Learn the cinematic language of shot design and composition to tell effective and emotional stories.

There are no available registration dates at this time.

The class will meet Weekly on Mondays from 6:30-9:30pm EDT
This class will be held online using the Zoom Platform

This course will heavily focus on the visualization the director and the cinematographer share. From the moment of reading the script, what is the process of developing the visual language and style of the movie to follow? How should you best develop your thoughts and ideas?

Creating the visual storytelling from first read to final color.

Topics covered include:

  • Analysis of the script
  • The director’s and cinematographer’s visual preparation
  • Revealing meaning and theme in your visual storytelling
  • Visual References: History of visual storytelling in one hour
  • Communication between director and cinematographer
  • Testing in preparation
  • Staging as a part of shot design
  • Lens choice
  • Point of View
  • Eyelines
  • Composition
  • Every factor that goes into the final ‘look’ and how to develop and communicate this.

Camera position, movement, point-of-view, lens selection, and scene coverage are all critical elements in telling effective visual stories. This four-week online workshop is for cinematographers and emerging filmmakers who want to focus on the use of the camera in cinematic storytelling. 

Students learn the language and grammar of shot design, composition, camera placement, and movement. The subtle differences in camera operating styles and their effects on the viewer are addressed through lectures and screenings. Films will be analyzed in the context of how various DPs may approach their shot design.

Live, online lectures cover film dynamics, screen direction, and the role of the camera in the story being told.


“You won’t regret your investment in this great class. This is the class that will teach you the grammar of film.”

– Wei Zhou, Mountain View, CA

“It was the best workshop I attended this summer. It alters the way you look at films.”

– Shirsha Thakurta, Mumbai, India

“My experience here has reawakened my creativity and passion to make my movie.”

– JC Chandler, Maryland Heights, MO


Image Credits:  Alexis Ostrander, Matt Dixson

Share This

Instructor: Steven Fierberg, ASC

Steven Fierberg is an award-winning cinematographer, receiving an ASC Award for best cinematography and a Latin Grammy. In 2020, he shot the premiere season of Darren Star’s hit series, Emily in Paris (Golden Globe nom for Best Comedy), and completed shooting the fifth season of The Affair (Golden Globe winner for Best Drama). In addition to all five seasons of The Affair, Steve created the look and shot much of HBO’s Entourage series (5 Golden Globe noms for Best Comedy), the pilot for ABC’s hit Once Upon a Time and NBC’s cutting edge cult classic Kingpin. He shot pilots for Bryan Singer, Darren Star, Jason Moore and Sanaa Hamri. His work on the epic mini-series Attila won him the ASC award for Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography. His feature cinematography has ranged from studio movies like Aspen Extreme, Entourage, Ed Zwick’s Love and Other Drugs featuring Anne Hathaway and Jake Gyllenhaal, to micro budget indy films such as Alex Cox’s Repo Chick. His favorite work includes Joel Schumacher’s poignant Twelve and Steven Shainberg's provocative Secretary, which won a Special Jury Prize for Originality from the Sundance Festival before ‘inspiring’ 50 Shades of Grey. He worked with Baz Luhrmann on additional photography for the transcendent Moulin Rouge! and Sally Potter for Rage. Alex Cox’s existential road movie, Searchers 2.0, premiered at the Venice and AFI film festivals, winning an ovation for the cinematography. The Hollywood Reporter singled out “stunning visuals captured to mesmeric effect by cinematographer Steven Fierberg.” A native of Detroit, Steve escaped to Stanford University as a National Merit Scholar. His senior year was spent in a joint program with Oxford University in England studying British drama and film. He then plunged into the New York underworld of graffiti art and ‘Punk Noir’ films, beginning his career in filmmaking as a cinematographer. He worked with Andy Warhol director Paul Morrissey, Scott and Beth B, Paul Bartel and Alex Cox. At the same time, he apprenticed on feature films in Los Angeles for D.P.’s Adam Greenberg and Dean Cundey. Fierberg’s keen eye helped the launch the careers of many first-time directors, including Renny Harlin on A Nightmare on Elm Street 4, Dream Master, which had the largest August opening of any film in cinema history and introduced the John Woo/Hong Kong-style of action filmmaking to the U.S. Steven also shoots commercials and music videos, winning the Latin Grammy for Best Music Video of the Year for Robi 'Draco' Rosa's Mas Y Mas. He’s worked with Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Easy E, Latifah, Fab Five Freddy, David Lee Roth, F. Gary Grey, Kid Cudi, and Tim McGraw. He is a vice-president of the American Society of Cinematographers and member of the Motion Picture Academy. In between projects, he teaches guest classes at AFI, NYU, USC, UCLA and the Maine Media Workshops.