cinematography – American Film Institute

Spotlight Interview with AFI Faculty and Alum Michael Pessah

Michael Pessah (AFI Class of 2004) is not only an innovative and talented cinematographer in his own right, but also a proud AFI alum and current member of the Cinematography Faculty at AFI. He attended Hampshire College where he was a Kodak Cinematography Scholarship award finalist, and then earned an M.F.A. in cinematography at AFI....

Spotlight Interview with AFI Cinematography Faculty and Alum Michael Pessah

Michael Pessah (AFI Class of 2004) is not only an innovative and talented cinematographer in his own right, but also a proud AFI alum and current member of the Cinematography Faculty at AFI. He attended Hampshire College where he was a Kodak Cinematography Scholarship award finalist, and then earned an M.F.A. in cinematography at AFI....

AFI Cinematography Head Stephen Lighthill Re-Elected President of American Society of Cinematographers

AFI leadership continues to be prominent at the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC). AFI Conservatory Cinematography Discipline Head Stephen Lighthill has just been re-elected president of the ASC. This will be Lighthill’s third term as president, having been elected in 2020 and serving his first term from 2012-2013. AFI Alumni Amy Vincent (AFI Class of…

Catching up with MA BELLE, MY BEAUTY Cinematographer Lauren Guiteras (AFI Class of 2017)

MA BELLE, MY BEAUTY, shot by cinematographer and AFI alum Lauren Guiteras (AFI Class of 2017), is a transportive, cross-cultural love story set in the south of France, which follows the polyamorous relationship of Lane (Hannah Pepper), Bertie (Idella Johnson) and Fred (Lucien Guignard). Following its premiere at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival, MA BELLE,…

Watch: Cinematographer and Director Ernest Dickerson on Filmmaking

Ernest Dickerson established himself as a groundbreaking cinematographer on films such as SHE’S GOTTA HAVE IT and DO THE RIGHT THING, and made his directing debut with JUICE, starring Omar Epps and Tupac Shakur. He went on to direct episodes of the critically acclaimed shows THE WIRE and THE WALKING DEAD and most recently directed…

Watch the AFI Conservatory Visual Essays Showcase

The AFI Conservatory Visual Essays Showcase celebrates three-minute shorts from the 2020 Cinematography graduates, all shot on motion picture film. The 35mm Visual Essay challenges Fellows to create a narrative through images and without dialogue. The productions feature the participation of Directing, Editing, Producing, Production Design and Screenwriting fellows, with Cinematography Fellows serving as lead…

AFI Movie Club: MUDBOUND

MUDBOUND is directed by Dee Rees and features cinematography by Rachel Morrison, a graduate of the AFI Conservatory. The film made history at the Oscars® – Morrison became the first women nominated for Best Cinematography and Rees was the first black woman nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay. In this exclusive AFI Archive video, MUDBOUND cinematographer…

DID YOU KNOW? This cinematographer was nominated for a record-breaking 10 Academy Awards® for Best Cinematography, winning twice for THE ROSE TATTOO (1955) and HUD (1963).

In a fifty-year career that spanned the transition from silent film to sound and color, Chinese-American cinematographer James Wong Howe filmed over 130 feature films and pioneered camera technologies, including deep focus, wide-angle lenses and hand-held cameras. Howe also directed three features, beginning with CHIJKU WO MAWASURU CHIKARA (1930), the little-known, first Japanese-language sound film made in Los Angeles….

Alfonso Gomez-Rejon and Frederick Elmes on Filming HUNTERS and Advice for Aspiring Filmmakers

Growing up on the Texas/Mexico border in the ‘80s, director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon’s (AFI Class of 1995) first introduction to the work of legendary cinematographer Frederick Elmes (AFI Class of 1972) was a worn-out VHS tape of BLUE VELVET. Describing Elmes’ filmmaking as “hypnotic,” Gomez-Rejon continued his initiation with other films shot by Elmes – ERASERHEAD,…
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