Dates:  TBD 2021 (Stay Tuned)
Levels:  All
Workshop Fee: TBD (2020 tuition was $12,200)  | This intensive is not eligible for any promotional offers that may occur

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

NOTE: In 2021 there will also be Online iterations of the Cinematography Intensive in the form of Master Class lecture Series’, featuring DP’s from the highest levels of film and TV.  2020 Online faculty included Matthew Libatique ASC (BLACK SWAN, REQUIEM FOR A DREAM, A STAR IS BORN), Rodrigo Prieto ASC (THE WOLF OF WALL STREET, THE IRISHMAN, BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN), Rachel Morrison ASC (BLACK PANTHER, FRUITVALE STATION, MUDBOUND), Steve Yedlin ASC (KNIVES OUT, STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI), Uta Briesewitz ASC, DGA (THE WIRE, STRANGER THINGS, WESTWORLD), and many others. 

Stay Tuned for Dates for both the online and in-person Cinematography Intensives in 2021! 

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 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)

The Courses (2020):


The Art of Cinematography | Natalie Kingston

The first workshop in the intensive 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.

Directing Actors for the Camera | Geary McLeod, ASC, DGA

In the 2nd week of the intensive, cinematography students are afforded the valuable experience of working intimately with actors and directors, and are challenged to utilize their skills learned in week one in a practical setting. This course merges with the concurrently-running Directing Track, and students get the opportunity to work with emerging directors and explore the crucial relationship between the two roles. Led by an industry professional with extensive experience in both directing and cinematography, students learn to block, rehearse, and direct a team of professional actors in a short dramatic scene. They focus on exploring ways in which the camera and the shot design can be implemented to most effectively tell the story and convey the emotion of the moment. The goal is to explore the directorial and collaborative processes and the techniques needed to allow the director to cultivate convincing performances from their cast, while also fulfilling the cinematographer's artistic vision, and executing the necessary mechanics of the shot.

Set & Location Lighting | Michael Mayers

In Week 3, students are immersed in the world of lighting and grip on a film production, and they learn to address the technical and creative challenges of shooting on location. They will learn lighting practices and techniques, as used in industry production, and gain valuable experience creating a wide variety of unique lighting setups. They will become familiarized with the wide array of lighting systems and fixtures, as well as the plethora of grip gear used on any film set to shape and control light. Proper and safe handling of gear and power distribution will be taught and emphasized.

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 | Steven Fierberg, ASC

In the 5th 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. Students will work with a distinguished cinematographer as their instructor. 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, once again merging with the directing intensive, 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.

Creative Lighting Design for Film & TV

This course will be an immersion into advanced lighting design. Students will explore a wide range of lighting techniques used in feature films, commercials, and episodic television. Through lectures and discussions led by an industry cinematographer, the class covers the importance of lighting design in visual storytelling, and the processes and industry practices used to execute a wide range of complex lighting set-ups. Students will learn how to scout a location and plan lighting requirements for a shoot and will practice working as a crew, and rotate the roles of DP, gaffer, G&E, and more, to light a variety of interior and exterior scenes, in studio and on-location, as well as car interiors, day and night street scenes, and dramatic scenes with actors. The scenes will vary in mood, feel, and genre, challenging students to think about the nuances of how they light their subjects and achieve their desired aesthetic. Review and critique of dailies will discuss how all of the techniques practiced throughout the week, should ultimately work to support the story.

Making the Portfolio Film (Thesis Week)

Week 7 will be the capstone production course for the intensive. This course will be all about creating your film. Under the guidance of a distinguished cinematographer, students will shoot a portfolio-ready, final thesis with the support of their peers and MMW Staff; TA's, editors, and film technical department. Projects will be critiqued by the instructor during their various stages, and following editing, will screen at the final Friday showcase. This class is reserved for 8-Week Cinematography Intensive students only.

Cinematography Master Class | Igor Martinović

The final week of the intensive will be a direct look into a master's process. In this theory-based class, you’ll spend the week with an Award-winning cinematographer, who will discuss their work, and share the many challenges and successes they have experienced in achieving those looks. There will be screenings, demonstrations, and discussions. Scenes from influential mainstream and independent films are screened and analyzed. The theory and motivation behind specific aesthetics, scene coverage, lighting, lens selection, and camera movement are explored. As this workshop is held the same week that a master director will also be teaching on campus, the classes will come together for part of the week so that students can get an intimate view of how a director of photography and a director collaborate in preparing and shooting a scene. This is an opportunity to work with, and get to know other creative professionals in an informal setting. Students may bring a professional reel to share with the class and receive feedback. There will be time to discuss industry trends, and the instructor will be present to answer questions, and give advice on career pathways for aspiring cinematographers.

Additional Workshops Available:

In addition to the program’s Primary Workshops, students are offered the option to supplement workshops for concurrently running courses, and/or add discounted pre-requisites or follow-up courses to their intensive. Listed below are several courses that may be of particular interest to cinematography students looking to branch out from, or add on to the Core Curriculum.

Shooting & Directing Branded Content (Optional Follow-up)

Students are given the option to stay for a 9th Week (Aug 9-15) and utilize their broad new set of skills and knowledge to shoot a portfolio-quality commercial. Lead by an acclaimed director/producer, students will write scripts, plan visual approaches, cast actors, scout locations, and shoot branded shorts. They will work with an editor on their final cuts, which will screen at the final Friday Night Showcase of student work. This week will afford students the opportunity to use what they've learned in the preceding weeks in a practical, real-world environment, and to demonstrate the skill sets they've acquired during the program, that will help them get to the next level in their career.

Documentary Camera | David Wright

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, led by an EMMY and BAFTA award winning cinematographer, students will become experts at defining what makes a convincing documentary.

Documentary Camera 2020 falls on the Week of Jun 28th (Running concurrently to the 3rd Week of the Intensive)

Davinci Resolve

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.

Davinci Resolve 2020 Summer Session, falls on the Week of Jul 5th (Running concurrently to the 4th Week of the Intensive)

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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