India’s Bollywood was one of the world’s largest film industries, with valuations over INR 180 billion in 2019. Like its global counterparts, the industry comprises glitz, glory, glamour, scandal, and sordid affairs. Yet, over 300,000 people depend on it for employment, and more aspire to join.
Several cinematography institutes offer courses in the various aspects of filmmaking. If you find Bollywood’s mystique intriguing and want to be part of it, your best bet is to take a movie-making course. When picking the best cinematography courses in India, you should look for the following features.
Know Their History
Understanding the history of filmmaking allows you to appreciate the present-day trends in Bollywood. When looking for a cinematography course, make sure that it covers the history of Indian cinema. Even talented filmmakers have had failed projects. Studying these failures is as important as knowing about successful projects.
Should Include Honing Lighting Skills
Lighting can affect how the audience perceives a scene. Therefore, understanding everything from still photography to 16mm film and HD videos is necessary. You should also be able to learn how to handle optics and lighting meters. This includes both incident and spot meters. Lighting also includes knowing color theory and how colors are affected by light.
Handling the Camera
No cinematographer worth his salt will admit to being unable to load or work his/her camera. In reality, it can be tricky for beginners. Being able to control the camera, understanding the different angles and lighting goes into shooting a film.
From Elementary To Advanced Techniques
Once you have perfected the basics of handling and loading a camera, and worked as an assistant, key grip, and gaffer, it is time to take it up a notch. You should be introduced to advanced technology like 35mm, advanced Red digital camera systems, complex lighting systems, and grip instruments.
The course should teach you how to handle this advanced equipment with precision. This is done through live projects. It will help if you create at least two projects of your own outside class using the advanced cameras.
Includes Ethical Practices
India is popular for its unethical way of dealing with complicated situations. The practice is so common that it almost seems normal to many. Therefore, knowing the industry ethics is highly recommended. Your cinematography courses in India should teach you to differentiate the ethical practices from the acceptable.
Learning by Doing
Cinematography is a field that requires less theory and more practice. Therefore, pick a course that gives you more field exposure. It can be team projects, individual films, and assisting senior cinematographers. This practical experience allows you to hone your behind-the-camera abilities faster than any amount of theory. This allows students to evolve from a raw image-grabbing beginner to an advanced color management professional.
Having a mentor to discuss your projects can only add to your learning. Mentor has already been in the filed for years and brings valuable experience to the table. They inspire you when you are down and teach you from their mistakes. They know that cinematography is a combination of art, physics, chemistry, mathematics, and electronics.
Shooting Fiction and Non-Fiction
Sometimes, shooting fiction is easier than non-fiction. With non-fiction, you only get the one opportunity to get it right. Your cinematography course should encompass both these types of filmmaking to make you a thorough cinematographer.
If you can only shoot one kind of film, your opportunities will limit themselves. Here you get the opportunity to expose yourself to stylize to realistic cinematography practices highly.
Almost every aspect of filmmaking involves working with software of some kind. The course should educate you about the purpose of this software and how to use them optimally. The usual software programs are Steinberg Nuendo, Adobe Premiere Pro CS6, Adobe After Effects, Final Cut Pro, and Assimilate Scratch. You can learn these or software similar to them.
Teach You the Three Elements of Cinematography
Cinematography has three essential elements that are shots, scenes, and sequence. Shots are the building blocks of a movie as multiple shots together make a scene, and several scenes make a sequence. Each scene and sequence is based on a specific theme.
The Indian film industry is one of the largest employers in the country. It has given the world stalwarts like Binod Pradhan, Parinda, and 1942: A Love Story fame, Anil Mehta, Veer-Zara, Rockstar, and Badlapur, and Jay Oza for his work in the more recent Gully Boy. You can aspire to be in the league of such award-winning cinematographers by taking up cinematography courses in India.