Visual media is an essential vehicle for marketing and communication for anyone involved in the music industry. Introduction to Digital Cinematography is a beginner-level course, which explores the art of visual storytelling and provides a firm overview of the technical foundation in how to effectively use the camera, lighting, and other tools to convey your message. The course starts by examining the art of photography and video, and how to properly harness the medium to communicate your message. From there, youll learn about the technical skills needed to create images and videos through a discussion of the camera and its components. You will learn to control the viewers experience through creative choices you make about where to put the camera and how to move it.
The course then explores how to create a mood in a scene with lighting techniques. These techniques are shown in a straightforward, practical way so you will be able to produce professional results, even with improvised household lighting. The course will also cover the essential topics of movie and video making, such as story, continuity, and collaboration. The skills learned in these areas will give you the ability to create basic as well as more elaborate productions to achieve your goals.
At the end of the course, you will shoot a short video piece and prepare the footage for editing, applying the theoretical, technical, and practical knowledge youve gained. The course uses over 100 examples of movies, videos, and music videos to illustrate how cinematographic techniques are applied and used in the professional world. The examples include iconic movies such as Rocky, Jaws, The Shining, Slumdog Millionaire, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, in addition to music videos by Radiohead, Britney Spears, and others. An emphasis is placed on contemporary works, while giving you valuable knowledge of classics such as the works of Alfred Hitchcock and Orson Welles. The course is designed for the student with basic technical skills, but even people with more experience will benefit from learning how to tell a story effectively with their camera, and how to communicate something to their audience with images.
By the end of the course, you will be able to:
- produce any kind of video, including a music video or short film
- tell a story visually
- employ camera work creatively
- employ lighting to tell a story or set a mood
- prepare video footage for editing
Author & Instructor
Tal Lazar is a professional cinematographer based in Los Angeles, California. With years of professional experience in the USA and abroad, Tal shoots with the latest motion picture digital cameras as well as 35mm film. Putting an emphasis on narrative feature length films, Tal has shot movies in many different genres ranging from drama to comedy and horror.
In recent years Tal has been teaching an advanced cinematography course at the American Film Institute Conservatory in Los Angeles.
Tal holds an MFA from AFI and a BFA from Tel Aviv University, Israel.
Depending on the student's personal goals, some courses will complement this course: Audio Post Production for Film and TV, Film Scoring 101, Pro Tools 101, and Music Video Editing with Final Cut Pro.
None of them, however, are required for the understanding and successful completion of this course.
A good working knowledge in computer technology for transferring video from a camera and uploading is necessary.
Basic knowledge in operating the student's own camera is necessary. With the many models and types of cameras available, this course can only cover the basic and most common camera settings and functions.
- PC Web Browser: Firefox (Recommended), Chrome, Internet Explorer 10 or higher
- Mac Web Browser: Firefox (Recommended), Chrome, Safari
- Flash Player: current version
- QuickTime: current version
- Adobe Reader: current version
- Video editing software is recommended. Your editing software must be capable of producing .MOV, .AVI, .MPG, .M4V, .WMV, or .MTS file formats. If you do not have video editing software, you can use Movie Maker, included on Windows machines, or iMovie, included on Macintosh computers. Both are free.
- Windows Vista SP2 or higher
- Intel Pentium or higher
- 1 GB RAM
- 500 MB hard drive space recommended
- Sound card
- OS X 10.7 or later
- Intel Mac
- 2 GB RAM
- 500 MB hard drive space recommended
A video camera capable of copying video to your computer is necessary. If you are going to submit video directly from your camera for assignments, it must be capable of outputting .MOV, .AVI, .MPG, .M4V, .WMV, or .MTS file formats.
A still camera is necessary as well, with the ability to copy the images to your computer. The camera may be consumer level, of any type. Your images should be in the .GIF, .JPG, or .PNG file formats.
Students may also use a camera which functions as both video and still camera, as well as any image-capturing device such as a smartphone.