Cinematography Masters Class

Training-off to London, to get some more training. This time from 2 award winning master cinematographers.

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I make photographs and films. As a Director of Photography (DP) and Lighting Cameraman, I shoot television programmes and films. But so far Hollywood has not called. So I was delighted to get the chance to attend another cinematography workshop, this one being presented by two of the movie industry’s luminaries, hugely respected and multi-award winning Directors of Photography; Richard Greatrex and Rami Adafarasin. Two of Hollywood’s finest.

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The two days workshop included discussions on their thoughts about how to approach shooting movies, how to plan the work and examples of their work which they dissected in detail.

It was also a great chance to network with the other delegates. But the main thing was to learn how these masters do their thing and how they over-came huge photographic and organisational challenges on the projects presented, often against crazy time limits.

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DP Richard Greatrex won a BAFTA for the WOMAN IN WHITE, which also won the Royal Television Society award, Best Camera & Lighting Drama. He was nominated for BAFTAs for SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE, WARRIORS and TRUTH OR DARE and nominated for an Oscar for SHAKESEARE IN LOVE.

Here he is explaining his night lighting for MOBY DICK. His credits also include; RUN FAT BOY RUN, WHERE THE HEART IS, MRS BROWN, A KNIGHT’S TALE and THE UPSIDE OF ANGER and many more.

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DP Rami Adafarasin discussing his approach to lighting and shooting ELIZABETH (Cate Blanchett), for which he won a BAFTA and was nominated for an OSCAR. In fact, he was nominated for BAFTAs for SCREEN TWO and CHRISTABEL and nominated for EMMYs for BAND OF BROTHERS and PACIFIC. His other credits include; MATCH POINT, ABOUT A BOY and JOHNNEY ENGLISH, amongst many more.

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Rami in conversation with one of the delegates. Nicer people you could not hope to meet and so generous with their time, experience and knowledge. Every minute was a joy.

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And now for Sunday’s session. Richard Greatrex shows how the bow of the sinking whaller was rigged for filming, in a pond on the edge of the Mediterranean Sea, just a few meters from the shore and jetties.

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Richard explains how the set for the ‘tween decks shooting is mounted on an pivot with hydraulics and ropes to steady it but pitched and rolled by hand to create the required sens of being at sea. The set needed very careful balancing with sandbags after the actors and film crew had positioned themselves for the take. Obviosly, movement by the cast and crew was rather restricted but it worked very effectively.

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The 8pm train for Darlington and as we leave Kings Cross I reflect on a very enjoyable, but more importantly a very informative couple of days. It was full-on, for sure, but very worthwhile. So, now I just need a movie to shoot. Bring it on. I could not be more psyched.