Eve Cohen is a leading cinematographer with projects for brands like Vice, HBO, CNN, and Netflix under her belt. With a diverse reel including independent feature films, television series, documentaries, and cinematic virtual reality, she has plenty of advice to offer to up-and-coming cinematographers on upping their game.
We sat down with Eve and asked her the big question: what are the cinematographer’s most important tools? Check out our video, and read our biggest takeaways below:
1. The Best Way to Think of Digital Cameras is as a Film Stock
With film cameras, there was no built in film stock. The camera was chosen for its functionality, the film stock was chosen for the look it would give you. With digital cameras the sensor is essentially the built in film stock. The functionality of the camera and the look given by the film stock are essentially now combined within the camera.
2. The Lens is How You See the World Around You
A lot of people focus on the camera, but Eve thinks lenses are more important to the look you want to achieve.She would rather have a slightly inferior camera with the best set of lenses that she can. She often chooses Zeiss lenses for their consistency and reliability. [Editor’s note: KitSplit members get an exclusive 10% discount on Zeiss gear. Read more here or email us email@example.com to learn more.]
3. Invest in Lenses, and rent them out on KitSplit!
It’s important as independent filmmakers and cinematographers to invest in certain kinds of gear. Eve recommends investing in lenses in particular, because they hold their value better than other items such as cameras. Eve gets tired, but gear doesn’t—it can keep working even when it’s owner needs a break. Renting out your gear is a great way to earn additional money.
4. Use References to Engage More Senses
Eve uses a lot of visual references, but also asks directors she’s worked with for playlists. She looks for ways to engage more of the senses to communicate the vision of a project. It’s important for the cinematographer to not just execute the director’s vision, but also communicate that vision to an entire crew helping to craft it on set.
5. Diverse Hiring
Part of the cinematographer’s job is hiring crew. Hiring a wide range of individuals with different backgrounds can provide a wider range of perspectives on set. Different world views and voices helps to tell better stories.
This video was shot with Zeiss lenses and with gear rented on KitSplit. Thank you to our partners at Zeiss for supporting this video. If you are interested in buying Zeiss lenses, please note that KitSplit members get an exclusive 10% discount on Zeiss gear. Read more here or email us firstname.lastname@example.org to claim your discount.