Skip to main content

Unit information: The Art of Cinematography in 2020/21

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name The Art of Cinematography
Unit code FATVM0004
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Mr. Milner
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Film and Television
Faculty Faculty of Arts


This unit aims to explore the theory, history and practice of cinematography in order to further a critical understanding of its aesthetic and semantic possibilities that is both informed and enriched by practice. Students will study examples of different filming techniques and methodologies to arrive at a deeper understanding of key theories, approaches and cinematographic strategies. Students will be able to experiment and explore ideas through practical work and will critically reflect on both the experience, method and final product.

Unit Aims:

  • Introduce and instruct students in the theory and aesthetic possibilities of cinematography informed by key movements in film and screen history.
  • Develop students’ practical, technical and creative filming skills through the use of key techniques, methodologies and chosen equipment.
  • Develop students’ abilities to explore and apply theories and methods of cinematography through practical work.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will:

  1. Be able to demonstrate knowledge of different approaches to cinematography, and be able to situate and evaluate these in different contexts.
  2. Have a critical and historical understanding of the aesthetic function and theoretical implications of different filming styles and methodologies.
  3. Have a practical understanding of how to deploy key filming techniques and methodologies.
  4. Be proficient in the use of chosen equipment, and able to explore its technical and creative possibilities

Teaching details

Weekly workshop and screening/seminar.

Assessment Details

100% Practical Portfolio, equivalent to 5000 words

Reading and References

Brown, B. (2002) Cinematography : theory and practice : image making for cinematographers, directors & videographers. Amsterdam: Focal Press, pp. 1-12.

Figgis, M. (2012) Digital Film-Making. New York: Faber and Faber.

Frost, J. (2009) Cinematography for Directors. Studio City: Michael Weise Productions

Keating, P. ed. (2015), Cinematography: Behind the Silver Screen: A Modern History of Filmaking, London: I B Tauris.

Stump, David (2014) Digital Cinematography, Focal Press 2014

LoBrtto, Vincent (1999) Principal Photography: Interviews with Feature Film Cinematographers, Praeger