Refine methods, technologies, and aesthetics with a Master Director of Photography.

Photo taken by: Danni ScullyA film director relies on the director of photography to help create a specific look appropriate to the story. Award-winning cinematographers discuss their work, and share the many challenges they faced in achieving "the look." The relationship between the director of photography, the director, and other creative personnel during preproduction and production is addressed and discussed at length. The class explores the camera's role in the filmmaking process: formats, aspect ratios, lenses and the impact of digital technology. Through screenings, demonstrations, and discussions on technology and processes, the class covers the use of lighting, art direction, scene coverage and planning for special effects. The class screens and analyzes scenes from influential films from mainstream and independent cinema. The theory and motivation behind specific aesthetics, scene coverage, lighting, lens selection and camera movement are explored.

This is an opportunity to work with and get to know other creative professionals in a relaxed and informal setting. The pace is less intensive than in other workshops, with more time devoted to discussion of careers and industry trends. Students may bring a professional reel to share with the class and receive feedback. Admission to this class is competitive and is based on a résumé and professional reel.


"I learned more in one week about film lighting than I did in an entire year of film class in college."
- Scott Auerbach, Atlanta, GA

"This is where the great DPs meet and we all learn from the best."
- Wei Zhou, Mountain View, CA

"This class changed my perspective about film and brought the impossible closer to reality."
- Paul Patton, Wilmington, DE

"I've been coming here since 2002 and am always impressed with the instructors' knowledge, experience, and their willingness to share."
- Jack Chavez, San Jose, CA


Rodney Taylor, ASC

Cinematographer Rodney Taylor, ASC has just wrapped season two of Getting On, the HBO medical comedy based on the British series of the same name. The season premieres on Nov. 9.

His recent feature credits include Supremacy with director Deon Taylor. The drama stars Danny Glover, Joe Anderson and Anson Mount in a story about a paroled white supremacist and his girlfriend who take an African American family hostage. He also lensed Holbrook/Twain: An American Odyssey, a documentary starring Hal Holbrook, Emile Hirsh, Sean Penn and Martin Sheen. Both films premiered at the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival.

Taylor photographed Michael Kristoff’s Live at the Foxes Den starring Jackson Rathbone and That Evening Sun starring Mia Wasikowska and Hal Holbrook. Joe Leydon of Variety praised Taylor’s handsome photography on the film: “‘That Evening Sun’ benefits greatly from the eloquent widescreen lensing of Rodney Taylor – noteworthy for its muted color schemes and meticulously balanced compositions.”

Other features Taylor has shot include: Save Me, which premiered at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival; the powerful film Swimmers, which received acclaim as an official selection of the 2005 Sundance Film Festival and won the Grand Jury Prize for Best New American Film at the Seattle Film Festival; and Grind, where Taylor was chosen for the International Cinematographers Guild Film Showcase in 1999 for his work on the 35mm short film.

Taylor is known for his IMAX cinematography, with films including: Wired to Win, a film about the Tour de France; the Academy Award nominated Alaska: Spirit of the Wild; and Ride Around the World, an international cowboy film.  In 2003 Taylor received the Kodak Vision Award for his excellence and versatility in the IMAX format.

He has photographed extensively in Tanzania, Ethiopia, Kenya, Japan, Alaska, Australia, Argentina, Chile, Russia, Taiwan and France, as well as in a plethora of state-side locations from New York City to Knoxville, Tennessee.

Born and raised in a small fishing village on the coast of North Carolina, Taylor became interested in cinematography after looking through the viewfinder of a camera during a television production class in college. Beginning his career by shooting live sports for ESPN, ABC and TBS, Taylor then moved to Los Angeles where he began working on feature films, television and documentaries.

Taylor currently lives in Pacific Palisades, California and is represented worldwide by Dattner Dispoto and Associates.



Course Dates

Oct 26 to Nov 1




Class Size