Inside Cinematography Bootcamp
By Sofia Bengtsson
- On my way to Cinematography Bootcamp as part of the training curriculum of the BA (Hons) Practical Filmmaking at Met Film School, I asked myself how you even begin to study something practical, like Cinematography?
- When I first came to the shooting block at Warwick road I was a bit nervous at the thought of having such an intensive lesson in filmmaking when my experience is pretty much non-existent! I needn’t have been though; I was made to feel very welcome and included from day one. The laugher from the classroom said it all: tutors and students alike enjoyed being there.
- I met tutors Faye and Philip Sindall in the morning and they explained what the first day would entail for us. We would be starting with Cinematography-themed ‘circuit training’, followed by a Cinematography quiz. The students would then have practical training in using large sensors, focus pulling, and tracking on a professional film set, with supervision by Philip Sindall (Camera Operator for feature films Nanny McPhee, Shakespeare in Love and Mamma Mia!)
- My favourite part of the Bootcamp was the famous circuit training. They were ten different stations with a different mission to conquer at each. From sound- mixing to shooting speed subjects, each station covered a skill within camera operation/ lighting. The students split into small groups and had ten minutes to complete the mission. Faye ran around shouting: “Move on! Move on! Move on!” It was thrilling and very energetic!
- The next day I arrived to an introduction to large sensor cameras and focus pulling with Mark Barrs (who has worked within the camera department popular productions like Jane Eyre and Waking the Dead) After a seminar about the various lenses available for shooting, the students were put to the test; marking out their actors for the best possible focus.
- The Boot Camp concluded with an exercise in tracking at the shoot for student film “The big boss.” This was a LOT of action in one day. You got a number in the morning (I got one too!) and then you looked at the schedule to find out what role you had during the different shoots. These ranged from Director of Photography, Camera Operator, First Assistant Camera, to Grip. The teamwork was incredible; the effort everyone put in was great to see and we all watched the shoot on the monitor together afterwards.
- Throughout the course I was able to chat with some of the students about their experience of the class. “What you put in is what you get out,” said Jamie Touche. This couldn’t be more significant- I’d witnessed these students try their hand at lighting, sound and camera operating in the space of the week and they were serious about picking up the relevant skills needed to make their own films and projects.
- “The course is great,” said Isabella Boddy, “It is so much more fun to learn by doing rather than sitting in a classroom and staring at a board!” I had to agree- I couldn’t imagine school could be so fun!
We offer Accredited and Short courses in the field of Cinematography. For our full list of Cinematography courses, see our website.