Cinematographers: How to Light YouTube, New Media, Digital Series and Web Series Sets Brilliantly and Quickly

Hosted by Alex Darke

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Alex Darke

Webinar hosted by: Alex Darke

Cinematographer at Gilded Cinema

Alex Darke sparked an interest in film the same way many people have in the past - in his backyard. From a young age, Alex was creating films for school projects and using basic effects to create narratives and animations.  After high school, Alex ventured out to California where he attended the University of Southern California's prestigious School of Cinematic Arts. He honed in on the craft of filmmaking and made a number of films and television series along the way.  After graduating, he was quickly snagged by the theatrical distribution company 41 Inc. where he went on to become the Executive Vice President of Acquisitions (one of the youngest executives in Hollywood at the time). After leaving 41 Inc. he decided to consult other distribution companies in marketing, acquisitions, and fulfillment - including the highly successful international sales agency Highland Film Group. Missing the action of the set, Alex left the distribution world and moved into television as Cinematographer for Larry King's company Ora Media. There he has produced, directed, shot, edited and worn every hat possible as an original key crew member for the company. Since then, Alex has been creating projects with his business partner Trevor L. Nelson and his company Gilded Cinema. The company is devoted to the production of independent cinema and reigniting the spark of creative vision in the world of narrative video and film. Full Bio »

Webinar Summary

With the influx of social media, new media, professional YouTube videos, webseries, digital shorts and digital television, the need for cinematographers has never been higher. But to get hired and stay hired, you need to know how to light quickly and efficiently! 
 
The truth is, you don't need fancy equipment and years of know-how to land jobs in this growing arena of content creation. However, with smaller budgets to work with, producers and filmmakers are looking for cinematographers that can move fast and not cost the production time and money.
 
Veteran cinematographer Alex Darke, owner of Gilded Cinema and cinematographer for Larry King's Ora Media, is one of the most in demand DP's in the new media space. When he isn't working, which is rare, Alex is teaching cinematographers how to land jobs by understanding how digital cinematography has evolved in this new era. And now you can share in his knowledge in this exclusive Stage 32 webinar.
 
This is a comprehensive class, so dig in. Alex will teach you how to navigate the business, how his tried and true techniques work with any equipment, how to light any set quickly, how to create striking lighting for wide shots and closeups, how to land jobs and keep getting jobs and much more.
 
All skill levels are welcome to view this webinar and, again, you do not need special equipment. All you need is a desire to learn and get paid for your craft!

What You'll Learn

Some of what Alex teaches in this webinar includes:

The Biz 


YouTube & Digital and Social Video as a Business

  • At this point in time, it’s still a mysterious beast. Companies are now 
putting money into this type of production, but monetization is still a big question mark. Because of this, crew rates are all over the place. 

  • But, because of all of this, it’s a relatively easy place to break in and “cut 
your teeth” as a cinematographer. 


 

Cinematography: Back to the Basics

 Why DSLRs are a great tool to learn cinematography

  • Living on the Edge - aka Shooting on Manual
  • Having the ability to quickly make adjustments is crucial for shooting doc-style, and speeding up the shooting process on any type of project.

 Graduating from DSLR to Cinema Camera

  • Two households, both alike in dignity - The big secret - if you can 
operate a DSLR, you can operate a Cinema Camera 

  • Hands-on Demo/Comparison 

  • Canon 5D mkii (the original HDSLR) vs Panasonic
  • VariCam 35 (digital cinema camera)

Faces are the cornerstone of cinematography


  • Once you understand how to light faces, everything else is style.
  • False Colors - your greatest ally.

3-point lighting is not a rule

  • Understanding 3-point lighting and moving past it (hands-on) 

  • The Off-Camera Key 

  • To backlight, or not to backlight? That is the question. 
 

There is no darkness, but ignorance. It doesn’t matter what fixture it comes from, it is your task as a cinematographer to mold and shape it into the quality of light that you want.

  • Hands-on demo of creating the same scene with various kinds of light fixtures, from $10 to $1000

 

Lighting Faces

  • Vlog/Magazine Set Up (hands-on) 

  • Documentary Set Up (hands-on) 


 

Lighting Scenes 


  • How do these techniques translate to narrative scenes
  • Show examples

 

Wrapping Up. The be-all and the end-all.

  • Practice, practice, practice
  • Do whatever you can to practice the skills. This will lead to confidence and problem solving skills that will help you continue to grow as a cinematographer.
  • Q&A with Alex

About Your Instructor

Alex Darke sparked an interest in film the same way many people have in the past - in his backyard. From a young age, Alex was creating films for school projects and using basic effects to create narratives and animations. 

After high school, Alex ventured out to California where he attended the University of Southern California's prestigious School of Cinematic Arts. He honed in on the craft of filmmaking and made a number of films and television series along the way. 

After graduating, he was quickly snagged by the theatrical distribution company 41 Inc. where he went on to become the Executive Vice President of Acquisitions (one of the youngest executives in Hollywood at the time). After leaving 41 Inc. he decided to consult other distribution companies in marketing, acquisitions, and fulfillment - including the highly successful international sales agency Highland Film Group.

Missing the action of the set, Alex left the distribution world and moved into television as Cinematographer for Larry King's company Ora Media. There he has produced, directed, shot, edited and worn every hat possible as an original key crew member for the company.

Since then, Alex has been creating projects with his business partner Trevor L. Nelson and his company Gilded Cinema. The company is devoted to the production of independent cinema and reigniting the spark of creative vision in the world of narrative video and film.

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