TAEM- One of the most important positions behind a good movie, or documentary, is the cinematographer. Scripts, storylines, and acting do not work well without the skills of the man behind the camera. He must be able to capture the subject matter on film to makes the production stand out.
Many of the students of the Arts who follow our publication as a learning tool for their own career, must learn every aspect of a film production in order to learn its full potential. The Arts and Entertainment Magazine has chanced upon a well known cinematographer from our own region, Thomas Kaufman, and we would like to introduce him to all our readers.
Tom, I would like to make our readers aware of your many film credits and ask you about your techniques for your trade. First, though, I would like you to tell us about your educational background for your trade, and what inspired you to take up your craft.
TK- I owe it all to Charlie Chaplin. When I was four and visiting my grandparents, we went to an ice cream parlor and there was a nickelodeon there. Now, television I knew about, but this? I asked my father what it was, so he hoisted me up and dropped in a nickel and turned the crank – and there was Chaplin, from one of his early silent films. I was enchanted. At age ten I found a wind-up 8mm camera in our attic – my father had purchased it for home movies but had never used it much – and I started fooling around with it.
As a teenager I learned a lot about still photography and darkroom technique from my mother, who was graduated from the Eastman School. Then I applied and was accepted at the USC School of Film & Television, from which I received a BA and MFA. (more…)