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Cinematographer's Preparation

with Jim Denault, ASC

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  •   Trailer

  •   12 The Basic Gear Package

    23:03

Class duration: 4h 29m

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    9 student reviews

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About The Class

filmmaking class: prepare to shoot.


Cinematographers need to do more than simply, “show up and shoot.” Preparing to film is a complex, considered, and artistic task and Cinematographer's Preparation with Jim Denault, ASC will teach you how to strategize and achieve the most creative, productive shoot possible.

Most filmmakers are in the dark about what cinematographic preparation truly entails. This class will give you with a step-by-step guide to preparing to shoot a whole range of narrative material – from the simplest moments to the most complex series of scenes. Jim will show how to break-down and analyze a script from an aesthetic, technical, and practical point-of-view. 

You’ll learn how to:

  • Analyze a script aesthetically and technically
  • Evaluate and provide for the practical needs of a scene
  • Achieve maximum subjective effect within your shooting "strategy"
  • You’ll learn precise, effective, artistic, and technical approaches to shooting, which can be applied across all forms of filmmaking and length of material.

Working cinematographers, camera operators, and filmmakers will develop new skills for efficiently and beautifully conveying the artistic essence of their material.  

Topics Covered


Lesson Plan

  1. 01

    Class Introduction

    06:20
  2. 02

    What Are the Basics to Know?

    28:35
  3. 03

    Prepare to Get the Job

    39:18
  4. 04

    How to Do the Meeting

    14:32
  5. 05

    After You Get the Job: Talk to the Line Producer

    08:46
  6. 06

    Create Style Concepts & Break Down the Script

    23:55
  7. 07

    Learn the Director's Priorities

    15:01
  8. 08

    Essential Documents

    12:06
  9. 09

    How to Complete a Preliminary Scout

    23:05
  10. 10

    How to Prep for the Tech Scout

    11:25
  11. 11

    How to Go on Tech Scouts

    32:43
  12. 12

    The Basic Gear Package

    Jim discusses the best camera and lighting equipment to rent for small budget film projects.

    23:03
  13. 13

    How to Set Up the Camera

    11:38
  14. 14

    How to Camera Test

    03:50
  15. 15

    Audience Q & A

    12:23
  16. 16

    Parting Words

    02:20

Meet Your Expert

Jim Denault, ASC

Jim Denault, ASC got his start shooting distinctive independent features. He has gone on to photograph in a wide range of film and television genres. An interest in photography from an early age led him to study at the Rochester ... read more

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Bonus Material

Access your course materials here!

Get access to exclusive bonus content when you purchase this class.

  • pdf The Cinematographer Prepares.pdf
  • pdf Camera Gear List
  • pdf DOOD
  • pdf Equipment List Examples
  • pdf Glimmer of Hope Shooting Schedule
  • pdf Script - Glimmer of Hope - By Jessica Brown

100% of students recommend this class.
See what some of them have to say.

  • Zuhair Lokhandwala

    Zuhair Lokhandwala

    July 2019

    Great class! Highly recommend to those starting out who are unclear about the process of getting the first job, meeting the director and keeping things organized so you feel more in control and have good clarity when you're at the shoot finally Thank you Jim!

  • Christopher Lamb

    Christopher Lamb

    April 2015

    There is nothing more valuable than learning from people that continue to work in their field. This course is priceless. To get into the processes and thoughts of a successful working Cinematographer -- there aren't words. Everyday I'm on set I think about the necessity of mentorship and this is the closest thing to that. Thank You Jim for agreeing to share your processes and techniques and to Mentor us in this digital age. Thank you CreativeLive for hosting this class and making it available.

  • user-3c589d

    April 2015

    So nice to see the process that the Cinematographer goes through, from meeting with Directors for potential projects to prepping all the gear and coming up with the visual style of the film. A rare yet incredibly helpful understanding of the process of the D.P. even before you step on set.

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