Dates:  TBD
Levels:  All
Workshop Fee:  TBD
Class Size: 12

This fully immersive program provides students the knowledge, tools, and experience, essential to becoming a working professional in the film industry.

Unlike any other film program you’ll find, our Cinematography Intensive is a customizable curriculum, that exposes you to fundamental film theory, top-tier industry equipment, and the tools and knowledge to prepare you to start working in the field, or get to the next level in your career.

In a sequence of workshops, you’ll learn from a different accomplished, industry professional each week. You’ll be guided by an advisor throughout to help you get the most out of every course, and integrate what you’re learning week to week, as well as accumulate content for your professional portfolio or demo reel. You’ll learn hands-on with top gear from ARRI, Panavision, RED, Blackmagic, Panasonic, and more. You’ll make valuable professional connections, and gain meaningful and extensive experience in every aspect of cinematography, the camera, and visual storytelling. 

The Intensive is offered once in the Summer, and again in the Fall.


“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)

2019 Course Dates will be published soon

Past Courses have included:

Basic Lighting and Grip

In the first week of the intensive, students are 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 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

This workshop covers 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 crew, including Director of Photography, Camera Operator, and Camera Assistant, and their relationships to one another in production.

Camera in Action

Following up on the theory and techniques practiced in "The Art of Cinematography", this course will be exercise-based, and afford students ample opportunity to practice camera operation and movement with various camera support systems. Students will more fully explore the roles in the camera department and practice operating handheld and on camera support systems. They will become well-versed in pulling focus, building and operating dollies as well as the use of hand-held rigs and 3-axis gimbals. An emphasis will be placed on the motivation for the use of each piece of camera support.

Location Lighting

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.

The Camera and Visual Storytelling

Students learn the language and grammar of shot design, composition, camera placement and movement. The subtle differences in visual styles and their effects on the viewer are addressed through exercises and screenings. Films will be screened and analyzed in the context of how a D.P. has approached their shot design. This course will be heavily project-based. Students will pair up and collaborate on final, short, cinematic pieces that will be the primary focus of the week following the initial lectures.

Nonfiction Cinematography with Zach Zamboni

In the 6th week of the intensive the focus will be on Nonfiction camera work. Through lectures and extensive hands-on production, students will explore the techniques of reality, classic documentary, and multi-camera narrative production, 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 will learn to shoot on their toes and protect each others' backs, as they confront the ever-changing scenarios that non-fiction shooters face in the real world.

The Steadicam Workshop with 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.

Feature Film Lighting with Mo Flam

Explore advanced, dramatic lighting techniques used in feature films. Through lectures, screenings, and discussions led by an acclaimed 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.

Advanced Cinematography

In the 9th week of the curriculum, students shoot a 1-2 minute visually-focused, portfolio-quality piece on a high end camera, (Typically RED, Varicam, or Alexa). With the guidance of a seasoned D.P. and a professional Digital Imaging technician, they will learn advanced data wrangling, post workflow and color grading. 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 Final week of the intensive will be a master class in cinematography. Award-winning DoPs 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 mentorship and discussion of career paths and industry trends. Potential faculty include: Roger Deakins, Russell Carpenter, Daniel Pearl, Amy Vincent, and Roberto Schaefer

Additional workshops available:

Students may customize their intensive by supplementing workshops for concurrently running courses, and/or adding valuable Pre-Requisite or Follow-Up Master Classes. Listed below are several courses that may be of particular interest to cinematography students looking to branch out from the Core Curriculum.

Directing Actors for the Camera

This course is a practical laboratory for those who want to explore the process of directing both actors and camera. Throughout the week, students cast and rehearse scenes using a team of professional actors, work out blocking and camera moves, inspire performances from all involved, and create necessary shot coverage to tell the story. The class will be valuable for cinematographers who want to further explore the relationship between camera and performance.

Documentary Camera

This one-week course is for emerging and professional documentary filmmakers and cinematographers who want to explore the technical and creative role that the camera plays in documentary production. Through screenings, analysis of documentaries, examination of camera style, and a close look at technical and storytelling solutions, students will become experts at defining what makes a convincing documentary.

DaVinci Resolve with David Martinez

This workshop is an introduction to digital color correction and grading using DaVinci Resolve. Utilizing a workshop atmosphere in combination with lectures, demonstrations and projects, students gain a technical understanding of the art and craft of color correction and grading, as used in professional filmmaking. The course covers full workflow, from initial Resolve setup and color theory, to node structures and delivery.  Students learn the tools and nuances of color matching and how to fully utilize this software to take projects to new levels with graded looks.

Outdoor Cinematography with Mauricio Handler

Document Maine’s natural scenery including coastal landscapes, forests, mountains and rivers using Canon and RED cameras. Learn the digital cinematography workflow, and field techniques to produce beautiful motion sequences using sliders, 3 axis time-lapse tracks, dollies, jibs and more!

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

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