Cinematography Syllabus for 2021-2022
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Instructor Information

Office Location

Amarillo College Campus/ Downtown Location: Room 116

Office Hours

By appointment

Course Information

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FLMC-2333-001 Cinematography


Course Description

Advanced concepts of theoretical elements and practical applications of the cinematic craft.

Student ResourcesStudent Resources Website

Department Expectations

Occupational License Disclaimer

Notice to Students enrolled in an educational program for preparation of issuance of certain occupational licenses:

Students enrolled in an educational program in preparation for obtaining certain occupational licenses are potentially ineligible for such license if the student has been convicted of an offense. For further information, please contact:

Melodie Graves
Justice Involved Advocate
Student Service Center 117
Make appointment at

You can also contact the Legal Clinic, or the faculty member in charge of the educational program that you seek to enroll in. The further information you will receive will include notification to you of your right to request a criminal history evaluation letter from the licensing authority in order to clarify your particular situation.


(3 sem hrs; 2 lec, 3 lab)

Class Type

On Campus Course

Syllabus Information


Text will be given by the instructor, as well as, any handouts that may be needed.


Students will need a memory card, flash drive, or another form of jump drive. 

Student Performance

  • Students learn how to safely and properly work with pro-style cameras, audio equipment, and lighting gear. As well as, working in a professional setting

  • Students learn the creative and technical process of Cinematography through many different processes, including properly-getting media in, working with it, and outputting in the right formats for various venues.

  • Even for those not going into the film/television fields, many types of jobs at times require creating or modifying some sort of audiovisual media – here students get acquainted with the full range of skills needed to do this.

  • Those with prior experience in filmmaking (e.g., from prior classes taken, high school, or self-taught) will deepen their knowledge base, fill in the gaps, and improve their creative abilities and technical craft. Those without any prior training get all the tools they need to take an audiovisual project from start to finish.

  • All students will come out with multiple completed works of their own, as well as works that they created as part of a group.

  • Regardless of major or prior background, students explore their own creative impulses with projects built around their individual concerns, artistic voice, and feelings. 

Students Rights and Responsibilities

Student Rights and Responsibilities

Log in using the AC Connect Portal

In order to receive your AC Connect Email, you must log in through AC Connect at .

If you are an active staff or faculty member according to Human Resources, use "Exchange". All other students, use "AC Connect (Google) Email".

Expected Student Behavior

  • You are strongly encouraged to assist and cooperate on one another's projects. However, all your course work in this class must be your original work and must be shot by yourself. Plagiarism, borrowing a story idea or storyboards from somebody else, and hiring a director or cinematographer for your projects are strictly prohibited. 

  • Always submit your papers, treatments, and projects on time to get full grade consideration and to be screened in class. 

  • If you miss class, you are still responsible to submit work that is due. All course work turned in after the due date will be downgraded 1 full letter grade/ after 1 week you will receive 0 credit. Please discuss in advance of your absence if at all possible. 

  • Assume that the course material is new to all students. Accordingly, I expect most students to do better at the end of the course than at the beginning.

  • To help you improve as a shooter, designer, and overall craft creator, I will make "critical" comments on your work. These comments should not be taken personally; they are indications of areas on which you need to work. It is your responsibility as a student to ask questions when they arise, or if there are areas that you know you may need help with do not hesitate to ask.

  • Each student should keep a dedicated notebook for this course. The notes and work you do during this course will allow you to take this knowledge and implicate it in real-world situations and jobs. Take this knowledge and use it. 

  • Be on time. This field and career path is pressed for time, and time is money. Class starts promptly at the designated time, unless told otherwise by the instructor, and if there are videos to be shown they should be exported and ready to play when class begins. 

  • Please contact me if you need help or have any questions. 

Grading Criteria

Grading -

The work you create in class will be its own reward. Your grade for this class will be based on your collaboration and support of your fellow classmates, as well as on your participation in the various support positions (ie. AC, electrician, grip, etc.). Additional consideration will be given to those students who push themselves to take creative risks. Finally, too much ambition that results in not completing your goals, will adversely affect your grade…. 


25%: Class Participation (In-class Discussions, Presentations, and Screenings)

50% In-Class Exercises 

25%: Out of Class Project

Grading Scale-

  1. (Excellent): Mastery of the material ability to express and apply the material in a creative way (I.e. Not simply what’s been covered in class or the main text.) 

  2. (Good): Presentation of the material is in a clear, organized fashion. 

  3. (Fair): Basic concepts and facts correct and covered in adequate depth; inconsistency (Some areas covered well: others done poorly, the indication of some confusion over the material); or inability to express your understanding clearly. 

  4. (Poor): Perfunctory coverage of the material; much misunderstanding of the material; in comprehensive use of skills; excessive absences or lateness. 

F. (Failure): Failure to do the assignments as stated; failure to hand in an assignment; Complete or near-complete misunderstanding of the material; plagiarism illiteracy, excessive lateness. 


Attendance, absences, and tardies 

Group process and collaboration are essential parts of not only this course but this field as well. Lateness, absence, and the failure of reliability will be detrimental to your grade. There are no excused absences. The exceptions to this policy are for DOCUMENTED medical issues requiring a visit to a clinic, doctor’s office, or hospital for emergency care. This means that regularly scheduled medical appointments are not excused. You must provide the instructor with a note from a caregiver for the absence to be excused. Another is a severe family issue, such as a death or another uncontrollable circumstance that your family may encounter, family comes first, this class comes second. However, for anything undocumented or discussed prior and you miss class for any reason, or if you miss a portion of a class period, it is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to get notes from a peer and to turn in assignments. Arriving more than 10 minutes late or leaving more than 10 minutes early from class will be considered tardiness. Three accumulated tardies will equal one absence. After your third absence, your final grade will be penalized a full letter grade. If you miss six or more classes, your overall grade for this course will be discussed. 


Course Timetable – (Subject to change ahead of class delivery based on knowledge of students)


Week 1: Introduction of Course

Jan 21/ Friday


  • Go over syllabus, expectations, and requirements

    • Allow students time to familiarize themselves with the spaces. 

  • Expectations/Outcomes for the course

  • Coverage of basic knowledge


There will be no lab this week/ if students would like to familiarize themselves with the space more they may use this time. 

Week 2: 

Jan 28/ Friday- 


  • Visual Language/ Writing with Motion

    • Students may look into the following chapter on the language of lenses.

    • Assignment assigned- Composition (Due week 4, Feb 11)

      • Discuss the requirements of the assignment

        • Allow the students to discuss positions and roles in cinematography. 


  • Hands-on camera work

    • Student will practice their knowledge during lab (group practice)

Week 3: 

Feb 4/ Friday-


  • Visual storytelling/ Continuity and Coverage- full lecture

    • Quiz- Visual Language/Writing with motion (first 15 mins of class)

      • Assignment: Students will look for their own examples of visual storytelling/continuity to be presented in class the following week. 


  • First observations of Composition assignment (due week 4, Feb 11)

    • Peer Critique

    • Discussion over projects. 


Week 4:

Feb 11/ Friday:


  • Cameras and Sensors- full lecture

    • Assignment due: Composition assignment

  • Quiz- visual storytelling/ Continuity and Coverage (first 15 mins of class)


  • Presentations of visual storytelling/continuity

  • Students will use hands-on work

Week 5:

Feb 18/ Friday-


  • The tools of lighting/ lighting basics- full lecture

    • Guest speaker*

  • Quiz- cameras and Sensors (first 15 mins of class)


Week 6:

Feb 25/ Friday-


  • Color- full lecture

    • Class discussion from film watched outside of class

  • Quiz- the tools of lighting/ lighting basics


  • Shot Duplication (due week 7/ March 2)

    • There will be a combination of roles taken (groups)

      • Students will use their skills to try to recreate a series of scenes from different films that use color to demonstrate a feeling or change the meaning of the scene. 

  • Assignment: “Simple” Scene (due week 10, April 1)


Week 7:

March 4/ Friday:


  • Set Operations- full lecture

    • Roles, jobs, etiquette, and execution of creating a cinematic piece. 

  • Lab: Pitch for “Simple” scene

Week 8 (I will not be here this week):

March 11/ Friday:

  • Students will use this time to work on their “simple” scene

    • Assignment: Watch film for class discussion “The Breakfast Club”

    • Assignment: Film Journal Entry (due March 24, 11:59 p.m.)

      • Poem work cinema*- have a poem ready for the following class

Week 9:

March 25/ Friday:


  • Class discussion of film watched outside of class

    • “Poem work cinema” (due week 11/ April 8)

      • Poem choices given

      • Shot Duplication (Due week 10/ March 28)

        • There will be a combination of roles taken (groups)

          • Students will use their skills to try to recreate a series of scenes from different films that use color to demonstrate a feeling or change the meaning of the scene. 


  • First view of “Simple” Scene

    • Peer critique

  • Start work on pitch and storyboard for “poem work cinema”

    • Continuation of Shot Duplication

Week 10:

April 1/ Friday:


  • Shot uses and impacts- full lecture


  • In-class filming/ editing/ reviewing for “poem work cinema”

Week 11:

April 8/ Friday:


  • In-class observations of “Poem work cinema”

    • Peer critique

    • Assignment due: “Poem Work cinema”

  • Discuss Final Project for this course


  • Shot Duplication

    • There will be a combination of roles taken (groups)

      • Students will use their skills to try to recreate a series of scenes from different films that use color to demonstrate a feeling or change the meaning of the scene. 

Week 12:

April 15/ Friday:

Campus Holiday

Week 13:

April 22/ Friday:


  • In-class pitch for final film

    • Student will have needed to check with the instructor with idea/pitch prior to bringing it into class

  • Edits/ Confirmations will be made during class. 


  • Students will use this time to start on their films

    • Storyboard completion/ starting with filming 

Week 14:

April 29/ Friday:


  • This time is to be used to ask questions, go over previous information, or go over topics that they would like more help on. 

    • Focus will be on edits and post-production

  • Students are also encouraged to have at least 1 other piece that they created in class to have at their final showing.


  • Students will use this time to work on their films 

Week 15:

May 6/ Friday:


  • First View of students finals

    • Rough cuts/ mid-production

    • Peer critique


  • Students will use this time to work on their films 

    • This will be the last lab of the semester. 

Week 16 (Finals week):

May 13/ Friday:


  • Students will have a final showing of their work

    • Guests invited

Additional Information

Late work and makeup assignments:  

The work in this class reflects real-world demands and tendencies. Regardless of whether you are in attendance at class, unless the student has a valid reason (such as a death in the family, documented personal health conditions, military conscriptions, failure of local infrastructure, etc) late work will not be accepted for full credit. Late work that is received before the start of the following week’s class session will be penalized 1 full letter grade (A will become B, A- will become B-, etc.). If it is received between 1-2 weeks of the original due date, it will be penalized 2 full letter grades (A will become C, A- will become C-, etc.). NO WORK WILL BE ACCEPTED AFTER IT IS MORE THAN 2 WEEKS LATE.  

Any exceptions to this policy must be discussed and approved prior to late work is accepted. 

Syllabus Created on:

01/18/22 8:55 AM

Last Edited on:

02/09/22 12:32 PM