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Summer Cinematography Education


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#1 r2p2

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Posted 02 January 2006 - 09:19 AM

NYU?s Summer Enrollment offers a selection of cinematography courses to take; however, as I consider instruction there, can anyone suggest another summer cinematography course in New York or New Jersey that would be slightly less expensive? For NYU, it is $934 per point, and the cinematography courses are at least 3 points, as well as another fee over $400 for insurance and the lab use. Do I have to necessarily have university instruction, or could I look into a professional mentorship?

I am a freshman college student studying architecture, so the cost of the course does affect my ability to take it.

Recommendations and experiences are all helpful, thank you for your time.
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#2 Chien Huey

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Posted 10 January 2006 - 08:29 AM

NYU’s Summer Enrollment offers a selection of cinematography courses to take; however, as I consider instruction there, can anyone suggest another summer cinematography course in New York or New Jersey that would be slightly less expensive? Do I have to necessarily have university instruction, or could I look into a professional mentorship?


Try SVA's continuing education division. http://www.schoolofv...ndex.jsp?sid0=3 Do the course search under the "Film and Video" department. I took three classes there "Intro to Filmmaking" $745, "Art of Editing" $545, and "Cinematography and Lighting" $705. All these classes meet once a week for 3 hours.

Out of those "Intro to Filmmaking" and "Cinematography and Lighting" are relevant to your question.

Intro to Filmmaking - is an overall course in film production. It doesn't go very deep but it covers a wide breadth - writing, directing, editing, lighting, and shooting. You'll work exclusively on Bolex 16 RX cameras and you'll shoot B&W Reversal 7276 in class. The final project is a 4-min silent short film that you'll shoot with the Bolex. For that you can shoot color reversal or color neg if you'd like. They have an Elmo telecine projector that you can use to transfer your film to miniDV/DVCAM. The cameras are in okay condition - I did get one that had major registration issues for a class exercise. I'd recommend doing a camera test before shooting your project footage.

The class doesn't focus on cinematography - so if you're looking for an concentrated class, you'll be frustrated. For me, I found it helpful to get the general overview as it was my first experience with formal filmmaking education.

Cinematography and Lighting - this is a great class. You'll work with Bolex 16RX, Arri 16S and Sony vidcams (forget the model #). The instructor is a working DP. The class consists of in-class exercises where in small groups you'll shoot various lighting set-ups/exercises with different stocks. The school processes the film and you'll watch it the next class. There's a final project where you'll shoot a scene with 2 or 3 other people alternating with as DP.

It's a good class if you're completely new to cinematography. I took it after working 6 months on film sets and got very little out of the class. The other thing is that most of the students are filmmakers who want to know how to shoot their own films rather than aspiring DPs who are trying to advance their skills. There's a slight difference in motivation - lighting for exposure vs. lighting for effect. Granted the instructor focuses on the latter but you'll probably not get to do any fancy lighting because most everyone else is just trying to get decent exposure. Remember it's a 3-hour class. By the time you set up, get some lecture time and break down, you'll have an hour left to shoot. Class never goes late because the equipment room closes right when class ends.

To answer your last question, university education is not necessarily required to learn the skills. There's another thread on that topic here http://www.cinematog...showtopic=10366.

Personally I found that I've learned much more from working on sets than in school. And the best part is that you don't have to pay to work and maybe you'll get a little pay. The downside is that you really won't know what you're getting into until you're on set - it might be fantastic and you'll learn lots from great mentor types or you could be the most knowledgeable person among mean-spirited people. But in the end, when you start out you're working mostly weekend shoots, so it's 2 or 3 days at the most.

One last thought is that perhaps your limited funds would be best spent on camera rental, film and processing. The $700 you spend at SVA ($3000 if it's NYU) maybe gets you 3-4 days with an Arri S or BL. You could easily go out rent some lights and a Bolex or an Arri S and shoot some exercises with that money. Heck, you could rent a DVX or an XL2 for even less (yes, I know it's different from film but the concepts are the same). Just grab "Film Lighting" by Kris Malkiewicz and shoot those setups!

Edited by Fast Chieney, 10 January 2006 - 08:30 AM.

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#3 joe garcia

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Posted 12 July 2007 - 02:27 PM

YOU NYC KIDS R SO LUCKY !!!

Aint it a crime ??? I lived in NYC from age 4 until I was 42 then due to personal family stuff I moved to Syracuse NY back in 2000. At the ripe young age of 48 I get a dvx100 and the bug to go to film school and the closest schools worth my time are back in NYC....

I wish you youngsters all the best,, For Real,,,, I'm not coveting what you have just hurting for good interaction in my area for my new found hobby....


joe
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Broadcast Solutions Inc

Glidecam

Technodolly

FJS International, LLC

Metropolis Post