Filmcraft Series: Camera Systems and Camera OperationTaught 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.