Christopher Doyle's Advice on Shooting Micro Budgeted Feature Films
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 .