Responding to protecting one's work as a D.P.:
I raised the subject of protecting one's work with the incredible creative freedom that exists in post on another, private forum:
"While I laud the freedom that RAW digital imagery provides today's post pipeline, as a D.P., I worry about my ever increasing loss of creative control over the image once it leaves the set. I can no longer "protect" the image. Of course, with D.I. finishes to everything now, that privilege has been slowly slipping away from D.P.'s over the last few years anyway. Big D.P.'s can negotiate their participation in CC (and I include CC in my contracts for Indie projects) but I can imagine a vast number of projects where I lose complete creative control over my work on set. Once producers get their hands on things, all bets are off. Really, all I can control are lighting/framing/movement as acquired by a camera but that hardly seems the complete picture today.
In a positive vein, I have enjoyed my own explorations in post grading and CC and improved quite a few of my own and others' shots. As a D.P., I am having to become a bit of a colorist - at least a backseat driver colorist.
So, to my question: What should I expect to be able to have creative control over in various industry segments?: narrative feature, commercial, etc. What should I negotiate for?
My query should not be construed as an us-vs-them question, but a muse about where I should focus my ongoing education. I continue to advance my craft and art of lighting and composition. I'm becoming a fairly competent visual storyteller, if still a little iterative and cliched at times. And, I am gaining some fundamental knowledge of grading/CC. But now, when I can't participate in color correction personally, someone else (dare I say a producer) has much vaster control over the image I have delivered to post and can completely depart from the artistic intent of the director/D.P. team. (I suppose when producers are paying for the project they can do what they wish.)
Is the role of D.P. undergoing a fundamental change? Should the D.P./Colorist be recognized as "co-cinematographers" now?
Ultimately, who receives the challenge, responsibility, and privilege of crafting the image? And how should I empower myself to be that person? Truly, I am a storyteller first and foremost and understand that my greatest artistic opportunity is that creative collaboration with director, art director, talent, and production team. At least that control is still the domain of the set. "
The upshot of the ensuing discussion was, negotiate for the creative control you can, inspire the respect of producers and post personnel so they seek your input in post, and don't work with those who fail to respect your work.
The larger question, these days, is how a D.P. actually gets paid for his/her time in a coloring suite.