2 days HOURS

08/09 . 06 . 2024

LOCATION: Berlin, Germany





workshop full for waiting list please email


Stuart Dryburgh is one of the most interesting cinematographers in activity, he created the distinctive look in films such as "The Piano" , "Ben is Back", "The Painted Veil", "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" "The Great Wall" and many other.

Dryburgh started on the job as a gaffer. As a result he found himself working and learning alongside many major cinematographers, in the process gaining a reputation as a skilled lighting specialist.

After six years as a gaffer Dryburgh moved into the cinematographer's role shooting his first feature "The Leading Edge". Dryburgh was given the chance to shoot "An Angel at my Table" by Jane Campion, the film won accolades, and standing ovations. In 1992 Dryburgh reunited with Jane Campion in "The Piano", his work on the film won him the Oscar, ASC and BAFTA nominations, but was beaten by Schindler's List.

Dryburgh followed "The Piano" with impressive work on "Once Were Warriors". After working on John Sayles' acclaimed border drama "Lone Star", Dryburgh reunited with Jane Campion, to shoot Henry James adaptation "The Portrait of a Lady".

A long series of projects has followed, including hits "Analyze This", "Bridget Jones's Diary" "Kate and Leopold" and the pilot episode of "Sex and the City". Dryburgh went back to New Zealand to shoot "In My Father's Den", shot wildly out of sequence in an effort to capture different seasons on film.

In 2007 he shot "The Painted Veil" Dryburgh's projects also include the pilot for acclaimed Prohibition-era drama "Boardwalk Empire". Martin Scorsese directed, with Dryburgh describing it as in many ways "a dream job". Variety later argued that Dryburgh's cinematography on Ben Stiller's remake of "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" was "reason enough to see the film on the bigscreen". He followed it with Michael Mann cyber-crime tale "Blackhat". In 2012 he returned to New Zealand as director of photography on Japanese-set drama "Emperor", directed by Peter Webber.

In recent years Stuart has shot films such as "Ben is Back" (directed by Peter Hedges), the Upside (directed by Neil Burger), The Only Living Boy in New York (Directed by Marc Webb), The Great Wall (directed by Yimou Zhang), Alice Through the Looking Glass (directed by James Bobin)
Stuart has also just finished shooting the Men in Black 4

full list of credits on


The workshop will focus on a diversity of topics of the art of cinematography, you will have the chance of not only receive this knowledge from Stuart Dryburgh, but also interact in a very strong way, as the group will have up to 25 participants, making it extremely practical and interactive. You will also have the opportunity to assess the issues you encountered on your films, and receiving the feedback to unblock situations in the future.

Day 1: Unearthing Creativity & Distinctiveness in Cinematography

Introduction: Evolution of a Cinematographer
Brief on how Stuart's experiences in film over the last 30 years apply to today's digital age.
Advantages cinematographers can harness by "thinking film, shooting digital".

Auteur vs. Industry: Real-world intricacies of the film business.
DIY approaches and the value of understanding one's unique capabilities.
A deeper dive: clips from Stuart's oeuvre, shedding light on his approach and interpretation.

Inspirations & Influences
Stuart presents clips from films that have shaped his perception of light and composition.
Interactive session: Participants share short clips of movies that have impacted their cinematic vision, discussing their takeaways on light, composition, and style.

GETTING THERE: Navigating the Industry
Contrasting the worlds of Hollywood and Europe.
The crucial role of agents, managers, and lawyers in a cinematographer's journey.
PREPPING: The Backbone of Cinematography

The nuances of script breakdown and its role in defining the visual narrative.
Crew selection, location scouting, and the pivotal pre-shoot rehearsals.
The importance of storyboards and collaborating effectively with departments: Art, Costume, Camera, and VFX.
The dynamic between the DP and the director: Finding common ground.
An overview of camera systems, lens choices, grip equipment, and the selection of originating materials.

Day 2: From Conception to Execution: The Cinematographer's Canvas

SHOOTING: Bringing the Vision to Life
Day planning, scene blocking, and the strategic use of shotlists.
The role of storyboards on set and the art of designing master shots and coverage.
Navigating the balance between traditional and digital techniques.
A comprehensive guide to tech scouting a location.

LIGHT: The Cinematographer's Paintbrush
The science and art of exposure.
The indispensability of light meters, setting the mood through lighting, and techniques for various settings: natural, location, studio, and transitions between night and day.
Crafting lighting to enhance actors, and ensuring it aligns with the story's mood and tone.

Interactive Lighting Exercise
Participants engage in a hands-on small lighting experimenting scene under Stuart's guidance.
A practical exploration of the themes discussed, utilizing simple lighting equipment.

Wrap-Up: The Path Forward
Reflection on the challenges and intricacies of making a movie from a cinematographer's lens.
An open discussion where participants can address issues they've faced in their projects, gaining insights to navigate future challenges.
Encouraging participants to continue developing their unique voice and style in cinematography.

Berlin, Germany

The workshop designed for Cinematographers, Camera Operators, Directors, Film Students, or filmmakers serious about a career in the Film Business on the area of cinematography.

16 hours
Duration: 2 days
Dates: 8-9 June 2024
Location: Berlin, Germany
Price: 599EUR (399EUR until the 30th of April)
Maximum number of participants: 25
By registering to the workshop you agree with FFL terms and Conditions

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