Photography Directors, or Cinematographers, determine a film's visual style. They are responsible for supervising a camera and lighting crew, ordering and testing camera and lighting equipment and editing a film's visual elements in post production, among other duties.
When you're interviewing Photography Directors, candidates should demonstrate expertise in camera and lighting technology and show attention to detail. Bad candidates will lack interpersonal skills and struggle to communicate effectively.
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Director of Photography Interview Questions:
1. How do you plan for a shoot?
Candidates should describe their extensive planning ahead of time. They need to know what the shot entails, how to shoot it and what equipment is needed to execute it. Look for a methodical approach to planning and organization.
2. A Director is not happy with your ideas. How do you handle the situation?
Candidates should acknowledge that the vision for what a film should look like is not their own, but rather the vision of the Director. They should try and sell the Director on their own vision and expertise but should desist when instructed to.
3. What, in your opinion, are the most important qualities in a Director of Photography?
Candidates should list good communication skills and the ability to execute on a creative vision as key qualities in a Director of Photography.
4. What has been your greatest success in cinematography?
Candidates should describe how they encountered a visual or lighting challenge on set and came up with a creative solution to achieving the director's objectives. Look for creative problem-solving ability.
5. Describe an experience where you made a mistake in your duties. How did you rectify your error?
Candidates should acknowledge the importance of communication between themselves and the director to ensure that they are always on the same page. Look for stories where candidates erred, rectified their error and learned a valuable lesson from it.