Why is the director of photography role so crucial in a film? What are some of their responsibilities on a movie set?
The role of the director of photography is crucial because they manage and lead the cinematography department. They are also a creative force on set, providing the film with an artistic identity and look, through the use of lighting, framing, camera movement, camera settings and much more.
One of the responsibilities DoP's have is closely collaborating with many of the other crew members. This list of their collaborators is the camera crew, the gaffers, the production designer, the costume designer and the hair/makeup artists.
In addition to these collaborations, the DoP also works closely with the director, discussing the visual style of the film.
If the production is smaller, the DoP may also operate the camera itself.
As the shoot wraps up, the DoP is also responsible for checking the boxes of the following day's requirements (ordering the proper equipment, planning a seamless workflow) and may review the raw footage with the director.
Lastly, during post-production, the likely DoP attends the grading of the film, a process that can take weeks at a time.