Overcome the technical and creative challenges of location shoots by using a variety of lighting setups.

Mark DawsonFilmmakers often shoot in practical locations which can offer great production value, especially for independent productions that may not have the resources for building large studio sets. But location shoots also pose unique technical and creative challenges. This hands-on workshop is for gaffers, cinematographers, and videographers with previous experience who wish to learn techniques for a variety of lighting setups.

Students work with HMI, tungsten, and fluorescent fixtures for day and night interiors; use lighting and grip equipment to supplement and shape available light for day exteriors; and light night exterior scenes. Students use light meters to help determine exposure, learn about color temperature and the use of gels to correct and balance color, and learn the characteristics of different lighting fixtures and the use of diffusion gels.

The class works in the Sound Stage and travels to residential and commercial locations for tech scouts, determines power requirements and light placement per a director of photography’s shot design and executes the lighting plan. Students work collaboratively, alternating in the roles of DP, gaffer, key grip, best boy grip and electric, and company grip and electric crew. Students learn the procedures for using house power and small portable generators. Safe handling of electrical distribution is emphasized. Exercises are shot on digital video and critiqued in class. 

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



"This was the best thing I could have done"
- Raymond Zaparon, Pittsburgh, PA

"It was a really good class. I definitely came out with a lot more knowledge than I came in with."
- Jeremy Zier, San Antonio, TX

"Very good learning experience, in a lot of different lighting setups."
- Andrea Angelini, Acro, Italy

"I don't know how you do it, but you consistently make the experience better each year"
- Jim MacFadden, Staten Island, NY


Daniel Stephens

Daniel Stephens studied filmmaking in the early 1990’s at Loyola University (New Orleans) and the University of South Florida. Subsequently he decided that the best place to apply his storytelling skills was the booming new internet security industry that blossomed in the mid 1990’s. Eight years later Daniel realized his mistake: filmmakers should make films, not firewalls. In 2000, Daniel left the company he co-founded to pursue his dream of filmmaking.

He has served as the Chief Lighting Technician and Director of Photography for numerous music videos, commercials, and short and feature films. He is particularly inspired by the verisimilitude of the unpredictable and feels these moments are the foundation of exceptional storytelling.

Most recently, Daniel shot the feature film Perfect Match, written and directed by the steadfast Chad Eddy, in the bustling town of Marietta, Ohio.

Daniel is currently shooting a documentary about a small, rural town in Alabama and preparing to shoot a feature film about amateur wrestling to be directed by the incomparable Anelisa Garfunkel.

When not somewhere else, Daniel resides on the beautifully lit coast of Maine where he is a partner in the film production companies Goodfocus, LLC, and General Films, as well as being a member of the faculty at Maine Media Workshops.

Course Dates

Aug 24 to Aug 30



Class Size


Sponsored By