Filmmaking / Directing : Directors who are not Cinematographers by Khristi Adams

Khristi Adams

Directors who are not Cinematographers

I love to direct. Mainly theater, but documetary filmmaking has become a love of mine recently. I don't have a lot of camera experience so I use students or friends who are great camera operators and from time to time when I need b-roll I can grab that with my Cannon. However, recently having had last minute schedule changes and cameramen/women pulling out on me for important interviews and footage, i'm ready to scream. I need to take a class somewhere so that I can learn some other techniques so if push comes to shove, I can film on my own. Can't go to film school because I have a fulltime job that requires a lot of my attention. Anyone have any advice? Any class I can take somewhere in the Pasadena/LA area? Worshops? Tutors? SOMETHING!

Brian Heath

Hello Khristi, a lot of Directors are not Cinematographers. There is more to filming than camera work. Sound and lighting is the most important part of any shoot. Most shooters and gaffers (most shooters know basic lighting) can get the job done. Contact me and lets discuss your project and budget for DP and maybe you can solve those issues you are having.

D Marcus

USC and UCLA both offer summer cinematographer workshops. International Academy of Film & Television offers a DSLR workshop. APA (American Photographic Artists) LA offers great classes and workshops for both photographers and cinematography. the Los Angeles Film School offers workshops and classes. PCC offers summer classes in digital cinematography. So does LACC

Chauncey Chester

ny film academy in city

Katie Young

In the meantime, pay as much attention to the cinematographers you work with as possible. Take a look at every shot, and if possible, watch them set it up and ask questions (don't let it get in the way of getting your project done on schedule though!). I've learned a lot from the people I've worked with, enough to be able to do some simple shots when I need to. Also, try just experimenting with your camera! Try out different light levels (if you have an iPhone, there's a great app called "Light Meter" that I use to check levels when scouting locations), practice rack focusing, etc. See if you can learn to replicate shots that you see them take. I would invest in a simple light or two and some gels so you can do your own lighting when people back out on you. Hope this helps!

Khristi Adams

thank you!

Kristina Hughes

Yes. Big HUGE time & money saving tip. Sign up on We offer Daily Deals that are all pre-screened and over 50% off. This is one of 6 Deals that might be a good fit: Elite Cinema Courses (THIS WEEKEND!) Get 50% OFF the 2-Day Intensive "Cinema Language: The Art of Storytelling" May 18th-19th at Raleigh Studios, Los Angeles. This amazing price INCLUDES FREE PRODUCTION SOFTWARE (Movie Magic Screenwriter, a $250 value; and Showbiz Software's Producer, a $90 value), VALUABLE DISCOUNTS ON OTHER SOFTWARE PRODUCTS, PLUS COURSE MATERIALS & REFRESHMENTS. This 2-day class is essentially five courses rolled into a single weekend - instructed by filmmaker and professor (Pepperdine University), Tom Provost (writer/director of the award-winning Lionsgate feature 'The Presence'). ❤ "The information you presented was just incredible. It will have a profound effect on how I approach my own stories." - Alice Garcia ❤ "You have unique insight on form and character that I will incorporate into my own directing. And the class was extremely entertaining." - Julie Cohen ❤ "You gave me a whole new appreciation for visual storytelling. Your presentations will forever have an impact on my own writing and storytelling." - Joe Coddington Fabulous networking opportunities too! Bring a supply of these: so you don't miss a chance to network with others developing & creating projects! ~Kristina 90 sec. Comedy Demo Reel:

Kristina Hughes

FYI the image above (with Jerry Corley) is just an archived Deal, it's not current. Everything that is current is at

Princess Scribe

Khristi, you might look at Video Symphony in Burbank and see if they have some short courses. Also, Hollywood Shorts offers occasional weekend labs that are great. Check out Production Hub and for upcoming workshops and classes. Good luck!

Luner Versal

Hi Khristi, I know what you mean about not having much time. YOUTUBE has become my best friend and following different channels on there like, and there's many more. I didn't go to school for film, not that I didn't think it wasn't necessary, "I wish". Just a lot of complication, it's call LIFE but I didn't let that stop me.

Khristi Adams

Awesome. Thanks both of you!

Other topics in Filmmaking / Directing:

register for stage 32 Register / Log In