cinematography workshop

Cinematography Workshop Provides Hands-On Experience

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Last month, in MPI’s immersive four-day cinematography workshop, Moving Picturecraft, twelve participants worked alongside acclaimed cinematographers to learn how lighting, camera, and lens technology can create a compelling visual story that evokes a range of emotions from viewers. 

Led by award-winning cinematographer Benjamin Gaskell, MPI filmmakers listened to lectures and studied scene set-ups from working cinematographers Peter Moss (Race), Amy Vincent (Black Snake Moan), and Natasha Braier (Neon Demon). Participants then put the lessons to work, composing, lighting, and filming scenes.

Held at the historic Mole-Richardson Sound Stage in Los Angeles, the workshop provided participants with industry-standard cameras and lighting systems. The chance to do guided work with high-quality equipment allowed participants an unmatched opportunity to experiment and innovate. 

Here is what they had to say about the experience: 

This cinematography workshop was especially wonderful because of the facilities, the equipment, and the industry connections that MPI rolled out for our benefit. It was amazing to have so many talented people brought together through MPI to advance our critically important mission in the world.
By forging personal relationships with like-minded filmmakers, this workshop has not only given me a great education, but also an arsenal of highly skilled future collaborators.
This taught me an enormous amount about what tools are available to a cinematographer and the variety of ways in which they can be used in order to tell a story. It also gave me hands-on experience with many of them and introduced me to a lot of fantastic filmmakers.

Learn more about our cinematography workshop here and keep a lookout for application deadlines to participate in our expected summer 2020 workshop.

Filming Wraps on New MPI Original Comedy Short

Last month we completed production on the MPI Original short film A Piece of Cake. This comedy comes from writing and directing duo Austin and Meredith Bragg, who work as award-winning video producers and editors at Reason TV.

The short originated in a 2018 MPI concept development screenwriting workshop. MPI worked with the Bragg brothers to turn their concept into a completed draft and shortly thereafter, acquired the film for production. 

The film follows a desperate father (Rich Sommer, Mad Men; Glow) who discovers his daughter’s favorite cake decoration is illegal. He descends into a confectionery black market and must make the ultimate parenting choice: break a birthday promise or break the law? 

While the film centers on family dynamics and the outrageous twists and turns that unfold to fulfill the birthday girl’s request, it also shines a light on policy themes such as the overregulation of ordinary actions. 

The Braggs have worked with MPI for many years, participating in our cinematography workshop, screenwriting workshops, and our Business of Film program. They also created original sketches for MPI’s comedy news channel We the Internet TV. Now MPI is proud to enable the Braggs to take their careers to the next level with this compelling calling card short.

“The ability to work with such an accomplished cast and crew was not just an education, but a revelation,” they wrote. “The practical on-set skills and insights we've gained through this process are already having a positive impact on our work. We can't say enough about the talent and energy that MPI has devoted to this production.” 

The film is now in post-production and will screen in festivals next year.

Attend Our Second Annual Cinematography Workshop

Get Your Applications in Before It's Too Late

Don't miss your chance to apply for the Moving Picture Institute's second annual cinematography workshop, Moving Picturecraft. Led by award-winning cinematographer Benjamin Gaskell, this Los Angeles-based workshop educates filmmakers about how lighting, camera, and lens technologies can help them achieve their artistic intentions.

Our cinematography fellows learn from award-winning American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) members, while getting hands-on experience with industry-standard camera and lighting systems.

See what our workshop is all about: