Jacek was born in Warsaw, Poland. Early on he was encouraged to draw and paint. Later, given a still camera, he began taking photographs. This early visual training helped him in his studies at Polish National Film Academy in Lodz. While watching films from all over the world, he was most influenced by two: “Medium Cool” directed by Haskell Wexler, A.S.C and “The Conformist” shot by Vittorio Storaro, A.S.C, A.I.C. After graduating from the Polish National Film Academy with a degree in Cinematography, Jacek left for the United States and made his home in New York City. There, Jacek worked for 5 years for BBC TV traveling all over the U.S. His first full-length film as a cinematographer was “Far from Poland.” The film was shot over the course of a year and portrayed the birth of Solidarity. This film got him noticed by the director Bill Sherwood. “Parting Glances” was the first feature film for both director and cinematographer. The film’s budget was $300,000 and was shot in super 16mm. In 1986 “Parting Glances” was shown in competition at the Sundance Film Festival. Next year came Jacek’s first picture out of Hollywood, “Square Dance” directed by Daniel Petrie Sr., and the film opened the 1987 Sundance Film Festival. In 1989 after working in New York City with directors such as Jonathan Demme and Zbigniew Rybczynski on music videos and Saturday Night Live sketches Jacek moved to Los Angeles. By the end of that year he was asked by director Robert Altman to be the cinematographer on his film “The Caine Mutiny Court Marshal”. This film earned Jacek the 1989 American Society of Cinematographers nomination for Outstanding Cinematography. In 1996 “Garden of Redemption” a WWII drama earned Jacek his second A.S.C nomination. In 1997 Jacek co-lensed a full-length documentary “Colors Straight Up” (the film was primarily shot by his friend Theo Van de Sande, A.S.C). The film was nominated for a 1998 Academy Award. In 2000 Jacek became a member of The American Society of Cinematographers. Jacek has traveled a lot around the world shooting films in Portugal, New Zealand, Italy, Lithuania, Japan, Nepal and Canada. As the technology evolved Jacek embraced the digital media. In “Frankie and Johnny are Married”, the feature written and directed by Michael Pressman Jacek blended four different formats: HI-DEF, Mini DV, super 16mm, and 35mm film to create specific looks for various locations. Jacek continues his second passion - photography. He took part in a group shows, “Still Moving” at the gallery in Los Angeles and in 2006 “Photographs by the members of the A.S.C.” at the Academy of Motion Pictures. In April 2008 he had his first solo exhibit of his photography at the WM Gallery in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Over the course of the past five years Jacek has taught cinematography at a number of colleges including, California Institute of the Arts, The American Film Institute, and The Maine Photographic Workshops. Jacek lives in Hollywood Hills. Besides cinematography and photography he loves to travel, ski, sail, and cooking for friends. Jacek speaks Polish, English and French and holds a EU passport.
Successful filmmakers all over the world consider lighting to be a primary tool in visual storytelling.
This is the most advanced lighting workshop for cinematographers, gaffers and freelance filmmakers who want to explore dramatic lighting techniques for feature films. Through lectures, screenings, and discussions, this class covers the importance of light in visual storytelling. Through hands-on exercises, the class tackles challenging lighting situations with a goal of achieving a specific visual aesthetic.
Students tackle creative and technical challenges of cinematography, learn how to scout a location, plan lighting requirements of a scene and how to work collaboratively as a film crew. Students light scenes with HMI, tungsten and fluorescent lights and use grip equipment to "shape the light" in a series of exercises. Students light a variety of interior and exterior residential and commercial spaces, car interiors, day and night street scenes, and dramatic situations with actors.
All exercises are analyzed and critiqued the following morning.
"Looking forward to returning next summer!"
- Ellen Phillips, Chicago, IL
"Having the hands-on approach was vital to my learning experience."
- Bobby Marko, Nashville, TN
"The teaching staff exceeded my expectations."
- Dave McGrath, New York, NY
"It's been a great experience, I learned a ton and can't wait for the next opportunity to come back."
- Brian Williams, Nashville, TN
Workshop sponsored by:
Jacek Laskus, ASC
Mo Flam has been working as a Chief Lighting Technician on feature films for over 30 years. His interest in film started by making Super 8 surfing movies and environmental documentaries which led him to graduate school at Columbia University School of the Arts, where he earned an MFA in Film Studies.
Through the years Mo had the privilege of working with many great cinematographers, including John Seale, Michael Ballhaus, Haskell Wexler, John Toll, Tom Sigel, Peter Suchitzky and Mattie Libatique to name just a few, allowing him to practice lighting with the best in the business. Mo has done ten pictures with Academy Award winning Cinematographer John Seale, including The English Patient and 4 other Anthony Minghella films.
Mo has been an early adopter and advocate of new lighting technology, including Kino Flos, Chimeras and currently LED lights.
Mo has also been the DP on a feature, shorts and commercials. For more information, please visit his IMDB page.