About CIN 211

Department of Media Culture / College of Staten Island CUNY

CIN 211, Fall 2014 Wednesday 10:10pm – 2:15pm

4 hours; 3 credits
A basic workshop in cinematography. Visual exercises will focus on techniques of composition, lighting, and camera movement. Prerequisite: CIN 120

The coarse focus is on shooting techniques, camera movement, lens operation, lighting, sound recording, and other practical skills needed to create films/videos beyond the basic Video 1 class. This class provides a space for trying out your ideas, for experimenting, and for developing technical skills to carry your practice to the next level. Each student will create 3 short films/videos as assigned during the course of the semester.

Classes consist of hands-on technical instruction, production assignments, screenings, a field trip, readings and critiques of each other’s work. The student’s job is to work on technical, artistic, and conceptual skills in tandem – what do you want to say? what would you like to see on the screen? Emphasis is on trying out new ideas, on experimenting with film/video form. This course will also teach the basics of audio recording so that your audio is as good as your image.

An external hard drive (e.g. LaCie Rugged (500GB) or similar with Firewire 400/800 or USB-2 connector) for storing your video projects/editing projects is required.

NOTE: CSI editing systems are Mac-based. You will not be able to use a PC-formatted hard drive or PC-formatted SD card with our edit systems. Our systems have Firewire 400/800 and USB-2 connectors. External drives with USB-3 connectors may cause you to lose your material. Seagate drives are not recommended due to reported loss of files with this brand.

Students are entitled to an SD card, DVD, miniDV/HD videotape, or BluRay disk as part of your class fee. You will need to purchase additional recording formats (videotape or SD cards) in order to complete the course work.


  1. Students are required to have a money order deposit of $100 on file with the Media Lab office. This enables students to take out and use Department equipment. The deposit is fully refundable at the end of the semester. This refundable deposit need only be made once for all CIN classes requiring equipment access.
  2. The Media Lab requires each student to prove proficiency in operating camcorders, tripods, microphones and lighting equipment assigned for 200-level courses. Students will be taught how to use this equipment. Further tutoring is available by appointment with the Media Lab staff. Students must be certified in cameras, tripods, sound recording equipment and lighting equipment.


  1. From: Cinematography Theory and Practice: Image Making for Cinematographers and Directors (2nd edition, 2012), by Blain Brown, Focal Press, ISBN 978-0-240-81209 and available at https://cin211.wordpress.com/.
    • Chapter 2 Shooting Methods
    • Chapter 11 Camera Movement
    • Chapter 7 Lighting Basics
    • Chapter 4 Language of the Lens
  2. Sound Recording Basics PDF
  3. Lighting Basics PDF, 3-Point Lighting PDF
  4. Writing Guidelines PDF
  5. How to Write a Project Description PDF


There are 3 video production assignments for this course: a preliminary assignment, a mid-term assignment, and a final project. Students must create work specifically for this course. Students may not present work produced for another class to satisfy assignments for this class.

Students may use 2 or all 3 of their assignments to work on one major final project. In this case, each assignment must represent significant progress on the project in order to receive credit. Two students may collaborate on one final project with prior permission of the Professor.

And who’s teaching this course?
Download the cv (curriculum vitae) of Prof. Cecilia Dougherty here > CDoughertyCV

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