Jared Jones, NZCS Emerging Cinematographer of the Year 2023, used his $2,000 cash grant to attend a recent ACS masterclass in Los Angeles and shares his experience.
The ASC masterclass was an extraordinary educational journey. Over the span of five days, I acquired a wealth of technical knowledge and a deeper comprehension of the intricate dynamics between the Director of Photography (DP), the director, and other key heads of departments, both during pre-production and on-set.
The most invaluable resource, however, was the presence of ASC Ambassadors—members responsible for many of the beloved films and shows we admire. They graced us daily with their presence, patiently and knowledgeably addressing our queries. Their unwavering support for us students was truly remarkable. The entire atmosphere, whether from ASC members, vendors, or support staff, radiated a sense of community and a shared passion for passing on knowledge to the next generation, fostering the growth of this artistic craft.
The classes were varied with 2 theory days which comprised of a 4 hour in depth look at lenses and their inner workings, a lesson on the history of cinematography, a discussion about agents and a panel about “the political minefield of cinematography” which also delved into work life balance and other important outlying aspects of the job.
Three of the days were practical lighting demonstrations from renowned cinematographers Michael Goi ASC, David Stockton ASC and Alice Brooks ASC. I got to observe how they lit a studio environment for both day and night INT and how they worked with directors, production designers and their G&E teams. Additionally, us students had the opportunity to light and shoot our own shots in a sequence as well.
To delve into the specifics of what I learned at the class would require a lot more real estate, but I was inspired by the culture at the ASC clubhouse of wanting to share knowledge and build a creative community of cinematographers, so if anyone would like to know more about what I learned there please reach out and I’d be happy to provide more details.
I am deeply grateful for this opportunity, returning to New Zealand with renewed determination to pursue a career in cinematography, eager to apply the knowledge I gained during these transformative five days.
~ Jared Jones