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Cinematographer Career Information

What a Cinematographer does

Abilities & Traits Required


There are not many institutes that teach you cinematography. The Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) has a three-year diploma course in Film Direction, Motion Picture Photography and Audiography.

You will learn techniques of shooting by candlelight, morphing, shooting in confined spaces, stretching daylight, using practical light, etc. Besides this you will learn about international cinema and get a bigger picture of film making.

Alternatively you can start as an assistant to an established cameraman. You can get to learn a lot of the practical aspects of cinematography. But there are strong chances that you might end up being just a good assistant!


Initially there is none! You will be lucky if you manage a humble existence. But with experience, you will get opportunities and with it money. As an assistant, you will make anywhere from Rs 20000 - 25000 a month.

As your reputation grows, so will your paycheque. If you prove yourself you will be sought after by film stars. If you make them look good, they insist on you being behind the camera. You can then call the shots. Adding a few Filmfare awards to your list of achievements will help too. You could then easily command as six-figure salary per project.

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