The Intensive is offered once in the Summer (8 Week Program), and again in the Fall (10 Week Program).
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 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 | Michael Goi
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.
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. 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 Camera and Visual Storytelling | Steven Fierberg, ASC
In the 4th 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, 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.
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.
Camera in Action
Week 6 of the Track will be operator-intensive. In Film and Television production it is important to have experience working in the camera department and to be 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 the scenarios of both fiction and non-fiction cinematography. The role of the camera assistant will also be fully explored and practiced, and students will be challenged to build advanced rigs, and pull focus in a variety of challenging shooting scenarios. Each exercise will challenge students in executing the physical and ergonomic aspects of the shot while composing a strong frame. An emphasis will be placed throughout the week on the motivation for camera movement.
Creative Lighting Design for Film & TV
The 7th Week of the intensive 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.
Advanced Cinematography | Frank Barerra
In the program's culminating week, 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 7 weeks. Over the course of the week, dailies will be reviewed and rough cuts will be critiqued. Students will also have the opportunity to gain insight from the instructor on the many career paths and trends in the world of cinematography and the camera department. Final pieces will be edited in conjunction with an MMW Staff editor and screened at the final Friday Student Showcase of Work.
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 the Core Curriculum.
Basic Lighting and Grip | Travis Trudell (Optional Pre-Requisite)
This course is a recommended pre-requisite for students looking for strong foundational training in set etiquette and procedure. In this course 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. **This course will be slightly discounted for cine-intensive students.
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, students will become experts at defining what makes a convincing documentary. Documentary Camera 2019 falls on the Week of Jun 30th (Runs concurrently to the 3rd Week of the Intensive)
DaVinci Resolve | 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. Davinci Resolve 2019 falls on the Week of Jun 30th (Also runs concurrently to the 3rd Week of the Intensive)
Shooting & Directing Branded Content | Bob Giraldi (Optional Follow-up)
Students are given the option to stay for a 9th Week 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 nine 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.
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