Explore the camera’s unique and pivotal role in nonfiction storytelling.

Jul 8, 2024 - Jul 12, 2024
Oct 14, 2024 - Oct 18, 2024

Levels: Beginner, Intermediate,
Workshop Fee: $1695
Workshop Duration: 1-week (Monday-Friday)
Workshop Location: On-campus
Class Size: 14

This one-week course is for emerging documentary filmmakers and cinematographers who want to explore the technical and creative role that the camera plays in documentary production.

Through lectures and hands-on production, students will learn the best camera techniques for documentary work in order to deepen their mental and physical understanding of scene coverage. We will explore shot design, camera movement, and point-of-view. Students will also gain insight into the working relationship between the Director of Photography, the Director, their crew, their environment, and most importantly, their subjects.

You’ll work alone and with a variety of teams using custom handheld rigs.

The mornings are spent in the classroom for discussion, critiques, and screenings. The afternoons are dedicated to research and fieldwork as the students find and shoot a short documentary and gain practical experience handling the camera in a variety of situations. Scenes are edited for review and critique.

The agenda will challenge students technically and creatively as filmmakers, and be a fertile place to examine their critical thinking, decisive action, and instincts.

Please note: An hour-long training session on Set Etiquette and Safety will be required of anyone registered for a workshop that involves production. Students only need to participate in this session once during their time on campus.

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Vanessa Carr headshot

Instructor: Vanessa Carr (Teaching Jul 8-12, 2024 - Register here)

Vanessa Carr is a documentary cinematographer known for her work shooting sensitive, character-driven stories and cinematic vérité films. With over a decade of experience, she has shot six documentary features, three documentary series, and contributed to countless others. Her work has been featured on every major platform including Netflix, HBO, Hulu, Showtime, PBS, Disney+, CNN, Discovery+, FX and more. It has also screened in major festivals including IDFA, Sundance, SXSW, Tribeca, and TIFF. Vanessa was a 2023 DOCNYC 40 Under 40 honoree. She is a founding member of the Documentary Cinematographers Alliance and holds a master’s degree from the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.

Jeremy Leach, cinematographer - Profile Picture

Instructor: Jeremy Leach (Teaching Oct 14-18, 2024 - Register here)

Emmy-winning cinematographer Jeremy Leach has worked as a visual storyteller for 25 years, exploring and documenting the human experience from the hollers of West Virginia to fishing villages in Japan to potato farms nestled on the slopes of the Peruvian Andes. He has spent the last 18 years primarily as a freelance director of photography, working mostly on independent documentaries, documentary series for streaming platforms and, most notably, with Anthony Bourdain on his award-winning travel and food documentary series, “No Reservations” and, later, “Parts Unknown". In 2014, he wrote, directed, produced, shot, scored, and edited a full length feature film with acclaimed photographer and fellow filmmaker, Wendy Snyder MacNeil. “When The Ice Goes Out” premiered at Toronto's Ryerson Image Centre as part of an exhibit honoring MacNeil's life and legacy as a vanguard female photographer and filmmaker.