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Film Maker, Cinematographer, Videographer?

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shane jenny
Film Maker, Cinematographer, Videographer?
on Aug 18, 2011 at 5:46:10 am

I film cinematic wedding videos (LOL)

Which one am I!!!???

I'm actually serious. Can I call myself a film maker? What exactly IS a film maker? Can a videographer call himself a cinematographer? Help me understand these terms please!

"Just along for the ride"


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David Johnson
Re: Film Maker, Cinematographer, Videographer?
on Aug 18, 2011 at 11:46:08 am

I suppose you can call yourself anything you like ... as many in any aspect of the media business do without regard for the meaning of the terms, but its commendable of you to consider how it'll be interpreted.

Others may disagree, but in my experience "Film Maker" and "Cinematographer" refer to people who shoot film, rather than video ... or, at least traditionally would use the film medium since the line has blurred as video technology has improved. In other words, those terms are generally reserved for those in the film/cinema industry (as in feature films ... aka Hollywood). So, most wedding shooters more accurately call themselves "Videographer".

I hope that helps.


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grinner hester
Re: Film Maker, Cinematographer, Videographer?
on Aug 18, 2011 at 1:41:19 pm

Because you are still filming them, you are a cinemagrapher. When you start shooting video, you'll be a videographer. As long as ya tell a story with either, you are a filmmaker.



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Mark Suszko
Re: Film Maker, Cinematographer, Videographer?
on Aug 18, 2011 at 1:58:35 pm

I never call myself a Film Maker, and I don't call it "filming". It would be too presumptuous for me to call myself a filmmaker or cinematographer, since I don't shoot on actual film nor distribute completed movies to a theater-going public, and calling it "filming" is technically inaccurate, if you are not using actual film, IMO. I like Videographer as a logical extention of Photographer, and that's what I generally use.


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Scott Carnegie
Re: Film Maker, Cinematographer, Videographer?
on Aug 18, 2011 at 2:44:05 pm

"since I don't shoot on actual film "

This was my rule as well, and I still don't say I am going to “film” something unless I am using film, which I never have. I usually say record or shoot, because saying “I am going to SD card something” sounds silly. BUT, I recently made a short for a film festival, a short what? Well, it was shot on HDV tape, so I made a short tape? No, it was a short film, in a film festival, so I am a filmmaker, not a tapemaker.

I think we need to move away from labeling ourselves by the acquisition format we use.

http://www.MediaCircus.TV
Media Production Services
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada


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Scott Carnegie
Re: Film Maker, Cinematographer, Videographer?
on Aug 18, 2011 at 2:01:38 pm

I don't look at it as what format you are shooting on, but what you are doing with it. You can shoot a short film on an iPhone, you are a filmmaker, not an iPhonegrapher.

Wedding folks are usually called videographers, people that shoot "films" (regardless of aquision format) might be called directors of photography or cinematographer, someone that makes a film (producer/director) is a filmmaker.

None of these are hard and fast rules of course, unless maybe there is union stuff involved where certain roles ahve to be defined.

http://www.MediaCircus.TV
Media Production Services
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada


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Dave Johnson
Re: Film Maker, Cinematographer, Videographer?
on Aug 18, 2011 at 3:13:33 pm

I think we're splitting hairs here ... with the one oversight I'll clarify, my initial answer is quite clear and, I believe, equally accurate. However, as I said, others may disagree and have every right to.

Granted, I just answered Shane's question without mentioning why I don't think "Film Maker" in particular really belongs in the question in the first place since it really refers to Producer and/or Director roles.

I agree it's not all about acquisition format, but there's no denying the fact that's where the terms come from in the first place and, thus, how they're typically interpreted. In other words, I don't think I've ever heard of anyone either shooting or distributing wedding videos as film and, thus, calling themselves a "Cinematographer" or "Film Maker".

I respectfully disagree that it's appropriate for someone who shoots video with an iPhone to call themselves a "Cinematographer" or "Film Maker" regardless of what they do with the result ... unless of course, their "film" is picked up and distributed to the big screen (aka, cinema or film) ... in which case it would first have to be transferred to and, thus, become a "film".


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Steve Martin
Re: Film Maker, Cinematographer, Videographer?
on Aug 18, 2011 at 2:33:56 pm

Hi Shane,

I agree that there are labels based on the type of work and recording medium that are still somewhat defined (but those lines are starting to blur).

Nonetheless, I'd approach it from a different angle: Call yourself whatever is consistent with your other marketing efforts.

So if you are positioning yourself for the high-end wedding market, everything that defines your business to the public (name, slogan, stationary, business card, elevator pitch, website design, advertisements, etc...) should reflect an image that appeals to your target market. The rest of the world is somewhat irrelevant.

I hope this helps!

Production is fun - but lets not forget: Nobody ever died on the video table!


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Scott Sheriff
Re: Film Maker, Cinematographer, Videographer?
on Aug 18, 2011 at 6:47:44 pm

Videographer.

Making a film is a team sport, involving writers, producers, directors, DP's etc, who all have a say so in the creative content.
You are simply documenting an event you have no creative control over.

Scott Sheriff
Director
http://www.sstdigitalmedia.com


"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur." ---Red Adair

Where were you on 6/21?


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Jeff Cadge
Re: Film Maker, Cinematographer, Videographer?
on Aug 19, 2011 at 3:30:46 am

I agree with Scott.

When filming a event such as a wedding, business presentation or a ballet you are a videographer.

But you don't need a large team of people to be a filmmaker. You can make a documentary on your own
and be a filmmaker, it's really about constructing a story or making a film verses simply filming
an event and presenting the event as it happened.

Jeff Cadge


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Patrick Ortman
Re: Film Maker, Cinematographer, Videographer?
on Aug 31, 2011 at 4:04:48 pm

I agree with much that's been said, here.

And my two cents- most directors and cinematographers absolutely cannot call themselves filmmakers. Many of them don't have the breadth of knowledge and experience in all facets of filmmaking, or the overall decision making ability and responsibility on their projects through all phases of production, to honestly call themselves filmmakers.

Whether they're shooting digital or actual film. Which, as we know, is changing towards all-digital.

----------------------------
PatrickOrtman, Inc.
Los Angeles Digital Agency and Video Production Company


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