Having been a DP for many years, I have watched the industry change and evolve. It’s a different landscape out there today. As a DP, I always want to create beautiful images. I admit that in the past, I viewed production as a hindrance for me to achieve that. This was wrong and I’d like to explain why.
My girl and partner of 13 years, Lindha Narvaez is a very talented producer who not only manages production budgets but also values the creative aspect of a project greatly. During our time together, I've gotten to see the layers and layers behind the scenes that as an on set creative, we are rarely privy to. These layers involve directors, clients, executive producers, agencies, talent and many other elements that affect costs and logistics. It’s a wonder we even get to production!
Especially in today’s film industry, budgets are continually getting tighter and much more challenging but at the same time a high standard of work is still expected. I have learned that working with and supporting your production team helps us as cinematographers to continue to deliver high quality work.
Recently at the onset of a project, I was speaking with the producer and let her know that I was happy to help if she encountered any difficulties that i could help with. She immediately informed me that there were cost issues with equipment for a very specific shot. I offered that we jump on a call with the director and talk through the creative. I was able to suggest a slightly different approach that basically would achieve the same result and her problem was solved. The producer felt she could approach me throughout prep so by shoot time, we were locked in and had a smooth production.
The point is that it’s important to communicate that you are a part of the team or alternatively, you may seem to be inflexible and stand offish. I also remind producers that i am a huge resource as well and can bring tremendous production value if allowed!