Career In Cinematography Job Opportunities And Courses Details

career in cinematography

A career in Cinematography: In this article, we will discuss a Career in Cinematography for anyone who wishes to pursue this career. We have discussed various job opportunities and available courses for the Career in Cinematography. A movie is a multi-faceted form of expression. It could be for entertainment but could also be for raising awareness. No wonder many talented hands work in front of and behind the camera to make it into the masterpiece that we see. One of the most important people behind the camera is the cinematographer for it is them who turn the vision in the director’s head into a full-fledged art piece for us to view, understand, and enjoy.

Students with a creative bend of mind, innovation, an eye for perfection and details as well as leadership skills might find cinematography as their professional calling in life. Scroll down to get the complete details about Career in Cinematography.

Career in Cinematography: Eligibility Criteria

The minimum eligibility criteria for admission in an undergraduate course for cinematography is 10 + 2 from a recognized board of education whereas the minimum academic qualification for pursuing a post-graduate degree is graduation in any field from a recognized university.

Admission to the course can be either merit-based where individual colleges have the freedom to set their own selection parameters and bars. Another way to get admitted is through entrance examinations. Post to clearing the entrance exam the student might have to appear for a Personal Interview, a State of Purpose, and/or Group Discussion as per the college’s specifications. For instance, FTII conducts an entrance exam while Whistling Woods International also asks for a statement of purpose from potential candidates.

Career in Cinematography: Top Schools

Few schools that make it to the top of the list of best schools for cinematography on the national level are

  • Film and Television Institute of India, Pune
  • Asian Academy of Film & Television, Noida
  • Whistling Woods International, Mumbai
  • Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute, Kolkata
  • MIT School of Film & Festival, Pune

While the following are the top schools if the student wishes to pursue a degree in cinematography from abroad.

  • American Film Institute Conservatory Los Angeles
  • Florida State University
  • School of the Art Institute of Chicago
  • California Institute of the Arts
  • University of Texas – Austin

Career in Cinematography: Course Details

Here is the following list of the popular course choice among budding cinematographers include

  • PG Certificate Course in Electronic Cinematography in FTII, Pune
  • PG Diploma in Cinematography in FTII, Pune
  • M.Sc in Cinema+ Post Graduate Diploma in Post-Graduation from AAFT, Noida
  • Advanced Diploma in Filmmaking with Specializations from WWI, Mumbai

The scope, content, and way of teaching the subject might vary from institute to institute but a few basic course details remain the same throughout. Shooting formats, Film dimensions, and packaging, techniques of editing, sound effects, and training for using more advanced and delicate technologies and devices are few topics that are common to the curriculum irrespective of the institute.

The duration of the course is 6 months – 3 years, depending on the course that the student has taken up. Also depending on the course and the institute is the fees charged. However, the expected average fee range is within the bracket of Rs 35,000 and Rs 1,25,000.

Career in Cinematography: Job Opportunities

The job of a cinematographer is quite tedious and yet underappreciated. He/she is responsible and in-charge of a plenitude of responsibilities behind the camera. They are accountable for

  • To choose appropriate equipment for the movie shots
  • To take multiple test shots beforehand to review and monitor various aspects of the scene like lighting, filters, color, techniques, etc.
  • To supervise creative and crew members while using various pieces of equipment and devices.
  • To provide and maintain the creative visual impact required by the shot, scene, and movie.
  • To decide the final get-up of characters in the movie including their hair and make-up. The complete look should perfectly portray the idea behind the character and its personality.

A cinematographer should not expect their training to be over when the get their degree. They must always stay up to date with the latest advancement in technologies and techniques of film-making while improving their individual creative streak.

Novice cinematographers usually apply and work as a Camera Production Assistant, Motion Control Operator, Camera Operator, and Camera Assistant. As the cinematographer matures and improves their art while gaining more experience they promote working as Director of Photography, Cameraman, Video Editor, Videographer, etc. However, the student must note that they need to amass and perfect a lot of their skills to be able to get to such privileged and respected positions. The student can also opt to be a freelancer cinematographer.

Although nowadays, given the rise of alternative platforms to the traditional cinema there are many opportunities and avenues for a cinematographer to showcase their talent like in that of web series, film studios, etc the top recruiters still remain to be film studios, broadcasting companies, news companies like The Zee News, Doordarshan, etc.

Career in Cinematography: Salary

An amateur cinematographer can end up with an offer of Rs1 -2 lakhs depending on the work position. The salary accrues as they polish their skills and gain a sharp acumen that comes with experience. As more experienced cinematographers, they can expect to earn Rs7-8 lakhs per annum.

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