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Building a professional relationship between director and you're DP

Recently I read an article about the art of collaboration. It starts off with by saying that every relationship while working on indie film set is magnified tenfold, which is very true. So after reading this article I wanted to make a little post about the importance of collaboration between a DOP and Director.

In the grand scheme of things, collaboration is important with every member on the crew set. To start off I must disclaim that emotions are always on the high during a film set, especially when things are not going according to plan and I can say safely that I have fallen into that trap before. However one thing should always be kept in mind which is the completion of a film. So here is some advice to keep the production going and manage dem emotions while on set.

1. Establish a good working partnership

That first introduction between a DOP and the Director is key! In some cases that's not an overnight process which is why this step should begin as soon as pre-production begins for a film. The DOPs job is much like the director's job, both should know the script backwards and forward so that both of you can establish the film's look and feel and go over any ideas that you both may have.

2. Communication Communication Communication

Part of that establishing a good working partnership, is also having good communication. Sure it sounds easy for some of us, but being able to articulate an idea or express how you want something done may not come across as you expect it will. This of course comes with experience and how much of a people person you are.

3. Choose the right person for the job

Now when it comes to hiring a DP for a project making sure that they fall in line or have the same creative eye as you do is a given key. This is more directed to Directors of course but remember DPs that directing is a ring leader job so the more assertiveness you have while performing your job the less worry your director will have on their shoulder.

Many times I have had to turn down jobs because no professional relationship can be established or one or the other can not see eye to eye. Remembering that both your names are on this project can be a driving force in the collaboration process as well. Again there are many more ways in creating a strong professional relationship with your director or dp, however these are here to help get your project off the ground.

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