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Getting Started
With Phedon Papamichael, ASC, Wally Pfister, ASC, & Janusz Kaminski

In this video, three old friends – Janusz Kamiński, Wally Pfister, ASC and Phedon Papamichael, ASC – look back on their early careers together with an eye to distilling crucial lessons for today’s aspiring filmmakers. These master filmmakers recall the mindset and choices that put them on their paths to success, individually and as friends, sharing hard-won nuggets of knowledge and inspiration gathered along the way. What is the connection between Roger Corman quickies and the cinematic art of The Diving Bell & the Butterfly? How did this trio of talented cinematographers with disparate backgrounds connect with each other? And what is their invaluable advice for those starting out? Find out – and find inspiration – here.

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Long Term Career
With Phedon Papamichael, ASC, Wally Pfister, ASC, & Janusz Kaminski

In this video, master filmmakers discuss what to consider when making career choices. Using examples from their own experience, they offer sage advice on choosing the right projects, avoiding career dead ends and pigeonholes, and maintaining the ability to choose projects for the right reasons. Other topics include how to find and manage an agent, and how to make your talent stand out in the crowd.

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Building Your Network
With Phedon Papamichael, ASC, Wally Pfister, ASC, & Janusz Kaminski

In this video, top cinematographers offer tips for how build a network, find like-minded allies, and secure a spot as a camera intern. What qualities catch their eye in an aspiring camera person? How important is the self-promotion aspect? Is film school essential?

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Collaboration
With Phedon Papamichael, ASC, Wally Pfister, ASC, & Janusz Kaminski

The principals discuss the ins and outs of collaboration with directors, productions designers, assistant directors and other filmmaking pros. What is Janusz Kaminski’s procedure with Steven Spielberg, and how does that differ from that of a low budget independent shoot? Why is early involvement with set design and narrative important? When should a filmmaker stand his or her ground, and when should he or she compromise?

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Equipment
With Phedon Papamichael, ASC, Wally Pfister, ASC, & Janusz Kaminski

Topics explored in this conversation include the ways that changing technology affects aesthetics, the pros and cons of owning your own equipment, and the advantages and disadvantages of widely available filmmaking tools. Pro filmmakers urge those starting out to focus on the story, and to make sure that more affordable tools don’t diminish the quality of the final product when it comes to storytelling with images.

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Post-Production
With Phedon Papamichael, ASC, Wally Pfister, ASC, & Janusz Kaminski

The technological mysteries of postproduction are untangled in this conversation, as three top cinematographers reveal the thought processes behind their decisions regarding digital intermediate, digital cameras, and the human relationships that go along with these changing tools. Deftly managing the post process is one key to maintaining control over the image in a rapidly shifting technical environment.

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Personal Life
With Phedon Papamichael, ASC, Wally Pfister, ASC, & Janusz Kaminski

In this video, Janusz Kamiński, Wally Pfister, ASC and Phedon Papamichael, ASC give viewers a fascinating and bluntly honest glimpse into their personal lives, imparting some of the hard but important lessons they’ve learned about maintaining a healthy balance between work and family, ego and humility, financial success and the freedom to make smart career choices. Is a successful cinematography career compatible with a happy home life? What are the pitfalls and advantages of focusing on career? What qualities are essential to maintaining a healthy marriage? These three award-winning filmmakers will surprise you with their willingness to disclose their mistakes and admit their shortcomings, and to reveal secrets to their success, in terms both personal and professional.

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Discussions About A Career In Cinema: Glen Mazzara, Writer/Showrunner

In this wide-ranging interview, executive producer Glen Mazzara (The Walking Dead) looks back on how he broke into filmmaking as a writer, and gives a detailed look at the mindset of the show runner behind one of today’s biggest television hits. Mazzara’s observations constitute a fascinating glimpse into the workings of a television show, as well as a generous and honest take on balancing his all-consuming work with family life.

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Discussions About A Career In Cinema: Rafael E. Sánchez, Gaffer

Over 25 years, gaffer Rafael Sanchez has worked with Phedon Papamichael on more than 20 projects, as well as on dozens of other huge Hollywood productions. In this conversation, from the set of Nebraska, Sanchez distills his decades of experience, talking about the attitudes and strategies that have led him to the very top of his field, and which qualities he looks for in prospective crewmembers.

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Discussions About A Career In Cinema: Ray Garcia, Key Grip

In the span of three years, key grip Ray Garcia worked on Inception, Moneyball and The Dark Knight Rises with Wally Pfister, ASC; The Descendants and The Ides of March with Phedon Papamichael, ASC, GSC; and In Time with Roger Deakins, ASC, BSC. In this interview on the set of Nebraska, which would bring Papamichael an Oscar nomination, Garcia talks honestly about his career and home life, and about the insights to be gleaned from his experience by up-and-coming filmmakers. He returns often to the importance of listening, being honest, and building trust.

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Discussions About A Career In Cinema: Mike McCusker, Editor

In this conversation with Phedon Papamichael, Mike McCusker, the editor of Identity, Walk the Line, 3:10 to Yuma and Knight and Day, shares his insights on career, collaboration, and the intersection of technology and storytelling. McCusker talks about the path that led to his current success, the dizzying impact of his first Oscar nominations, and what he’s learned along the way about balancing life in the cutting room and life at home.

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Discussions About A Career In Cinema: Kevin Tent, Editor

Editor Kevin Tent’s credits include more than half a dozen films with Alexander Payne (Citizen Ruth, Election, Sideways, The Descendants, About Schmidt, Nebraska), as well as Girl, Interrupted; Mr. Woodcock; and The Golden Compass. In this conversation, Tent recalls his earliest endeavors in the film business, the winding path to success, and offers his hard-won lessons for those who hope to follow in his footsteps and succeed in the film industry. Tent reveals what he looks for in employees and collaborators, and reflects on how he has managed the crazy filmmaking lifestyle with a healthy home life.

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Discussions About A Career In Cinema: Alexander Payne, Director

In this video interview, Oscar-winning writer-director Alexander Payne (Election, Sideways, The Descendants, Nebraska) reveals his attitudes towards hiring collaborators, managing the filmmaking lifestyle, and technological evolution. Payne’s valuable insights include how the success of his collaborative relationships grows out of the quality of the questions filmmakers ask one another.

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Discussions About A Career In Cinema: Wim Wenders, Director

In this video, Oscar nominee Wim Wenders (Wings of Desire; The Million Dollar Hotel; Paris, Texas) talks about how his 15 years of teaching filmmakers has taught him that students learn more from each other than from their professors. He talks about how the filmmaking process changes preconceived notions and how understanding what one is good at is crucial to good career choices.

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Discussions About A Career In Cinema: Ron Yerxa, Producer

Producer Ron Yerxa, known for Little Miss Sunshine, Cold Mountain, Little Children, The Ice Harvest, and the Wilco documentary I Am Trying to Break Your Heart, shared an Oscar nomination for best picture on Nebraska. In this interview, Yerxa recalls what led him to the filmmaking field, and reveals what he looks for in fellow filmmakers. The list begins with intellectual curiosity for pursuits outside of filmmaking. In a script, he’s looking for meaning subtly folded into comedy. His advice: Live a full life.

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Discussions About A Career In Cinema: J. Dennis Washington, Production Designer

Production designer J. Dennis Washington counts more than 30 feature film credits going back to Stand By Me and Prizzi’s Honor, through The Fugitive, Angels in the Outfield and Thirteen Days. Interviewed on the set of Nebraska, Washington talks about the people skills necessary to succeed in the filmmaking arena, placing their importance at least as high as talent. He talks about how production design and cinematography dovetail, the most common misconceptions in younger filmmakers, and maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

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Discussions About A Career In Cinema: Glenn Williamson, Production

Glenn Williamson is an independent film producer with more than 20 years experience in the entertainment industry. Through his Los Angeles-based production company Back Lot Pictures, he has produced such films as Focus Features’ “Hollywoodland,” starring Ben Affleck, Adrien Brody and Diane Lane; Overture Films’ “Sunshine Cleaning,” starring Amy Adams and Emily Blunt; Summit Entertainment’s “Push,” starring Dakota Fanning, Chris Evans and Camilla Belle; Magnolia Pictures’ “Wonderful World” starring Matthew Broderick and Sanaa Lathan; and the 2010 Sundance Film Festival Audience Award winning film “Happythankyoumoreplease,” written, directed and starring Josh Radnor.

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Discussions About A Career In Cinema: Roman Vasyanov, Cinematographer


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Discussions About A Career In Cinema: Vilmos Zsigmond, Cinematographer


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Discussions About A Career In Cinema: Ed Lachman, Cinematographer


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