Discover what's new for Fall 2024

All New Safety Training Series

All New Film Production Safety Training

The FilmSkills Safety Training Program integrates OSHA standards with on-set safety requirements to meet California IATSE guidelines. This 15-module online course, led by Safety Pass instructors, offers engaging videos, illustrated companion guides, downloadable reference charts, and a testing tool to ensure comprehension.

The FilmSkills Safety Training Lessons include

Announcing Cinematography: 2nd Edition

Cinematography - 2nd Edition

The definitive academic textbook designed to guide students through the art, craft, and technique of modern cinematography.

Introducing the second edition of Cinematography, the go-to academic resource for teaching the art, craft, and technique of modern cinematography. This comprehensive and beautifully illustrated textbook is designed to seamlessly integrate into your curriculum, providing students with both theoretical knowledge and practical skills.

Authored by Emmy-winning cinematographer Jason Tomaric, Cinematography – 2nd Edition masterfully connects theory with real-world application. The easy-to-read format ensures that students can effortlessly grasp complex concepts, whether you assign it independently or as a companion to the FilmSkills Academic online curriculum.

  • Paperback
  • 656 pages
  • 7.5 x 1.48 x 9.25 inches
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-13: 979-8878942713

New Framing and Composition Lessons

All New 10-Lesson Series

Cinematic Composition

Designed for both directors and cinematographers, the Framing and Composition lessons balance the techniques of cinematic composition, technical requirements and limitations of various formats and aspect ratios, and the emotional impact of every shot choice.

The Visual Story

A director’s job not only includes interpreting the story through the actors’ performances, set design, and camera coverage, but also how compositional choices affect the audience’s perception and emotional reactions.

In this lesson, learn how the cinematic components of line, shape, tone, color, movement, and rhythm affect the emotional subtext of the story, and how the director can incorporate these techniques when crafting the composition of each frame. (35:49)

Composing the Shot

The audience only sees what you point the camera at, and as filmmakers, the stories we tell must exist within the boundaries of the frame.  The way we choose to place our subjects in the frame significantly affect the audience’s visual perception of the story and invoke subtle – yet powerful emotions.

In this lesson, learn how to break down the script for story-driven composition, plan concise coverage, common mistakes to avoid, and how to cheat the fame for the sake of the story. (27:03)

Creating Depth on Screen

Learn techniques for creating the illusion of depth on screen by using strategic blocking in depth planes, blocking techniques for actors, camera positions, lens focal length, depth of field, camera movement, and parallax.

From proscenium staging to complex single-camera blocking, working directors and cinematographers guide you through techniques used to create a sense of depth on a two-dimensional screen. (25:44)


Single and Over the Shoulder Shots

Learn techniques for framing people when shooting a dialogue scene, from the basics of framing actors in single shots and over the shoulder shots to advanced techniques that use camera position, lens choice, and depth of field to enhance the emotional tone of the scene.

Learn how to create subjective and objective experiences through framing choices and how various aspect ratios affect compositional choices. (24:27)

Head Room and Lead Room

Learn the compositional guidelines for head room and lead room for proper composition of people in the frame. Working Hollywood directors and cinematographers teach how to adapt for the acquisition format and exhibition method, how to work under creative requirements on a television show, and how the aspect ratio affects your framing choices. (19:43)

Eye Lines

Learn how to choose the best eyeline, directing techniques for ideal camera placement, how to overcome challenges when working with visual effects, and how to fine tune actor’s eyelines within mere inches to achieve the desired emotional impact. (18:02)

Screen Direction and the Rule of 180

Learn the core fundamentals of screen direction, how to establish the line of action, the rule of 180, exceptions to the rule of 180, instances where the line of action doesn’t apply, how to shoot multiple character with an ever-moving line of action, and how to prepare your shot lists to avoid catastrophic editing problems. (24:54)

Screen Division and the Rule of Thirds

Learn how the compositional techniques of screen division, the Golden Ratio, and Rule of Thirds influence the tone and visual style of the frame, tips to translate story beats into compositional choices, and how to effectively apply these faming concepts when shooting different aspect ratios. (15:25)

Shot types and Camera Movements

In this lesson, learn the intricacies of framing and camera movements, the basic shot types, advanced variations on each shot type, on-set shorthand for communicating shot sizes, and how to interpret emotional beats in each scene into the ideal composition. (27:57)

The Frame

In this lesson, learn how to identify and work with different aspect ratios, the history of aspect ratios in cinematic history, how to convert 4:3, 16:9, and 2.39:1 formats, safe framing guidelines, how various aspect ratios are adjusted for different exhibition and broadcast formats, using anamorphic lenses, and understanding pixel aspect ratios. (24:47)

New Industry Lifestyle Lessons

All New 8-Lesson Series

Learning the Soft Skills Needed to Succeed

Developed from over 5 years of interviews, the Industry Lifestyle series gives students the inside track on how to succeed in the film industry from the perspective, experiences, and advice of over 50 leading Hollywood filmmakers.

Realities of the Film Industry

The entertainment industry does a great job of creating an illusion of how it operates, but how does it really work?  Learn from top Hollywood filmmakers what really goes on behind the scenes, how to prepare for the long hours, how to strike a live/work balance, and deal with rejection. (29:08)

Careers in Filmmaking

Learn the possible career paths as a filmmaker, including moving to Los Angeles to become a part of the Hollywood industry, taking advantages of state and regional tax incentives to work locally, and shooting content for local businesses through your own production company. (32:31)

Working Freelance

Learn the realities of working in a freelance-based industry and how to survive. Learn the differences between working as a full-time employee vs as a freelancer, how to manage taxes and expenses, the benefits of an S-corporation, how to handle unemployment, negotiate day rates, and manage downtime between jobs. (22:29)

The Art of Networking

Like they say, it’s all who you know… and they’re right. In this lesson, learn the art of networking successfully in the film industry to make contacts and open doors, how to get a mentor, the nature of the work family and how it’s unique to life as a filmmaker. (22:04)

Moving to Los Angeles

Deciding to move to LA is a big decision, and in this video, you will learn how to prepare so you can hit the ground running. From the traffic to the cost of living, Los Angele locals share their advice and guidance on how to get to LA and succeed. (20:15)

Making Money as a Filmmaker

Learn the difference between above the line and below the line jobs, how to negotiate your day rate, union membership, working for free, generating extra income through charging a kit fee, how to manage tax deductible expenses, save money for slow times, and diversify your income. (29:45)

Advice From the Pros

Dozens of successful Hollywood filmmakers share their secrets, tips, and advice on how to make it in the most competitive industry in the world. From directors and producers to dialogue editors and grips, gain an honest perspective on life in the film industry, what to expect, and how to succeed.

Film Schools

Learn whether film school is the best option for you. In this lesson, working professionals share their insights on how film school is viewed in the industry, what to expect to learn, how to manage the cost, and which film school to choose for the greatest career advantage. (18:44)

New Expansion Lessons

All new expansion lessons supplement existing lessons with additional, in-depth analysis. From how to use common on-set forms to advanced technical processes, each lesson teaches students industry best practices.

LOG, LUTs, and Waveform Monitors

The new cinematography technical lessons explain the complex concepts of LOG curves, waveform monitors, and LUTs

Cinematography Technique

The cinematography expansion lessons feature industry best practices for common on-set scenarios.

Contracts and Forms

Each lesson focuses on one form, with concise directions and blank templates students can use on their own productions.

All New Grip and Rigging Lessons

Many of you have contacted us requesting more grip and rigging lessons. Since these are difficult practices to teach online, we partnered with Matthews Studio Equipment to produce an extensive series on grip gear and rigging techniques. Students are introduced to each piece of grip equipment – from stands and clamps to complex rigs – how to properly rig them, and on-set safety protocols.

Lesson 1

Grip and Rigging: Clamps

We unload the grip truck for students and  show them how to use common clamps used on film sets, including mafers, cardellinis, C-clamps, furniture clamps, playtpus clamps, scissor clamps, gaffer grip, and how to use each clamp safety.

Lesson 2

Grip and Rigging: Rigging Hardware and Techniques

Students learn how to safely use grid and pipe clamps, lollipops, offset arms, wall plates, double and triple headers, grip heads, wall spreaders, Mattpoles, putty knife, and chain vice grips.

Lesson 3

Grip and Rigging: Stands

From baby and combo stands, to hi-his and low boys, students learn how to safety use industry-standard stands on set.

Lesson 4

Grip and Rigging: C-Stands

Students learn how to properly use a variety of C-stands, including turtle base, spring loaded, as well as rigging options for grip heads and arms.

Lesson 5

Grip and Rigging: Grip Support

Students learn how to properly use sandbags, apple boxes, taco carts, and furni pads on set.