Learn the fundamentals of motion picture cinematography and be introduced to the basic creative and technical properties of film and digital formats.

In today's film and television production environment, cinematographers work in a variety of acquisition formats. Digital technology evolves continually, while many high-end productions continue to shoot on film. Whether a creative artist selects to tell their story with a film stock or a digital sensor, the basic tools of cinematography include a camera system, an imaging plane, lenses, filtration, and lighting units.

In the Basic Cinematography Workshop (BCW), students are introduced to the craft of cinematography through motion picture film and digital still photography. They explore the use of exposure, contrast, color, depth-of-field, and the importance of latitude and dynamic range in the creative process. Through hands-on exercises in the studio and on location, students discover the nuances and characteristics of film and digital technologies.

The lectures, demonstrations, fieldwork, screenings, and critiques work in conjunction to provide a basic overview of how to control the motion picture image. From that knowledge base, an emerging cinematographer begins to develop a "good eye."

In the context of basic cinematography, having a "good eye" translates to marrying the technical aspects of cinematography with a host of aesthetic considerations in support of the visual story. The considerations involve the framing and composition, the camera's angle and movement, along with the design of the project's shot series and sequences.

The major non-camera related aesthetic tool addressed in basic cinematography is portrait and scene lighting. Students touch upon the fundamentals of lighting portraits and scenes, and address different lighting strategies for film and digital cameras.

With the return of the week's film exercises as transferred telecine dailies, the film lab process will be discussed and incorporated into the digital post production workflow.

Please note: Basic Set Etiquette and Safety will be emphasized throughout the lectures and class exercises.

Level 1 students, or those with no set experince, must attend the one-day Set Etiquette & Safety course.


"Great experience"
- Marcus Kronemeyer, San Diego, CA

"Maine Media Workshops is about the whole experience...its got the best of everything...makes me want to come back every year."
- Shisha Guha Thakurta

"This course helped me grow as an artist and as a technician, increasing my knowledge while allowing me room to explore my own impulses."
- Jeremy Steeger, Cambridge, MA

"I feel much more confident in my lighting ability after taking this course"
- Luke Hudgins, Halifax, Nova Scotia


Course Dates

This course is not offered at this time.
Check our full workshop listing for other alternatives.

Please email us or call 1-877-577-7700 with any questions.



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