Our Cinematography Intensive is a fully immersive program that provides students with the knowledge, tools, and experience, essential to become a working professional in the film industry. Unlike any other film program you’ll find, this Intensive exposes you to fundamental film theory, top-tier industry equipment, and the tools and knowledge to prepare you to work as a professional, or get to the next level in your career.
In a sequence of workshops, you’ll spend each week focusing on a particular aspect of the art and craft of cinematography, and be guided by seasoned industry professionals with years of experience honing their craft at the highest levels of film production. You’ll make valuable professional connections, learn hands-on with industry gear, and accumulate content each week for your professional portfolio or demo reel.
Students will leave the program having gained meaningful and extensive experience in all aspects of cinematography, the camera, and visual storytelling.
The Intensive is offered once in the Fall (10 Week Program), and once in the Summer (8 Week Program).
“The industry professionals that come in are world class. You get intimate time with them to really ask questions, learn, and network with other creatives. All the while, you get hands-on time with some of the best equipment in the industry, which is unique for a small school in the middle of (beautiful) nowhere.
I will always recommend Maine Media as a great organization!”
-Rob Weidner, 2014 Alum
Camera Operator, “Black Panther”, “The Maze Runner”
Header Image: ©Seth MacMillan (Cinematography Intensive 2017)
Basic Lighting and Grip | Travis Trudell
In the Kick-off week of the intensive, students will be introduced to the basic procedures and protocols of working on a film set, and become familiar with the essential equipment used in all productions, such as lighting units and grip gear. They participate in a series of hands-on exercises, lighting and shooting a variety of interior, exterior, day and night scenes. They build and light sets within the soundstage, as well as shoot in practical locations, all while becoming familiar with each of the various roles of a film crew. Set etiquette and safety will be taught and emphasized throughout the week.
The Art of Cinematography | Leland Krane
This workshop is a comprehensive introduction the fundamental technical aspects and aesthetic considerations of the craft and process of cinematography. Students explore the camera as a tool, and the theory of cinematic storytelling. They are introduced to fundamental concepts through lectures and demonstrations. They explore the theory and use of exposure, lens selection, frame rate, shutter angle, depth-of-field and composition. Through hands-on exercises in-studio and on location, led by a career cinematographer, participants get their feet wet shooting with digital cinema cameras and DSLRs, as well as with various lenses, filtration, and lighting units. The dynamics of working as a crew are explored, and students are introduced to the primary roles and responsibilities of each member of a camera team, including Director of Photography, Camera Operator, and Camera Assistant, and their relationships to one another in production.
Camera in Action
Week 3 of the Track will be project and exercise-based and operator-intensive. Students will become well-versed in shooting handheld, as well as with various camera support systems such as dollies and 3-Axis gimbals. In this course, students will participate in a variety of exercises and be tasked to execute a series of camera moves both handheld and on support, in an array of practical scenarios. Each exercise will challenge students in executing the physical and ergonomic aspects of the shot while composing a strong frame. Students will then shoot original or adapted scenes, and explore the roles and crew positions needed to execute camera moves and lighting set-ups. They will design storyboards and shot lists and keep a consistent visual style in composition, lensing, movement, rhythm and pace. They will learn how to best communicate with their crew to achieve their vision. Work will be edited in conjunction with MMW's Post Production staff, and critiqued in class. An emphasis will be placed throughout the week on the motivation for camera movement.
Location Lighting | Bill Holshevnikoff
Bringing a film shoot into a real-world setting has many advantages, especially for independent productions that may not have the resources to always use large studio sets. Learn to address the technical and creative challenges, and take advantage of the benefits and possibilities of shooting on location. Learn practices and techniques, as used in industry production, and gain valuable experience creating a wide variety of unique lighting setups.
Nonfiction Cinematography | Zach Zamboni
Through lectures and extensive hands-on production, students will explore the techniques of reality, classic documentary, and narrative work to deepen their mental and physical understanding of scene coverage. From concept to execution, students will learn the critical elements that help ensure a successful edit. This is an operator-intensive workshop, filled with multi-camera, and single camera exercises. Students are expected to shoot on their toes and protect each others' back, as they confront ever-changing scenarios.
The Steadicam Workshop | Paul Taylor
In this unique and intense Steadicam course students learn to interpret a script in visual terms based on the director’s vision, the DP’s requirements and the editor’s needs. They will learn the “language of Steadicam” and how to properly employ it to produce riveting images that enhance the narrative. Students gain practical experience in using the equipment as they are introduced to the technical skills, set etiquette and the aesthetic vision required to become a professional Steadicam operator.
The Camera and Visual Storytelling
In the 7th Week of the intensive, the focus will be on the cinematic language and grammar of shot design, composition, camera placement, and movement, and how these techniques are employed to tell effective and emotional stories. The subtle differences in visual styles and their effects on the viewer are addressed through exercises and screenings. The course will be heavily project-based, and the entire latter half of the week will be dedicated to shooting original concepts. By week's end, participants will have created a short, portfolio-quality, cinematic piece, and worked with an editor to see their vision to completion. Projects are screened at the Friday Night Showcase of student work.
Feature Film Lighting | Mo Flam
Explore advanced, dramatic lighting techniques used in feature films. Through lectures, screenings, and discussions led by a top industry Chief Lighting Technician, this class covers the importance of light in visual storytelling, and the techniques and processes to execute a wide array of complex lighting set-ups. Students use LED, HMI, tungsten, fluorescent and more, to light a variety of interior and exterior residential and commercial spaces, as well as car interiors, day and night street scenes, and dramatic scenarios with actors, using the most recent and advanced technology in feature film lighting.
In 9th week of the curriculum, students each shoot a portfolio-quality, cinematic short piece using a high-end camera, with their classmates as crew. Following lectures on advanced technical aspects and advanced storytelling theory led by a seasoned, industry DP, students focus heavily on their individual projects, and dig into shot and sequence design, scene coverage, camera movement, perspective, lens selection, and everything else they've practiced in the preceding weeks. Over the course of the week, dailies will be reviewed and rough cuts will be critiqued. Final pieces will be edited in conjunction with an MMW Staff editor and screened at the final Friday Student Showcase of Work.
Director of Photography Master Class
The culminating week of the Intensive is a theory-based Master Class. An acclaimed guest Director of Photography will discuss their work and career, and the development of their style. Scenes from influential mainstream and independent films are screened and analyzed and ample time is devoted to discussion of career paths and industry trends, giving students plenty of opportunity to gain insight from the instructor on their journey and pathways to success in the world of cinematography and the camera department.
Potential faculty include: Russell Carpenter ASC, Daniel Pearl ASC, Amy Vincent ASC, and Roberto Schaefer ASC
Please contact Registration for information on room & board fees for intensives at [email protected].
This intensive is not eligible for any promotional offers that may occur.
Image Credits: David Martinez, Hannah Drabin