On Nov 14th the Global Cinematography Institute unveiled its first Canadian presentation of the “Expanded Cinematography” Master Class in Vancouver. The impressively staged three-day event was sponsored by Local 669, Canadian Society of Cinematographers, Clairmont Camera, Capilano University and Lorne Laphan Sales & Rentals with support from the Cap U Bosa Centre.
Some forty attendees (a mix of students and industry professionals) gathered at Clairmont Vancouver where 669 President Brian Whittred introduced GCI Co-Founders Vilmos Zsigmond, ASC and Yuri Neyman, ASC along with Instructors David Stump, ASC and Jason Knutzen, GCI.
Kicking off was David Stump with his introduction to advanced digital terminology and concepts. When it comes to understanding the nuts and bolts of digital cinematography David Stump is the man. His 494-page 2014 publication Digital Cinematography: Fundamentals, Tools, Techniques and Workflows (Focal Press) is a definitive work on the subject and current industry bible. Excerpting in bullet format from his exhaustive book using a rich assortment of illustrations David delivered a PowerPoint presentation on Digital Simplified, Sensors, MTF, Contrast, Resolution and Nyquist Theory, giving everyone plenty to chew on. Despite the hard-core nature of the material (and yes there was math–calculus) David engaged the class throughout by adopting a lively open discussion forum. With his encyclopedic knowledge of the subject matter David was able to keep the session on topic never getting bogged down “in the weeds” for very long.
“… the movie industry generally aims to make films at the narrowest margin of success” (in reference to the 24 fps standard)
David Stump, ASC, PGA, VES, SMPTE, GCI
In the afternoon session DP, Colorist, DIT and development team member at Gamma & Density Co. Jason Knutzen joined David for a hands-on camera demo before his own presentation of Image Management: LUTs, CDLs, and the DIT.
Instructor Jason Knutzen (at right below) looks on before taking his turn to examine “Look Management” in the pre-pro, production and post process
On day 2 the scene shifted to Capilano University’s Bosa Film Centre where Jason Knutzen outlined the eleven course curriculum at GCI before Yuri Neyman, ASC presented an overview of the History of Cinematography and Photography.
Jason Knutzen on the expanded role of today's cinematographer
Next up in The Art of Cinematography was a screen tribute to the distinguished work of Vilmos Zsigmond featuring select clips with a live running commentary from “The Deer Hunter”, “Deliverance” “Heaven’s Gate”, “McCabe & Mrs. Miller”, “Black Dahlia” and “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”. The Oscar, Emmy, ASC and BAFTA winning cameraman then opened up for a Q&A with the audience.
“Even with 4000 ASA movies have to look lit … we still have to compose, light and let the actors act” Vilmos Zsigmond ASC, HSC
Later at the Bosa Centre Stage Vilmos led a hands-on demonstration of techniques for dynamic set lighting. With a wireless microphone Vilmos was able to roam the set and conduct an interactive lighting workshop with the assistance of a camera, grip and lighting crew. It was a rare opportunity to see a modern master generously pay his expertise forward in a true spirit of collaboration and learning.