Cinematographers use light to paint a Director's vision on film. During Semester One, students are introduced to the aesthetics of black & white and color cinematography. They begin shooting film on 16mm, progressing from black & white reversal to color negative. Students begin with the Arri-S. Its basic construction is easy to access, and it challenges a student to be very precise in exposure very quickly. The students move on to a larger body 16mm camera, a crystal-sync camera that shoots four hundred ft. magazines, the Arri-SR II. At this point, the students are also introduced to using super speed lenses. They wrap up the semester with an introduction to HD video, using the Canon 5D mark iii.
Shoot a one-minute to two-minute Mise-en-scene project on 16mm black and white film.
Shoot a two to three minute continuity project on 16mm color film.
Shoot a music-inspired project on HD video.
Shoot a five to ten minute cumulative semester one-film project on any format that has been taught during the first semester, 16mm black & white, 16mm color, or HD digital video.
Learn foundation aesthetics of photography and cinematography.
Learn the fundamentals of shooting16mm film production.
Explore the benefits and limitations of 16mm film production.
Learn the fundamentals of interior and exterior lighting for 16mm & HD video.
Expand the aesthetic and creative application of cinematography skills.
Develop understanding of the Cinematographer and Director collaboration.
The Hands-on course covers a wide range of cameras and lenses; with lessons related to managing the camera as a piece of gear as well as an artist's tool.
SEMESTER TWO OVERVIEW
During the second semester, students' progress into shooting digitally on the RED Epic camera. High-definition video is used in many productions, from low budget independent features to blockbuster studio films. Students shoot a number of projects on high-definition video exploring the benefits and limitations of the medium.
In addition to shooting on Ultra HD, the students progress to working on 35mm film. The students shoot with two 35mm camera packages, the Panavision Platinum Package and the ArriCam Studio package. The lighting workshops focus on achieving optimum outcomes in ultra HD (Red Epic) and 35mm format as well as learning more advanced lighting equipment and techniques.
During the second semester production workshops, students use the camera of the moment, 35mm or the Epic, to achieve an objective “look” and a story objective. Production workshops place the emphasis on technical and aesthetic control of the image through careful equipment set-ups. Part of the goal is to explore the huge range of equipment and specific uses thereof. This is the primary test of success for the students' work: can they tell a story in addition to using the gear and achieving a look?
Through practice & experimentation, students develop their own style and vision. They will further their growth as they collaborate with directors in the One-Year Filmmaking program to shoot their final semester projects.
Shoot a three to five minute POV project in sync sound on the Red Epic.
Shoot a two - three minute mise-en-scene project on 35mm film.
Shoot a Thesis, a sync-sound narrative film of up to 15 minutes: on HD, 16mm, or 35mm.
Shoot a One-Year Filmmaking Thesis project: on HD, 16mm, or 35mm.
Participate as a crew member on fellow students' films and group projects
Color grade HD,16mm, and 35mm.
Learn the fundamentals of high-definition video production.
Explore the benefits and limitations of the high definition format.
Learn the fundamentals of lighting for high-definition video and 35mm.
Learn how the Cinematographer and Director collaborate.
Understand the fundamentals of screen grammar necessary for the role of Cinematographer.
Learn to analyze a screenplay in relation to the cinematographer's art.
Learn the postproduction process of HD, 16mm, and 35mm film.
Course Description (*Optional)
The cinematographer's working units are image and light within the frame. This course explores the foundation skills of photography including the use of light and composition. Students use stills cameras to develop their understanding of photographic elements and how to paint with light.
Cinematography: Form and Function
Shot composition, light, lenses and camera movement are central to the cinematographer's role. This course explores the aesthetic understanding of the cinematographer's work. Analysis of classic and contemporary cinematographers' work complements the understanding of universal photographic design principles.
Hands-On 16mm & 35mm Cinematography
In this class, students learn to operate 16mm & 35mm cameras, using a range of lenses and film stocks. Students begin with the Arriflex-S 16mm camera and move to the Arriflex SR and Panavision 35mm. Students compare formats and explore the benefits and limitations of each. The students train to operate 16mm & 35mm cameras at a highly proficient level.
In this course, fundamental skills in lighting for tungsten stock and interior lighting scenarios are taught. Students use a range of tungsten film stock, exploring the possibilities of shooting interiors with a selection of different lighting set-ups.
Editing is an art unto itself. Regardless of the editing system a filmmaker uses, it is the editor's ability to work with the shots and tell a story that makes all the difference. Students learn to use the digital editing system, Final Cut Pro. Each student edits his or her own films, and can supplement classes with individual consultations at the editing station. Students are taught the concepts of film editing, both practical and aesthetic including color grading. Classes consist of lectures and tutorials that combine technical information and demonstration.
Students develop their lighting skills using 16mm and 35mm film. Equipped with a range of cameras, students test various daylight film stocks and exterior lighting scenarios to understand the benefits and limitations of shooting outdoors.
Assistant Camera Workshop
The Director of Photography is dependent upon a great camera crew to bring the Director's vision to life. One of the entry positions into the camera crew is the Assistant Camera role. This course explores essential skills and procedures that every camera assistant must know to progress in his or her career.
A major advancement in cinema took place when the camera could move freely through a location. The Steadicam has become a permanent fixture on contemporary films sets. This course enables students to explore the practical application of the Steadicam and its functions.
The screenplay is the architectural blueprint for a movie. The cinematographer should understand thematic concerns of the screenplay to bring the subtext and drama to life. In this subject, cinematographers study a range of screenplays and explore how professional cinematographers visually bring the content of the screenplays to the screen.
Hands-On Digital Cinematography
Students are trained to operate high-definition cameras including the Panasonic HD and RED Epic cameras. Students learn the roles of the camera crew, the benefits and limitations of each camera, formats, lenses, shutter speeds, focal lengths, and more. Each class is taught using hands-on exploration of the cameras with students learning to become proficient with the high-definition format. Incorporating lessons from the previous semester, students explore framing and camera movement.
Feature Film Lighting
The cinematographer's art lies in the creation of an image that captures the mood and emotion of a scene. In this subject, students explore a range of lighting techniques for the high-definition format. Students use the tools to light feature films. Lighting techniques incorporate the creation of mood based on theme, emotion and tone in a screenplay. Areas such as image systems and metaphors are explored.
Lighting for television can require different skills than feature films. This course explores the range of lighting techniques for television including; dramas, sitcoms, gameshows, and news programs. Students participate in hands-on classes and light a range of different genres and formats.
Directing the Lens
This course introduces cinematography students to the language and craft of directing. From screenplay analysis to shot composition, students learn how Directors and Cinematographers collaborate to achieve a complete vision. Students explore the aesthetic elements of mise-en-scene, shot choice, composition, setting, point of view, action of the picture plane, movement of the camera, how to cover a dialogue scene with a series of shots, as well as more sophisticated approaches to coverage including the use of dollies. Students break down scenes from selected screenplays to practice a variety of approaches.