These Six DPs Shared the Best Cinematography Tips They’ve Received

Are you looking to become a better Director of Photography? CookeOpticsTV recently hosted a roundtable with six professional film and TV DPs who shared the best cinematography tips they’ve gotten over the years. It’s a must-watch for anyone who wants to learn more about the world of cinematography!

The six DPs include the following:

  • Phil Meheux (Casino Royale)
  • James Friend (Patrick Melrose)
  • Kate Reid (Game of Thrones, Hanna)
  • Christopher Ross (Yesterday)
  • Ben Smithard (Downtown Abbey, My Week with Marilyn)
  • Gavin Finney (Good Omens, Four Weddings and a Funeral)

Their mentors include film greats such as Billy Williams (Gandhi) and John Seale (Mad Max: Fury Road) – and they’ve passed on what those amazing cinematographers told them!

One thing that came up from two DPs was that light meters are overrated. Check out the video of the cinematography tips to see why:

“Trust your eye and your instincts rather than the equipment,” Gavin says.

The DPs also stressed the importance of flexibility. “Just keep looking instead of having a preconceived idea of how it should look,” says Kate.

James Friend feels very strongly about a simple thing you can immediately add to your plans: “When you’re lighting an actor, stand where the actor is going to stand,” he says.

“Stand on that spot, feel where the camera’s going to be, and also feel where the lights are coming from,” he continues. “And a lot of the time, you can see the problems around you.”

Which of the cinematography tips from the roundtable do you think is most helpful! Let us know in the comments below!

Lessons and Tips