Cinematographer Resume: Examples and Tips
Cinematographers are responsible for capturing visuals on a film, TV or video production, managing lighting, framing, composition and camera motion. To succeed as a cinematographer, you should possess creative and strong visual innovation abilities, as well as a firm understanding of shot composition and camera equipment.
To make a cinematographer resume that pops as much as a good camera shot, use our resume examples and tips below.
Featured Resume Example: Cinematographer
Name: TUCKER HARRIS
Address: City, State, Zip Code
Motivated and adaptable cinematographer with years of on-set experience. Deeply familiar with practical application of camera techniques and handling delicate, complex equipment. Ready to take on a creatively challenging role in the film industry.
Cinematographer | 11/2017 – Current
- Interpret storyboards, screenplay text and director’s improvised instructions.
- Increased amount of personally understood lighting techniques by 50 percent.
- Contribute wholly original shot compositions on every day of shooting.
Assistant Cinematographer | 06/2016 – 07/2018
- Improved practical application of 180-degree rule, rule of thirds, etc.
- Easily stayed mobile for shoots lasting over 10 hours.
- Carried and comfortably operated equipment well over 50 pounds
Video Production Assistant | 02/2014 – 01/2016
- Regularly arrived to set two hours early to help camera crew prepare for shoot.
- Successfully requested to be assigned to assisting camera operators; received one-on-one mentorship and first paid on-set camera experience.
- Familiarize self with all other aspects of production while working closely with high-level creative staff and crew.
- Composition understanding
- Lighting scenes
- Shot list reading
- Maximizing coverage
- Production support
- Workflow Optimization
- Print and Digital Media
- Show planning
Bachelor of Arts: Cinematography
Top 4 Characteristics of a Best-in-Class Cinematographer Resume
- Summary In a few concise sentences, highlight your best industry-specific skills, experience level and achievements. For example: “Seasoned cinematographer well-versed with over 7 years’ experience in animated and live-action film content.” You should also mention your specialized abilities, such as using HD cameras.
- Skills Determine the skills you should feature by reviewing the job description. Include a mix of technical skills (e.g., shooting interview segments, or filming using green-screen setups) along with interpersonal skills that demonstrate your ability to bring a director’s vision to life, such as implementing feedback for positive outcomes, a collaborative spirit, and smooth communication skills.
- Work history Focus on your achievements in previous roles rather than standard tasks, and show how you’ve deployed your skills to achieve success. For example, “Shot award-winning short film using a combination of 16mm and 4K video”). Make sure you paint a well-rounded portrait of yourself by highlighting different roles you’ve played, whether it’s managing scene set-ups and crews, or working in tandem with a director to realize a creative vision.
- Education List your degrees or professional credentials related to multimedia, photography or filmography. You should also mention any prominent projects you contributed to as part of your education.
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Do’s and Don’ts for Your Resume
- DO include non-technical skills Traits such as a keen eye for detail, organizational skills and an artistic sensibility are fundamental to the role of a cinematographer. Look through the job description to pinpoint these types of soft skills, and make sure they’re addressed in your skills section.
- DON’T use first-person pronouns Resume conventions don’t call for using first-person language to describe yourself and your achievements. Instead, use strong verbs to describe your achievements, and accentuate how you’re in charge of them. For example: “Managed shoots and edits for high-quality video,” or “Deployed innovative camera techniques on award-winning short film.”
- DO tailor your resume for each job No film or video gig is exactly the same as another, and the same should go for your resume. Create different versions of your resume for individual jobs, scanning each job description to identify specific requirements each employer is looking for, and adjusting your resume accordingly. This might involve highlighting different sets of skills or work experience, depending on what the job demands. For example, a position with an independent video production will call for more hands-on involvement in pre or post-production processes, compared to a high-budget film.
- DON’T make your resume too long One page is the standard for most resumes, so instead of overloading your resume with too much information, make sure all your details are relevant to the job in question. Limit your work history section to the past 10 years, and instead of listing all responsibilities for previous jobs, focus on the recognitions you’ve received (e.g., an award for a particular film you participated in), as well as a healthy variety of accomplishments that show the range of your abilities.
- DO list all relevant internships, projects and collaborations Independent projects and contributions to the work of other artists adds credibility to your portfolio — add them to your work history section, or create a section called “Projects” to highlight them.
- DON’T forget to proofread All the best shot prep goes for naught if there’s even a slight lighting error or speck of dust in the lens. Prove you have the right attention to detail by applying it to your resume. Check your document for typos, spelling errors and grammar mistakes before submitting, and make sure you haven’t missed out on including the right array of skills and work experiences that address the job you’re applying to. Also look for a trusted, reliable contact to read your resume for you — a second pair of eyes can often catch mistakes.