Learning Cinematography: 1 Narrative Fundamentals

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  • Course details

    Creative decision making lies at the core of great filmmaking. To shoot a movie, you need to understand how the equipment works, but more importantly, you need to know how the choices you make—composition, exposure, lighting, etc.—impact the way the audience sees the film. The Cinematography series with Bill Dill covers the basics you need to shoot a modern motion picture and tell stories in the most powerful way possible. Part 1 concentrates on narrative filmmaking: creating a world from scratch, using a script. Bill, an ASC cinematographer and professor of film and media arts at Chapman University, introduces the techniques that professional filmmakers use to maintain the illusion of reality in the middle of an otherwise artificial world.

    Follow along and learn the fundamentals required to shoot a story with a camera. Learn how to plan your production, assemble a crew, choose the right camera and lenses, and make creative choices that best fit the themes, characters, and story of your film. Bill covers the elements of composition, exposure, optics, lighting, and camera movement. Part 2 shows you how to put all these ideas together on set, and deliver the footage to an editor and director for assembly into a complete, coherent, and compelling story.


    • Click here to view Bill Dill’s instructor page

      Bill Dill


      • Bill Dill is a cinematographer and professor of film and media arts.

        He is a past senior filmmaker in residence at the American Film Institute Conservatory and senior lecturer at the USC School of School of Cinematic Arts. Now he teaches at Dodge College of Film and Media Arts at Chapman University. He remembers the exact moment when "the world stopped spinning." At a photo exhibition by Walker Evans, Dill stood with a tear running down his face at the sight of a photo of an organ in a church in West Virginia. It was the moment when Dill began to pursue his interest in photography full time.

        Thus began a career running the gamut from music videos to feature films. His work won local Emmys in New York City for magazine format TV. He did work for AT&T, the US Marines, and Apple. He shot television shows for Paramount and HBO, and features, including Sidewalk Stories, which won the Prix du Public in Cannes. He was elected to the prestigious American Society of Cinematographers (ASC)—the preeminent mark of recognition is his field.

        But he also walked away from jobs and projects requiring that he shoot gory auto accidents for TV news or work on "insulting scripts" or make one more malt liquor commercial. As a professor of cinematography, he asks his students to follow the same path—to seek excellence, to pursue their work with a level of intensity that demands that they eat, drink, breathe, and sleep cinematography, and to seek to produce images that stop the world.

    Skills covered in this course

  • Welcome

    千亿体育app (upbeat music) - Hi, I'm Bill Dill, ASC Cinematographer and welcome to my foundations course on narrative film cinematography. Combining my love for cinematography, and technical expertise, I'll take you through the basic concepts you'll need to create your own narrative film as a cinematographer. First, I'll touch on a brief history on the motion picture. I'll talk about the importance of pre-production planning and why this is necessary before you even think about touching a camera. Next, we'll take a look the principles of visual storytelling. Then, we'll investigate the elements of composition in motion pictures. And how that differs from still photography. I'll discuss keeping the audience oriented in the fictional world you've created and how to convey which characters are driving your scenes. Next, I'll discuss some digital camera options and how to record, compress, and store your media once you've completed your shoot. We'll go through choices in optics, and explore the…

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