Below is an interesting acticle from Gillen Entertainment, an interview from Director of Photography, David Libertella. I hope you find is interesting.


Cinematographer David Libertella

Approaching the Script

Libertella’s initial preparation for a film project begins with the script. “I read the script once through, reading aloud and paced so as to get a feel for the rhythm of the script.” He says, “I don’t begin consciously thinking about what shots or what lighting to employ until after I have read through it once and come to understand the story, the arc.”

Notetaking follows the first read-through. “I read it again and as I go through it I make notes, either in the margins or on a separate paper, about possible shots, color palettes, foreseeable problems to be solved.”

Camera Tips

Most young filmmakers begin shooting with a prosumer-level camera, such as the Panasonic DVX, long a workhorse for indie filmmakers. What does a new DP need to do when ready to film? “One of my first cameras,” says Libertella, “was the DVX, and after many years with it I can tell you to keep the gain low, and keep all your settings on manual. Manual focus, iris, zoom…the whole thing. You can learn a lot about how cameras work in general this way.”

Lighting Without a Budget

How does a filmmaker deal with no budget for lighting? “Be aware of what you can get away with,” Libertella says. “Sometimes all it takes is knowing what time of day to shoot to maximize the available light. If you really need a light and there is no budget, go to Home Depot and get some clamp-on lights. They’re dirt cheap. Bounce them into the ceiling or a piece of showcard.”

This article was re-printed on our blog with permisssion from Bob Gillen. To read more, please visit their website:


Thank you Bob Gillen!

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