Cinematography Basics: Understanding Filmmaking Style

Zak Mulligan, Cinematographer

Play Speed
  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x
7 Videos (29m)
    • Introduction

      1:40
    • Today's Scene

      5:58
    • Inspiration

      4:54
    • Cinema's "Visual Language" Toolkit

      3:50
    • Making a Shot List

      6:02
    • The Scene: Breakdown with Shot List

      3:18
    • The Scene: Commentary

      3:07
145 students are watching this class

About This Class

Join cinematographer Zak Mulligan for a 30-minute exploration into the basic cinematic tools and choices that make a film magical and compelling. This is the foundation for understanding filmmaking style.

In the middle of creating your own short film? Eager to level up your production value? Or even just curious what goes on "behind the curtain" to give a feature film that artistic look and feel? The answer is in cinematography: the style of your film.

Zak shares:

  • key considerations for cinematography — tactics for manipulating mood, tone, and feel
  • tactical tips for creating a shot list  — the key to organizing your cinematic details
  • exclusive "commentary" narration of a real scene from the feature film Obselidia

All of these things will help you demystify the "visual language" behind film so that you can communicate your vision through your own film and photography. You'll leave empowered to experiment with effects and techniques on your next project, bringing together artistry, story, and style.

___________________

Note: This class is intended to provide inspiration and core concepts for late beginner filmmakers and those curious about filmmaking. It is not a comprehensive tutorial in making short films; supplementary Skillshare classes are provided in the resources to provide additional background knowledge.

345 of 356 students recommendSee All

Great class on many fundamentals.
Super helpful if you're wanting to get in to cinematography!
I'm new on skillshare, and this is a well made class for beginners. It was a bit refreshing too see this. I have seen many movies, read a lot about films, seen tons of behind the scenes and interviews, had classes last year in school (even though I got very good grades, it was so boring) and I gotta say that it is very helpful for beginners, but it was more a summary for me to be honest. If you are like me, an aspiring filmmaker and knows tons about films, have analyzed films, read about films, knows the basics, I think you can challenge yourselves by taking other more challenging classes. With that being said, it was still a good class, I will still recommend this :)

7,658

Students

3

Projects

Zak Mulligan

Cinematographer

Cinematographer Zak Mulligan started his career in New York after studying art and photography at Arizona State University.

Mulligan's narrative feature Obselidia premiered at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival in the Dramatic Film Competition where he was honored with the Excellence in Cinematography award for his work. Obselidia also took home the Alfred B. Sloan award and was honored with two Independent Spirit Awards nominations. Mulligan's TV work includes Ava DuVernay's CBS TV pilot...

See full profile