The Visual Accelerator
Cinematography for Directors:
A Course in Fundamentals of Visual Grammar
The Course is a master class in visual story telling. Cinematography to film is like poetry is-to prose. Its is a visual poetry, that relies on structures and patterns to imprint a visceral reaction in the viewer.
This is an art and a craft - which goes beyond logic and into a deep realm of the dance between intuition & collaboration. To create art is to confront the unknown through process. To engage in a Craft is to implement patterns & structures that comprise visual grammar. We will learn the fundamentals of visual story telling; learning how to translate scripts into emotionally & Viscerally powerful viewing experiences.
As Iconic French Director Henry Truffaut said “Whatever is said instead of being shown is lost upon the viewer.” - Truffaut2.“Film the thoughts of [...] characters and make them perceptible without resorting to dialogue.” 3.Bill Dill, a member of the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC), reinforces this statement by saying, “We photograph physical things to stand in for the things we can't photograph. We can't photograph love, redemption, happiness, peace, war, or chaos. So we photograph physical things and actions. And give them meaning so the audience understands what those things represent.” (“Cinematography 01: Narrative Fundamentals.” Lynda.com.) The premise of this course stands on these cinematic principles—filmic storytelling is not made from dialogue, but comprised of visual and aural cinematic material occurring beneath the dialogue.
The Purpose of this course is to give you a solid foundation of the elements of visual story telling while liberating your imagination & creativity. Giving you the tools to visualize your work and execute the visuals of your film with purpose &confidence There will be required reading and watching that is best done once before the course, so we can revisit concepts, ideas and films and apply what we learned in practice during our time together.
In this socially distanced online course you will practice how to execute your vision through technical and creative choices in visual storytelling by means of camera, lenses, composition, lighting, and camera movement, among other creative and technical tools in crafting the art of the image. The course is designed to be an intensive, hands-on technical & creative lab. All classes will be recorded and you will have lifetime access. I will hold a container for you to explore, learn and create from a deep authentic place. As with all things, the more you put into it the more you will take away.
You will learn how to translate theoretical concepts and creative ideas into moving images through fun hands on story telling-excercises. The weekly exercises will expand your cinematography skill set at a technical and intuitive level. You will experiment with lenses, lighting, camera movement and will create projects from prompts but based on your own imagination. You will be guided to master specific styles and make cohesive lensing choices. You will experience cinematography as a bridge between the esoteric, ephemeral imagination and the eyes of the Audience
The Content of the course is divide into Two Four-Week Modules. During each modules you will have a chance to develop a visual poem that you will plan, film and edit yourself. You will also be invited to develop a professional looking book for script or project of your choice. Module 2 will be taught in Either September 2020 (If the Pandemic LockdownPersists) or January 2021 after I wrap my next project. Should the course be delayed to January 2021 I will keep in touch with the class on a weekly basis, sharing the tools I am using, lighting diagrams as well as real life examples and ideas.
I will share concepts and tools from my work, how I use them and apply them to telling visually creative I teach from years of on set experience as well as having conducted IVY league courses & Masters Classes for Canon USA, The American Film Institute, NYFA, Northwestern University, Yellow Submarine India I have a deep love for cinematography and empowering creativity in others. I have taught all over the world to students far and wide. It has opened my eyes to the diversity and common threads in the human story. I am inviting a truly global student body to inspire cross cultural ideas, inspiration and a taste of international cinema. The class will be intimate and limited to 5 people ensuring that you have the support & inspiration from global peers. You will have an option for one on one time with me weekly to develop hone your vision, while having your peers elevate your creativity. You will have access to my Teaching Assistant for additional technical support.
I want you to get the most out of this. I want you to feel empowered to tell beautiful stories with a camera in your hand. I want you to come out these workshops with a deep inner understanding of the language of film and the space of your own intuition.
Module 1: Visual Language and The Camera will break down the fundamental grammar of visual storytelling, technical basics that apply to every camera system, framing, lens choices and where we put the camera for the story and why. We will learn how blocking influences coverage, impacts visual language and is the fundamental basis for visual decision making. You will practice creating evocative poetic images that have an underlying fundamental visual grammar. This module is applicable for a beginning cinematographer and director looking to gain a stronger grasp of visual grammar.
Week 1: Foundations of Visual Story Telling
Week 2: Framing and Lenses & Exploring specific focal lengths
Week 3: Grammar of Your Shot Selection & Combining focal lengths
Week 4. Blocking and the Camera
Module 2: Painting with Light. Lighting is an integral part of cinematography, and it's one of the few areas of filmmaking that has infinite arrangements of set-ups. ... There is no one right way to employ lighting design. A scene could be lit several different ways by different cinematographers, each altering the mood and overall impact of the image. We will examine work from various cinematographers and I will share lighting plots from my own work. You
will learn low-budget lighting hacks to that will give you the tools to create poetic lighting with limited equipment.
Week 1: Painting with Light: A round table conversation about lighting with Guest Cinematographers.
Week 2: Lighting Module 1: Foundations (Exposure & Color Temperature) & Direction
Week 3: Lighting Module 2: Day Interiors & Exteriors
Week 4: Lighting Module 3: Exploring Darkness / Night Work
Unleash your creativity in the here and now, engage your imagination.
Feel creatively empowered with a camera in your hands.
Understand how to create
Create a Visual Symphony: Analyze a script in order to visualize (make physical) the underlying emotions (subtext).
Practice ten tools of composition in order to best translate the dramatic elements of a film story into footage that can be edited into a cohesive film: shot size, camera height and angle, camera motion, focal depth of field, light and shadow, line and linear perspective, layers, weight, color, and texture.
Choose the right lens to enhance a story using the psychology of lenses.
Experience and Understand the worlds created by each focal length.
Explore how to use six elements of lighting to help visualize the emotions of a story for indoor and outdoor location shoots (day and night): light quality, intensity, direction, texture, contrast, and color temperature.
Utilize some basic tools of exposure to help control the look of shots: zone system, histogram, waveform, aperture and depth of field, ND filters, shutter angle and frame rate, and lighting modifiers.
Examine the key features of digital cinema cameras, including how to shoot in Log, RAW, and withLUTs.
Use tools of postproduction to help shape the final look of the film.
Engage in professional behavior that includes setting realistic goals, time management skills, communication in a positive manner (articulating professional information within the professor via texts, emails, and face to face), act with integrity, and foster a desire for excellence.
The Schedule: The course is taught in two 4 week Modules that can be taken separately, although Module 2 requires some prior cinematography experience. You must interview before signing up. The first Module will be held from Monday August 3 to Sunday August 30, 2020 online via zoom and class portal. The class will meet every Monday and Sunday. Two times will be offered to accommodate multiple time zones. Each class will have 5 students.
7:00 Los Angeles
10:00 New York
15:00 London / Lagos
14:00 Los Angeles
17:00 New York
22:00 London/ Lagos
The dates for the second Module are TBD. We will meet twice a week: every Monday for a lecture and discussion and Sunday we will review your work. You will have weekly creative work to unleash your visual genius.
“Let me share my enthusiasm for Anka. I've know Anka for a decade and am always advancing my career when on her sets, in her seminars or on our most recent Fearless road-trip to Sundance 2017. In 2016 I was at one of those critical 'forks in the road' - a breaking or making point. Anka reached out to me and I began working with her one-on-one. Anka is more than a 'Coach.' She activated a power in me that comes from discovering my Voice, nurturing my Vision, and visualizing-to-achieving the career abundance I seek. Within weeks of working with Anka, I went from unemployed, to booking a FOX unscripted camera operating job, then DP'ing two short film narratives and in the biggest example of advancing toward my goal to transition to scripted network t.v. , I am currently DP'ing seasons 3 and 4 of the CBS scripted show, The Inspectors. Goals shattered. My true DP spirit set free. Thank you, Anka, for reaching out to me six months ago and setting me off on my journey. And that is just Anka. Anka is a top level Director and DP studying with her is a journey I absolutely recommend.”
SHERRI KAUK/ CINEMATOGRAPHER
" There is something so magically profound about Anka. She is a natural born teacher of compassion, self love, vision, and manifestation, and I knew in my heart that learning from her was going to improve my life and career. And it did!! My career is going in the direction I want. Anka introduced me and referred me to her professional contacts. I was now being considered for work in the direction I wanted to go. That was really bold of her! She believes in me and showed me that she was going to champion my gifts to the rest of the world! "
ASHLEY HUGHES / LOCAL 600 CAMERA OPERATOR
To work with Anka Malatynska is to work with lightning in a bottle. When conscious decisions are be made on set, her constant wave of creativity and ability to adapt have always been a key element in the way she works on a professional film set. Personally, I have known Anka for 2 years and learning and watching her work has always been delight. My experience with her as an instructor always rotated around not only the growth as a cinematographer, but being creatively open to new ideas and experimenting. You’ll come to learn that Anka is always fresh voice in a crowd of creative murmur. From the technical insight, to creative pathways, you are sure to learn a new approach in learning how to capture your vision within the frame. "
HUNTER GOETZ / FILMMAKER
Learning from Anka has been one of the most enriching experiences of my film studies. Not only is she a notable cinematographer, but she is also an amazing teacher and mentor. Her lessons were very detailed and always practical. Seeing the lights set up and their effect on the subject helped to further my understanding of how to shape light on the screen. Her break downs and focus on lenses and their language was absolutely illuminating. I would highly recommend Anka's cinematography course to any filmmaker looking to expand their skill set and invest in their future.
ANGELA HUSTON / NAU STUDENT FILMMAKER