Cinematography in the 21st century.

I was honored to be a guest at a number of classes conducted at the launch of a very special school. The Global Cinematography Institute ( founded by Yuri Neyman ASC and Vilmos Zsigmond ASC has as its faculty the finest talents working in the field today. The institute not only teaches the art of cinematography but its instructors are on the forefront of managing the tremendous changes that are affecting our industry. To address the tower of Babel we find ourselves in with an ever changing torrent of file formats,cameras, color space and pipelines the students are exposed to the groundbreaking work of the ASC that strives to bring order to the chaos by defining goals and setting standards in the digital world so that everyone can once again concentrate on the art rather than the technology. The amazing agility of the Institute lies in its connection with the brightest minds in the field who are working directly on the cutting edge of what is happening in cinema now.

The organizational hierarchy of traditional cinema has been altered forever by the rise in the use of visual effects and computer graphics in the film-making process. At the institute the students (who go through a portfolio review for admission and are working professionals) are exposed to traditional lighting methods, computer graphic lighting methods and the hybridization of the two as occurs in the virtual shooting environment. By training the new generation of cinematographers in this wide variety of disciplines it will pave the way for a new category of image creator. In this increasingly complex landscape the term Director of Photography has become insufficient and limiting. In truth today’s DPs work in many more areas than conventional photography as is evidenced by DP involvement in the CGI films Rango and Tin Tin. In these cases along with live action CG blends these talented image creators have need of the new all encompassing title of Director of Imaging (devised by Mr. Neyman). By bringing the DOI into existence we will once again bring order and direction to all aspects of image creation. It will bring back the best of the collaboration scheme of the past and couple it with the amazing tools we now have at our disposal.

The Global Cinematography Institute holds classes using stages and equipment used by the pros that create the magic of mainstream cinema. The virtual cinematography class for example is conducted at Universal Studios Virtual Stage One located right on the lot (Nothing could be cooler than that!)

For those who have finished film school and want to take part in the revolutionary changes that are affecting our industry I highly recommend this spectacular school.

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