BFA, New York University. Certificate in Producing, The New School. Co-founder and director of instruction at The International Film Institute of New York, currently working in collaboration with Sarah Lawrence College. Recent production credits include a feature-length documentary, Last Call (director and cinematographer), now in post-production and producer on the feature-length narrative, Central Avenue, scheduled to cast Marisa Tomei and Lorraine Bracco. A book-in-progress on cinematography lighting techniques is titled Lighting Tricks and ShortCuts. Staff, faculty, and head of the cinematography concentration at Columbia University’s Graduate Film Division, where he supervises students on thesis productions. Past work includes four one-hour specials on Latinos in the media for network television, short documentary projects, films, music videos, and industrials. SLC, 2009–
Current undergraduate courses
This intermediate course will continue the training in cinematography and film production that began in Working With Light and Shadow. In addition to covering camera operation and basic lighting, students will explore composition, color palettes, and application of a visual style to enhance the story. The course will revolve around developing original work and shooting scenes on a weekly basis. Work will be discussed and notes incorporated into the next project. Students will be required to produce a short project on HD Video (3-5 minutes in length), incorporating elements discussed throughout the semester, as part of conference work. Students will develop, write, draw floor plans, shoot, edit, and screen a final project by the end of the term. This is an intensive, hands-on workshop that immerses the student in all aspects of film production. By the end of the course, students should feel confident enough to approach a film production project with the experience to take on introductory and assistant positions with the potential for growth.
Related Cross-Discipline Paths
First-Year Studies: Through The Lens: An Introduction to Cinematography—Visualizing and Creating Images for the Screen
Behind every artistic vision in filmmaking is an understanding of how to use technology to realize the story on a screen. A skillful cinematographer brings a new dimension to a director’s vision by creating images that enhance the narrative of the film. By studying select examples of visual styles, tones, and continuity from classic films, students will learn key elements to consider when using a camera and lights to further enhance the story. The images that appear on the screen arise from the artistic vision, imagination, and skill of the cinematographer as he/she works in a collaborative relationship with fellow artists. This class will provide students with the opportunity to explore this art form and learn how to capture visuals that will support the narrative of a story using available resources in a creative way. Students will work, hands on, with film production equipment and will explore the theoretical and aesthetic aspects of the craft. Course discussions will include framing, composition, color, and light to create compelling images. Students will learn fundamental on-set production skills as they develop and shoot exercises on a weekly basis. In the first semester, students will work on recreating scenes from classic films; these exercises will focus primarily on visual style. The second semester will focus on original work that will incorporate the lessons learned during the first semester. We will cover operation of HD cameras, structure and job responsibilities of the production crew, principles of lenses, lighting, and scene composition. All students will produce weekly exercises focused on building skill sets that will prepare them for work beyond the course. Reading assignments and film screenings will be integral to the learning process of the class.
Related Cross-Discipline Paths
This course will introduce students to the basics of cinematography and film production. In addition to covering camera operation, students will explore composition, visual style, and the overall operation of lighting and grip equipment. Students will work together on scenes that are directed and produced in class and geared toward the training of set etiquette, production language, and workflow. Work will include the recreation of classic film scenes, with an emphasis on visual style. Students will discuss their work and give feedback that will be incorporated into the next project. For conference, students will be required to produce a short project on HD Video (3-5 minutes in length), incorporating elements discussed throughout the term. Students will outline the project, draw floor plans and shot lists, edit, and screen the final project for the class. This is an intensive, hands-on workshop that immerses the student in all aspects of film production. By the end of the course, students should feel confident to approach a film production project with enough experience to take on introductory positions with the potential for growth.