CYBEL MARTIN’S 5 FILM COMMANDMENTS
Director of Photography Cybel Martin (National Geographic, PBS) recently wrote a column for Shadow and Act that breaks down one of the most fundamental steps in manifesting film, The 5 Things Cinematographers Look For in a Director and a Project Before Taking a Job. She lists them as: Respect and Compatibility, Visual References, Producer Attached, Why Tell This Story and Technical Flexibility. Of course she gets in-depth in the actual piece, but for reading's (and space) sake we'll present just a few lines from each:
All artists (and I say this lovingly) are neurotic. From my first meeting with a potential director, I can tell if we can thrive off and enjoy each other’s compulsions.
My director must have a clear idea of how the film should feel and look. It need not be finalized but they should have some tangible means of explaining their vision.
As much as I cherish the Director / DP relation, I believe the one between the Producer and Director is paramount.
I can’t speak for other DPs but I need a reason beyond “it would be cool”.
It’s enjoyable when a Director approaches with the project’s desired mood and trusts me to get us there technically.