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Zahi Farah

Looking for a 3 to 6 month Cinematography program

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Hey everyone, I've been looking for a solid, hands-on introductory class for a while now and I'm looking for some advice, recommendations, tips, things to look (out) for.

The program should give me a foundation on which I can build for the coming years. I want to learn the tools and craft, not how to use a particular camera.

I've found three solid options so far, and they are:

1- Maine Media Workshops (Maine, USA): 10 week intensive cinematography workshop.
PROS: Asked around and this program is definitely solid with some world class instructors. CONS: Extremely expensive. (16k)

2- Global Institute (LA, USA): The foundational programs.
PROS: World class program and instructors, located in L.A.
CONS: Asked a friend, apparently even the foundational programs are a bit too advanced for someone who's never worked in the camera department. Pretty expensive (expensive at about 10k for a bunch of classes).

3- Afilms (Barcelona, Spain): 3 month Feature Film Cinematography.
PROS: Solid program, but not as good as the other two though significantly cheaper.
CONS: Starts in a year, that's in quite a long time. I feel like doing this in a couple of months.

I don't mind studying anywhere in the world, as long as I can justify it to myself. The class should be technical. I've been curating and improving my eyes for a while now and I'm pretty familiar with filmmaking at many levels, but I want to demystify light (or at least start the process), as I feel it will benefit me greatly as a director. I also feel like shaping light, so being able to DP my own little projects, explore studio photography etc. is something I'm interested in.

I'm not under the illusion that I will become a DP after this workshop, I just want to be able to think like one at a basic level, so I can improve myself in the future.

Director's showreel if anyone's curious.

Thanks in advance.

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I saw your showreel and visually it looks like there is a pretty good amount of knowledge. You've had a separate DoP calling the shots for all of that reel?

What do you know so far?


Hey Macks, thanks.


I work in collaboration with the DP for sure, we engage in long conversations about a bunch of stuff before shooting anything. To answer your question though, I call and design my own shots.


As to 'what I know' in terms of cinematography, technically I'm not that knowledgable.

I've never worked in the camera department. As a director I understand the importance of light but I wouldn't know how to shape it myself. I've got a good grasp on composition and movement however I have little to no hands-on, practical experience with cameras or lights.


I'd like to take a cinematography class that would fill that technical gap and at the same time train my eyes. At heart I believe that every director is in some way a cinematographer, a music composer, an editor, a colorist etc. Now I feel that it's time for me to actually get in there and try things out with my own hands. It just seems like the right thing to do at the moment.

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If I had to choose one of those places to live for 3 months I think it would be Barcelona.
Edited by Mark Dunn

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