Copyright Adam Forslund
As a cinematographer it can be difficult to get ready for a shoot. I read the script then re-read it. Make notes and go over those with the director. Everything has to go from a grey fog to a very solid vision in a matter of days, weeks and months. The metamorphosis of words to pictures can be difficult. What appears in my head may not ever exist in the real world or may be beyond the reach and means of the budget.
Which brings forth this analogy.
Making a film is not unlike building a house.
You can think of the Writer/Director as the architect. The Director of Photography as the general contractor. The Director will sit with the client to determine their desires. Is the house red? Should the living room face south? Bedrooms north? Once all those elements are worked out the DP comes in and start to work.
As a DP it is my job to get the crew to take those ideas and put foot to ground and make it happen. Do we need a 10k to make that scene? Should some light spill across that bed? What will happen if that medium shot falls flat?
The Director and Director of Photography working together making compromises where needed and not sacrificing others to build the best film possible.
As in building a house the difficult part is breaking ground. Once that has happened things just kind of happen and everyone moves to complete it. When you wrap a film and see the end credits for the first time it is like handing over the keys. And, when you think back about it you know all the little secrets that are behind that front door.