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Cinematography Tips from The Best In The Business

Want to improve your cinematography and video production? Learn from industry leaders in these free online interviews.

Cover image via Laurie Sparham / Creative Cow.

There are a dozen great pay-per-view filmmaking classes on the internet. There’s the Masterclass series with legendary creatives such as Werner Herzog, Aaron Sorkin, and Hans Zimmer. At MZed you can find a six-hour course by Vincent Laforet on directing. Terminator Salvation DP Shane Hurlbut hosts his own cinematography course. The list goes on.

However, there are also free online resources you can take advantage of. While these aren’t tutorials like the preceding examples, they do provide valuable insight from the best of the best.

Here is a roundup of my favorites.


Rob Hardy 

2014’s Ex Machina from Alex Garland wasn’t just a stylish sci-fi drama, it was also an excellent study in primal human behavior — and a beautifully shot film. In this thirty-six minute talk, DP Rob Hardy discusses his work on the movie.


Robert Richardson 

Robert Richardson is an esteemed DP who primarily collaborates with Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino. With over thirty years’ experience, he has a lot of knowledge to share. In this hour-long interview with The Movie Geeks United, Richardson discusses working on the variety of films that fill his resume.

We previously examined Robert Richardson’s work when framing wide shots. Dive into his work here.


Sean Bobbitt 

DP Sean Bobbitt has a fine list of movies and TV shows on his résumé. Over the last ten years, he has collaborated a few times with director Steve McQueen, and in this fifteen-minute interview with Cinefii, he talks about that journey and the process of shooting films for McQueen.


Seamus McGarvey

Whether it’s the WWII drama Atonement, the family film Charlotte’s Web, or the mega blockbuster The Avengers, Seamus McGarvey has worked on many films you’ve loved. In this discussion with Blind Spot Gear, Seamus discusses the art of cinematography and how he started out.


Roger Deakins

I’m sure Roger Deakins needs no introduction. He’s a fan favorite, a critic favorite, and a favorite among PremiumBeat writers — you’ll often see him and his methods referenced in the cinematography articles here. This interview is much more refined than the previous examples, as Deakins solely discusses the cinematography of the 2001 Coen Brothers film The Man Who Wasn’t There.


Wally Pfister

Wally Pfister has worked as DP for some of the greatest action and drama films of the last decade: The Dark Knight, Inception, The Prestige. Obviously, there’s a pattern here; Wally is the long-time collaborator of director Christopher Nolan. In this interview, Wally, discusses his cinematic approach and working with Nolan on Inception.


Do you know of any noteworthy interviews from leading cinematographers? Let us know in the comments.

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