Course Evaluations in class April 27

‘Nuff said? We’ll set aside time at the end of the class next week, April 27, for students to do online course evaluations. You can use mobile devices, iPad, or laptop.

Instructions here: Course_Eval_Instructions



The Motivated Camera


What is it? It means that what’s happening on screen – the action – makes narrative sense in combination with the camera movement, the set, and the lighting.

Motivated camera movement is any camera movement makes sense based on the story. Zooming denotes special emphasis; dolly and tracking shots follow the action; focus and depth of field are based on what is important in the narrative at that moment, i.e. what you want the view to follow and focus on.

The beginning and end point of dolly and tracking shots should be motivated, i.e. dollying or tracking should be integral to the action and the narrative – should begin for a reason that is narrative-dependent, and should end because the narrative reaches a particular point of emphasis.

Motivated lighting means that the scene is lit based on the logic of what appears to be a light source in the scene, whether or not it is actually the light source in the narrative.

It helps with both lighting and camera movement to plan where the shot will end before planning where it will begin. The shot should settle at a point that allows for ease of continuity with the next shot/scene, especially if the next clip is static. End your camera movement on a static note if your next shot is static.

Motivated camera movement means incorporating camera movement into the plot. Zoom in on an important element; or reveal, through camera movement, something else in the scene that moves the plot along. The camera captures the action and camera movement, in combination with dialogue and acting, takes your story into the next scene.


SYLLABUS >> syll-nflm3515-sp17 (revised Feb 9, 2017)


Fall 2016

Course Title: Cinematography and Lighting, NFLM 3515-B, CRN 6112
Class Meeting Schedule: Thursday, 7 – 9:45 pm
Room:  6 E. 16th Street, Room D-609/610
Instructor: Cecilia Dougherty
Contact Information:

Course Description
Students explore theoretical and practical elements of cinematography with an emphasis on lighting and cinematographic language. While learning techniques of studio and location lighting, students also study historical and contemporary trends and styles. Theoretical and technical topics include operation and characteristics of cameras, lenses, accessory camera equipment, lighting, composition, digital compression, and exposure (in-camera tools like histograms as well as light meters). Professional techniques for altering the look of a film are demonstrated and discussed. Practical tests and scenes are shot with an eye towards solving practical problems and achieving a visual strategy.

Your professorCD-Spain
Cecilia Dougherty
is a video artist and filmmaker, a writer, and a philosopher. She has been making experimental videos since 1985, and her themes have been largely about psychology, language, sexuality, outsider interpretations of popular culture, and the workings of consumer culture in everyday life. Her film and video works have screened extensively in the US and abroad, most recently in “Art of the Real” at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, NY, “History of Sexuality” at the New Museum, NY, and “Time/Image” at the Blaffer Art Museum, Houston. Other venues presenting her work in previous years include the New York Film Festival, the Whitney Museum of American Art, Light Industry, Microscope Gallery, Anthology Film Archives, Irish Film Center, Dublin, the Wexner Center, Columbus, Ohio, and many others. Dougherty’s work in moving image extends to animations for iPod and multi-channel video installations. Dougherty is a photographer as well, concentrating chiefly on space, place, and the nodal points that connect the myriad and changing elements of daily life. She holds an MFA in Performance and Video, and a PhD in Media Philosophy. My cv is here > cdoughertycv-web 

contact Cecilia Dougherty: