Intro to Cinematography
Spring 2009, CRN 31134

Tuesdays, 2:30 to 3:45 p.m.
Thursdays, 2:30 to 3:45 p.m.
CCA, Room B

Mr. Bryan Cardinale-Powell
CCA, 2
nd Floor

Office Hours:
Mondays through Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., or by appointment

Course Description:
Cinematography is an alchemy of art and technology, and this course will offer students an introduction to the variety of aesthetic and practical considerations that come into play when a moving image is recorded. Some of the questions we will explore include the following:
  • What possibilities for expression are afforded by the use of camera and lighting equipment?
  • How do parameters of composition and exposure figure in to the effort to present compelling moving images?
  • What traditions exist in the practice of cinematography?
  • What values does the image assume in various cinematic traditions?
Our efforts to come up with responses to these questions will be aided by assigned readings, discussions, and student projects.

Course Objectives:
Upon successful completion of this course, the student should be able to demonstrate the following:
  • recommended operation of various lighting and camera equipment;
  • thoughtful analysis and discussion of cinematic images;
  • familiarity with the language of cinematography;
  • knowledge of a variety of cinematic image-making traditions.

Required Texts:
  • Brown, Blain. Cinematography: Theory and Practice.

Recommended Texts:
  • Alton, John. Painting with Light.
  • Clarke, Charles. American Cinematographer Manual.
  • Malkiewicz, Kris. Cinematography.
  • Rogers, Pauline. Contemporary Cinematographers on Their Art.
  • Samuelson, Verne & Silvia. “Hands On” Manual for Cinematographers.”
  • Shaefer, Dennis & Larry Salvato. Masters of Light.

As deemed necessary by the instructor,
additional readings may be assigned during the term. Any additional readings either will be distributed in class or electronically via email. More information will be provided as necessary.

Readings assigned for this course were selected to complement class activities. Therefore,
reading assignments should be completed before attending class.

Course Requirements:
In addition to the assigned readings mentioned above, student requirements for this course include the following:
  • Attendance and participation in classroom activities/discussions
  • Quizzes
  • Classroom Journal
  • Midterm Exam
  • Cinematographer Retrospective
  • Final Exam

Attendance and Participation: Each student is entitled to two unexcused absences, but keep in mind that failure to attend class is the best way to fail class. Your attendance in class and at screenings is expected and will be monitored.

Quizzes: Occasionally, there will be quizzes at the beginning of each class session. Quiz questions will come from assigned readings.

Classroom Journal: A class reporter rotation will be set up during our first class meeting. For each remaining class session, the assigned class reporter will take notes of the day’s activities and post a written account online no later than the day following class.

Midterm Exam: The exam will likely consist of 30 to 50 multiple-choice and/or matching questions that cover vocabulary and concepts discussed in class.

Cinematographer Retrospective:
Students will work in groups to analyze the work of a single cinematographer. Their research will include viewing several examples of the cinematographer’s work and collecting information about the production and working style of the cinematographer. They will present their findings in the form of a short “Retrospective Program” to be handed out to the class when the group presents and leads discussions on the significance of their selected subject. Further details and guidelines for this project will be handed out in class.

Final Exam: The Final Exam will be cumulative, and will likely include short answer questions in addition to multiple choice/matching questions.

Throughout the semester, class-related information will be communicated via email. To ensure that this works as smoothly as possible, please be sure you have access to your Oklahoma City University email account, and that you check that account regularly. If you’d rather use a different email address for class-related correspondence, please let the instructor know by the end of the first week of classes.

Plagiarism, cheating, and/or academic dishonesty in any form will not be tolerated in this course. For further details, please refer to the Policy on Academic Honesty on page 40 of the 2008-09 undergraduate catalog available online here. Sanctions for violations of academic honesty are at the discretion of the instructor and can be severe.

Students will earn final grades based on the following formula:

10% Attendance/Participation
20% Quizzes
10% Classroom Journal
20% Midterm exam
20% Project
20% Final exam

Assignment scores and calculated totals will correspond to letter grades according to the following scale:
94-100 A 75-78 C+
90-93 A- 72-74 C
86-89 B+ 68-71 C-
83-85 B 60-67 D
79-82 B- 0-59 F

Make-up work and late assignments may only be accepted with the advance permission of the instructor, and such permission will be granted only in cases of verifiable hardship.

An incomplete (I) will only be granted according to the university policies published on page 46 of the 2008-09 undergraduate catalog.

If you need an accommodation due to a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act, please contact the Student Health and Disabilities Service Office immediately at (405) 208-5991 or (405) 208-5090. Advance notice is required for many accommodations.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at any time during the semester to discuss your classroom performance. However, I will not disclose any grades via email.

They’re your grades. You earn them.