The Camera and Visual Storytelling

Alter the way you look at film. Learn the cinematic language of shot design, composition, camera placement, and movement with Steven Fierberg.

Camera position and movement, lens selection, and scene coverage are critical to all forms of narrative storytelling. This one-week workshop is for cinematographers and emerging filmmakers who want to focus on the use of camera in cinematic storytelling. Students learn the cinematic language of shot design, composition, camera placement and movement. The subtle differences in camera operating styles and their effects on the viewer are addressed through exercises and screenings. Classroom lectures cover film dynamics, screen direction, and the role of the camera in visual storytelling. Students work with scripts as they break down scenes, plan scene coverage, and prepare storyboards and shot lists. Working as a professional camera crew, the class blocks and shoots dramatic and action sequences with actors. Dailies are assembled in editing to help the students discover what is and is not working with their coverage and planning. All work is reviewed and critiqued each day by the faculty. Students leave with a working knowledge of scene design and an understanding of the role the camera plays in the filmmaking process.

Testimonials:

"My experience here has reawakened my creativity and passion to make my movie."
- JC Chandler, Maryland Heights, MO

"The Workshops is a unique and wonderful place, the experience of learning here feels so natural you don't even know its happening."
- Ed Ballinger, Allentown, PA

"You won't regret your investment in this great class. This is the class that will teach you the grammar of film."
- Wei Zhou, Mountain View, CA

"It was the best workshop I attended this summer. It alters the way you look at films."
- Shirsha Thakurta, Mumbai, India

Instructors

Steven Fierberg, ASC

Steven Fierberg, ASC’s cinematography on Ed Zwick’s Love and Other Drugs was singled out for creating an elegant and beautiful vision of Anne Hathaway in a passionate love affair with Jake Gyllenhaal.
 
Just prior, he used the RED camera to film director Joel Schumacher’s poignant Twelve. The Sundance festival selected it as the 2010 closing night premiere, and stated: “For every decade, there are moments when youth culture is frozen in "art," to be reveled in by the generation that lived it and observed by those that didn't. That is Twelve.”
 
In a more comic range, Steven worked with Julian Farino on his first American feature The Oranges, set to premiere this Christmas. Steven and Julian first met when they created the look and feel of HBO’s hit series Entourage, of which Steven shot the first 25 episodes. They also collaborated, along with fellow Entourage alumni Mark Wahlberg and Steven Levinson, on the pilot for HBO’s How to Make It in America, depicting the life and times of artists, photographers and designers in New York’s lower east side. 
 
He recently collaborated with another Entourage alumnus, director Mark Mylod, in shooting the pilot for the new ABC/Disney Sunday night series Once Upon a Time in America. 
 
In 2009, Steven shot Alex Cox’s Repo Chick, which premiered at the Venice Film Festival. Alex’s previous film, the existential road movie Searchers 2.0, premiered there as well, winning accolades (and an ovation) for the cinematography. The Hollywood Reporter singled out “stunning visuals captured to mesmeric effect by cinematographer Steven Fierberg.” 
 
Steve filmed Jude Law, Judi Dench and Steve Buscemi in Rage, Sally Potter’s black comedy on the fashion industry, which premiered in competition at the 2009 Berlin Film Festival. 
 
Steven’s dramatic cinematography has also been seen in Steven Shainberg's provocative Secretary, winning a special jury prize from the Sundance Festival for originality. 
 
His work on the epic mini-series Attila earned him the 2002 ASC (American Society of Cinematographers) Award for Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography. 
 
He worked with Baz Luhrmann on additional photography for the transcendent Moulin Rouge! 
 
Steven also shoots commercials and music videos, winning the Latin Grammy for Best Music Video of the Year for Robi 'Draco' Rosa's Mas Y Mas. 
 
A native of Detroit, Steve went to Stanford University as a National Merit Scholar before moving to NYC, where he shot independent and 'punk noir' films for directors such as Paul Morrissey, Scott and Beth B, and (additional photography for) Alex Cox. 
 
Eventually relocating to Los Angeles, Steve shot A Nightmare on Elm Street 4 for director Renny Harlin, one of the first films to use the Hong-Kong action style in the U.S. He continued making independents with directors such as Paul Bartel, doing Scenes from the Class Struggle in Beverly Hills. 
 
Expanding into studio features and television, he worked with director Bryan Singer on the pilot of Football Wives; shot all  episodes of Kingpin, the groundbreaking NBC series about the Mexican drug trade; MOW’s & mini-series for the major networks, and dramas for Hallmark Hall of Fame. 
 
In the upcoming Days of Wrath, starring Lawrence Fishburne and Wilmer Valderama, Steven captured a tragic vision of the racism behind a brutal Los Angeles gang war. 
 
His music videos include work with Dr. Dre, Fab Five Freddy, Queen Latifah, David Lee Roth, F. Gary Grey, Tim McGraw and Snoop Dogg. He has done Draco's concert DVD and other number one videos Dancing in the Rain and Lie Without a Lover; as well as Addy winning commercials.
 
He has taught Visual Storytelling and other workshops for more than a decade at Maine Media Workshops, as well as classes at NYU and AFI.

 

Brief Interviews with ASC Members:

http://www.theasc.com/ac_magazine/July2006/ASCClose-Up/page1.php