Overcome the technical and creative challenges of location shoots by using a variety of lighting setups.

Mark DawsonFilmmakers often shoot in practical locations which can offer great production value, especially for independent productions that may not have the resources for building large studio sets. But location shoots also pose unique technical and creative challenges. This hands-on workshop is for gaffers, cinematographers, and videographers with previous experience who wish to learn techniques for a variety of lighting setups.

Students work with HMI, tungsten, and fluorescent fixtures for day and night interiors; use lighting and grip equipment to supplement and shape available light for day exteriors; and light night exterior scenes. Students use light meters to help determine exposure, learn about color temperature and the use of gels to correct and balance color, and learn the characteristics of different lighting fixtures and the use of diffusion gels.

The class works in the Sound Stage and travels to residential and commercial locations for tech scouts, determines power requirements and light placement per a director of photography’s shot design and executes the lighting plan. Students work with generators and standard residential power to determine power distribution and metering for proper amperages and voltage. Safe handling of electrical distribution is emphasized.

Throughout the week, students work collaboratively, alternating in the roles of DP, gaffer, key grip, best boy grip and electric, and company grip and electric crew.




Travis Trudell

If Travis Trudell were here with you today, he would tell you that life is enjoyed best when you remember to share it. He would tell you about how magic is real and it can be found in the small hours when we are closer to sleep. If Travis were here today, he would want you to spend some time learning about light, watching it, studying it, following it around until the light is very uncomfortable and asks us to stop, forcing us to have to create and shape our own light. He would tell you a funny story about Nikola Tesla, and we would all have a good laugh. He would laugh too hard and make everyone uncomfortable, but you would think about it later and would be ok with it. If Travis were here today he would tell you about his love for film, the photochemical dance between light and shadow. He would encourage you to play in the dark, to express uncomfortable feelings, to challenge yourself and the world around you. If Travis were here today. If he were here. Today... 

Travis Trudell has continued to work in the film industry for over ten years. He has worked as a Best Boy and electrician on such films as: Shutter Island, The Social Network, Black Mass, Ghostbusters (2016), Stronger, and Cadaver. When he is not laying cable and pushing lights, he likes to write pretentious sounding autobiographical statements and read them back to himself out loud with an affected British accent. Sometimes Russian.


Course Dates

Jul 2 to Jul 8
Aug 27 to Sep 2



Class Size


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