Confusion about rules for lighting cameraman credit

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My understanding is that "lighting cameraman" is a Cinematographer credit (despite the word "cameraman") and is synonymous with "director of photography".


1: Problem with conflicting error messages in form validation

There is some confusion in the form validation rules. I submitted it in the Cinematographer section and got the following message:

http://s24.postimg.org/bpgngx28l/lightingcamera.png

Since it was already in the cinematographer section, suggesting a move to the same place seems redundant. Nevertheless I chose "Accept move to Cinematographers section" but it moved it to Camera / Electrical :-)

Maybe I should have gone for the last option "Move back to Cinematographers section". It's odd that I get a warning "this would be the only lighting cameraman credit" given that I've submitted plenty myself in the past and the first message says that there are 2191 similar credits already present.

I think you need to:

a) treat "lighting cameraman" as a special case that does not trigger the warning/move

b) resolve the ambiguous and contradictory messages



2: Problem with submitted Cinematographer | Lighting Cameraman credits not being published

I've submitted several Cinematographer | Lighting Cameraman credits which have not yet been published, although all the other credits in the same submissions have been published. Is there a problem with accepting Cinematographer | Lighting Cameraman credits nowadays?

IDs are:



151114-140949-738000
  • "Secrets of Great British Castles" (2015) {Warwick Castle (#1.3)}
    • Cinematographers - Add
      • Name: O'Mahony, Ken
        Attribute: (lighting cameraman)



151112-190056-382000 (resubmission of Cinematographer credits in 151110-120414-209000 and 151110-104305-573000)
  • "Secrets of Great British Castles" (2015)
    • Cinematographers - Add
      • Title: "Secrets of Great British Castles" (2015) {The Tower of London (#1.2)}
        Name: O'Mahony, Ken
        Title: "Secrets of Great British Castles" (2015) {The Tower of London (#1.2)}
        Attribute: (lighting cameraman)

      • Title: "Secrets of Great British Castles" (2015) {Dover Castle (#1.1)}
        Name: O'Mahony, Ken
        Title: "Secrets of Great British Castles" (2015) {Dover Castle (#1.1)}
        Attribute: (lighting cameraman)

    • Miscellaneous Comments - Add
      • Title: "Secrets of Great British Castles" (2015) {The Tower of London (#1.2)}
        Type: Cinematographers
        Text: Ken O'Mahony was credited as "lighting cameraman" which is a cinematographer credit (it is synonymous with "director of photography"); it does not belong in "camera/electrical"

      • Title: "Secrets of Great British Castles" (2015) {Dover Castle (#1.1)}
        Type: Cinematographers
        Text: Ken O'Mahony was credited as "lighting cameraman" which is a cinematographer credit (it is synonymous with "director of photography"); it does not belong in "camera/electrical"

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Martin

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Posted 4 years ago

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DavidAH_Ca, Champion

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You should not resubmit Update requests until at least a week has passed (preferably 2 weeks). A new update while the previous one is still awaiting approval may pull the older one back in the queue so they can be compared, delaying the approval.
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Martin

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No, perhaps I was impatient. But you're missing the point: why have a series of apparently valid cinematographer credits failed to appear? The first two may fall foul of my resubmission, but the third, 151114-140949-738000, hasn't been resubmitted. All other credits in that submission have appeared, but this one hasn't. In the past I've submitted "Cinematographer, attribute=lighting cameraman" credits without any problem. There are loads of pre-existing ones: see Dusty Miller (I)'s credits for The Sweeney and The Professionals, for an example.

Roll on the day when list managers can actually communicate reasons for delays in approving specific items of data, allowing the submitter to enter into a dialogue with the list manager.

I'll submit the credits for all the rest of the episodes, each week, and then (after waiting two further weeks) I'll re-submit the Cinematographer credits for all the episodes as a single submission.
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DavidAH_Ca, Champion

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I notice that you are just Adding the Cinematographer credit in each case (and you appear to be adding it twice, once with and once without the (lighting cameraman) credit - which might be part of the problem).

I would recommend including the delete of the Camera Department credit and the matching Add to the Cinematographer section in the same submission.

The Delete requires an explanation and you can use that rather than (or in addition to) the Miscellaneous Comment. I usually put something like:
Lighting Cameraman is a Cinematographer credit, so I am moving this credit to that section. Since there is no actual Move function available, I am Deleting this credit and have included a matching Add to Cinematographer in this submission.
I can't guarantee anything, but I have found sending both items in the same submission seems to work better than doing it separately. If your current submission does not get processed, you might try this.

You can check the Data Processing Times page to see whether they have processed past your submission date. Currently it shows
Filmography: Cinematographers has only been fully processed through 13 November 2015 with 268 items outstanding, so it is possible that your submission is still in the queue.

If you check there, and it has processed past your submission date and the change doesn't show up in 24 hours, you should be safe to resubmit.

Note: Since the Episode Titles are already shown in his Filmography, you can submit all three Episodes in a single submission from his Name page, deleting from the Camera Department and adding to the Cinematographer section. The reason we generally recommend submitting from the Episode is the complexity of the Title. However, in this case you can just copy the Episode titles from the Camera Department credits and paste them  into Cinematography, so that is not a problem.
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Michelle, Official Rep

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Hi Martin  -

Jumping in here to clarify the difference between Cinematography credits verses Camera credits; Cinematography credits should only include cinematographer/director of photography credits, all other camera work credits (such as camera lighting) belongs under the Camera and Electrical Department category.

So if you were a lighting cameraman on the "Secrets of Great British Castles" series, your credits are listed correctly under the Camera and Electrical Department section.
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Martin

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Ah, so "lighting cameraman" is regarded as a "camera/electrical" credit nowadays, is it? That's changed. There are plenty of credits from the past where it has been submitted as a cinematographer credit, because as I understand it, that is what it is: a mainly British synonym for "director of photography" used especially in the TV world. I have never seen a credit roll that has included both "lighting cameraman" and "director of photography", and it is common to see other people than the LC or DOP credited for camera operator and for lighting. Don't be misled by the words "lighting" and "cameraman" in the job title, because the LC is responsible, as a DOP is, for specifying what lighting he wants and how he wants the camera moving, with other people responsible for achieving lighting and camera movement/framing. See http://www.startintv.com/jobs/lighting-cameraman-director-of-photography.php
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DavidAH_Ca, Champion

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This is a 180° change from what IMDb decided several years ago (I believe around 2008). Back then IMDb stated that "lighting director" was pretty much an alternative term for "director of photography", and should therefore be recorded as a Cinematographer credit. I am not sure but I think the point that Martin raised about not finding any Cinematographer or DoP credit in a Title with a Lighting Cameraman may have played a role in the decision.

It is very annoying to Contributors when IMDb changes course like this, particularly when they seem to claim that "this is how it has always been".  The change from 'Cast order must not have missing numbers' to 'a number should  be skipped if a person has two cast credits' is another of these 'that's how it has been' errors. The database is so large that no person can know all the minutiae, so decisions like these need to be recorded in a database that can be referred to by both contributors and staff, with explicit details.
 
One of the reasons so many long-term contributors were so upset with the decision to simply delete older replies in the Contributors Help Board was that it held to best evidence of these previous decisions and this would no longer be available. There may also have been a slight whisper of a suspicion that some people at IMDb wanted to be able to rewrite history in cases like these.
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gromit82, Champion

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I agree with David. If a title has a "lighting cameraman" as the highest-ranking camera credit, with no cinematographer or director of photography to outrank the lighting cameraman, it would be reasonable to allow that person into the Cinematographer category with the attribute (lighting cameraman) on the theory that the person fulfilled the function of a cinematographer.

In fact, there are 2,191 credits with that attribute in the Cinematographers department already. (See http://www.imdb.com/updates/field/cinematographers/attr.)
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Martin

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Exactly. If there are 2191 exisiting credits with that attribute, it was allowed until recently, and it looks as if someone has changed the rules, causing what were once perfectly valid credits to be rejected or moved to the Cam/Elec section.

And I agree that, especially for a big-budget movie rather than a TV documentary, there will always be a cinematographer, whether he is credited as cinematographer, director of photography or lighting camerman.

Can we please have a decision from the manager of that section as to what he wants and whether the long-established precedent has suddenly changed. If Cinematographer | LIghting Cameraman is acceptable I'll submit a change for all the credits for this TV series as a single submission, rather than goign through and doing each episode individually.
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Eboy

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...because as I understand it, that is what it is: a mainly British synonym for "director of photography" used especially in the TV world.
I could be wrong here (and there are always exceptions), but I believe "lighting cameraman" is a bit older term and not used very often today? When it comes to feature films, usually "director of photography/DOP" or "cinematographer" are used. Maybe in the British TV productions "lighting cameraman" is still used, though?

When using some of the films by Kubrick as an example, John Alcott was credited as "lighting cameraman" in "A Clockwork Orange" and with some other films he was credited as "photographed by". Also Larry Smith was credited as "lighting cameraman" in "Eyes Wide Shut", but unlike Alcott, he's listed in the "camera/electrical" department in the IMDB site (which is a bit strange, since now there's no "cinematographer" listed with Easy Wide Shut).
 Don't be misled by the words "lighting" and "cameraman" in the job title
I have to agree with this somewhat. The word "cameraman" and "camera operator" usually refers to people who actually operate the camera(s) - and not necessarily light the studio/stage/scene, but especially in the TV productions this is not always the case. And with many TV productions, there can be several "cinematographers", each responsible for their part in the production - lighting interviews, shooting material, setting of up scenes, etc. When the person is lighting, composing and setting the intervew to the style of their choosing, IMO they're more like "cinematographers" than just "cameramen" (nothing wrong with the latter, mind you, since great cameramen/operators are very important to any production). So it's a bit tricky sometimes.