Full CSC accreditation after a cinematographer’s name is a mark of distinction. It is recognition of the craft of cinematography’s elite practitioners.
The following outlines the processes for becoming an accredited Full Member.
A call is put out to all the active Full Members a couple of times a year, and they are invited to participate in a committee to consider the latest applicants. These new applicants are asked to provide a resumé (with dates) and at least 5 samples of their work via Vimeo (as outlined in the Submission Checklist detailed below), and to fill out a form that clarifies and describes the technical aspects of the work. Commercial shooters and music video shooters should submit ten samples. Dramatic show reels may be submitted but they will not be judged alone, nor will selectively edited examples taken out of context. Anyone can apply but it is expected that the applicants have a significant body of work to their credit, have a significant period of time working as a cinematographer (10 years) and that they are fully qualified to take on the responsibilities of Director of Photography before they will be considered. This means that they are experienced in managing a crew of technicians at an international standard and producing work that is excellent. It must rise above the average, above mere professional competence, and must demonstrate a sensitivity and creativity that services and elevates the material it illustrates.
Traditionally the term Director of Photography relates to shooters of drama, commercials and music videos and most of the successful applicants to Full membership are from these categories. However all genres can have contenders due to our exceptional achievement clause. Consideration is given to the genre in which one works but the membership committee recognizes that excellence and great experience also exist in the other genres. Sometimes someone has a talent that shines through and should be recognized before the 10-year mark is reached. Not everyone has a truckload of lights and an army of film technicians to help them realize their visions. The interpretation of the material and how one deals with the opportunities one is given is of paramount importance. Composition, creative use of lighting, use of natural light, movement, and exposure are all important but most of all, evidence of an experienced and accomplished mind must be at work behind the camera. How is the story, whatever it is, being told visually? What kind of experience is being brought to bear? These are the issues the committee grapples with.
The membership committee reflects the standards of the CSC in that the committee itself is made up of any Full member who would like to attend and contribute. Each of those members brings with them their own preferences, experiences and biases and the sum of those parts applied to our rules decide who and what Full membership stands for. The committee views the work provided, and then votes by private ballot. An 80% committee approval is considered a passing grade.
Full Membership Application and supporting documents are below. Next full membership submission deadline is October 16, 2020.
Download the CSC Full Membership application package here.