The ASC (The American Society of Cinematographers) has been putting on its in-person master class courses for a long time. In fact, part of its core mission is to provide continuous learning opportunities for both its members and the greater filmmaking community. On top of the education, participants are able to network and brush shoulders with some of the greatest cinematographers in filmmaking history.
When the pandemic halted in-person classes and meetups, ASC members did exactly what cinematographers do best: they adapted to the situation, they used every available resource they had, and they kept the show going.
What Is Included in an ASC Master Class?
The beauty of the ASC master classes are the opportunities to connect in a live setting with other cinematographers, both veteran filmmakers as well as other students. In this industry, face time is an invaluable part of developing your skills, connections, and opportunities to further engage.
Many of the courses here at MZed actually came from in-person workshops, such as Vincent Laforet’s Direction Motion, and Alex Buono’s Art of Visual Storytelling and Visual Storytelling 2. We know how important these workshops are, which is why we’re so grateful that ASC is continuing to invest in live learning, even during this difficult year. It’s not easy to get together some of the most well-known cinematographers together at the same time, along with 30 students from around the world.
For the online master classes, ASC puts on three days of live seminars, with live interactions and Q&A interviews, film critiques and discussions, and pre-recorded lighting demonstrations. Each day you can expect to be actively participating along with the other classmates, so you can’t just sit in the back of the class - or in this case, turn off your video stream - and tune out.
Each class has a cap for the number of participants, to keep the class size small and let everyone have an opportunity to engage. The classes have been selling out steadily, so if you’re interested in attending, don’t wait until the last minute to register.
In addition to the students, a very generous number of ASC members join the class throughout the three-day online workshop. It’s really a treat to be able to converse with cinematographers who have worked on some of the most iconic films in history. To us filmmakers, these are our heroes, which makes it so special to be able to learn directly from them, no matter where you are in the world.
ASC Master Class in January 2021
The next ASC master class is happening January 22-24, 2021. Some of the instructors will be Fred Elmes, cinematographer for some classic independent films such as Blue Velvet, Wild at Heart, Night on Earth, and Coffee and Cigarettes.
Bob Yeoman will also be instructing, and you may know him as the director of photography for Wes Anderson’s films. And Tobias Schliessler, who filmed Beauty and the Beast, Dreamgirls, and Friday Night Lights, will be one of the teachers. And keep in mind many other ASC members join in with interviews and Q&A throughout the course.
Here’s some more details of the class, from ASC’s website:
The planned curriculum — including a pre-recorded lighting demonstration, selected film clips, live instruction and interactive discussion periods — is designed to last about 5.5 hours per day, with each session starting at 8:00 AM Pacific Standard Time.
The program will include:
• Welcome address by ASC member describing this new online Master Class format.
• Presentations by ASC instructors followed by Q&A sessions, allowing students to address specific areas of interest or gain further detail.
• Pre-Recorded lighting demonstration – set up, shooting, editing and color grading – live-narrated by the on-set DP who will lead a Q&A with students afterwards
• Deep-dive discussions on influential films of artistic significance, curated by ASC instructors. (To be viewed by students prior to session.)
• Participation with ASC Ambassadors — members in addition to primary event instructors — for discussions and daily social sessions.
• Panel discussions with ASC members on select topics.
• Presentations and Q&A with leading equipment manufacturers
Registration is now open for students worldwide. All instruction will be in English and conducted via Zoom. The price of participation in this three-day event is $900 USD, due by Friday, January 15, 2021. A complete, final day-to-day schedule will be emailed to participants on Wednesday, January 20th.
These online Master Classes are designed to be live sessions with interaction between students and ASC members: recordings will not be available. The in-person ASC Master Classes will resume when health conditions permit. Attendees at the online Master Class will also be given a 10% discount on a future in-person Master Class.