A six-part repeating monthly lecture series on the basics of cinematographers, sponsored by Panavision, for aspiring directors of photography, camera assistants, DITs, directors, producers, assistant directors, production designers, writers, actors - anyone seeking to learn more about the trade of a cinematographer in real-world terms.  

A segment from "Fundamentals of Cinematography" used for FIB Online 

  The lectures include:


LAB 01: Fundamentals of Cinematography
In today’s digital age, higher quality and less expensive cameras have democratized the filmmaking process making it accessible to nearly everyone. Now that is easier than ever to get out there and start shooting on your own, it is important to learn the art, aesthetics and science of how to utilize digital technology to create an artistic and pleasing image.

Cinematographer-turned-director JAY HOLBEN, Technical Editor at DV Magazine, will take us on a journey through the basics of photographic imagery. Jay will cover what light is and how we see it, to understanding dynamic range, exposure and WHY we light (especially when modern cameras can nearly see in the dark). The Fundamentals of Cinematography explores how the professional cinematographer crafts their images. Move your own image-making forward quantum leaps.

This lab is perfect for aspiring DPs and camera crew, filmmakers who have recently acquired a digital camera package, and directors who want to improve understanding and communication with their cinematographers.  Producer will gain insight into the latest digital tools to put together the most cost effective packages that serve the creative needs of their camera departments.  Empowering information and tips that will be helpful for experienced filmmakers as well as novice shooters.


 Lab 02: Demystifying Digital: The Flavors of HD
With such myriad of high-definition video formats available in the marketplace, how do you know which is best for your project? How can you tell the difference? Which is better?

DV Magazine’s technical editor, Jay Holben, will explain the aspects of high definition video formats and demystify the lingo. Learn exactly what compression codecs are commonly used, how to understand bit rates and color dissemination. Ever wonder the difference between 4:2:0 and 4:1:1? Why is one HD camera $250,000 and another is only $20,000? Leave the session having a keen understanding of the elements that make up high definition formats to be able to make more informed decisions about which format and which camera is best for your project.


 Lab 03: Optics 101: An introduction to Lenses
This lab focuses on THE CAMERA and everything you need to know to get the most of the package you choose for your production. Whether you are putting together your rental order to the camera house, or shopping to buy your own camera package – there are so many makes, models and components. This seminar is great for camera assistants, DIY filmmakers, and producers who want more insight on where to best invest to get the most for your budget.

LENSES: Get to know the ins and outs of the most important part of your camera: the lens. This primer is Lenses 101! We will cover different types of lenses and different lens mounts, as well as crop factor, depth of field, anamorphic to spherical, lens adapters and more.


Lab 04: Lighting from Home Depot
The key to any good image is lighting. Although Hollywood spends millions of dollars on lighting equipment – you can achieve the same kinds of lighting results with everyday tools you can find at your local hardware and home improvement store.

Learn the secrets to excellent lighting on a micro-budget! Jay Holben shares tips and techniques from his book “A Shot in the Dark: A Creative DIY Guide to Digital Video Lighting on (Almost) No Budget”.


Lab 05: Getting the Best Image from your Camera
The age of digital gives us extraordinary flexibility within the camera to manipulate the recorded image. Go inside the camera to learn what all those menu functions really mean – and how to make them work for you.

Learn how to balance an on-set monitor and how to make white balance a create tool. In addition, we will take a look at the similarities and differences between several cameras from a variety of manufacturers in different formats and price ranges.

This lab is designed for all camera experience levels – this is a great primer for filmmakers, camera crew, and anyone interested in learning more about how today’s advanced camera systems work.

Lab 06: Advanced Digital Technology
Expanding further on the “Flavors of HD” lab in this series, Advanced Digital Cinematography will more closely examine a wide range of HD image creation including: elements of modulation transfer function, optical transfer function and sampling theorem as it relates to creating images and camera technology. Discussion of various color spaces available in today’s workplace as well as pros and cons of shooting a raw format as opposed to a codec. The lab will also cover the hidden truth behind digital ISO.

This is the sixth class in our bi-annual six-class series:  We recommend having attended our “Flavors of HD” as a prerequisite.  This advanced level class is designed for filmmakers, producers, and camera crew professional who have a fundamental understanding of digital image formats, sensors, compression schemes, color dissemination.

This lab is recommended for cinematographers, DITs, post-production supervisors or previous attendees of the Flavors of HD lab looking for a more advanced in-depth discussion of digital imaging technology.

For information, dates and registration, visit www.hollywoodshorts.com