Cinematography Teaching Ideas (3 replies and 1 comment)
Hello Roger and friends,
I recently started a job teaching cinematography and lighting to students at a small film school in Amman, Jordan. (Of course, everyone here was sad when the Jordanian film Theeb didn't win last night at the Oscars.) I studied cinematography nearly 10 years ago and worked in it for a while, but the last few years of my life have been devoted more to journalistic still photography, much of it outdoors and with uncontrolled natural light. Now I'm trying to rewind, and teach myself to be intentional rather than merely instinctive at looking at light and shaping/creating it - reminding myself as I also try to teach a group of very raw young students.
I have some Canon DSLRs to work with and some old Sony EX3s and a modest lighting kit - the largest fixtures being 2K Arri fresnels. A few Kinos and an odd assortment of some flags, nets, and silks. A dolly and a pile of stands.
I would welcome any suggestions of some of the most valuable simple exercises that I can do with my students to explore the fundamentals of lighting. What are some of the most essential setups that I can walk them through, only relying on a simple selection of equipment.
Thanks so much in advance! I'm in love with your knowledge and work, and appreciate the sharing of knowledge.
Not Roger but am intrigued by your dilema.
You seem to have enough hardware to make a full length feature so dont be embarressed, you have enough equipment to keep the 'rawest' of students very busy. Why not start by writing a simple script using the existing furniture and fixtures available to you, draw up a lighting plan making good use of the practicals. Raw students would rather be involved in a project than a sit down infront of blackboard and chalk scenario and will gain 'hands on' experience handling the equipment. Keep them busy as there is nothing worse than bored students looking for excitement. Give each of your students a lighting project to complete and you will ascertain very quickly which students have a genuine interest in what you are teaching and also highlight the ones who are not. Concentrate on the ones who want to learn as these will be the ones who want to go forward and make a career in the film business. I dont think lighting will be your problem but certainly make it their problem and monitor how they resolve it. I do sincerely wish you luck though.
I agree that you have enough equipment to create many lighting setups. Something I enjoyed from film school was to view a scene and try to recreate the lighting and camera movement. The lack of some of the more specialized equipment forces the students to get more creative. Just a thought. Have fun!
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