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Director of Photography

Internet Filmmakers' FAQ

Aka Cinematographer. The Director of Photography is the person who is responsible for the cinematic look of the film, which includes selecting the right film stock, lighting each scene to achieve the director's requirements, choosing cameras and lenses, supervising the grips and electricians, and the other members of the camera department (camera operator, clapper/loader, focus puller, and camera assistants). Together with the Director and the Production Designer, the Director of Photography holds a key responsibility for the final look of the film on screen. In the USA and Canada, Director of Photography is often abbreviated to "DP"; in the UK, Australia, and New Zealand, it is normally "DOP".

Cinematographers who have achieved a certain level of recognition amongst their peers are normally invited to join one or more of the national cinematographer societies. Members are identified in the film's credits with a series of letters after their name:

A.S.C. – The American Society of Cinematographers
C.S.C. – The Canadian Society of Cinematographers
A.C.S. – The Australian Cinematographers Society
B.S.C. – The British Society of Cinematographers

Answer by Benjamin Craig  |  Last updated 17-Feb-2005