At SXSW a panel titled “The Great Cinematography Shootout” gathered a group of directors and cinematographers to discuss independent film lensing in an age of proliferating formats and lower-cost, high-quality cameras, like the Canon 5D.
The directors of photography were Jody Lee Lipes (Girls, Tiny Furniture, and also the director of Opus Jazz), James Laxton (Medicine for Melancholy, Leave Me Like You Found Me), Clay Lifford (Gayby, and also the director of such films as Wuss and Earthling), PJ Raval (Trouble the Water, Sunset Stories, and also the director of Trinidad); and filmmaker, editor and d.p. David Lowery (Pioneer, and, as d.p. Audrey the Trainwreck). Here, from the d.p.’s, are ten tips for those looking to shoot smart-looking films on a low budget.