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Cinema Syntax Workshop


This is a 4-day workshop with the Three-Shot Portrait project.


In this workshop, I will cover the basic building blocks of cinema syntax: the wide shot, close-up, and moving shot. Learning how to use these three shots to tell a story is key to being cinematically articulate. Workshop participants will interview someone they don’t know using specific questions to put themselves in the subject's shoes, feel what they feel, and think the way they think. They will then make a three-shot two-minute portrait of the person they interviewed. I will cover how to make seamless cuts as they edit their films – cutting on movement, light, and energy. They will also learn how to record and create a soundscape using only background/atmosphere/sound effects to go with their portrait. In the end, these film portraits are not only about learning how to use cinema syntax but also about the power of cinema to connect us to each other.


Day 1: Pre-Production. Lecture and screening of examples of the Three-Shot Portrait.  Explanation of the project.  Learning how to interview your subject. Pairing up people to work together. Q & A.

Day 2: Production.  I will be out in the field with the participants guiding them through the filmmaking process.

Day 3: Post-Production and completion. Participants will learn the basics of shot construction and editing.

Day 4: Screening and feedback. Awards ceremony.


Learn the building blocks of shot construction
Tell a story in 3 shots
Get a taste of directing by learning how to interview a subject

Videos created in past Cinema Syntax workshops:


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