While commercials and music videos often combine the director and cinematographer roles into one position, feature films almost always have a separate director of photography. This division of labor allows the filmmaker to focus on performance while the DP handles the technical aspects of shooting.
Though it’s rare for directors to pull double duty and serve as their own cinematographers, some filmmakers just prefer having full control over the shooting process. Click through the gallery to see 10 directors who have DP’d their own films.
Tarantino usually works with DP Robert Richardson, but on the 2007 film “Death Proof,” the director worked as his own cinematographer for the first time.
Soderbergh is one of the few directors who almost always shoots his own films. The director has DP’d more than a dozen of his movies, including the upcoming “Logan Lucky,” which hits theaters in August.
Lynch decided to take on DP duties for the 2006 mystery-thriller “Inland Empire,” which illustrated his ability to work with digital video.
The cinematographer-turned-director shot her feature debut, “Meadowland,” and returned to the director/DP role on her recently wrapped second film, “I Think We’re Alone Now.”
The 88-year-old English filmmaker shot more than a dozen of his films, including “Walkabout” and “Fahrenheit 451.”
Liman shot his first film as a director, the cult comedy “Swingers,” and pulled double duty again on 1999’s “Go” and 2010’s “Fair Game.”
Rodriguez frequently shoots his own movies, and did so most recently on 2014’s “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For.”
Hyams has shot 14 of his 20 feature films, including “Timecop,” “The Relic,” and 2013’s “Enemies Closer.”
Noé shot 1996’s “La bouche de Jean-Pierre” and 2002’s “Irreversible.”
Kaye typically shoots his own movies, from 1998’s “American History X” to 2009’s “Black Water Transit.”