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  • Will

Misconceptions in my Industry

Here's a really simple, educational post about the Film industry. Hopefully you learn something interesting.

Misconception #1: The term "Photography" only means Still Photography

This is why I specify all the time, and put "Still" in front of the term if that's what I'm talking about. Photography is any image captured by film or a digital sensor, the only difference between still photography and a "Motion Picture" is that the latter is many images lined up and played in sequence, they're probably frame blended and its usually paired with audio, but its still using all the same concepts.

Its not uncommon to hear a Director say something like ,"Send Unit B to the beach to Photograph some b-Roll", they don't mean stills by that.

This is also why any Filmmaker thats a Director, or Director of Photography should be more than capable of taking stills (But not necessarily vice versa). It surprises people that some promotional stills for the film, Batman V Superman were taken by Zack Snyder (The Director of the film) himself, but that doesn't surprise me at all. He usually works with the highest level of Photography there is (Feature Films) so taking stills of Ben Affleck and the Batmobile wouldn't be daunting to him the least bit. That's like being surprised that a truck driver is able to drive a car.

Misconception #2: Filmmaker means Director

Anybody that contributes creatively to the film is a filmmaker, so technically actors, writers, producers, directors, costume designers, etc. are all under the umbrella of the term "Filmmaker". People just don't usually refer to them that way and I can see how it's sort of misleading.

"Filmmaker" is normally used to describe someone that takes on a lot of different roles like directing, producing, writing and editing which is both correct and really common nowadays since that's about the only way to get projects made anymore.

I use Filmmaker to describe myself a lot, because while I do mostly Direct; I've also acted a lot in my career, I edit all the time, I write a lot, I produce a lot. I don't necessarily want to limit myself to just being a director.

Misconception #3: "Videographer" and "Filmmaker" are interchangeable

If you ask me, a videographer just operates the camera and shows up to record whats already going on anyways, like a wedding or a church service. They don't actually have any hand on what's in front of the camera, maybe a little bit of lighting, but they're certainly not creating a vision from scratch and bringing it to life.

A Filmmaker is someone who creatively contributes to the overall vision and helps form the whole of what's actually in front of the lens. From production design to location to performances to wardrobe, lighting, all that. They're creating, not just documenting what's happening anyways.

Calling a formally trained Filmmaker a videography is like referring to a Chef as a cook.

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