FILM 4392: Cinematography
Spring 2013

Instructor Information
Name:  Chris Churchill
Office location: SRH 124A
Office hours: Mondays and Wednesdays 1:00 pm –3:00 pm or by appointment
Phone:  450-5522
Biography:  BS. Digital Filmmaking, University of Central Arkansas; MFA. Digital Filmmaking, University of Central Arkansas

Course Information
Course Title:  TOPICS: Cinematography
Course Number:  FILM 4392
Course Description: An elective course for majors in digital filmmaking.  Special topics in advanced issues of digital productions, including but not limited to pre-production, digital cinematography, directing, and editing.

Course Objectives: Students will gain knowledge and experience in cinematographic practices including:

  • Understanding in relevant terminology
  • Hands on experience with camera and lighting equipment and techniques
  • A complete understanding of issues relating to exposure, f-stops, focal length, composition, digital cinema workflows, and color correction

Location: SRH 123
Meeting day(s): MW
Meeting time(s): 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Prerequisite(s): FILM 2466: Digital Filmmaking 2


Brown, Blain.  Cinematography Theory and Practice: Image Making for Cinematographers, Directors, and Videographers. Burlington, MA: Focal Press, Second Ed. 2011. ISBN 0240812093

Course Requirements

Your grade will be determined by your level of performance in these areas:

1. Attendance and participation (15%)

2. Scene Analysis (10%)

3. Lighting Recreation (10%)

4. Visual Poem (15%)

5. Scene Recreation (10%)

6. Color Correction Project (10%)

7. Mini-Portfolio (20%)

8. Quizzes (10%)

Grading Scale

Below 60=F

Academic Integrity

The University of Central Arkansas affirms its commitment to academic integrity and expects all members of the university community to accept shared responsibility for maintaining academic integrity. Students in this course are subject to the provisions of the university’s Academic Integrity Policy, approved by the Board of Trustees as Board Policy No. 709 on February 10, 2010, and published in the Student Handbook. Penalties for academic misconduct in this course may include a failing grade on an assignment, a failing grade in the course, or any other course-related sanction the instructor determines to be appropriate. Continued enrollment in this course affirms a student’s acceptance of this university policy.

The university’s academic integrity policy applies to all students enrolled in courses at the University of Central Arkansas. All forms of academic misconduct at the University of Central Arkansas will be regarded as serious.

You should familiarize yourself with all policies listed in the 2010-2011 UCA Student Handbook. Please take particular note of the policies on Sexual Harassment (p. 102-105), Academic Policies (p. 35-41), Academic Integrity Policy (p. 36-41) and the following statement on academic dishonesty:

Definition of Academic Misconduct: Violation of the expectation of academic integrity is    academic misconduct. Examples of misconduct commonly identified by universities include but are not limited to those listed here (definitions are quoted from the Random House Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary, 1999 ed.):

Cheating: to cheat is, in an academic context, “to take an examination or test in a dishonest way, as by improper access to answers.” Cheating may also occur in the context of other academic assignments.

Plagiarism: “the unauthorized use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one’s own original work.” This concept may apply to any kind of intellectual property.

Fabrication: to fabricate is, in this context, “to fake; forge (a document, signature, etc.).” Fabrication is commonly associated with the falsified research findings.

Other forms of academic misconduct may include unauthorized collaboration or submitting the same paper or portions of the same paper to two different courses without the consent of both instructors. The university will provide extensive publicly accessible examples of and information about forms of academic misconduct.

Class Policies

Make up quizzes will be available to students with excused absences, make up quizzes for unexcused absences may be offered at the discretion of the instructor. It is the student’s responsibility to request a make up quiz and provide adequate verification of excused absences.

Assignments are due at class time.  Late assignments may be turned in up to a week late for half credit (unless you have an excused absence the day the assignment is due).

Excused absences include university sanctioned events, illness, emergency, or death in the family.  After five (5) unexcused absences the instructor reserves the right to drop the student from the class with a WF (withdraw fail). If you feel you are approaching a possible unacceptable amount of unexcused absences it is your responsibility to consult with the instructor.

The University of Central Arkansas adheres to the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act.  If you need an accommodation under this Act due to a disability, please contact the UCA Office of Disability Services, 450-3613.

Production Policies

Basic Rules: These rules apply to all production studios and equipment.

  1. DO NOT leave equipment unattended and/or unsecured.
  2. Treat all equipment with RESPECT, as if it belongs to you.
  3. YOU MUST be checked out on all equipment in order to use it. If you don’t know how to do something please ask.
  4. Leave ALL studios, equipment and editing facilities clean or cleaner than you found them.

All students are required to sign the Equipment Use Agreement.

All films must include the following credit:

Produced in Cooperation with the

Department of Mass Communication and Theatre

University of Central Arkansas

The Department of Mass Communication and Theatre at the University of Central Arkansas reserves the right to screen all creative work produced in the class and use said work in any promotional material whether printed, written, taped, digital, or electronic.

Course Evals

Student evaluations of a course and its professor are a crucial element in helping faculty achieve excellence in the classroom and the institution in demonstrating that students are gaining knowledge.  Students may evaluate courses they are taking starting on the Monday of the twelfth week of instruction through the end of finals week by logging in to myUCA and clicking on the Evals button on the top right of the myUCA home page.

Schedule (Subject to Change) 

Topic Assignment/Exercise Reading


Intro Screen: Visions of Light


Narrative Imagery Preinstruction Assessment p. 1-52


Martin Luther King Holiday


Narrative Imagery p 53 – 102


Lighting: Basic Properties Scene Analysis Due p. 103 – 128


Lighting: Color Balance p. 129 – 146


Lighting: Creative Control


Lighting: Advanced Techniques


Grip: Basics in Communication p. 287 – 306


Grip: Lighting Control Lighting Recreation p. 307 – 334


Exposure: Controlling p. 181 – 208


Exposure: Using a Light Meter  


Exposure: On Set Monitoring Visual Poem Due


Lens: Basic Properties


Lens: Depth of Field p. 269 – 284


Lens: Image Control



Digital Workflow: Basics Scene Recreation Due p. 147 – 180


Digital Workflow: LUTS p. 245 – 268


Spring Break



Ditigal Workflow: File Wrangling


Color Correction: Basic Theory p. 227 – 244


Color Correction: Da Vinci Intro


Color Correction: Da Vinci Cont.


Workshop Color Correction Project Due p. 209 – 226








Final Project Reviews  


Final Project Reviews Mini-Portfolio Due


Final Exam Week