Thread: Is arrogance a common trait among cinematographers?

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  1. #21  
    Moderator Phil Holland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by konrad grant View Post
    james Cameron sounds like a tit to work for .. but his films have little to do with meaningful story telling or art , so I wouldn't be surprised
    psychopaths have no fear , which can be helpful if producing .. I'm noting Cameron' dangerous deep sea submarine adventures as I write this ..
    Not to get terribly off topic, but do note that Cameron is all about the art and craft of filmmaking, despite your personal opinion regarding Avatar. There is a story there that features a "meaningful arc" as well as tremendous levels of art on screen at nearly all times.

    Literally some of the best artists in the world have helped that film and the future ones slowly come to life. From storyboards, to concept art, to previs, to animation, and VFX. On the camera side, a great deal ground breaking challenges were and will be common on a daily basis.

    Cameron is demanding, which in my mind is mostly a good thing. Sometimes the beams cross and things melt, but overall he's very good at getting the best out of people.

    Most director's I've worked with are very demanding to some degree. It's okay to be that. We're all professionals trying to produce our best work "usually" I hope.
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  2. #22  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Phelan View Post
    Yes. Many use 110% as an emphatic. Obviously, it is an impossibility. Unless of course they mean to suck the ever-loving life out of you and ten percent on top as well. Then you know you're working with a vampire.
    Is this even legal to ask, I mean exploitation only comes to mind...
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  3. #23  
    Quote Originally Posted by konrad grant View Post
    work in the industry for longer and the fog will lift for you ..
    The only fog here is in your imagination and lifting it depends on a single man's reasoning process.

    I suggest reading again what was written and what is the topic.
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  4. #24  
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    You are saying that the director is arrogant but then label cinematographers as arrogant. Not sure you can classify newbie director as conematographer. Newbie director will be defensive since they know they are less experienced than everyone on union set pretty much ;)
    On the other hand all leaders have to be strong and efficient. So unless you are extremely well know DP / cinematographer you will need to vigilantly protect the vision from derailment. That might be seen as arrogant.
    Multiple DP involved in different roles (say on indie projects) can result in fireworks though LOl
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  5. #25  
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    Quote Originally Posted by C. Burkhart View Post
    There are cinematographers. And then there are people from LA.
    One must never confuse the two.
    Hey! I happen to represent that remark.

    Never confuse those FROM LA with those who have transplanted here to “make it big”
    ;)
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  6. #26  
    Senior Member Zeb B's Avatar
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  7. #27  
    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Kanes View Post
    Hey! I happen to represent that remark.

    Booking or court ?



    :)
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  8. #28  
    Senior Member Dominik Muench's Avatar
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    the film industry is full of arrogant, unreasonable, disrespectful, condescending and downright CU**y people......but so is every other industry too!!!!!
    Some of the most horrible and unreasonable people I have ever met were in the fitness and health industry. So its not just our industry.

    it just depends who you surround yourself with and more importantly who you tolerate around yourself.

    Unfortunately this industry makes it very easy for such people to thrive, especially once these people have had some form of success. as everyone from day one gets drilled in their head...."bend over and take it up the ass to make it" or " if you don't kiss ass enough and are submissive you will never work in this town again".
    Being demanding is fine....when you juggle with $200 mio. of other people's money you have to be able to rely on your crew and ask for 100%....but being demanding does not permit being a total asshole to people !

    I worked for a director/ DOP duo once, who told their entire crew on the morning of the first shooting day "shut up and do as you're told and we might hire you again". On day two the DP still couldn't remember my name even though I was his assistant and kept flicking his fingers at me for attention....needles to say I never worked for them again and walked off set on the 3rd day.

    Last year I was second unit on a shoot, I asked my camera intern to get me a different lens (lovely master primes). The kid carried the pelican case over and one of the lenses fell out and hit the ground because the case wasnt closed properly (not his fault, whoever opens a case, closes and locks it properly).
    Immediately the producer came running over and absolutely LOST HIS SHIT at this poor intern. It was his first day on set and he almost cried and was very distraught and intimidated the rest of the day.
    I walked over to the producer and told him I would leave the shoot for good if he ever talked to any of his crew like this ever again.
    A.) nothing actually happened to the lens.
    B.) We have insurance for exactly these purposes anyway.
    If the producer would have calmly pulled the kid aside and explained to him what went wrong I wouldn't have said anything. But he didnt know the circumstances, didnt realise that first unit left the case open and the intern was rushed and pressured and just acted on instinct. Did he deserve to get yelled at in front of the whole crew ? hell no.
    It doesn't matter if you're an intern, the catering girl or the DP.
    No one should ever tolerate or show abusive and condescending behaviour, but most people in this industry do because they are scared of their job and want to get hired again.

    I dont care how good you are and how many academy awards you have won....I treat everyone, from intern to A-list star with the same respect from the start, but treat me like crap and I tell you where to shove it and walk off set.
    At the end of the day filmmaking is a job for me. If people cant show me respect, I reciprocate the exact same way, no matter who you might be. Ive never yelled at anyone, not my assistants, not my focus pullers....not even when the shit hits the fan. At the end of the day we are here to do a job and do it good, excellent results are only achieved if everyone works along happy and in harmony. Once its a wrap and we go home and we are all different people with our own lives and problems.
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  9. #29  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Holland View Post
    Not to get terribly off topic, but do note that Cameron is all about the art and craft of filmmaking, despite your personal opinion regarding Avatar. There is a story there that features a "meaningful arc" as well as tremendous levels of art on screen at nearly all times. Literally some of the best artists in the world have helped that film and the future ones slowly come to life. From storyboards, to concept art, to previs, to animation, and VFX. On the camera side, a great deal ground breaking challenges were and will be common on a daily basis. Cameron is demanding, which in my mind is mostly a good thing. Sometimes the beams cross and things melt, but overall he's very good at getting the best out of people.
    That is very true. I have heard reports that he is not very patient and also is prone to rejecting real technical advice from engineers, basically saying, "we're going to do what I want anyway," but his goal is always to make a better film.

    I've also been told Cameron is a much nicer person today than he was 20 years ago. There's a great story that in the last week of shooting Terminator 2, the crew was so exhausted they printed up T-shirts that said, "I Survived Terminator 2" on the front and "Pray There's No Terminator 3" on the back.

    The only DPs I've encountered who were really belligerent and difficult were the ones who were insecure and just overreacting to the fear that they weren't doing a good job and/or were going to go over schedule. Some were clearly in over their heads. But it is remarkable that most of the big-gun DPs are confident without being too pushy, and most of them are willing to listen to reason and work out a compromise that gets the job done.
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  10. #30  
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