Session Descriptions
Lighting Masterclass

Instructor: Rick Siegel

This DP Lighting Masterclass is designed to explore creative techniques that most DPs face across different media, genres and set ups. Whether it’s a film, commercial, live multi-cam production, branded content or web, this class will deepen your understanding of how to approach different lighting challenges.

In this workshop we will work with two actors on the New York City loft set created for this multi-cam lighting masterclass. Utilizing four digital cameras, we’ll light and shoot this scene two different ways – 1) We’ll shoot a scripted scene concentrating on narrative story telling techniques and 2) We’ll shoot a multi-cam interview set-up. We will be exploring different ways to create dramatic results to connect our audience to both examples.

Topics to be covered include:

  • Who is in your audience?
  • What is the story you are sharing and highlighting for the audience?
  • How to pre-visualize and mind’s eye preparation
  • How to create lighting that sets mood and tone
  • How to design the best compositions (camera placement, lens choice, aspect ratio, camera height/movement) for each moment in the story
  • Cosmetic lighting considerations for each person in front of the lens
  • Why and when to use hard light or soft light

Instructor: Rey Reyes

As professional cinema cameras have evolved over the decades, they have advanced from mechanically complex heavyweights housed in immobile booths, to lightweight, ultra-portable devices barely larger than a still photo camera, or arguably, the phone in your pocket. With so much cinematic power packed into such a small package, the ability to express the story through camera movement is an expectation now, rather than a desire. But with all the myriad ways to move the camera, it is easy for the art of storytelling to become lost in the quest to add production value. Join us as we explore the “why” of camera movement and stabilization. In this class, we will focus on the effects that various kinds of camera movement have on narrative storytelling and cinematic grammar. Attendees will gain a greater understanding of human perception as it relates to movement, the various techniques and equipment used to move the camera effectively, and experience live demonstrations with professional operators. Upon completion, attendees will be able to speak a common language of movement, allowing them to not only create moving shots with more meaning and emotion, but to collaborate with camera operators, cinematographers, and directors to more effectively realize their cinematic vision.


  • The effects of camera movement storytelling
  • Human perception and movement
  • Overview of equipment and techniques for camera movement
  • Live demonstrations by professional operators
  • How to communicate and collaborate with the camera department and directors

Instructor: Mitch Gross

What is the “Cooke Look” compared to that of ZEISS? How does a prime lens compare to a zoom? What is Bokeh? Part of choosing a camera is choosing the appropriate glass to put in front of it. This class will teach the many properties of lenses, some of which can be garnered from reading technical specifications, and others requiring years of experience and access to the equipment.

Now, the secret alchemy of optics will be revealed as we work through the various optical characteristics that help define a lens and its uses. In this class, you will learn the difference between various lenses and what creates their unique look, which will help you choose the perfect lens for any project.


  • The technical and artistic properties of lenses
  • How optical characteristics define a lens
  • Distinguishing the unique look of various lenses
  • How to choose the perfect lens for any project

    Instructor: Megan Donnelly

    There are a million different types of faces and a million different ways to light them. In this workshop you will learn how to shape a face with light and shadow to reveal form, character, mood, and most of all tell a story.

    Through practical demonstrations and hands-on practice, you will experiment with how to manipulate the look of a face, in order to best fit commercial, narrative, music video, and even documentary content. A variety of lights and modifiers will be used to show the many options and scenarios you may run into. At the end of the workshop, you will walk away with a variety of ways to shape light for faces and better understand the emotional emittance of light.


    • How to shape a face with light
    • How to create mood, character, and tell a story through lighting faces
    • The emotional impact of lighting
    • Practical demonstrations and hands-on exercises

      Instructor: Luke Geissbuhler

      In this workshop, you will learn how to use framing and lighting techniques to create the desired mood for the shot. Through a combination of lectures, real-world examples, and hands-on practice, you will learn the traditional rules of cinematography and current trends in production.

      Put theory into practice by setting up and lighting a scene using the different techniques discussed in the workshop. Through this exercise, you will learn the ways in which the quality, intensity, ratio, and shape of the light can tell the story, shape characters, and elicit emotions from the audience. You will have the chance to experiment with different lighting tools and equipment to determine which ones are right for the scene.


      • How framing and lighting choices create a mood and help tell the story
      • The traditional “rules” of cinematography and current trends
      • Hands-on practice setting up and lighting a scene
      • Determining which lighting tools are the right ones for a particular scene

      Instructor: Geoff Smith

      In the ever-changing world of cinematography tools, HDR, and Dolby Labs’ Dolby Vision implementation, is frequently discussed as the next big technical trend, however many lack the exposure to HDR needed to understand its unique benefits, and to implement it on projects today and in the future.

      The goal of this course is to demystify HDR and Dolby Vision so that as cinematographers we learn how it can be implemented today in order to provide value to productions and audiences.

      After completing this course, you will walk away with not only a thorough understanding of HDR and Dolby Vision, but also the tools needed to discuss it with creative staff and some best practices on how to incorporate the technology into a project from shooting to post.


      • What is HDR? What is Dolby Vision?
      • How to implement Dolby Vision on your current projects
      • Shooting for Dolby Vision
      • Incorporating HDR into a production’s workflow
      • Finishing in Dolby Vision and SDR simultaneously

        When you got into the film business did you think you’d have to understand things like insurance, taxes, unions, and resumes? This class is an in-depth discussion of all the things you didn’t learn in film school.

        These days, you have to be able to market yourself the right way and on all the right platforms. We’ll also discuss the ins and outs of working non-union, joining a union, and if, when, and why to get an agent.

        Ever considered purchasing gear? We will discuss the pros and cons to owning equipment, and what type of insurance and considerations need to be taken when investing in the latest technology or renting it for your jobs.


        • Marketing yourself
        • Non-union work, joining a union, and agents
        • Pros and cons of owning your own equipment
        • When to buy and when to rent gear