With the Indian film industry completing its 104th year in 2017, it could be said that our world revolves around cinema. We all at some part of our lives must have wondered what makes movies look so realistic.

If we dissect the different components that work together to make a great movie, first there is a story writer who weaves an interesting story. Then comes the other important cogs in the wheel such as the director, producer, actors, and cinematographer amongst several others.


So who is a Cinematographer?

A Cinematographer is a key person in film making who specializes in capturing the scene shots. They visualize how the scene would be shot and how it would appear on the screen. After discussing the shot with the directors, a Cinematographer decides on the creative techniques that can be used to shoot the scenes. The vision of the Cinematographer has a direct influence on how the film eventually looks.

A cinematographer is almost always busy discussing ideas with the director and producers.

Here are some of the daily activities of a Cinematographer

  • Extensive research and photography for a shot using cameras and sophisticated equipment

  • Constant research and execution of the latest aspects and techniques in the field

  • Helping the set director with inputs on the look and feel of the set

  • Advising the actors on the scene and its importance in the film

  • Planning for the entire day with regards to the creative output of filmography

Cinematographers make creative choices while also working within the limits of a client’s budget and skillset. With their creativity, technical expertise and quest for perfection, they truly are visual creators.

So how can one become a Cinematographer?

There are various degree and diploma courses in Cinematography that teach the basics of film making and its various aspects. An internship with a director or a production house will help in understanding the nuances of the skills needed to succeed in this industry.

Let’s take a look at some notable Cinematographers:

It is worth mentioning the name of K. K. Senthil Kumar, an Indian Cinematographer who is notable for his work in the movie ‘Baahubali’. The Cinematography of the movie was praised even outside India.

Another prominent cinematographer is Roger Deakins, who won the Academy Award for the sci-fi sequel “Blade Runner 2049”. At the age of 69 as on 2018, Deakins is a legendary artist and innovator. He is an inspiration for all students who want to pursue a career in cinematography.

Roger Deakins, Award-winning Cinematographer


Sources & Links:

Cinematography: Theory and Practice: Image Making for Cinematographers and Directors By Blain Brown

Deccan Chronicle

Variety Magazine

The Guardian