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The Illumination Experience Educational Tour

Illumination Experience

The Power of Lighting Techniques and Camera Composition for Filmmakers:
The Illumination Experience Educational Tour

Since our Hurlbut Visuals Educational Boot Camp in 2010, I have been trying to find time in between shooting features to schedule another cinematography class. The first one was a phenomenal experience and we still keep in touch with many of those graduates. Watching people who were leery of using the Canon 5D on Day 1 grow in confidence and skill with shooting with it on Day 2 was inspirational to me.

This new tour is very different than the one four years ago because I will be traveling to 25 cities from September 14 to November 16 around the United States and Canada. But the big idea remains the same, building confidence with the tools that propel your career, and The Illumination Experience is that in a nut shell.

I have spent six months creating this curriculum based on questions and discussions from our blog. Lighting techniques and camera composition is the focus of this course tailored to open your mind in new ways. I have designed this experience to be immersive, interactive and intimate using simple techniques to build confidence with any budget.
 

 
Many of you have expressed that you feel daunted by the task of lighting. Here is what you all can expect this fall:

The Illumination Experience Overview

The Illumination Experience Tour will teach you the essential fundamentals of cinematic lighting. The specific lighting principles and techniques that you learn will become powerful tools in your arsenal for enhancing and sustaining a compelling story and will build your effectiveness and confidence as an artist. The take-away is being able to walk into any location or set and know how to light it with speed, accuracy, organization, and the highest level of artistry.

The tour gives you access to two different learning opportunities: The 11-hour Illumination Workshop will cover lighting theory with live demonstrations in a highly interactive format that will give you full access to my “Lighting Playbook.” In 9 of the 25 cities, a follow-up day of detailed hands-on instruction with camera composition, lens choice, and lighting nuances will take place at the Experience Master Class where you will do the lighting yourself with me as your lighting guide.
 
Illumination Experience
 
SIGN UP HERE

Day 1:

THE ILLUMINATION WORKSHOP
At the Illumination Workshop, I will teach you how to design, develop, enhance, and implement the storytelling process with lighting and camera. You will learn how to determine which qualities of light to implement for any scene by utilizing script analysis, storyboard preparation, lighting schematics, and shot lists. Using live demonstrations, I will show you how to manipulate the quantity and quality of light, how to diffuse, how to use color, how to create depth and separation, and how to block scenes in a way to deliver the greatest emotional impact. I will show you exactly how I light using a three step-process of DISCOVERY, CREATION, and EXECUTION.

In the DISCOVERY phase, I will teach you how to decide the optimal light placement for your scene. You will learn how to determine the direction of light by using a light study — the core of the learning experience, and the technique I use to determine the quality, quantity, color, and height of the key light.

The KEY LIGHT is the first stroke on your canvas and its placement is the most important decision you will make. It dictates how you will block the scene, determines where the camera should go, and is the basis for all other lighting decisions made. Once you have placed the KEY LIGHT, you modify and enhance your mood of the scene with the choices you make about your BACK and FILL lights.

The BACK LIGHT creates and enhances separation and depth. I will teach you how to use Rim and Edge lighting to make a specific emotional statement: For example, do you use a soft and creamy backlight to deliver an intimate statement, or a hard backlight to deliver stark separation for a more decisive feeling?

The FILL LIGHT is the light of character emotion. It is the icing on the lighting cake. It gives the audience eyes into the soul of the actor. I will teach you how to adjust the quality and quantity of fill light to fine-tune the emotional impact of the scene as well as how to match the fill to the characteristics of the environment the scene is shot in.

The CREATION phase is where I will show you how to match the theory with reality. What is each character’s camera emotion and how does that determine the lighting emotion? Where should the light come from when you walk into a room? What is the motivation for the light? Is it stylized? Is it real? How is it supposed to feel and look? What is the mood and tone? Using script reading, reference books, and other sources of motivation and inspiration, I will show you how to draw a light schematic, using the director’s vision, the mood and tone of the script, and the principle of “beautiful reality” as the basis for our decisions.

The EXECUTION phase is where it all comes together on set. Using actual scenes from films I have shot, we will execute the plan using lighting schematics drawn in the DISCOVERY and CREATION phases. Setting the scene with the keyframe image, we’ll light the set together, delivering soft, semi-soft, or hard light from the proper direction. I will show you which types of lights and lighting modifiers to choose to adjust the quality and quantity of light to match the findings of our light study. We’ll also explore lens choice, camera placement, how to apply specialized techniques to the scene and make the proper visual adjustments for both high-end sensors and DSLR cameras.
 
Illumination Experience
 
SIGN UP HERE

Day 2

This is where the rubber meets the road, baby!!! We will get in the trenches together and really understand the subtle lighting and lens choices I make, which is the difference between something looking good and something looking spectacular as well as being emotionally connected so your work of art is firing on all 12 cylinders.

Hands on and immersive are an understatement. You will be put in the proverbial fire, under time restraints to be able to deliver your vision. All of the attendees become your co-collaborators in pulling off the impossible. That is what we do every day. We are like magicians, coming in and taking what would look ordinary if you just plopped a camera down and turn it into something that looks and feels and transports you to a place that is extraordinary.

Our mission is to get you ready for all different lighting conditions with techniques and tools to increase your scope, depth and lighting dimension. Lighting scenes that are set to day, and then turned to late afternoon golden hour. Assisting you with taking a white walled set and lighting it for night with contrast and color, and then immediately transforming the same set to a day lit scene.

These are the requirements that I am asked to do on a daily basis as a cinematographer and I will be passing them onto you. Personally!!!

Looking for a City near YOU?:

Illumination Experience

Illumination Experience
 
Check out the website at http://illumination.mzed.com/

Author: Shane

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28 Comments

  1. Amazing!

    I really would love to participate, but I’m not living in the US.

    How can international filmmakers profit from this? ;)

    It would be amazing if you’d publish a book any time soon
    there are really not a lot of good books out there, about
    lighting.

    Cheers

    Post a Reply
    • Jay – I forgot to mention that we will be selling a download of the class for those who can’t attend. We tried to make the tour international, but the costs were just too high.

      Post a Reply
      • Great!! I surely will download it from Italy! Please Shane, come and do a workshop in Italy now that you’re working with Gabriele Muccino. That will be awesome!

        Post a Reply
        • Luigi,
          grazie amico mio! I like that idea! We will see what the future holds.

          Post a Reply
  2. Shane, is there any reimbursement policy for the workshop? As a working professional such as yourself, you know how our schedules can change at any moment.

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Andrew. Here is the refund policy-
      The cancellation policy for Shane’s tour is as follows:

      Illumination Workshop: If cancellation takes place with more than 15 days till the event, the customer will receive a refund minus a $25.00 reprocessing fee
      Experience Workshop: If cancellation takes place with more than 15 days till the event, the customer will receive a refund minus a $50.00 reprocessing fee.

      For both the Illumination Workshop and the Experience Masterclass, if there is less than 15 days till the event, they will not qualify for a refund. Rather, they will receive a store credit for the value in which they paid that they can use in towards digital goods.

      Post a Reply
  3. The trailer makes this look incredible, and your work obviously speaks for itself. I am very interested in the Chicago tour, but debating between one or two days. To be honest, day 2 looks incredibly intimidating to someone like me. I own a little LED panel and I feel I will learn lightyears of light knowledge just in that first day.

    Post a Reply
    • No need to be intimidated Bobby! It’s a learning experience, for filmmakers, no matter what your experience level is. Each technique that I will teach you will shape your mind so you will begin to improve your work and explore your creativity. The Masterclass will be very in-depth and detailed and it will give each filmmaker a hands-on approach, it’s the “next level” to the workshop. Don’t be afraid, take the challenge and you will succeed! We are working on ways for everyone to participate in the workshop, even if you are nervous about your question or comment, so do not fear! This will be a great adventure! I hope you are looking forward to it, because I know that I am.

      Post a Reply
    • No need to be intimidated Bobby! It’s a learning experience, for filmmakers no matter what your experience level is. Each technique that I will teach you will shape your mind so you will begin to improve your work and explore your creativity. The Masterclass will be very in-depth and detailed and it will give each filmmaker a hands-on approach, it’s the “next level” to the workshop. Don’t be afraid, take the challenge and you will succeed! We are working on ways for everyone to participate in the workshop, even if you are nervous about your question or comment, so do not fear! This will be a great adventure! I hope you are looking forward to it, because I know that I am.

      Post a Reply
  4. This looks incredible Shane!

    Post a Reply
    • Thanks Micah, it is going to be incredible for all of us, I’m so excited to have this opportunity to work with so many different filmmakers and explore your creativity. It is what fuels me!

      Post a Reply
  5. Hi Shane,
    I’m way excited to be coming to your workshop. I’ll see you in Texas next month!

    Post a Reply
    • Rusty,
      I’m excited that you will be joining us on the tour! I’m looking forward to seeing you as well.

      Post a Reply
  6. See you in Dallas Shane! Crew seats baby!

    Post a Reply
    • Yeah baby! Looking forward to seeing you there! Dallas here we come!

      Post a Reply
  7. I would love to make the workshop but I just can’t afford it right now. How long will the HD download be available and for sale after the tour ends? Months? Years? Forever? Thanks!

    Post a Reply
  8. Man I wish Calgary was on that list!! While thinking about upgrading my C300 to a C500

    Post a Reply
  9. Last year at a bar in Austin for Masters in Motion, you and I were yelling back in forth over the live music in conversation about this very event. I was telling you how there was a gap in the market for a high-end lighting course. Can’t believe it’s finally here! Living in Atlanta, it was between Lauderdale, DC, and Dallas for me. – I went with Dallas! See you there!!

    Post a Reply
    • Kevin,
      Looking forward to seeing you in Dallas my friend! Glad you’re joining me on the tour!

      Post a Reply
  10. Is there anyway to attend the Day 2 only? I have good foundations already and want the more advanced training. It would greatly help my wallet too! Excited to meet you Shane!

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Alex,
      We are not offering an option for attending only Day 2. It’s just the package deal of both Day 1 & Day 2 if you want to attend the masterclass. Day 1 is still going to be more a more advanced workshop and it allows us to reach more people in a cost effective manner. I understand your financial constraints, but the workshop will have more detail than any other workshop you’ve ever attended!

      Post a Reply
      • Awesome! Thank you Shane. See you soon!

        Post a Reply
  11. Ahh please consider a brief EU tour Shane! Peter Hurley (stills, headshots) managed to make it work financially by simply being honest and charging what he needed to to allow it to even happen. Quite high but understandable.

    Failing that with regards the video for those not US – SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!
    When? How? How much is irrelevant?

    I’m a still shooter who’s cursing the first 7 years where I didn’t look into cinematography for craft guidance.

    Post a Reply
  12. Thank you so much for doing this! Just as I was signing up for Inner Circle, I saw the ad for the tour on your site. Hoping to see you in Chicago!

    Post a Reply
  13. How many crew seats are in each class? I’m looking be at the Boston one.

    Post a Reply
    • Shane, I’m totally and completely freaked out about this opportunity!!!!
      I’m coming up to Dallas from Austin, because, for some reason, you weren’t offering the master class down here!;) Got the crew seats and big ears, see you soon!!!

      Woody.

      Post a Reply
  14. Hello, When and were can I download the full class online? I’m not in one of the cities on the list…

    Post a Reply

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