Secondary Research – Director OR Director of Photography (DOP)

For the past 3 years I have tried taking on many different roles within the production sphere, however I have found that my strengths lie within pre production. I am passionate about planning and being responsible for the overall look of the film. As I have mentioned throughout my entire experience of being at coventry university I have always struggled when it comes to the technical aspects of production, for example, cameras and even post production. Although I have been trying further my knowledge about these roles by watching youtube tutorials and reading books, I still feel weak at these job roles, therefore I have decided that I want to take on the role of a Director OR a DOP. Fortunately I have had some experience with being the director for some of the documentary films made in the university, however I have had no experience of being a DOP, having said this I think DOP is suited to me in terms of producing the visuals for a film

One of the things I love when it comes to making a film is visualising it. Over the years I have found that this has been my strongest skills, particularly focusing on documentary which is also something I am passionate about. As I am indecisive about which role I want to pursue, I decided that I needed to do more research into what exactly each role requires and what skills will be needed in order to gain and work on the skills that I lack.



In order to take on this role I will need to:

  • have exceptional artistic vision and creative skills
  • have unerring commitment
  • have a deep passion for filmmaking
  • be a strong and confident leader
  • make decisions
  • delegate and collaborate with others
  • have excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • inspire and motivate the team
  • have an extensive understanding of the entire filmmaking process, from both technical and creative points of view
  • work intensively for long hours
  • pay attention to detail
  • remain calm and think clearly under great pressure
  • have great self-belief
  • be determined to succeed

…You will also need extensive industry experience; up-to-date knowledge of filmmaking techniques and equipment is vital, as is learning how to work with actors to create a performance.

After looking into this role in more depth I feel that this is tangible as I feel as I have many of these qualities however I will need to work on gaining extensive understanding on the TECHNICAL ASPECTS of the filmmaking process, also I need to work on my networking skills which is something I struggle with. I have no have no problem talking to people its the process of talking to them first. I feel as though I need to work on my confidence as I seem to doubt myself sometimes. It is suggested that aspiring directors should start as runners to see directors at work and to enhance our knowledge on different techniques and approaches to the filmmaking process.




This role requires me to: 

  • have good technical knowledge of photo-chemical and digital processes
  • know all about camera equipment
  • have in-depth knowledge of lighting techniques and how to achieve them
  • have considerable industry experience
  • be flexible in order to adapt ideas instantly
  • be able to take decisions quickly
  • know about photography, painting and the moving image
  • have artistic vision
  • be creative
  • pay precise attention to detail
  • have good colour vision
  • be able to give and accept direction
  • have excellent communication skills
  • be diplomatic and tactful when working with cast and crew
  • know about health and safety legislation and procedures

…DoPs meet with the Director to discuss the visual style of the film. They conduct research and preparation including carrying out technical recces of locations. They prepare a list of all required camera equipment, including lights, film stock, camera, cranes and all accessories etc., for the production office to order.

Having looked at this role in more depth I feel as thought this is not suited to me as it requires a lot of knowledge about the production aspect which is something I lack in. Although they have a lot to say in the overall visual of the film, the director does too. So I feel as though the director role is more suited towards my skills and personality.


Conducting this research has given me the confidence to plan what I need to do in the upcoming weeks to graduation. My goal is to become a Documentary Filmmaker, most likely this Job will be freelance therefore I need to “brand” myself. I will need to network and work on my online presence. I will need to get myself known by people. These are some of the things that I will do to make an outstanding portfolio and to be where I want to be in the industry.


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