Film Cinematographer Fundamentals - The Academy of Film, Fashion & Design

Film Cinematographer Fundamentals

Do you have a passion for filming and capturing unique images on camera?
Do your pictures tell a story?
Do you see life and beauty in things that many don’t see?
Do you watch movies and think that scene could have looked so much better?
Are you looking for an exciting career that will have you traveling to exotic locations?
Learn to look at films through the eye of the lens, not the eye of the viewer
Do you have a knack for bringing life and emotion into film and images?

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Course Information

The greatest script, the best actors, a well-financed film still needs a talented cinematographer who can capture the emotion visually through the camera and bring the film to life!

Cinematographers understand how to create a story from start to finish.

During this course, you will learn:

  • What is a Director of Photography?
  • Overview of position and responsibilities
  • How DP responsibilities can change from job to job
  • Understanding your relationship with producers and directors
  • Common misconceptions
  • Differences in Digital Cinema Cameras: Benefits and Drawbacks to each
  • Choosing the right Camera
  • Working in HD or 4K
  • What is a lens?
  • “Cine” lenses and “Still” lenses- Whats the Difference?
  • How to choose the right lens for your shot
  • Focus- what you should know
  • What is parfocal?
  • What is framing?
  • Basic framing- Rule of Thirds
  • Three basic shots: Wide, Medium, Close up
  • Lenses and Framing- How a lens can illustrate emotion
  • How to frame interviews
  • How to frame dialogue
  • “Breaking the Line” What is this and why is this important?
  • Shooting for the edit
  • Lighting: How to light the scene
  • My philosophy to lighting (a lifelong pursuit of learning)
  • Tungsten and Daylight
  • Fresnel, open-face & soft lights
  • LED and HMIs
  • Three point lighting
  • Adding a Fill light
  • Talking to the Director- what’s the shot?
  • Identifying problem spots
  • Finesse the scene
  • The essential skill: Shooting an interior interview
  • Understanding depth
  • Real time lighting transitions- i.e. not understanding the edit
  • Using foreground

And much more!

Meet our expert

  • Matt Wightman

    Matt Wightman is a Florida based Director of Photography with more than 15 years experience working on commercials, feature films, and television programs.
    He graduated from Full Sail University in 2001 with a degree in Motion Picture and Television Production. Matt spent almost 7 years at Home Shopping Networkworking his way up the ranks to Director of Photography. He worked with celebrities such as Serena Williams, Bob Villa, Fran Dresher, Tori Spelling and more. In 2009 Matt began his freelance career where he continued to work on commercials as well as sports and entertainment programming. He has lensed shows for Discovery I.D, Fox Sports, TvONE, Fox Business Network as well as Commercials for clients such as Humira, Gatorade, and Samsung.
    Matt Lives in west central florida with his wife Giselle and their two dogs Booger and Olive. Reel:

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