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Creating a Lighting Class

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Adam Frey
Creating a Lighting Class
on Jan 25, 2010 at 10:46:06 am

I'm putting together a new class curriculum for a potential lighting class at the local Community College. This new class would address both lighting for Motion Picture and Photography. There are a lot of photographers in our area, because of the massive amount of print, so getting this class to address both photography and Motion Picture is important. With all that in mind, I'm sure there are at least a few other college courses that address both as well.

I figure the course would start out with lighting basics and work its way into the harder stuff (especially lighting for movement in MoPic). I see it as addressing such things as natural light, flash (strobes), tungsten, daylight, bounce, reflectors, 3-point lighting, softboxes, lighting for movement (motion), how light can set the mood & tell a story, lighting requirements, diagrams and preparation (including what to look for when scouting locations), interiors, exteriors, cars (inside and out), tungsten vs hmi and fluorescent, locations, times of day (dawn/dusk, day, night), green/blue screen. Of course - that's if I can squeeze all that into a 15 week (40 hour/3 credit) course.

Is there anything obvious that I'm missing? Or is there anything in there that is not needed as much as something else? What's the best way to approach this for both photographers, cinematographers, and/or videographers?

Here's the kicker though: It will be for beginners (so a 100 or 200 level course) and won't be for hardened film/photography students. It's a community college that only gives out 2-year Associate Degrees.

Also, can someone point me in the direction of a few different college curriculums that are at least somewhat similar to what I'm describing? I've looked at a few different colleges in my area, and most of them cater to lighting for MoPic, if they even have a lighting class at all.

Thanks for any help!


Adam Frey
Director/Cinematographer
Crimson Chain Productions
http://crimsonchainproductions.com

Crimson Chain Productions
PO Box 35
Libertytown, MD 21762


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Todd Terry
Re: Creating a Lighting Class
on Jan 25, 2010 at 2:20:25 pm

Ignore this guy.... he's a slacker.

Just kidding... Adam is a good guy, and an old friend from another cinematographer's forum. I sent him here with the promise that this group has a lot of helpful people.

Can anyone advise him, please? I know several of you teach...


T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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Rick Wise
Re: Creating a Lighting Class
on Jan 25, 2010 at 6:21:21 pm

For other syllabi, do a GoogleSearch for Lighting Class Syllabus. Lots of posts.

How to design the course? I presume you have the experience. So imagine teaching your younger brother or sister from the ground up. The more visual examples you can show students (still pictures and clips) the more they will understand and possibly learn.

The first semester will be the hardest one for you, because you will constantly be reinventing your own wheel. After that, it's a bit easier, but never easy. Lots of prep work. Lots of thinking about, "let's try this." Some students will have learning difficulties you will have to deal with. Once in a while you get someone who is pissed off at the world and wants to take it out either on you or on other students. And once in a while you will have a student produce something that is astounding. If you get more than one really great student a semester you are indeed very lucky. That does happen.

I find I get very fond of all my students, and then, poof, the semester is over and they are gone. Eventually you get to embrace that too -- after all, would you really want them to hang around forever? Just like with your own kids. Hurts to see them go, but go they must for their own good.

Rick Wise
director of photography
San Francisco Bay Area
and part-time instructor lighting and camera
grad school, SF Academy of Art University/Film and Video
http://www.RickWiseDP.com
http://www.linkedin.com/in/rwise
email: Rick@RickWiseDP.com


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Adam Frey
Re: Creating a Lighting Class
on Jan 25, 2010 at 10:09:06 pm

Thanks - found a few syllabi via Google, although there doesn't seem to be too many that teach both still and mopic.

I'm currently teaching an "Intro to Film" course (I actually start the new semester in a few hours) that delves into some of the history and techniques of film. I've also taught a film and video editing course in the past. I've just never built a class from scratch. I figured I'd be reworking the class from the start - just because I know I'll want to share more and more.

Do you recommend any books? I like giving out books that follow the Golden rules of "Keep It Simple" and "A picture is worth a thousand words". BTW: I saw a few of them had "Light: Science & Magic", which I haven't read.

Thanks again,


Adam Frey
Director/Cinematographer
Crimson Chain Productions
http://crimsonchainproductions.com

Crimson Chain Productions
PO Box 35
Libertytown, MD 21762


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Richard Herd
Re: Creating a Lighting Class
on Jan 27, 2010 at 12:29:46 am

I graduated from the school where Rick teaches. Doctor Fung used a book I still like to thumb through called Bare Bones Camera Course http://www.amazon.com/Bare-Bones-Camera-Course-Video/dp/0960371818

Here's some other topics students will probably find engaging:
-- Composition
-- 180 degree rule
-- Coverage (Wide, Medium, Close, POV)
-- Camera moves
-- Camera moves as editing (an in-order, in-camera shoot)
-- Planning to cut on action
-- Working with actors and directors
-- The Deliverable (What do you hand over to the producer, director, editor?)


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