BVK podržava HFS

Izvrsno pismo potpore naših njemačkih kolegica i kolega, a koje vrlo precizno objašnjava zašto su snimatelji smatrani ko-autorima audivizualnih djela, te koje sve proizvodne procese oni svojom umjetničkom osobnošću oblikuju. Prost!


BVK | Baumkirchner Strafe 19 | 81673 Miinchen | Germany Berufsverband Kinematografie

Baumkirchner Strafe 19

81673 Munchen | Germany

Mr. Christopher Peter Marcich

Chief Executive Officer

Nova Ves 18

10 000 Zagreb

Munich, May 8th, 2020

Dear Mr. Marcich,

BVK – The german Society of Cinematographers has been asked by our Croatian colleagues to send a statement about the current situation of authorship rights and the status of cinematographers under the German law. As the former president and a member of the present board of the German Society of Cinematographers — BVK | am writing to you today.

Especially while chairing the European Council Croatia’s political input is quite relevant for the cultural devellopment in the European union.

Croatia with it’s rich culture and traditions is an important plays an important role in the polyphonic Orchestra of European culture. As we hear, the Croatian Government has initiated a law reform towards author’s rights. It is hard to believe, that cinematographers – as far as we hear – will loose their status as co-authors of the cinematic work in future by a new croation law. According to the relevant devellopments in the field of authors rights this would seem in all ways incomprehensible!

Let me exemplify not only my personal conviction but the reasons why the jurisprudence of the German Supreme Court does assess cinematographers as co-authors of the cinematic work well based upon various crucial parameters:

The cinematographer (in cooperation with director) is responsible for breaking down the script in order to tell the story by moving images — which by the way is the very meaning of cinematography (to write with movement). The cinematographer setting up visual conception and dramaturgy of the movie.

A key factor in any audio visual work is the design of light and its emotional atmosphere. The only artist who has the knowledge and capacity, how to design emotions by visual variables, is the cinematographer/Director of Photography (DoP).

The responsibility of colour design in preproduction (cooperating with production- design department) as well as on set (instructing electricians and decing about the colour managment process in the workflow) and even in postproduction (colour grading and finishing) is in the hands of the cinematographer/DoP. The visual design of the DoP includes also texture and dynamics of the images. All in all we speak of light-design and color dramaturgy.

Furthermore the cinematographer has to orchestrate in unison all movements in front of the camera as well as of the device itself which we also refer to as dramaturgical movement. He or she has to decide about angle of view, camera position and perspective, framing and progressions in time.

The cinematographer is the one and only person on set to finally materialize anything that’s in front of the camera to what we call film (or chip or whatever imaging device) — 25 times per second. He or she is actually doing it, like the painter does while painting a portrait. Even a genious script and a highly gifted director will never be enough to create impressive visuality on screen. Only the DoP has the artistic skills and creative knowledge to visualize emotions others have written in words.

Let me express the hope of the German Society of Cinematographers (BVK) and even our whole professsional community in Europe, that Croatia will accept the important creative role of cinematographers. The recognition of cinematography as an art of its own – according to the European cinema tradition where cinematographers are acknowledged as co-authors of the filmic work — should be respected in any European country.

We believe in the wisdom and European focus of the Croatian legislation and government.


Johannes Kirchlechner

on behalf of the board of the German Society Of Cinematographers — BVK