Sundance Cinematographers on The Best and Worst Advice They Received

Sundance Film

There’s plenty of advice out there for aspiring filmmakers and cinematographers, some great, some garbage. With that in mind, Indiewire asked the cinematographers of the 2014 Sundance Film Festival what was the best and worst advice they ever received.

Best Advice:

“Don’t feel pressure to run to the frontline and film. Follow your gut instincts and get in and get out and only if it there are essential moments for you to tell your story.” — Cinematographer Rachel Beth Anderson (“E-Team”)

“Vilmos Zsigmond told me, ‘Jim, nice guys finish first and when you are successful promise me that you will help the next person.’” — Cinematographer James Chressanthis (“Cesar’s Last Fast”)

“First and foremost: It’s not a race. Enjoy the whole journey and be proud of yourself even when things aren’t going your way. Not everybody has the courage to follow their dreams.” — Cinematographer Alex Disenhof (“Fishing Without Nets”)

“If you want to be a cinematographer, start calling yourself a cinematographer.” — Cinematographer John Guleserian (“Song One”)

Worst Advice:

“When someone says ‘it will be good enough.’” — Cinematographer James Chressanthis (“Cesar’s Last Fast”)

“I think it’s bad in cinematography when anyone tells you that there is a right or a wrong way, or a formula to do a particular thing. There are definitely little tricks and shortcuts to getting to a certain place, but for most instances, there are a million different ways to get to where you want to be with an image.” — Cinematographer Zachary Galler (“The Sleepwalker”)

“The worst thing anyone in the film industry can ever do is convince themselves that they are so important that they can’t be replaced. I’ve seen it happen to everyone from PAs, to actors, to producers, to directors, to myself. As soon as you convince yourself that you …read more


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