How do I become a cinematographer?

A selection of UK cinematographers give their advice.

So you want to work in cinematography, but what should your next steps be? How do you get your work seen, and what qualities do you need to be a great cinematographer?

Watch the video to see Britain’s leading cinematographers, including BAFTA winner Barry Ackroyd (The Hurt Locker, Captain Phillips), Nina Kellgren (Young Soul Rebels, Solomon & Gaenor) and Erik Wilson (Submarine, Paddington) offer their advice on how to start a career in cinematography.

If you’re interested in training courses (and are aged 16 to 19) then the BFI Film Academy Specialist residential programme focuses on the craft and workflow of different specialisms with leading industry professionals delivering masterclasses and practical skills training. Participants also receive bespoke careers advice.

Taina Galis on cinematography

Cinematographer Taina Galis discusses her move from film school into working in shorts and features, emphasises the importance of a strong technical knowledge for anyone wanting to work in cinematography and reveals which cameras she prefers to work with. She offers advice on how to progress from being an assistant camera operator to being a director of photography, and explains why filmmakers should seize the opportunity to work with film stock as well as with digital cameras.

Taina has worked on over 20 features and short films, including Break My Fall (2011), A Wedding Most Strange (2011) and several films by Andrea Luka Zimmerman.

Interviewer: Pelumi Akindude

Christopher Ross on cinematography

BAFTA-nominated cinematographer Christopher Ross discusses his career, explaining how he first entered the film industry and his first job as a director of photography. He talks about the peers he admires, and reveals why he first wanted to work as a cinematographer.

Christopher has worked on a wide range of films and television shows, including London to Brighton (2006), Misfits (2009-13), Spike Island (2012) and Monsters Dark Continent (2014).

Interviewer: Pelumi Akindude

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