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 was born and raised in a small fishing village on the coast of North Carolina. While attending The University of North Carolina, he became interested in cinematography after looking through the viewfinder of a camera during a Television Production class. He began his career shooting live sports for ESPN, ABC and TBS. He moved to Los Angeles 20 years ago and began working on feature films, IMAX films and documentaries. His recent feature film projects are the recently released That Evening Sun, starring Hal Holbrook, and Save Me, which premiered at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival. In 2004, Taylor shot the quiet but powerful film Swimmers, which received acclaim as an official selection at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival, and won the Grand Jury Prize for Best New American Film at the Seattle Film Festival. In 1999, Taylor was chosen for the International Cinematographers Guild Film Showcase for his work on the 35mm short film Grind.

Taylor has been the cinematographer on numerous IMAX films including: Wired to Win, a film about the Tour de France; the Academy Award nominated Alaska: Spirit of the Wild; Ride Around the World, an international cowboy film; and Michael Jordan to the Max. 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, France, and many other countries. Taylor currently lives with his daughters Chloe and Maya in Venice, California. He is a member of the American Society of Cinematographers.


Course Dates

Oct 26 to Nov 1




Class Size