3 Keys of Cinematography from DP Ryan Booth

Ryan Booth, who recently worked as the DP for director (and fearless leader of Film Riot) Ryan Connolly’s film U.F.Oh Yeah, answered a bunch of questions from fans on Twitter about what being a DP is like — everything from what kinds of lights he uses to how to work with directors.

Keep scrolling for our three takeaways:

How to make things look cinematic

This is probably one of the most common questions among young filmmakers. “How do I make my movie look like a real movie?” It’s not just one thing — and it’s certainly not just the kind of camera you’re using. It’s a combination of camera, lenses, costuming, set design, and more, but Booth hit the nail right on the head when he said it mostly boils down to lighting. You can have a crappy camera with subpar lenses, but if your lighting looks amazing, chances are your images will come out looking pretty damn good.
“It’s the director’s party.”

Cinematographers are artists and they’re brilliant and valuable and important. But always remember, you’re there on set to serve the director. Booth gives some great advice on how to make suggestions without overstepping, like asking the director what emotion or effect he/she is going for, and then explaining how different camera setups/moves/etc. can achieve what they’re looking for (just in a different way).

The 2 most essential pieces of lighting gear

Your eye and the sun — that’s it. As Booth explains, it’s always good to see where you’re at in terms of lighting when it’s just you, your eyeballs, and the sun, because you can always build upon that. If the sun is all you need, great! If you need to add a few lights or bounce cards or whatever, you won’t know that until you turn everything off and see where the light falls naturally.

Check out U.F.Oh Yeah below: