Film & Camera Theory


Film & Camera Theory


47 Lessons

9+ hours of
instructional video

Access PDF

47 Lessons

9+ hours of
instructional video

Access PDF

A filmmaker’s Theory of Everything designed for on set decision makers

Film & Camera Theory is an essential breakdown of understanding not only how you complete a task (like lighting a certain way) but realizing why you’re doing it. Often we’re so focused on how to do something that we lose sight of why we’re doing it in the first place. The theory of The Why Behind the How is essential for those who are decision makers and want to lead and create the blueprints to craft a unified vision.

In this course, you’ll learn how camera, lighting, and color choices impact the story to pull your audience in. Expect to find how a camera creates emotion in a scene, understand how camera language can convey specific characters, utilize color temperature to create emotional impact, and learn how to deliver the director’s vision to the big screen.

Course Includes:

Detailed Written Breakdowns

Top-Down Blocking + Lighting Schematics

Side by Side Comparisons


  • Writer and Director: How To Set Up Your Story in 3 Minutes
  • Commercial Directing: From Concept to Creation
  • How To Integrate VFX’s with Live Action: Terminator Salvation
  • Establishing the World: Terminator Salvation
  • How To Compose the Master Wide Shot
  • HA Podcast: Ep 8 Finding Your Visual Rhythm
  • HA Podcast: Ep 25 Planning Your Coverage
  • Why, How, and When to Move the Camera
  • Action Sequence Cinematography: How To Deliver Camera Emotion Part 1
  • Action Sequence Cinematography: How To Blend Camera Styles: Part 2
  • Action Sequence Cinematography: Deliberately Breaking the Rules: Part 3
  • Action Sequence Cinematography: Logistics: Part 4
  • Storytelling Through Composition I
  • Storytelling Through Composition II
  • How Focal Lengths Make Your Audience Feel
  • How Lenses Assist Storytelling I
  • How Lenses Assist Storytelling II
  • How Lenses Assist Storytelling III
  • First Person POV: Mountain Dew
  • The Why Behind Color Theory: The Basics
  • 03 DP and Colorist Relationship in the Bay
  • Using Color Temp to Create Depth and Dimension
  • How To Communicate Your Vision to the Director with Color: Into the Badlands
  • How To Create Emotional Impact with Color Temperature: Fathers and Daughters
  • How To Create Color Contrast: Into the Badlands
  • Lighting for Emotion: Fathers and Daughters
  • Location Scouting: Theory and Production Design: Deadfall
  • Educational Resource Books For Cinematography
  • Shaping and Controlling Light
  • Key Light: The Basics
  • How To Light for Three Cameras: Part 1
  • How To Light for Three Cameras: Part 2
  • Fill Light: The Basics
  • Light for Specific Camera Blocking: Master to Close Up
  • How To Build a Book Light
  • Day Exteriors: The Basics
  • How To Train Your Eye
  • How To Light Night Interiors: Part 1
  • How To Light with Emotion: The Rat Pack
  • How To Research Your Look: The Skulls
  • How To Create an Unlit Natural Look: Crazy Beautiful
  • How To Extend Dawn for Hours: Drumline
  • How To Extend Sunset for Hours: Into the Blue
  • How To Light Night Exteriors with Two Lights: We Are Marshall
  • HA Podcast: EP 2 Mastering Lighting and Facing Challenges On Set
  • HA Podcast: Ep 11 Creating Depth, Mood, and Emotion with Lighting
  • HA Podcast: Ep 14 Mixing The Art and Science of Cinematography

About The Mentor

Director of photography Shane Hurlbut, ASC works at the forefront of cinema as a storyteller, innovator and discerning collaborator, who brings more than three decades of experience to his art. He is a member of the American Society of Cinematographers, the International Cinematographers Guild/Local 600, and The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Some of his film credits include: We Are Marshall, Terminator: Salvation, Need for Speed, Act of Valor, Semi-Pro, The Greatest Game Ever Played, Into the Blue, Mr 3000, among many others. 

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