Accessibility statement

Advanced Cinematography - TFT00049H

« Back to module search

  • Department: Theatre, Film, Television and Interactive Media
  • Module co-ordinator: Mr. Matt Brannan
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2024-25

Module summary

Cinematography has always been at the forefront of technological change in the film and television industries, but particularly over the last decade. This module is designed to prepare you to work flexibly and knowledgeably in an industry where that change will continue. In particular, you will have an aesthetic and technical grounding in visual storytelling, developed with the skilled use of the department’s ARRI, RED and Sony cameras packages and lenses. The module emphasises the central importance of composition and lighting in cinematography, and you will be expected to put the cameras, lighting and grips available to them to full creative use in different settings.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 1 2024-25

Module aims

The module aims:

  • To provide an essential grounding in the principles and practice of digital cinematography, and similarities and differences between it and conventional film-based cinematography.
  • To provide a grounding in the principles and practice of lighting for film and digital cinematography
  • To provide students with a framework for understanding the disciplines of photographing actors and documentary contributors.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the module, you will be expected to demonstrate:

  • A greater understanding of how digital cinematography has evolved, preserving or reproducing some key aspects of celluloid origination; and how new aesthetics and techniques are emerging as digital technologies advance
  • An advanced ability to apply the principles of composition, camera movement, and staging and blocking of action and actors for camera
  • An ability to make appropriate creative lens choices, whether using prime, zoom or certain specialised lenses
  • An ability to apply technical knowledge and skills related to camera controls and accessories (including matte boxes, filtration, non-standard shutter speeds and angles, etc.) to achieve certain 'looks' and in-camera effects
  • An ability to light interior dramatic scenes in different fictional genres, that can also be applied to documentary sequences in observational and more formal film- and programme-making styles
  • An awareness of the script breakdown process for cinematographic purposes
  • An ability to interpret the instructions and 'vision' of the director, to communicate with other members of the camera and lighting departments, including grips and other crew, both verbally through common industry terms and through the development of documents such as lighting plans, equipment lists and other visual references.


Task Length % of module mark
N/A 65
Group Project
N/A 25
Practical : Peer assessment
N/A 10

Special assessment rules


Additional assessment information

Formative assessments are entirely practical and form a basis for how the first summative practical group assessment will take place later in the semester. The formative assessments will be carried out in addition to weekly teaching and take place in Week 6 of Semester 1. Group Summative practical assessments will take place in Week 9 of Semester 1 and will include a peer assessed element that the students complete based on their experiences. The summative written (individual) assessment will be submitted in Week 13 (RA1) after the Christmas break.


Task Length % of module mark
N/A 65
Project : Other
N/A 35

Module feedback

You will receive written feedback in line with standard University turnaround times.

Indicative reading

Alton, J. (1995). Painting with Light. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Bailey, J. (2008-). John's Bailiwick [Blog] Los Angeles: ASC.

Brown, B. (2008). Motion Picture and Video Lighting. Oxford: Focal Press.

Elkins, D. (2009). The Camera Assistant's Manual. Amsterdam and London: Focal Press

Ettedgui, P. (1998). Cinematography Screencraft. Hove: RotoVision.

Fauer, J. (2005). Cinematographer Style, Vols I & II. Los Angeles: ASC Press.

Holben, J. (2015). Behind the Lens. London: Focal Press.

Malkiewicz, K. (1992). Film Lighting: Talks with Hollywood's Cinematographers and Gaffers. New York: Simon & Schuster.

McCarthy, T. (1993). Visions of Light: The Art of Cinematography [DVD] Los Angeles: ASC.

Stump, D. (2014). Digital Cinematography. Burlington: Focal Press.

Wheeler, P. (2007). High Definition Cinematography. Oxford: Focal Press.

The following films are indicative of those that will be screened in this module:

Fruitvale Station (Rachel Morrison)

Fargo (Roger Deakins)

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Ellen Kuras)

Saving Private Ryan (Janusz Kaminski)

The Neon Demon (Natasha Braier)

Delicatessen (Darius Khondji)

Children of Men (Emmanuel Lubezki)

The Wrestler (Maryse Alberti)

The Girl on the Train (Charlotte Bruus Christensen)

Mon Ange (Juliette Van Dormael)

Frozen River (Reed Morano)

Paris, Texas (Robbie Muller)
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (Haskell Wexler)

Reds (Vittorio Storaro)

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.