Learn and practice the fundamental techniques of scene coverage and camera movement

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NOTE: 2020 DATES FOR THIS COURSE HAVE BEEN POSTPONED DUE TO COVID-19. Many courses have been Moved to an online format. VIEW THOSE OFFERINGS HERE 

This course is for emerging cinematographers and filmmakers looking to immerse themselves in the fundamentals of camera operation and movement. Through a mixture of lectures, demonstrations, and hands-on exercises, students explore the fundamental skills of a camera operator and camera assistant, as well as a Steadicam Operator. Exercises break down the best practical use of camera support systems for studio productions, as well as the use of hand-held rigs, Steadicams, and 3-axis gimbals. An emphasis will be placed on the motivation for the use of each piece of camera support.

Following initial lectures and demonstrations, students will participate in a series of exercises in scene coverage, composition, focus pulling, and blocking actors. Led by a career cinematographer, the class will break into groups and rotate roles in their camera crews. Camera Assistants will practice “building” the camera and its many peripherals, pulling focus in a variety of scenarios, slating, and setting marks for actors. Operators will be tasked to achieve the camera movements both handheld and on support systems. They’ll experience the challenge of executing the physical and ergonomic aspects of the shot while composing a strong frame.


Dailies will be reviewed in class for critiques. Exercises and scenes will be edited to analyze the effectiveness of scene coverage and the consistency in visual styles. By week’s end students will feel comfortable with industry standard production procedures as they pertain to the camera department, and the various operating jobs on a production, and will have been afforded the opportunity to foster interest in the various roles available to them.

For those interested in a week-long course focusing solely on Steadicam operating, consider also taking The Steadicam Workshop, with Paul Taylor, that directly precedes this class.

Image Credits: David Martinez, Christian Randolph

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Instructor: Paul Taylor

Paul Taylor works out of Los Angeles and has been teaching Steadicam workshops for the better part of his 25+ years in the motion picture and television industry. In addition to Steadicam operating his career path includes working as an award-winning editor, director of photography and 3D stereographer. His multi faceted entertainment industry background has given him the tools to create dynamic courses focusing on the art of the moving camera. The unique teaching methods he developed and the comprehensive production information he shares have proved invaluable to the careers of countless camera operators and filmmakers.