Skip to main content
January 24, 2020 3:00–5:30 pm
Rubenstein Arts Center, Arts of the Moving Image Studio, Room 232
Special Topics

Filmcraft Series: Camera Systems and Camera Operation

Taught by Steve Milligan

The Arts of the Moving Image Filmcraft Workshop Series

The Arts of the Moving Image Filmcraft Workshop Series is six workshops designed to give students the opportunity to develop hard skills in practical areas of filmmaking.  It includes topics in cinematography, editing, post-production, and sound.  It is aimed at filmmakers looking to advance their practice, as well as those interested in a first look at the techniques and technology of film.

Sessions are held each Friday from 3pm to 5:30pm, and are repeated Saturday from 11am to 1:30pm.  The Spring 2020 series runs from January 24th through February 29th.

The workshops are open to the Duke community, with no sign-up or registration required.

Camera Systems and Camera Operation

iPhone to IMAX, cameras are systems configured around common subsystems–physical, mechanical, optical, electrical, digital, and chemical.  A well-organized understanding of the purpose and function of each of these elements is invaluable if one is to execute complete creative control over the moving images they combine to produce.  Similarly, awareness of how a camera’s systems affect functionality will help one choose the right camera for a given purpose, or scale up from a simple to a more complex camera.

While several camera systems are demonstrated and described in this workshop, it is not intended to teach the specific menus or controls of any particular model.  Instead it provides a practical approach for quickly mastering the use of any camera.  The goal: if you were pushed out of a moving taxi in a strange country, and the first thing you found after rolling to a stop was a cache of unfamiliar cinema camera equipment, you would be able to shoot a film by sundown.

Overall, this workshop covers the following elements:

  • Camera formats, features, and modes
  • Lens properties, characteristics, limitations, and flaws
  • Latitude and color
  • ISO, aperture, filtration, and shutter speed
  • Focal length, field of view, depth of field, and compression

About the Instructor

Steve Milligan is a professional cinematographer. Over the last fifteen years he has worked in long and short form documentary, narrative features, commercials, music videos, and projection design. He has been a lecturing fellow in the Duke Arts of the Moving Image program since 2015, and advisor to the Duke student-run production company, Freewater Productions since 2006.

About the Location

This workshop meets in the new Arts of the Moving Image Studio located in Room 232 in the Rubenstein Arts Center.

About DukeCreate

DukeCreate is a series of free, hands-on arts workshops designed to help Duke students, staff, and faculty develop a variety of creative skills. Workshops are open to all skill levels and backgrounds. Most take place in the Duke Arts Annex or the Rubenstein Arts Center and are typically held weeknights 6-8pm.

Workshops are free to all Duke students and staff, with priority given to students. Class size is limited. Students must sign up in advance. Online enrollment for Duke staff opens on the day of the workshop. Staff can also show up 10 minutes prior to a workshop in case a slot becomes available. Walk-ins will only be accommodated on a space-available basis.

DukeCreate is sponsored by the Office of the Vice Provost for the Arts (DukeArts) and University Center Activities and Events (UCAE).