As cinematographers, our storytelling camera tools change on a monthly basis, and trying to keep up with all of this is a daunting task. However, the two core tools of storytelling that never change are light and composition. The art of cinematography is using these tools to work with directors and your co-collaborators to fire them up and inspire them to create engaging stories. It’s not just about getting a handle on technical expertise and the latest technology, but to be obsessed with the subtleties of light and composition so that your choices add up to something big that people will feel. It’s infusing a mood, expanding your scope, assisting in helping an actor’s performance, and making them look their very best.
I did not have a roadmap when I was starting out, so I’m really pleased to be able to share my knowledge with all of you on this blog, to educate the next wave of inspiring filmmakers.
As a working cinematographer, shooting both commercials and feature films, I haven’t had the time yet to develop a DVD series or book as many of you have requested. Hopefully, we will be able to offer that in the future. I have added some links at the bottom to other key posts on lighting and composition that we have previously published on the blog. This is just the tip of the iceberg, and many more are on the way.
I am looking forward to sharing some of my experiences in person with some of you soon. If you live near New York City or Austin, Texas, please join me at one of the following events.
November 14, Javits Convention Center, New York
Join me at the Content and Communications World Expo (CCW Expo) on Wednesday, November 14, from 2:30 to 3:30pm in Room 6. The title of my presentation is “Canon: The NEXT Chapter in Cinema EOS.” I will be discussing how HDSLR revolutionized movie making. With the immersive quality of the compact platform, combined with its large image quality, the Canon 5D Mark II allowed us to capture the intense action of Act of Valor. I’ll show examples from Act Of Valor and the 4K short, The Ticket, shot on the Canon 1D-C.
You can register for the CCW Expo at ccwexpo.com. I hope to see you there.
December 4, Alamo Drafthouse, Austin, Texas
I’m excited to be a part of Masters in Motion this year. This is a huge opportunity for you to learn from a great group of professionals including Craig Berkey, Philip Bloom, Alex Buono, Konrad Czystowski, Tatjana Green, Preston Kanak, Eric Kessler, Vincent Laforet, Joe Simon, Mike Sutton, Ondi Timoner and Ian Vertovec.
I will be giving an inspirational talk entitled “Act of Valor: A Case Study in Out of the Box Filmmaking” on Tuesday, December 4, at 9:00 am. That afternoon, from 1:00 to 6:00pm, many of the other presenters and I will be offering hands on sessions. My session is entitled “Storytelling with Light and Composition.” This workshop is your chance to interactively set up lights and cameras with me. It’s going to be a sort of mini-bootcamp setting. You shouldn’t miss this one.
During these hands on sessions, Phillip Bloom will be offering a workshop on “The Interview”; Preston Kanak and Eric Kessler will be working with you on “Timelapse”; Joe Simon on “Utilizing Natural Light”; Mike Sutton on “The Phantom Flex”; Tatjana Green on “Set Design”; and Konrad Czystowski on “Maximizing Your Coverage.”
The event goes from Monday, December 3 through Wednesday, December 5, with many other valuable presentations. I hope to see you there. Space is limited, so you should register soon.
Lighting and Composition Blog Posts
Storytelling Through Composition Part 1