Cinematography Foundation Course

Dates & TimesTo be confirmed
Contact Hours24
FeeTo be confirmed

Tobias Schliesser, the Cinematographer of Hancock and The Taking of Pelham 123 said, “Don’t shoot your demo reel. Be true to the story.”

Open Channel’s practical and popular introductory workshop provides a solid foundation in the craft of Cinematography – knowing how to use the basic tools of camera, composition, framing, lighting and movement. It has been designed to follow the processes a cinematographer would take on a drama film or television program, from script to screen. It frames learning in the context of what is ultimately the job of the cinematographer, to best tell the story of the scene.

The 4-day course covers:

DAY ONE – Visual Strategy and Camera Skills

  • The role of the Cinematographer/Director of Photography
  • Developing a visual strategy
  • Principles of exposure control as a creative choice
  • Really useful phone and iPad apps available
  • Composition as a creative choice and camera movement
  • Visit to VA Hire Port Melbourne, camera and format options and working with a rental house
  • Achieving professional results on consumer products (e.g. the iPhone, DSLR)

DAY TWO – Pre-production, lighting principles, and exterior lighting

  • Developing an awareness of light
  • Electricity and safety
  • Principles of three point lighting and lighting strategies
  • Working as a cinematographer through the process
  • Lighting for exteriors
  • Shoot an exterior scene at Docklands Studios Melbourne

DAY THREE – Interior and studio lighting

  • Lighting for interiors, studio shooting
  • Practical demo of lighting truck and accessories by professional Gaffer, Peter Ryan
  • Shoot a studio scene at Docklands Studios Melbourne sound stage

DAY FOUR – Post production and working as a Cinematographer

  • Reviewing footage shot
  • Running your own cinematography business
  • Colour grading, post production workflows, includes a visit to Roar Digital Port Melbourne

Throughout the course, you will develop, shoot and complete a scene using a real script scene.

While a range of cameras are available for the training, participants are encouraged to bring along their own cameras/DSLRs etc to apply learning.

Participants are provided with access to online resources page as supplementary course information.

Who should do this course?

Beginner cinematographers.

Where can I go after this course? 
Graduates can apply for work in the Camera department on a professional shoot as an Assistant, or may continue shooting independent productions as a Cinematographer or Camera Operator.

View our terms and conditions


  • The trainer offered intricate detail of camera and lighting operation with a great mix between the prac and theory.
  • Feedback during the prac exercises was very helpful.
  • The trainer’s experience combined with working with the Gaffer and his truck was great value for money.
  • The tutor knowledge, prac exercizes and small class size was most satisfactory.
  • “The tutor’s technical and practical knowledge were invaluable and he quickly tuned into our focus and tailored the day to suit our needs. For me it was THE most effective training day I have ever had…and I have had a few”


Open Channel Reception
T: 03 8327 2016