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

There are no available registration dates at this time.

NOTE: 2020 DATES FOR THIS COURSE HAVE BEEN POSTPONED DUE TO COVID-19. Many courses have been Moved to an online format. VIEW THOSE OFFERINGS HERE 

Camera position, movement, point-of-view, lens selection, and scene coverage are all critical elements in telling effective visual stories. This one-week workshop is for cinematographers and emerging filmmakers who want to focus on the use of 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 exercises and screenings. Films will be analyzed in the context of how various DPs may approach their shot design.

Classroom lectures cover film dynamics, screen direction, and the role of the camera in the story being told. Students work with scripts as they break down scenes, plan coverage, and prepare storyboards and shot lists. Working as a professional camera crew, the class blocks and shoots dramatic sequences with actors. Dailies are assembled in editing to help the students discover where their coverage is working most effectively. In the latter half of the week, directors and cinematographers come together to create final pieces. Students leave with a working knowledge of scene design and a full understanding of the role the camera plays in the filmmaking process, and its potential for being the driving force behind emotionally impactful stories.

In addition to being offered on an individual basis, this workshop is also part of both the 8 Week Cinematography Intensives, and the 8 Week Directing Intensive.


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

– JC Chandler, Maryland Heights, MO

“The Workshops is a unique and wonderful place, the experience of learning here feels so natural you don’t even know its happening.”

– Ed Ballinger, Allentown, PA

“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


Image Credits:  Alexis Ostrander, Matt Dixson, David Martinez

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Instructor: Steven Fierberg, ASC

Steven Fierberg, ASC, is an award-winning cinematographer and director, receiving an ASC Award for Best Cinematography and a Latin Grammy.

In 2019, he completed shooting the Golden Globe-winning series The Affair, directing two episodes. He did additional photography on Patty Jenson’s upcoming Wonder Woman 1984 and shot the first season of Darren Star’s new series, Emily in Paris.

A native of Detroit, Fierberg escaped to Stanford University as a National Merit Scholar. He spent his senior year in England in an exchange program with Oxford, studying British drama, film and photography. He then plunged into New York’s underworld of graffiti art and punk noir films, working with Paul Morrissey, Scott and Beth B, and Paul Bartel. At the same time, he apprenticed for Los Angeles cinematographers Adam Greenberg and Dean Cundey.

Fierberg’s movie work has ranged from studio films like Entourage and Love & Other Drugs, directed by Ed Zwick and starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway, to such micro-budget indies as Alex Cox’s Repo Chick and Sally Potter’s Rage. He shot the horror classic A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master, which had the largest August opening of any film in cinema history and introduced Hong Kong-style action filmmaking to America.