We don’t make movies to make money, we make money to make more movies.
– Walt Disney
As a Director Of Photography in the cinema world, my goal is simple. Tell a fantastic story through captivating visuals.
Arguably the greatest lesson I learned early on in my career as a filmmaker/cinematographer, was & is, do not shoot what you see. See first what you’re going to shoot, then execute it in the most moving way possible. Cinematography is like choreographing a dance. All elements must work together and compliment one another for the motion to flow and be beautiful to the eye. Effective cinematography is not simply a decision of what lens to use, on what camera, and where to place a light. It is the artistic culmination of those things, combined with a slew of other aspects.
What do you want your viewer to feel? That’s what you have to know and plan out before you hit the record button. If you don’t, then every shot you take is a gamble. A gamble that you are leaving completely up to chance that that shot, will convey what you’re hoping it will convey. The less you plan, the greater you stack the odds against yourself. Consider it this way: You take a shot that you haven’t choreographed in your mind, and mentally seen as the end product of what it’s going to look like, and how it will make your audience feel. Ultimately, the shot works! You got lucky on that gamble and you nailed the shot and the message within it. Great! A feature film, though, can be made up of hundreds, to even thousands of different shots. Any oddsmaker anywhere would tell you, you’re not gonna get lucky that much!
That’s why we have trained for years, put in years of experience, yet continue to learn each & every day. I have personally spent more time reading & learning as a Director Of Photography and all-around student of the industry, than I did from Kindergarten through college. Why? Because this is what I love! Making films is more than a career, it’s more than an unbridled passion. For me, it is a way of life. It’s a way of life that comes with many sacrifices and much dedication, but I can honestly say that I wake up every day of my life looking forward to getting started on my day.
There is nothing better than making movies in my opinion. Each one deserves it’s own personal attention and undivided dedication. For me, my first path into the industry was in post-production. I began that in 2001 when computers were nowhere near what they are now. So I learned from the ground up. Over the years, I studied with Emmy Award Winners, Grammy Award Winners, & Oscar Award Winners. I have trained for years, not only in cinematography and the ins & outs of cameras & lenses, but have continued and furthered my studies in the post-production fields to include areas and work as an Editor, a professional Colorist, and a CGI & VFX artist.
Thus when you are considering, well, what makes Mark Moritz the guy I want to DP my next film, consider this. I shoot from the beginning, based on the end. The knowledge I bring in the areas of post-editing, colorgrading, and visual effects enable me to build the camera shots, angles, and framework, based on what is going to be needed later in the pipeline. Though able to perform at the highest level in all areas individually, it is critical to always, mentally be, in one role at a time. However, the overall pipeline and workflow knowledge is always kept in mind, always in the eye, and thus provides for a better final output, as well as saving amounts of time, effort, and spending that a price can not even be attached to as a rule.
I love what I do. If I was a multi-millionaire that didn’t need to work another day in his life, I would still look forward to getting up every morning and doing what I do.
Just to mention: I also own & film with the highest level equipment in the industry. I currently own 2 Red Epic 6K Dragons, a full set of high-speed prime cinema lenses, gimbal stabilization, professional tripods, lighting, audio, etc. Those who say that “equipment doesn’t matter” are typically the people who use low-end equipment. We believe your project deserves the best in every area. Talent, passion, vision, creativity, dedication, work ethic, education, experience, & equipment. That’s what you need. That’s what we always give our everything to bringing.
There are no rules in filmmaking. Only sins. And the cardinal sin is dullness.
– Frank Capra