Basic-Level Workshop: Directing for the Camera

December 8, 2018, 1 – 5:30pm
Portland Media Center, 516 Congress Street, Portland


As a director and visual storyteller, your creative toolkit is comprised of three main elements: Your script, your actors, and your camera.

The MFA Directing for the Camera Workshop brings together and explores these primary elements of narrative filmmaking. The workshop introduces rules and conventions, and then goes on to demonstrate techniques designed to provide new visual avenues and stylistic choices.

The goal: To sharpen your filmmaking skills and to elevate the look and feel of your film projects.

The workshop starts with script breakdowns, blocking, and rehearsal. Next, we examine the power and creative choices of camera placement, lens choice, aperture, and depth of field. As a director, it is essential to know and understand the rules of where to place and how to use the camera. And then, we work on the choreography, where we bring together the elements of the mise-en-scene, the performance, the blocking, and the camera.

After the discussion of script breakdown, blocking and camera placement, the workshop will use two short and distinct narrative scenes. We will breakdown their scripts, block with actors, design and discuss options for the scene coverage, and demonstrate choreography between actors and camera to tell the most dynamic and engaging visual story.

The MFA Directing for the Camera Workshop is intended for novice to intermediate directors, all directors of photography, and documentary filmmakers who are new to narrative filmmaking.

Instructor: Matt Siegel, Director of Photography.
Matt Siegel has over 20 years experience with narrative filmmaking, working on Hollywood’s largest films and television’s most popular episodic shows. He has extensive experience writing and producing independent features and shorts, with films that have screened at Sundance, Slamdance, Toronto, and Cannes. He is a former professor at NYU Tisch School of the Arts and has taught directing and camera workshops around the world. When not on set or in the classroom, Matt is head of production for Bones + Blubber in Los Angeles.

Cost: $25 MFA Members; $50 non-members
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