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Cinema operator is a profession in cinematography. Oscar Winners for Best Cinematography

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Cinema operator is a profession in cinematography. Oscar Winners for Best Cinematography
Cinema operator is a profession in cinematography. Oscar Winners for Best Cinematography

A cinematographer is one of the most important professions in cinema, along with an actor, director and screenwriter. Only thanks to their well-coordinated work can a high-quality film be obtained. After all, no one wants to watch even the most interesting story if it is shot badly.

What does he do

A cameraman is a person who controls a camera. It depends on him how the film will look. He is an artist, his paints are a movie camera, and his painting is an image that will be shown in cinemas.

This is an interesting but challenging job. It's not enough to just turn on the camera and start shooting. The cameraman must control the lighting, often setting the lighting fixtures himself. Sometimes they take up much more space than the frame itself.

Lighting fixtures on set

Also, the operator needs strong nerves and good physical preparation. When time is running out, you have to work 12-14 hours a day, carry heavy equipment and monitor the quality of each frame. Not everyone can cope with such a regime.

Butfilming is not the only concern of a cameraman. The work doesn't end even when the last scene has been filmed. He will take part in the installation and creation of special effects. He carefully monitors that not a single frame is lost, and the image meets all the requirements.

Operating team

Operator group

If a cameraman has a group of people under his direction, then he is called the director of photography - or the main cameraman. Currently, only amateur films can be made with only one cameraman.

The team includes:

  • Assistants (assistants). There may be several of them, they are responsible for technical control: the number of takes and scenes shot. There is always a "focus assistant" that monitors focus accuracy.
  • Additional operators - for multi-camera and combined shooting. Unlike the main cameraman, their job ends after shooting is complete.
  • Investor and crane master. The first is watching the camera cart, and the second is watching the crane during filming from above.


Operators of the last century

The creators of the profession of cinematographer are, of course, the Lumiere brothers. In 1895, the first paid film show was held in Paris. A kinetoscope, an improved version of Thomas Edison's creation, was used to project the image. After that, they taught other people to work with him, which served as an impetus for the development of cinema and, as a result, the emergence of the profession of cameraman.

Oscar for Best Cinematographyjob

It has been awarded since 1929 - that is, from the very creation of the film award. At first, the awards were given separately for color and black-and-white films. This continued until 1967, when the separation was removed. And since that moment there has been only one black-and-white film that won the award. It's Schindler's List.

Oscar Winners for Best Cinematography

During the existence of the film award "Oscar" for cinematography received about 100 people. Here are some notable cinematographers:

  • Emmanuel Lubezki.
  • Mauro Fiore.
  • Janusz Kaminsky.
  • Roger Deakins.
  • Joseph Ruttenberg.
  • Leon Shamroy.

Emmanuel Lubezki

Emmanuel Lubezki

One of the best cinematographers of our time. The only one to win three Oscars in a row.

Born in 1964. His mother and father are both film producers. This determined his future. Graduated from film school. In the 1980s, he began working in Mexico. His first work in America is the film "Twenty Bucks", filmed in 1993. He often worked with his friend, director Alfonso Cuarón. He made six films with him.

Won an Academy Award for Film in 2014, 2015 and 2016:

  • Gravity (2014) is a techno-thriller with only 2 actors: George Clooney and Sandra Bullock. Almost everything was filmed using a computer, and the actors were in a cube, on the walls of which an image of the cosmos was displayed. This is the last film made with Alfonso Cuarón.
  • "Birdman" (2015) -black comedy starring Michael Kitan. Some of the scenes used state-of-the-art continuous shooting with the Steadicam system. Thanks to the work done, it may seem that there are no cuts in the film, although in fact there are more than 100 of them.
  • The Revenant (2016) is an action-packed western for which Leonardo DiCaprio, who played the title role, received his long-awaited statuette, and Lubezki became the only cinematographer to receive 3 Oscars in a row.

Examples of his films:

  • "Cat";
  • "Ali";
  • "Tree of Life";
  • "Meet Joe Black";
  • "Burn after reading."

Mauro Fiore

Mauro Fiore

First cinematographer to win an Oscar for 3D film.

Born in 1964 in the commune of Marzi, Italy. In 1971 he moved to the USA. In 1987, together with his classmate, two-time Oscar winner Janusz Kaminsky, he went to Hollywood.

The most difficult and significant job for him as a cinematographer is the film "Avatar". Filming took place over a year in New Zealand. A new system for capturing facial expressions was used: a helmet with a small camera was attached to the actor's head. A camera was used for the first time, with the help of which it was possible to see virtual images of the actors during the actual shooting. Such a colossal work did not go unnoticed, and the film won in three categories related to the image.

Janusz Kaminsky

Janusz Kaminsky

Polish cameraman, winner of two Oscars. Filmed the last black and white moviewho received a statuette for camera work.

Born in 1959. Since 1981 he has been living in America. Since 1982, he studied at Columbia College with Mauro Fiore. After graduating, he transferred to the Film Institute of America Conservatory.

His first cinematography work is "Dark Tales of the Prairie". The first and only film directed by Wayne Coe, made in 1990.

Since 1993 he has collaborated with Steven Spielberg. Together they made two films for which Janusz won an Oscar - Schindler's List and Saving Private Ryan.

Examples of work:

  • Lincoln;
  • Munich;
  • "Terminal";
  • "Pranksters";
  • "Judge".

Roger Deakins

Roger Deakins

One of the most famous cinematographers in Hollywood. First cinematographer to receive the title of Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

Born in 1949 in Torquay, UK. Trained at the National Film and Television School.

Since 1975 he has been making documentaries for English television. Sometimes it was very difficult for him. For example, he spent nine months sailing around the world on a yacht and came under mortar fire in Ethiopia during the civil war.

Fame came to Roger after the film "1984" directed by Michael Anderson. Since 1990 he has been working mainly in the USA. After the release of the black comedy "Barton Fink" begins cooperation with directors Coen brothers. Since 1995, he has been nominated for an Oscar more than a dozen times, but he managed to win only in 2018 - forfantastic film Blade Runner 2049.

Film operator:

  • Fargo;
  • Barton Fink;
  • "Time";
  • "A serious person";
  • The Big Lebowski.

Joseph Ruttenberg and Leon Shamroy

It is impossible not to remember the only winners of four "Oscars" for cinematography. They received their awards in the middle of the last century. Often nominated in the same year and became rivals.

Ruttenberg won in 1939 (film - "The Big W altz"), in 1957 ("Someone Up There Loves Me") and in 1959 ("Gizhi").

Shamroy - in 1945 ("Wilson"), in 1946 ("God be her judge") and in 1964 ("Cleopatra").

And in 1943 both became laureates. Joseph - for the black-and-white drama "Mrs. Miniver", Leon - for the color action movie "Black Swan".

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