Cinematographer Timur Civan on importance of lighting

Timur Civan: Cameras are essential, but nothing without the light



Timur Civan



Top 3 films of all time:

Bladerunner, The Holy Mountain and Alien

How did you first get into filmmaking?

By accident. I was an Artist, sculptor actually, and started shooting video art installation work. One thing led to another and i was a full time DOP in 3 years of first picking up a camera.

What is your favorite on-set story?
I was shooting a music video for Sesame Street with Cookie Monster, it was parodying Carly Jepsen’s " Call me Maybe" and this video was called "Share it Maybe" about sharing cookies with Cookie Monster.

Mid take, we were using the producers bluetooth speaker as a playback device, the producers phone rang, and it auto answered. The music stopped playing and a phone call was broadcast across the whole set. "Hey Jim! how are ya?" comes aloud over the set... The actor playing cookie monster, without missing a beat, replies, " Hey Dis Cookie Monster... U messing up me Take. Jim Call you back later when i done. "

The gentlemen on the phone, reverted to a 6 years old... " C...C...Cookie monster? I'm so sorry Cookie monster, i'll call back later" and hung up. So interesting how hearing cookie monster's voice reverted a grown up back into a child.

What piece of equipment can you not live without on set?
My O’connor 2060 Tripod, and Sigma Cine Prime lenses. Easy answer.

The heart of the Film Pin Society is community and camaraderie. Can you talk a little about that?
The Film community as a whole is a circle of friends and sometimes family you choose to be with. You go into the good and bad days together, you get out the other side, together, and you do it all over again the next day. Like any sequestered group of talented individuals, oil rig workers, military, the close bond you form under problem solving situation is unbreakable. The film pin for those who are part of the circle, is a nice signal that you are amongst family.

"Like any sequestered group of talented individuals, oil rig workers, military, the close bond you form under problem solving situation is unbreakable."

What’s the best piece of advice you can give to someone looking into going into your field?

Trust in yourself. Don't copy anyone else's style. Give it time. Getting good, and having success takes a lot of time...For me its 13 years and counting....

What pin from our collection speaks to you and why?
4K Light. This is all about light. Light and sound waves. The DP has to carve the light waves into something beautiful in order to tell the story. That's why i like the 4K pin. Cameras are great, but they are nothing without the light.

"Cameras are great, but they are nothing without the light."

What should we turn into a pin next?                                                          Oconnor head.... Light meter.... Cardellini Clamp.... Audio Mixer....

Where can we learn more about you?
Website, Twitter, Instagram

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