Cinematography Training Programs and Requirements

Undergraduate programs that cover cinematography teach students about film production and creation as well as using the required equipment through traditional coursework and internships. These programs are usually offered at the bachelor's level.

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Essential Information

Cinematographers are camera operators who film movies and documentaries. Those interested in this field as a career can pursue a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Film Studies, a program that typically lasts four years and requires the completion of an internship for graduation. In this way, students gain direct experience by working under the supervision of industry professionals. Students also learn how to utilize popular equipment and software.

Bachelor of Arts in Film Studies

Bachelor's-level film studies participants learn to write scripts and create effects, visual narratives and dramatic situations. Core course topics include:

  • Visual media
  • Theories of communication
  • Film and dramatic theory
  • Film production
  • Lighting and sound
  • Film composition
  • Documentary production

Popular Careers

Graduates are eligible for employment as camera operators, production assistants, producers and cinematographers.

Continuing Education

For those who would like to further their education, select film schools and universities offer master's cinematography programs, as well as professional workshops and seminars. In large cities like Los Angeles and New York, production studios also sponsor workshops. Numerous organizations, like the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC), the Society for Cinema & Media Studies and the International Cinematographers Guild and American Cinema Foundation, have continuing education courses, professional opportunities and development resources. The American Cinematographer features technical articles and a concepts glossary.

Those interested in cinematography can find opportunities through bachelor's programs in film studies and related aspects of filmography. Students can also pursue avenues such as film workshops, seminars, and internships, most being located in Los Angeles and New York.

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