A cinematographer or director of photography (sometimes shortened to DP or DOP) is the chief over the camera and light crews working on a film, television production or other live action piece and is responsible for making artistic and technical decisions related to the image. The study and practice of this field is referred to as cinematography.
The cinematographer selects the camera, film stock, lenses, filters, etc., to realize the scene in accordance with the intentions of the director. Relations between the cinematographer and director vary; in some instances the director will allow the cinematographer complete independence; in others, the director allows little to none, even going so far as to specify exact camera placement and lens selection. Such a level of involvement is not common once the director and cinematographer have become comfortable with each other; the director will typically convey to the cinematographer what is wanted from a scene visually, and allow the cinematographer latitude in achieving that effect.
Several American cinematographers have become directors, including Reed Morano, ASC who lensed Frozen River and Beyonce's Lemonade before winning an Emmy for directing The Handmaid's Tale. Barry Sonnenfeld, originally the Coen brothers' DP; Jan de Bont, cinematographer on films as Die Hard and Basic Instinct, directed Speed and Twister. Ellen Kuras, ASC photographed Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind as well as a number of Spike Lee films such as Summer of Sam and He Got Game before directing episodes of Legion and Ozark. In 2014, Wally Pfister, cinematographer on Christopher Nolan's three Batman films, made his directorial debut with Transcendence; whilst British cinematographers Jack Cardiff and Freddie Francis regularly moved between the two positions.
In the infancy of motion pictures, the cinematographer was usually also the director and the person physically handling the camera. As the art form and technology evolved, a separation between director and camera operator emerged. With the advent of artificial lighting and faster (more light sensitive) film stocks, in addition to technological advancements in optics, the technical aspects of cinematography necessitated a specialist in that area.
In 1919 Hollywood, the then-new motion picture capital of the world, one of the first (and still existing) trade societies was formed: the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC), which stood to recognize the cinematographer's contribution to the art and science of motion picture making. Similar trade associations have been established in other countries too. The ASC Vision Committee is known for working to encourage and support the advancement of underrepresented cinematographers, their crews and other filmmakers, and to inspire us all to enact positive changes through hiring talent that reflects society at large.
There are a number of national associations of cinematographers which represent members (irrespective of their official titles) and which are dedicated to the advancement of cinematography. These include:
The A.S.C. defines cinematography as:
A creative and interpretive process that culminates in the authorship of an original work of art rather than the simple recording of a physical event. Cinematography is not a subcategory of photography. Rather, photography is but one craft that the cinematographer uses in addition to other physical, organizational, managerial, interpretive and image-manipulating techniques to effect one coherent process.
Aloysius Vincent (14 June 1928 – 25 February 2015) was an Indian cinematographer and director of Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu and Hindi films. From the mid-1960s on he directed some 30 movies including the landmark Malayalam films Bhargavi Nilayam, and Murappennu. He also won the Filmfare Best Cinematographer Award for Prem Nagar (1974) starring Rajesh Khanna. His penultimate Malayalam movie were the 1985 3D film Pournami Ravil and Kochu Themmadi (1986). He is also known for directing Tamil films like Engalkku Kalam Varum, Thulabharam, Iru Veedugal and Jayalalitha's 100th film Thirumangalyam. In 2003, the Indian Society of Cinematographers (ISC) awarded him an Honorary Membership, along with K. K. Mahajan and V. K. Murthy. He received the J. C. Daniel Award in 1996.Alfonso Cuarón
Alfonso Cuarón Orozco (US: ; Spanish: [alˈfonso kwaˈɾon] pronunciation ; born 28 November 1961) is a Mexican film director, screenwriter, producer, cinematographer, and editor. His work has received critical acclaim and many accolades. He has been nominated for 10 Academy Awards and won four, including two Best Director awards for Gravity (2013) and Roma (2018). He is the first Latin American director to receive the award for Best Director. He has also received Academy Awards for Best Film Editing for Gravity and Best Cinematography for Roma. Cuarón's other notable films include the family drama A Little Princess (1995), the drama Y Tu Mamá También (2001), the fantasy film Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004), and the dystopian thriller Children of Men (2006).Anthony Dod Mantle
Anthony Dod Mantle, DFF, ASC, BSC (born 14 April 1955) is a British cinematographer. He is notable for his work in digital cinematography and collaborations with directors Lars von Trier, Thomas Vinterberg and Danny Boyle.Arthur Miller (cinematographer)
Arthur Charles Miller, A.S.C. (July 8, 1895 – July 13, 1970) was an American cinematographer. He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Cinematography six times, winning three times: for How Green Was My Valley in 1941, The Song of Bernadette in 1944, and Anna and the King of Siam in 1947.Chris Menges
Chris Menges BSC, ASC (born 15 September 1940) is an English cinematographer and film director. He is a member of both the American and British Societies of Cinematographers.Cinematography
Cinematography (from ancient greek κίνημα, kìnema "movement" and γράφειν, gràphein "to write") is the science or art of motion-picture photography by recording light or other electromagnetic radiation, either electronically by means of an image sensor, or chemically by means of a light-sensitive material such as film stock.Cinematographers use a lens to focus reflected light from objects into a real image that is transferred to some image sensor or light-sensitive material inside a movie camera. These exposures are created sequentially and preserved for later processing and viewing as a motion picture. Capturing images with an electronic image sensor produces an electrical charge for each pixel in the image, which is electronically processed and stored in a video file for subsequent processing or display. Images captured with photographic emulsion result in a series of invisible latent images on the film stock, which are chemically "developed" into a visible image. The images on the film stock are projected for viewing the motion picture.
Cinematography finds uses in many fields of science and business as well as for entertainment purposes and mass communication.Filmfare Award for Best Cinematographer – South
The Filmfare Best Cinematographer Award is given by the Filmfare magazine as part of its annual Filmfare Awards for South Indian films.
Here is a list of the award winners and the films for which they won.Freddie Young
Frederick A. Young, OBE, BSC (9 October 1902 – 1 December 1998), (often credited as F.A. Young) was a British cinematographer. He is probably best known for his work on David Lean's films Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Doctor Zhivago (1965) and Ryan's Daughter (1970), all three of which won him Academy Awards for Best Cinematography.
He was also director of photography on more than 130 films, including many other notable productions, such as Goodbye, Mr Chips (1939), 49th Parallel (1941), Lust for Life (1956), The Inn of the Sixth Happiness (1958), Lord Jim (1965), Battle of Britain (1969), Nicholas and Alexandra (1971), and the James Bond film You Only Live Twice (1967). He was also the first British cinematographer to film in CinemaScope.
Young co-wrote The Work of the Motion Picture Cameraman, with Paul Petzold, published in 1972 (Focal Press, London).
In 2003, a survey conducted by the International Cinematographers Guild placed Young among the ten most influential cinematographers in history.He was awarded The Royal Photographic Society's Centenary Medal and Honorary Fellowship (HonFRPS) in recognition of a sustained, significant contribution to the art of photography in 1996/97.In 1984, Young directed his only film as at the age of 82, Arthur's Hallowed Ground, starring Jimmy Jewel, which was made for television.George Barnes (cinematographer)
George S. Barnes, A.S.C. (October 16, 1892 – May 30, 1953) was an American cinematographer active from the era of silent films to the early 1950s.Guy Green (filmmaker)
Guy Mervin Charles Green OBE BSC
(5 November 1913 – 15 September 2005) was an English film director, producer, screenwriter, and cinematographer. In 1946, he won an Academy Award as cinematographer for the film Great Expectations. In 2002, Green was given a Lifetime Achievement Award by the BAFTA, and, in 2004, he was named an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for his lifetime contributions to British cinema.Jack Cardiff
Jack Cardiff, OBE, BSC
(18 September 1914 – 22 April 2009) was a British cinematographer, director and photographer.
His career spanned the development of cinema, from silent film, through early experiments in Technicolor to filmmaking more than half-a-century later. He was best known for his influential colour cinematography for directors such as Powell and Pressburger, Huston and Hitchcock.
In 2000 he was awarded an OBE and in 2001 he was awarded an Honorary Oscar for his contribution to the cinema.
Jack Cardiff's work is reviewed in the documentary film: Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff (2010).Janusz Kamiński
Janusz Zygmunt Kamiński (Polish: [ˌjanuʂ kaˈmiɲskʲi]; born June 27, 1959) is a Polish cinematographer and film director who started his career in the United States. He rose to fame in the 1990s with his work on Schindler's List (1993). He has established a partnership with Steven Spielberg, working as a cinematographer on his movies since 1993. He won the Academy Award for Best Cinematography for his work on Schindler's List and Saving Private Ryan (1998). In recent years, Kamiński has also moved into the field of directing, first with the horror film Lost Souls, and later television series like The Event and The Divide.
In 2019, the American Society of Cinematographers included Schindler's List and Saving Private Ryan, both shot by Kamiński, on the list of the best-photographed films of the 20th century.Loyal Griggs
Loyal Griggs, A.S.C. (August 15, 1906 – May 6, 1978), was an American cinematographer.
Griggs joined the staff of Paramount Pictures in 1924 after graduating from school and initially worked at the studio's process department. He was promoted from assistant photographer to second unit photographer to camera process photographer, before becoming director of photography for three 1951 releases: Crosswinds, Passage West and The Last Outpost.
Griggs won the Academy Award for Best Cinematography for the 1953 Western Shane.
He was part of the production team that received an Academy Honorary Award at the 11th Academy Awards for their efforts on the Paramount film Spawn of the North.Griggs' other Paramount films as cinematographer included the 1954 musical White Christmas, the 1956 Cecil B. DeMille epic The Ten Commandments, and the Jerry Lewis comedies The Sad Sack (1957) and Visit to a Small Planet (1960). He was also the cinematographer on George Stevens' 1965 United Artists release The Greatest Story Ever Told as well as Otto Preminger's World War II drama of that same year, In Harm's Way. His final film was the 1971 American International Pictures comedy Bunny O'Hare starring Bette Davis and Ernest Borgnine.Road to Perdition
Road to Perdition is a 2002 American crime film directed by Sam Mendes. The screenplay was adapted by David Self from the graphic novel of the same name by Max Allan Collins. The film stars Tom Hanks, Paul Newman, Jude Law, and Daniel Craig. The plot takes place in 1931, during the Great Depression, following a mob enforcer and his son as they seek vengeance against a mobster who murdered the rest of their family.
Filming took place in the Chicago area. Mendes, having recently finished 1999's acclaimed American Beauty, pursued a story that had minimal dialogue and conveyed emotion in the imagery. Cinematographer Conrad L. Hall took advantage of the environment to create symbolism for the film, for which he won several awards, including a posthumous Academy Award for Best Cinematography. The film explores several themes, including the consequence of violence and father-son relationships.
The film was released on July 12, 2002, and eventually grossed over $180 million worldwide. The cinematography, setting, and the lead performances by Hanks and Newman were well received by critics. It was released on home media on February 25, 2003.Robert Richardson (cinematographer)
Robert Bridge Richardson, ASC (born August 27, 1955) is an American cinematographer. He has won the Academy Award for Best Cinematography three times, for his work on JFK, The Aviator, and Hugo. Richardson is and has been a frequent collaborator for several directors, including Oliver Stone, John Sayles, Errol Morris, Quentin Tarantino, and Martin Scorsese. He is one of three living persons who won the Academy Award for Best Cinematography three times, the others being Vittorio Storaro and Emmanuel Lubezki.Robert Surtees (cinematographer)
Robert L. Surtees, A.S.C. (August 9, 1906 – January 5, 1985) was an American cinematographer who won three Academy Awards for the films King Solomon's Mines, The Bad and the Beautiful and the 1959 version of Ben Hur. Surtees worked at various studios, including Universal, UFA, Warner Brothers, and MGM, lighting for such luminaries as Howard Hawks, Mike Nichols, and William Wyler, gaining him a reputation as one of the most versatile cinematographers of his time.Roger Deakins
Roger Alexander Deakins (born 24 May 1949) is an English cinematographer, best known for his work on the films of the Coen brothers, Sam Mendes, and Denis Villeneuve. Deakins is a member of both the American and British Society of Cinematographers. He received the 2011 American Society of Cinematographers (A.S.C.) Lifetime Achievement Award. Its president, Richard Crudo, called Deakins "the pre-eminent cinematographer of our time."In recognition of outstanding contribution to the British film industry, Deakins is an honorary fellow of the National Film School in Buckinghamshire of which he is an alumnus. In 2013 he received a CBE at Buckingham Palace for "services to film." A recipient of four BAFTA Awards for Best Cinematography, Deakins has received fourteen nominations and one win for the Academy Award for Best Cinematography. His most well-known works include The Shawshank Redemption, Fargo, A Beautiful Mind, Skyfall, Sicario, and Blade Runner 2049, the latter of which earned him his first Academy Award.Santosh Sivan
Santosh Sivan ASC, ISC (born 8 February 1964) is an Indian cinematographer, film director, producer and actor known for his works in English Cinema, Malayalam cinema, Tamil cinema, Telugu cinema, Hindi cinema. Santosh graduated from the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) and has to date completed 45 feature films and 41 documentaries. He is a founding member of the Indian Society of Cinematographers (ISC) and is the most awarded Director of Photography (DOP) in India. Santosh became the first Cinematographer in the Asia-Pacific region to join the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) membership. As a cinematographer, he has won five National Film Awards – including four for Best Feature Film Cinematography. As of 2014, he has received eleven National Film Awards, and twenty one international awards for his works.He was awarded the Padma Shri for his contributions to Indian cinema in 2014.South Indian International Movie Awards
South Indian International Movie Awards, also known as the SIIMA Awards, rewards the artistic and technical achievements of the South Indian film industry.
The ceremony was instituted in 2012 by Vishnuvardhan Induri, the founder of Celebrity Cricket League. The Awards are presented in separate parts on two different days. On the first day the most promising upcoming South Indian film artistes are honoured at the Generation Next Awards, while the second day is reserved for the main SIIMA Awards. The Award nominees are selected by a jury of senior artistes and professionals and voted for by public polling. The first SIIMA ceremony was held on 21 & 22 June 2012 at the Dubai World Trade Centre.