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RED Camera,, RED Raven, RED Epic, RED Scarlett, RED Dragon, RED Weapon, RED Camera Workflow, Arri Alexa, Blackmagic Cinema Camera, cinematographer, cinematograpy, DP, director of photography, DOP,

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Don’t Only Hire a DP because they own a RED Camera!

Now before I get a bunch of hate mail please let me explain. I love cinematographers. You can’t make a movie without one and I don’t take their craft lightly. This is one of the reasons I wanted to do this podcast. Being a DP is by far one of the toughest positions on set. The pressure is immense.

With that said the explosion of low-cost cameras (RED Camera, Black Magic, Canon 5D, Nikon, iPhones, etc) and lighting gear has thrown a huge amount of “cinematographers” into the marketplace.

This podcast is a warning to young and inexperienced filmmakers not to hire, not only a director of photography but any top-level crew member solely because they own some of the latest cool gear.

This advice also goes for the sound department, editorial, lighting, visual effects and definitely color grading. When hiring any top-level positions on a film production it should be based on resume, demo reel, credits and/or reputation.

Related: Why filmmaker SHOULDN’T Shoot 4k

It takes a lot of time to learn a craft as complex as cinematography so don’t be fool by someone who happens to have the new 12K Camera that hit the market. Owning a RED Camera or equivalent doesn’t make you a cinematographer, years of working and learning your craft does. BTW, that 12K camera doesn’t exist yet just in case you were going to google it.

Now if you have two cinematographers in the running to shoot your first indie feature film, short film or film project and one has a full RED Camera (DRAGON) or Arri ALEXA package and the other one doesn’t then, by all means, hire the great DP that owns gear (only if you can handle the post workflow).

Listen to my podcast: Understand Post Production Workflow of DIE! for more on that.

Owning your own “kit” or gear is almost a must to work in the film business today. Hell, I own my own gear and I package deals all the time that would cost a ton if you would have to hire a colorist and a separate color grading rig.

All I’m saying is don’t hire a crew member just because of the gear he or she owns. You’ll thank me. Take a listen to this episode to hear the horror story that cost me over $50,000. OUCH!

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Action Items:

If you like Don’t only hire DPs because they own a RED Camera, take a listen to:
Suki Medencevic ASC & the Art of Cinematography
Suki Medencevic ASC, cinematography, american society of cinematographers, cinematographer, film school, independent film, moviemaker, guerrilla filmmaking, tarantino, indie film, film crew, cinematography, short films, film festivals, screenwriter, screenwriting, filmmaking stuff,

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Transcription – Indie Film Hustle Podcast Episode #18.
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Facebook Comments


  1. Why Indie Filmmakers Should NOT Shoot 4K on May 11, 2016 at 4:30 pm

    […] If you like this show take a listen to: Don’t only hire DPs because they own a RED Camera! […]

  2. Stewart on June 9, 2016 at 4:33 am

    Trying to suscribe but your page keeps telling me i have an invalid email which is incorrect because i just checked and it seems to be working.

  3. Stewart on June 9, 2016 at 4:34 am

    Interesting that i could recieve and validate my login but not suscribe.. must be spammers??

    • Alex Ferrari on June 9, 2016 at 4:51 am

      Hey Stewart, I’ll add you manually. Are you looking for the 6 tips ebook?

      • Stewart on June 9, 2016 at 5:33 am

        Yes and just to generally follow and recieve updates. A friend recommended i follow you on facebook and i found my way here also. Thank you.

  4. […] If you like How to Shoot Super 16mm Film with Egon Stephan Jr, then click below: Don’t only hire DPs because they own a RED Camera! […]


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