Self shooting is the term given to a director who has to operate his own sound and camera on location. This is happening more and more often in the media. The ability to use broadcast equipment and create quality images without the aid of a professional cameraman or soundman is becoming more and more commonplace in factual and news television production.
I've always resisted this trend, preferring to guide someone else more skilled than myself to getting the images I want.
A couple of things have changed recently, though. The cameras we self shoot on produce much better results, and are much more forgiving of the wrong f-stop or ND filter. The more I get to play with them, the more comfortable I feel using them.
A recent turning point came on a shoot in the North East earlier this summer, when I began to feel frustrated with the cameraman I was working with. I had to stop myself wresting the camera from his hands to set up the shot I wanted, that he just didn't quite seem able to get for me despite his best intentions.
Then I read this article about Stanley Kubrick. He started out as a photographer, then made several short documentaries on a tiny 8mm film camera, before becoming the perfectionist filmmaker of The Killing, Spartacus, 2001, A Clockwork Orange, The Shining, and more.
In an interview with Sight&Sound in 1972, Kubrick said:
"Yes, all of the hand-held camerawork is mine. In addition to the fun of doing the shooting myself, I find it is virtually impossible to explain what you want in a hand-held shot to even the most talented and sensitive camera operator."
If it's good enough for Kubrick, I guess it's good enough for me. I have my own camera now, and hope to start making little mini films with it. Watch this space...
Read the full article here:
Browse an archive of 7,200 of Stanley Kubrick's photographs:
With thanks to Joshua Darnell for sending me the link via twitter