Modern Cinematography

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What is great cinematography, and how is it achieved?

This two day course, led by two time AFI Award winner Ellery Ryan, ACS (Is This The Real World, I Love You Too, Van Diemen’s Land, The Rage In Placid Lake) is designed to investigate the theory of visual storytelling. It features a lively mix of classroom theory and practical studio demonstrations.

Pretty pictures and standout shots are not enough; Cinematographers must take a written text and use technical and interpretive skills to help a Director convert that text into an engaging visual story.

Topics will include:

  • What makes a good shot and why?
  • Selecting lenses & using filters
  • Interpreting the script in visual terms
  • Working with the director, with an operator and with the crew
  • Understanding shot selection
  • Camera movement
  • Digital vs. Film
  • Subtext: how does Cinematography convey meaning?
  • Examining specific scenes in script and film form
  • Originality and cliché
  • How to get through the shooting day and a few tricks to keep you (mostly) sane

Previous student feedback:

'Loved it! Very informative & full of relevant content. Ellery Ryan did an excellent job.'

'Ellery was fantastic and incredibly knowledgeable!'

***DISCLAIMER*** AFTRS reserves the right to cancel any course for any reason at any time. In the event of a course being cancelled a full refund of course fees will be provided. If a participant wishes to withdraw from a course, they may do so up to 15 days before the course commences and get a full refund. Cancellations 14 days or less before course commencement will incur a fee. For more information on AFTRS Open's policies, including refund policies, please see our policies page.​


The Australian Film Television Radio and School would like to acknowledge the Traditional Owners, the Bidjigal people and Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, on whose land we meet, work, study and teach. We pay our respects to Elders past and present, and extend our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from all nations of this land.