Information about Cinematography Schools

Cinematography schools are targeted toward individuals who are interested in filmmaking. The coursework is often focused at those interested in becoming directors or film crew members, but can also be useful for those who wish to pursue a screenwriting career.

What Cinematography Schools can Offer

Most cinematography careers require at least a bachelor’s degree. A master’s degree is useful but not required for most jobs within this field. Cinematography courses offer an increased focus on new technologies in the filmmaking world, so you can expect some technical focus in your studies. Some of the areas of study you can expect are as follows:

• Film history: A look at the evolving techniques of filmmaking over the years.

• Film lighting: An exploration of lighting techniques and how they can help increase your visual storytelling capabilities.

• Basics of cinematography: A look at the most essential equipment used by filmmakers and how to use them effectively.

• Digital cinematography: An examination of the more complex technical aspects of filmmaking, with a focus on picture manipulation, filtration, and special effects.

• Safety procedures: A rundown of the most important safety aspects of filmmaking, including an emphasis on important behind the scenes roles such as the gaffer and grip.

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Top Schools

Many cinematography schools incorporate their filmmaking curriculum into a television and film studies degree program. Some of the top cinematography schools are as follows.

• New York University in New York, New York

• University of Southern California in Los Angeles, California

• University of California in Los Angeles, California

• American Film Institute in Los Angeles, California

• Columbia University in New York, New York

• Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

• School of the Art Institute of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois

• California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California

• Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida

• University of Texas in Austin, Texas

Online Schools

While learning in person is usually best for cinematography, since it allows hands-on experience with important equipment, some online learning is available as well. Good sources for online studies in this field include the following.

• Academy of Art University in San Francisco, California

• International Academy of Design and Technology in Tampa, Florida

High School Preparation and Admittance Procedures

Few cinematography schools have specific high school requirements for entrance. However, studying in the fields below will be very useful when you enter college and will prepare you better for a film career.

• English

• Art and graphic design

• Theatre

• Photography

If you intend to enter one of the top colleges listed above, you will need consistently good grades as well as extracurricular activities in a relevant field. Achieving honors or high honors during your high school years is a good start, and meeting your school’s requirements for entry into the National Honor Society (NHS) will help. Work in your school’s theatre program will help demonstrate that you know the essentials of showmanship, and participating in an A/V club will help you understand the technical requirements of this field.

Cinematography is a field which requires a solid understanding of both artistic direction and the technical aspects of filming. If you wish to combine art with technology and are passionate about your vision, you will do well in this field.

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