During a recent prep, the best executive producer I’ve ever worked with made the simplest, most telling of statements:
“Always look for the problems that’re avoiding you.”
Anyone can get a grip on the obvious challenges of the job. What separates the players from the pretenders is their ability to anticipate the unforeseen, obscure and uncommon obstacles that’re waiting to cause havoc. Some people do this instinctively; others need to learn it the hard way.
My advice to students and aspiring cinematographers is to make this thinking part of your every day carry. It’ll increase your value to whatever production you might be working on and speed you miles ahead of your obstinate, slower-witted competitors.
As an added bonus, it also has its applications in daily life…