me to say nothing during the first three weeks of production,to just watch and listen. I wish I had followed his advice more closely.

RUSSELL CARPENTER, ASC

‘Every Producer,every lab,every equipment house and every crewmember(from Director to caterer) is your family.’

CHRISTHOPHER BAFFA, ASC

‘Lead through respect,not intimidation.’ Words of wisdom from Dad.

PAUL MAIBAUM, ASC

‘All one really has in this business is one’s reputation as someone who can be trusted’

SHELLY JOHNSON, ASC

‘Learn from your mistakes,not your successes’

DON BURGESS, ASC

‘Spend less than you make’

STUART DRYBURGH, ASC, NZCS

‘Using Pentax spot meter,John Toon Taught me the relationship  between incident and spot readings. I have used this method of exposure calculation ever since’

RON FORTUNATO, ASC

‘We’re all replaceable’

STEVE GAINER, ASC

‘Always set the people you’re working with know if you are unsure about something . it’s much better than explaining  why a mistake was made’

SEAMUS McGRAVEY , ASC, BSC

‘Cinematography is 10 Percent cinematography and 90 percent bladder control’

MICHAEL SLOVIS, ASC

‘Remain Positive.’ It’s harder than you think.

To Be Continued… –つづく…

VOL 93 (2012) FROM ASC CLOSE UP – BEST PROFESSIONAL ADVICE RECAP

 

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From ASC CLOSE UP american-cinematographer-logo Vol 93(2012)

What’s The Best Professional Advice you’ve received?

RODRIGO PRIETO, ASC, AMC

On my first day on my first job as a PA, the production manager was late, and a grip said, ‘ it is disrespectful to be late on a shoot day.’ That made a big impression on me.

ROBERTO SCHAEFER, ASC, AIC

Listen to your gut instinct and believe in it. And Remember that the craft-service person on this job might be producer on the next.

JONATHAN TAYLOR, ASC

Stay calm, listen, observe and lead by example.

ALAR KIVILO, ASC, CSC

Don’t try to be someone you are not.

DARIUS KHONDJI , ASC, AFC

1)Learn how to listen; 2)Choose one strong idea per film; and 3 ) Really understand your motivations, why you do something and not something else, and the direction you take in your work.

SAM NICHOLSON, ASC

The film business is like a prizefight;it’s not how many times you get knocked down that counts, it’s how many times you get up and go again.

PETER LYONS COLLISTER, ASC

Treat everyone on a set as a human being . Learn everyone’s name, and don’t abuse any perceived power. I’ve witnessed such bad behavior by megalomaniacal  producers, directors, actors and , yes, cinematographers.Even in the stress of your 18 hour day, remember that PA has worked 23 hours already.

DAVID BOYD, ASC

Michael Chapman told me that if I didn’t want to shoot a project, I should just double my rate— That way I could be happy doing it. I’ve never tried it,but he made me laugh.

JOHN NEWBY, ASC

Know what you want to see in the shot before you plan logistics.

ROBERT PRIMES, ASC

After hearing complaints from an actor that I was putting too much light in his eyes, an executive producer called me into his office to remind me that I could be fired and he could be fired, but the actor could not be fired.It was a great lesson in political reality.

PETER DEMING, ASC

From George Folsey Sr. :’ Whenever you go in to production, eat a good breakfast and sit down whenever you can.’ Good Advice.

JERZY ZIELINSKI, ASC, PSC

Don’t let yourself become too obsessed with technology. Find a balance with your creativity.

To Be Continued… –つづく…

VOL 92 (2011) FROM ASC CLOSE UP – BEST PROFESSIONAL ADVICE RECAP

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From ASC CLOSE UP american-cinematographer-logo Vol 92(2011)

What’s The Best Professional Advice you’ve received?

JACK COUFFER, ASC

From editor Irving Lerner: ‘Cut out all the comin’s and goin’s’

BARRY MARKOWITZ, ASC

‘There’s only one way to shoot this thing : Two Ways’

CRESCENZO NOTARILE, ASC

From Owen Roizman :” There’s no need to have an ego as a man. Let your work on that screen be your ego”

DENNIS MUREN, ASC

Jim Danforth taught me the value of critical thinking, especially about your own work, and how to see your work as the audience will see it. And during THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, George Lucas showed me a helicopter shot and asked if I could add a creature running in the ground, which at the time seemed impossible because of the six axis camera motion. He said, ‘ Give it some thought,’ and within 15 minutes I had a solution,That Taught me that a right answer might be one thought away.

TOBIAS SCHLIESSLER, ASC

‘Don’t shoot your demo reel.Be true to the story.’

DEAN SEMLER, ASC, ACS

From George Miller:’Just be bold,Dino!Be as bold as yo want!’

BRUNO DELBONNEL, ASC, ACS

When I was an AC, a gaffer told me, ‘Don’t run on a set, ‘because you show everyone that you probably forgot something. I still don’t run on set, and I try not to forget too many things’.

TOM HOUGHTON, ASC

I received early encouragement from Woody Omens,ASC; and Walter Lassally,BSC taught me many crucial concepts over the course of several projects. I also appreciated the opportunity to be on set of Fat City, where Conrad Hall, ASC was executing  innovative ideas using 8k (4x2K) umbrella lights for the fight scenes.In dailies,John Huston would just put his head on down and listen, trusting Conrad to deliver their visual plan.

DANTE SPINOTTI, ASC, AIC

It was actually given to my son  when he was getting ready to direct his thesis film at the American Film Institute.Jay Fortune, a New York gaffer I ‘d just completed a film with, suggested to him, ‘ Don’t lose your sense of humor,even when everything seems to be going in the opposite direction.’

XAVIER GROBET, ASC, AMC

Life is like an airplane: you either get on board , or you don’t . It’s up to you.

DAN MINDEL, ASC

When I was a focus puller on a movie with Adrian Biddle, BSC, I told him I did not have focus marks, and he said ‘ Feel The Force. ‘ I use that advice all the time.

LUCIANO TOVOLI, ASC, AIC

‘The Edges of the frame are often more interesting then the center’

To Be Continued… –つづく…

VOL 91 ( 2010 ) FROM ASC CLOSE UP-BEST PROFESSIONAL ADVICE RECAP

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From ASC CLOSE UP american-cinematographer-logo Vol 91(2010)

What’s The Best Professional Advice you’ve received?

BILLY DICKSON, ASC

Stay true to Yourself. When Everything is crazy around you and you feel like you’re being forced into making all the compromises,do what is right for you and make the compromises you can live with.In the end,what people see on the screen is what they remember you by.

PAUL CAMERON, ASC

Invest in yourself, and if you ‘re not willing to risk everything,then don’t bother doing anything.

SALVATORE TOTINO, ASC

The Advice I got the first day I worked in the film business: Always be five minutes early to work, never five minutes late.But more importantly, live on the edge when it comes to your photography–Take risks.Put your ideas on film and fall down a few times; it will make you a great filmmaker.

RENE OHASHI, ASC,CSC

Have a clear vision, design and objective for every scene. Then, by lighting with your instincts along with your intention  and setting you own level of excellence, you will find satisfaction.

FRED ELMES, ASC

It’s the director movie.The Director is always right.

JOHN SCHWARTZMAN, ASC

From my grandfather, Carmine Coppola: What you do with your non-working time is more important than what you do with your working time.

THOMAS A. DEL RUTH, ASC

From Jordan Cronenweth: ‘Minimize compromise,be prepared for rejection, and save your money’

CHARLES MINSKY, ASC

I’m not sure it’s the best advice,but when I first began working as a camera assistant , Joe Ruttenberg, ASC lived next door.He took me into his house one day and showed me his two Academy Awards and told me to become an editor because they had more control on his art than he did.It did not deter me, but it made me aware that I wasn’t in complete control of the finished product.It’s a lesson I’m still learning.

DEJAN GEORGEVIC, ASC

Lee Rothberg’s Mantra :’ Keep Calm,Cool and collected at all times’

JIM DENAULT, ASC

From Tim Beiber: ‘ Show up early,don’t sit down,and act like you give a shit.’ It’s easy to remember and has far-reaching implications’

PHEDON PAPAMICHAEL , ASC

Roger Corman used to tell his young directors to sit down on an apple-box whenever they got an opportunity.I always try to pace myself through a long shoot;I see a lot of folks burn out before the film is done.

FRANK B.BYERS, ASC

From my agent: ‘Be the happiest guy on set.’ He was right

To Be Continued… –つづく…

VOL 90 ( 2009 ) FROM ASC CLOSE UP-BEST PROFESSIONAL ADVICE RECAP

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From ASC CLOSE UP american-cinematographer-logo Vol 90(2009)

What’s The Best Professional Advice you’ve received?

GABRIEL BERISTAIN, ASC, BSC

Kate Nelligan , a superb actor, once told me that if I could light women beautifully, I would not help many careers, but I would also definitely help mine.

PETER SUSCHITZKY, ASC

I Was once invited to a dinner where Billy Wilder was one of the guests.He asked me what I was doing, to which I replied, ‘Oh , a small movie’ He said,’ There’s no such thing, just good ones and bad ones.’ For the rest, I listened to an inner voice that said,’Develop as many interests as you can, as you will need them to fill the long gaps between movie and enrich life in general.’

PETER  WUNSTRORF, ASC

‘Be Yourself’. I was about to interview for the aforementioned pilot (Millennium), and I was nervous.;my Good friend Dominique Fortin said, ‘Just be yourself;they will like you.’ I didn’t try to fake it. I thought it went badly, but in prep, the producer told me, ‘You came in and only spoke about the work,and that’s all Chris Cater cared about.’

THOMAS ACKERMAN, ASC

Legendary gaffer George ‘Popeye’ Dahlquist used to tell his lamp operatos ‘Boys,if you’re not 10 minutes early,you’re 10 minutes late.’Readiness is a big part of what we do.

JOHN LINDLEY, ASC

When I wanted to quit a miserable show, the director, Virgil Vogel,said,’Kid, never quit.If you have to leave, get fired.If you quit,it will always reflect on you.’

ALAN CASO, ASC

From John Frankenheimer: ‘Alan, whatever you do in this business,don’t ever let them push you into shooting something you know is just bad,something you’ll end up regretting or hating.Simple rule of thumb: ‘don’t shoot s**t!’

MARK IRWIN, ASC, CSC

When director Gil Cates chose me to shoot a love story starring Bea Arthur and Richard Kiley, he said he liked what i’d done on The Fly.I reminded him that Jeff Goldblum and Geena Davies were in a horror film, not a love story.He said,’No,they were in love, and that’s what the audience saw. Sometimes you have to ignore the words and let the pictures tell the story.

AARON SCHNEIDER, ASC

When I was starting out, a veteran first assistant  told me the 2-make Rule,’ make your leading ladies look beautiful and make your day.’

ALEXANDER GRUSZYNSKI, ASC

I think it was Sven Nykvist, ASC who once said, ‘Take chances, but when you do, lower the ASA settings on your light meter.’ To this day, no matter how great the latitude of the film stock is, I always calibrate my meter to a lower settings than what the manufacturer recommends.

ANASTAS MICHOS, ASC

I was working with Don McAlpine,ASC,ACS, and getting impatient watching the director, producer and assistant director endlessly discuss the next setup. Don turned me and said in his inimitable Aussie drawl,’Relax: Sooner or later they’ll have to come over to talk to us.’

PAUL RYAN, ASC

Michael Chapman, ASC said ‘You have to give the impression you know what you’re doing even when you’re totally confused.’

To Be Continued… –つづく…