As a student working towards a life in cinema production, it can be considered an oddity that I only watch a handful of movies per year, and that I hardly watch television at all. When sharing my favorite television shows with my peers, it is not uncommon to find looks of confusion on the faces of those peers when they hear me say I don't really watch television.
I often get discredited as a cinematographer when people hear this, facing claims that I have no idea what looks good and what does not, and having to defend myself against team members who do not trust my shot lists, or those who are skeptical at the thought of me behind a camera on their project.
These are valid concerns. It really does not look good for one to say that they do not observe and/or take inspiration from established creators of the very media that they are attempting to create.
The truth is, however, that I am observing cinematography all of the time.
Video Games are an untapped source of inspiration and creativity that should be seriously looked at by anybody who is interested in a future of cinematic composition. In modern video games, the "camera" is unhindered by any physical limitations. This opens up so many opportunities to explore unique shot composition, object placement, character placement, shadow casting, etc., that could otherwise be overlooked due to various possible limitations, be them time, gravity, money, etc.
As an avid gamer for most of my life, this is what I have been doing with my spare time. I do not watch television, I see maybe three new movies per year, but mostly, I seek out the most cinematic video games that I can find. They have been a passion of mine over the years, sparking many of my drawings, music, and other creative endeavors.
I often wonder, could there be a future for me, or anyone, as a cinematographer in the video game industry? As it stands, a cinematographer would be the perfect candidate to craft a trailer for a big budget title, the cinematic of which rival those of some animated movies. Not only trailers, but in the individual cutscenes between gameplay, some of which are short films in their own right.
I have witnessed some spectacular cinematography in modern gaming, and I can only imagine what a professional cinematographer would be able to do with no physical limitations.