Cinematographers sometimes called directors of photography supervise camera operators during the filming of images and scenes that capture the meaning and accurately interpret a story written by a screenwriter.

Cinematographers must have an artistic eye and they must stay up-to-date about constantly evolving information with regard to photographic equipment and techniques. Besides filming they have additional responsibilities including consulting with the film's director to make sure the production being planned meets the director's vision of how the scenes should look.

Cinematographers often hire and coordinate the film crew and decide which equipment to use or purchase given an allotted budget. They also work with the sound and lighting crew. After the filming they check with the processing lab to ensure the film quality meets expectations. Larger films usually have more than one cinematographer.

It is very important for cinematographers to be team players because they must collaborate with many people during the course of a project. According to aspiring cinematographers usually earn a bachelor's degree in cinematography or attend film school.

Many entry-level cinematographers start out working on independent films which is where they can learn by observing more experienced professionals and begin to network within the industry. Cinematographers who work in Hollywood are members of the International Cinematographers Guild which helps with job contacts.

The American Society of Cinematographers (ACS) is an invitation-only society so not every cinematographer belongs. Of all the jobs in the movie industry that of cinematographer has the best prospects for expanding and for pay potential. However networking is the key to developing the contacts needed to obtain job opportunities.

Salaries depend on location experience and film budgets but can be upward of $80000 a year.

Education Required: Bachelor's Degree
Avg Salary: $80000
High Salary: $90000
Low Salary: $70000
Tasks: Supervises camera operations.
Hires and coordinates the film crew.
Collaborates with entire film-making crew.
Consults with the director on the quality of the filming.
Also Called: Director of Photography
Camera Director
Camera Supervisor
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