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FILM MAJORS: Cinematography

At SVA, cinematography is an extension of the professional cinematographer’s world. The work of our cinematography faculty can be seen 24/7 in theatres, on TV, in commercials, and on the web.

Cinematography is an art and a craft. The cinematographer or DP—director of photography—is responsible for the visual elements of a motion picture. As guardian of the image, he or she makes every creative choice related to composition, lighting and camera movement—everything that the audience sees in every shot. The cinematographer is one of the director’s key collaborators, translating the screenplay into a visual language, bringing to life the look of the story.

  • You study the works of the masters like Vittorio Storaro, Gordon Willis, Conrad Hall and SVA alum Harris Savides.
  • You study lighting not just by shooting but also by exploring great painters such as Caravaggio and Edward Hopper, and photographers like Henri Cartier-Bresson and Weegee.
  • You have access to our significant inventory of cameras and equipment. Your instructors are often people asked by manufacturers to evaluate new products and make sure you know the current technology of digital film production.

Not only are you prepared in the classroom, you also have opportunities to work on professional sets during your studies. By the time SVA cinematographers are ready to graduate, many are already hired.

Everything that follows at SVA is based on what you learn in this foundation year. As well as being introduced to film history and screenwriting skills, right away you'll be given hands-on experience in preproduction, production and post-production through intensive workshop classes. In each of the disciplines, from acting and writing to cinematography and editing, you’ll be required to demonstrate commitment and energy.
required courses:
AHD-1070 Film History and Criticism
CFD-1020 Introduction to Production I
CFD-1025 Introduction to Production II
AHD-1075 Film History: Analysis of Genre

CVD-1080 Editing I
CVD-1085 Editing II
CFD-1140 Fundamentals of Narrative I
CFD-1145 Fundamentals of Narrative II
HCD-1020 Writing and Literature I
HCD-1025 Writing and Literature II
required courses:
CFD-4940 Film Thesis I
CFD-4945 Film Thesis II