Camera and Lens Curriculum
We have broken cinematography into two curricula – camera and lens, and lighting. The camera and lens curriculum introduces students to the components and functions of the camera body, best practices for building and maintaining the camera, and how to operate it to achieve the desired look on screen.
This curriculum was specifically designed to be hardware agnostic and teach concepts that can be applied to any camera – from mobile phone cameras and DSLRs to professional cine cameras.
The second component of this curriculum covers the lens. Our approach is to teach students the physics of the lens to understand how and why each lens setting alters the image, how to use focus, aperture, and focal length to create the desired visual and emotional look on screen.
This curriculum is designed from a storytelling perspective, with students defining the desired emotional tone of the shot, then teaching techniques to achieve that tone.
Our approach is driven from an industry best-practices view. By combining on-set demonstrations to help students visualize complex concepts with experiential guidance from working Hollywood cinematographers, students gain a complete view of the physics of cinematography, the tools and techniques, and the application to real-world environments and how that application affects the emotional context of each shot.
About the Lessons
Every box in the curriculum outline below is a self-contained lesson, complete with a 20-30 minute long on-set video tutorial, test questions, projects and exercises, and downloadable resources to enhance the lesson.
Lessons can be mixed and matched to create a custom learning path in each class, and while the curriculum below is our recommendation as the content producers, you can select any lessons you wish when building each class, including lessons from other categories.
Download the Complete Curriculum Catalog
The catalog features complete descriptions and video durations for every FilmSkills Academic lesson. You can look up each lesson from the curriculum flow chart below for more information.