Segments in this Video

Kaufman's Background (03:02)


Rick Davis introduces Tom Kaufman who explains how he became interested in film and his progression to cinematography. Kaufman recalls his first experience with 8mm film and the connection between still photography and cinematography.

Launching into Cinematography (02:58)

Kaufman kept the contact information of a films teacher and after high school, became a production assistant. He explains the duties of a director of photography and recalls working on "The Wire."

Director of Photography (01:48)

Kaufman states that the two main components to being a successful DP are understanding the story the director wants to tell and understanding the DP's purpose.

Scenes in Ghana (03:38)

See a clip of Kaufman's footage shot for "Science Odyssey." He discusses the purpose of the documentary and choosing and framing the shots.

"Scrapbook from Hell" (05:02)

See a clip of Kaufman's footage about the Holocaust. He discusses shooting the two sequences in a tightly controlled environment and using HMI lights.

Filming Challenges (02:50)

Sometimes filmmakers know very little about a film before they start shooting. Kaufman reflects on shooting in Ghana. He describes his relationship with a director and what occurs when he has a different viewpoint.

Career Influences and Technology (01:55)

Kaufman identifies those in the film industry who have inspired him throughout his career. He considers how technological advances change the role of the DP.

Projects with Impact (02:03)

Kaufman feels invested in a project when he knows ahead of time what the project is about. He discusses working on the film "Indian Hill."

Digital Industry (01:20)

Kaufman states that while it is important to keep in touch with advances in camera models, the aesthetic part of filming is not significantly impacted.

Career Reflections (01:39)

Kaufman enjoys working on projects that have to do with music; documentaries offer many opportunities. He also enjoys social action projects.

Credits: Cinematographer: Documentary, Comedy & News Tom Kaufman—How to Make It In Film (00:57)

Credits: Cinematographer: Documentary, Comedy & News Tom Kaufman—How to Make It In Film

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Cinematographer: Documentary, Comedy & News Tom Kaufman—How to Make It In Film

Part of the Series : How to Make It In Film
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Tom Kaufman is the cinematographer for NOVA Series and Fahrenheit 9/11. He has worked for National Geographic, Discovery Channels, British Broadcasting Corporation, WGBH, WNET and Academy Award-winners Mark Jonathan Harris, Charles Guggenheim, and Barbara Kopple. Kaufman has twice won the Gordon Parks Award for Cinematography and an Emmy for the 1994 documentary about deaf children, See What I’m Saying.

Length: 28 minutes

Item#: BVL118095

Copyright date: ©2016

Closed Captioned

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