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Get Out There and Shoot (Footage)

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Alexis McDonoughAspiring cinematographers, get ready for this because I am going to tell you something that will blow your mind….

You can capture footage of anything, with any lens, camera body, or even device and it won’t hurt you to do it. I know that didn’t really blow your mind but I had to get your attention somehow, right?

As a college student not currently in film school yet, making the time to go out and shoot anything and everything can sometimes be a little tough. Many times, filming for fun gets put on the back burner behind tests, studying, and work. Because of this simple fact that I am in college, I have to remind myself to make time for what I really love to do. I have a job on campus that allows me to edit and set up production for video shoots, etc. and I love what I get to do to pay the bills (well some of the bills, I’m a student don’t forget.)

However, aside from having this incredible job, I also find myself longing to go out and film and just ignore the rules. Ignore the rule of thirds or the concept that my shot is “underexposed,” just completely let loose in my shooting. I find it important to make time to do this to really discover your style, to create your cinematic fingerprint that one-day people will recognize you for. If one day you decide you want to go out and just get footage of nature because it happens to be foggy that day and you think it’ll look cool, then just go! Don’t let the monotony of everyday tasks take away the valuable time you have to create art, even if this sometimes means staying ­awake a couple hours longer to fit it into your schedule.

Cinematography is an art that must be oiled and fine-tuned. In order to oil and fine-tune your shots, you must be willing to experiment and discover your specific style. Now I can’t speak for great cinematographers like Reed Morano and Autumn Durald, however, I can bet that they took those little opportunities in life to improve their craft.

Fortunately and unfortunately there are not many female cinematographers in the game, meaning those of us who wish to pursue this career must work that much harder to achieve it. Find your angles, find your color scheme, and find your movement with your equipment. Discover the best ways to tell the story and tell it like no one has ever seen it been told before.

Alexis McDonough

About Alexis McDonough

As an aspiring Director of Photography, Alexis McDonough is currently entering her third year of college at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts as a Production major. Born and raised in the outskirts of Miami, FL, Alexis has always shown a curiosity for telling original and untold stories. She currently resides in the city of Los Angeles, CA and in the mean time of receiving her degree, she takes pride in advancing in her cinematography and editing skills alongside developing her natural story telling abilities. Making the decision to pursue film as a lifestyle at the age of 15, Alexis has taken advantage of several outlets to advance in filmmaking. Among these are internships and job positions that allow her to creatively exude her ideas and passions. Alexis enjoys indulging in her favorite films, creative writing, and reading novels and self-developing leadership books. With a strong work ethic and passionate personality, Alexis looks forward to writing for Ms. In The Biz. She sees this opportunity as an outlet for creativity and looks forward to networking, new experiences and opportunities