There are five categories of membership for which you may apply. We invite you to apply for the type of membership which is appropriate for your particular occupation and experience. It is important to remember that after becoming a member, you can upgrade your category as your occupation or position within the industry changes.
You can download our MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION FORM
CSC adminstrative staff will be pleased to answer any question about membership if you phone the office or send an email.(via the link at the right of this page).
Full CSC accreditation is a mark of distinction. It is recognition of the craft of cinematography's elite practitioners.
A couple of times a year, a call is put out to all the active Full Members, inviting them to participate in a committee to consider the latest applicants. These new applicants are asked to provide a résumé (with dates) and at least 5 comprehensive samples of their work and to fill out a form that clarifies and describes the technical aspects of the work. Commercial shooters and music video shooters should submit 10 samples. Dramatic show reels may be submitted but they will not be judged alone, nor will selectively edited examples taken out of context. Anyone can apply but it is expected that the applicants have a significant body of work to their credit, have a significant period of time working as a cinematographer, 10 years, and that they are fully qualified to take on the responsibilities of Director of Photography before they will be considered. This means that they are experienced in managing a crew of technicians at an international standard and producing work that is excellent. It must rise above the average, above mere professional competence, and must demonstrate a sensitivity and creativity that services and elevates the material it illustrates.
Traditionally the term Director of Photography relates to shooters of drama, commercials and music videos and most of the successful applicants to Full membership are from these categories. However all genres can have contenders due to our exceptional achievement clause. Consideration is given to the genre in which one works but the membership committee recognizes that excellence and great experience also exist in the other genres. Sometimes someone has a talent that shines through and should be recognized before the 10-year mark is reached. Not everyone has a truckload of lights and an army of film technicians to help them realize their visions. The interpretation of the material and how one deals with the opportunities one is given is of paramount importance. Composition, creative use of lighting, use of natural light, movement, and exposure are all important but most of all, evidence of an experienced and accomplished mind must be at work behind the camera. How is the story, whatever it is, being told visually? What kind of experience is being brought to bear? These are the issues the committee grapples with.
The membership committee reflects the standards of the CSC in that the committee itself is made up of any Full member who would like to attend and contribute. Each of those members brings with them their own preferences, experiences and biases and the sum of those parts applied to our rules decide who and what Full membership stands for.
Applicants are encouraged to only submit their best work and try not to pad an application with lesser works just to fill up the numbers. In order to be successful, everything submitted must be excellent. One marginal work can jeopardize an otherwise good application. This is very important.
The committee carefully reviews and does due diligence on the applicant's résumé, submission sheet and reference letters. It views the work provided, and then votes by private ballot. A 2/3 majority of the committee approval is considered a passing grade. Application fees and accreditation fees apply; please see the schedule for details.
The following explains the process for elevating an individual to Full Membership status:
Full Member applicants must also complete the requisite Submission Sheet for Full Membership.
Each applicant provides a collection of cinematographic works for which they have been responsible, for review by the Membership Committee. Read this linked page.for details of submitting such works for consideration.
See the linked list of recent applicants who did achieve Full accreditation, some of whom have agreed to publish a gallery of their cinematography, as an example for others.
The applicant must be recognized as a working cinematographer, as defined in the terminology section of the CSC bylaws, for a period acceptable to the membership committee.
The applicant must provide evidence that they have been employed as a camera operator or a camera assistant for recognized cinematographers over a period acceptable to the membership committee. Less experienced motion picture camerapersons may also be accepted as an Affiliate member until they meet the guideline established by the membership committee for Associates. The applicant may also qualify for Affiliate membership by successfully completing professional training as a camera assistant via educational programs acceptable to the membership committee. This is outlined in the Affiliate membership section of the CSC bylaws.
The applicant must be professionally and actively employed in a position intrinsically related to cinematography as defined in the terminology section of the CSC bylaws, for a period acceptable to the membership committee. The Membership committee will be the sole arbiter for which applicants may be accepted under this class.
The applicant must be enrolled in a program related to cinematography (as defined in the terminology section of the CSC bylaws) at a post-secondary educational institution in Canada. The Membership committee will determine whether the applicant's program qualifies for acceptance under this class.
All current fees are detailed on our secure Online Payment site.