Camera Fundamentals That Every Filmmaker Needs to Know

Hosted by Daniel Brothers

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Daniel Brothers

Webinar hosted by: Daniel Brothers

TV and Film Cinematographer (Facebook's RED TABLE TALK, Vice, New York Times, and more)

Daniel Brothers is an accomplished and in-demand cinematographer who has traveled around the world shooting projects for companies like Vice Media, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Facebook and more. Daniel serves as Director of Photography for the popular Facebook interview series RED TABLE TALK with Jada Pinkett Smith and Willow Smith and continues to consistently shoot documentaries, feature films, and TV series. He also teaches the art of the camera in schools and works to mentor and support budding cinematographers and is prepared to bring his lessons and perspective to the Stage 32 community. Full Bio »

Webinar Summary

The script might tell the story, but it’s the camera that captures it. Without a camera, there is no film to make, no story to tell. Cinematography is the language of filmmaking and understanding how to speak that language, whether you’re a cinematographer, director, producer, actor, or anything else, can make all the difference. Whether you’re shooting on a Red Dragon, a DSLR, or an iPhone, the fundamentals are the same and understanding these fundamentals can inform every aspect of production and give you new and informed ideas on how to best capture your story and create a fantastic film or series. This can seem overwhelming or overly complicated—terms like “f-stop”, “shutter speed”, “depth of field”, and “motivated lighting” might sound confusing, but it’s more possible to pick up than you might think.

It’s common for filmmakers to not worry about how cameras work and leave it to the Director of Photography to understand, but this is at the director’s own peril. Having a fundamental understanding of how exactly the machine you are holding is capturing images to create your project is crucial, even if you have a trusted DP on your side. Understanding at least the basics will help make sure you can speak the same language as your DP, can give you new ideas as you plan out your shot list and production, and can help you discover new approaches that you might not have even known were possible otherwise. But you don’t need to go to an expensive film school to learn the fundamentals. Cinematographer Daniel Brothers can give you the rundown much more quickly and for a lot less money.

Daniel Brothers is an accomplished and in-demand cinematographer who has traveled around the world shooting projects for companies like Vice Media, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Facebook and more. Daniel serves as Director of Photography for the popular Facebook interview series RED TABLE TALK with Jada Pinkett Smith and Willow Smith and continues to consistently shoot documentaries, feature films, and TV series. He also teaches the art of the camera in schools and works to mentor and support budding cinematographers and is prepared to bring his lessons and perspective to the Stage 32 community.

Daniel will lay out the basics and important terms and concepts any filmmaker, cinematographer, producer, or actor needs to know about cinematography and cameras. He’ll walk you through the basics of photography, including exposure, focus and composition, before going deep into the most important elements of cinematography. He’ll explain scene structure and coverage, lighting basics, camera movement and even spend some time on the science of color. Finally, Daniel will give you tips on how to choose the right camera for your project, as well as how to choose the right lenses. He’ll even show examples of his past work on different cameras to give you an idea of what each looks like.

 

Make sure you know what you’re talking about and have a sense of what each camera is doing before you start your next project. Whether you’re a director, actor, producer, or anything else, Daniel will give you the tools and knowledge you need.

 

What You'll Learn

  • Cinematography vs. Photography
    • Why many great DP’s and Directors started as still photographers
  • Exposure
    • What is it?
    • Elements of Exposure
      • ISO/ASA/EI
      • Shutter speed
      • Aperture
        • What is an “F-Stop?”
        • What is a “T-Stop?”
    • Relationships between elements
  • Focus
    • What is it
    • “Depth of field”
      • Focal Length
      • Aperture
  • Composition
    • Dynamic tension
    • Some tools to think about
      • Rule of Thirds (and why it’s not a great tool)
      • Golden Ratio
      • Arabesque
      • Dynamic Triangles
    • The best way to take great photographs (and movie frames
  • Scene Structure
    • The master shot
    • What is “coverage”?
      • And The Kuleshov Effect
    • Other important terms to know
  • Lighting
    • Three-Point Lighting
    • Motivated Lighting
      • Practical sources
      • Adding light
      • Subtracting Light
      • Color
  • Camera Movement
    • When to move the camera and when not to
    • Smooth vs rough camera movement
    • Motivated camera movement
    • Camera-as-character
    • Types of Camera Support
      • Handheld
      • Rigs
      • Tripod
      • Dolly
      • Gimbals
      • Jibs/Cranes
  • The Nitty Gritty: Color Science
    • CIE 1931 Colorspace
      • Industry Standard
      • Not really accurate but works as an explanation
    • Capture vs. Display: Why We Shoot LOG
      • REC 709 vs P3 vs REC2020
      • Various LOG color space
  • Choosing the Right Camera for Your Own Project
    • Do you need a Red for your independent project?
    • Lens Choice
    • Examples of Daniel’s work with different types of cameras
      • PANAVISION DXL2 with Primo70 Lenses
      • Canon 5Dmk2 with kit 40mm lens
      • Mobile Video
  • Q&A with Daniel

About Your Instructor

Daniel Brothers is an accomplished and in-demand cinematographer who has traveled around the world shooting projects for companies like Vice Media, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Facebook and more. Daniel serves as Director of Photography for the popular Facebook interview series RED TABLE TALK with Jada Pinkett Smith and Willow Smith and continues to consistently shoot documentaries, feature films, and TV series. He also teaches the art of the camera in schools and works to mentor and support budding cinematographers and is prepared to bring his lessons and perspective to the Stage 32 community.

FAQs

Q: What is the format of a webinar?
A: Stage 32 Next Level Webinars are typically 90-minute broadcasts that take place online using a designated software program from Stage 32.

Q: Do I have to be located in a specific location?
A: No, you can participate from the comfort of your own home using your personal computer! If you attend a live online webinar, you will be able to communicate directly with your instructor during the webinar.

Q: What are the system requirements?
A: You will need to meet the following system requirements in order to run the webinar software: Windows 7 or later Mac OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) or later.
If you have Windows XP, Windows Vista and Mac OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion): The webinar software does not support these operating systems. If you are running one of those operating systems, please upgrade now in order to be able to view a live webinar. Upgrade your Windows computer / Upgrade your Mac computer

Q: What if I cannot attend the live webinar?
A: If you attend a live online webinar, you will be able to communicate directly with your instructor during the webinar. If you cannot attend a live webinar and purchase an On-Demand webinar, you will have access to the entire recorded broadcast, including the Q&A.

Q: Will I have access to the webinar afterward to rewatch?
A: Yes! After the purchase of a live or On-Demand webinar, you will have on-demand access to the recording, which you can view as many times as you'd like for a whole year!

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