Christopher Doyle's Advice on Shooting Micro Budgeted Feature Films

December 22, 2016

We asked legendary cinematographer Christopher Doyle for some cinematography advice when shooting micro-budget features. This is what he said:

 

 

 



1) If the movie you were working on had a total budget of $50K (or under) how would you approach making best use of that?

Work with friends . Prepare well . Work fast .



2) What's the number One mistake you can make as a cinematographer working with a micro-budget? 

Indecision . Be confident ; your first angle is usually the best angle . The light that's there is usually better than the light you make .



3) For your kit do you recommend spending more on a camera and working with natural light, or as much as you can on lights and using a more basic camera?

Yes get the best camera for the conditions under which you will shoot . But " the best " is whatever is best for your budget : you can shoot a film on a phone : the ideas are more important than the " look " 



4) What is the best advice you can give to a cinematographer about to shoot a micro-budget?

Know the space , the locations. Trust your team and what you can do together . Make all the mistakes : they usually make a more interesting film .

 

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