Talented And Highly Respected Cinematographer Omar Ragab
Omar Ragab shot Paris Hilton’s reality show, Cooking with Paris, and he was the cinematographer on Master Chef Season 11, along with Hype House and Bling Empire Season 2. He has shot commercials for AT&T, Lancome, Calvin Klein and the Army National Guard, to name a few. Saturday Night was a music video he shot, and Funky Fresco, Manana no hay Clase and Ride The Wave were others. He has been the cinematographer and camera operator on too many films to name here but a few of them are: Banana Thugs Eightball, Leef, Spirit Animals and Finding America.
He, like many other top cinematographers, are frequently asked what does it take to be a cameraman nowadays? The more precise question, however, should be: How does one get a job as a cameraman these days? Omar, the excellent cinematographer from Cairo, Egypt, might tell you the following: In the old days, a cinematographer would have a crew working under him and they might each stay in their positions, like a focus puller, camera loader, etc., for years before they were allowed to move up to the next level. Nowadays, you can either learn how to use cameras and how to load and operate them and how to light sets etc. at home, on your own or you can go to college or film school and learn it all in specific classes that are designed just for film students.
Once you learn all the basics, then you have to go out and actually shoot some things, that is, be a camera operator for commercials, short films, music videos or, if you can’t get a job doing any of those things for anyone, then you might have to finance and write and shoot your own movie just to be able to shoot it yourself and have a reel. Once you have a reel, that is, a visual sample of your cinematography, then you have to track down producers or directors and ask them to look at it and to give you a job. If your work seems to fit what they are currently looking for in a cinematographer, then they might offer you a job.
Omar went the school route. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Film and Digital Media Production at the University of California at Santa Cruz. After he got out of school he got jobs as a cinematographer on some short films and then after people started seeing the quality of his work he began getting offers to work on commercials, music videos, documentaries and reality shows. Omar will also probably tell you that hard work, experimentation, practice and persistence are the key words when it comes to becoming a working cinematographer.