Duration 2 Years
Next intake January 2023
Application deadline Contact Registry
This is the only two-year specialist cinematography MA in the UK. Our students learn both the art and craft of cinematography, combining creative expression with technical expertise.
Cinematography graduate Roger Deakins ASC BSC won the 2020 Cinematography Oscar for his work on 1917.
Students will collaborate with their colleagues to shoot several films, with the opportunity to shoot both live action and animation, and with access to 16mm and 35mm film as well as Alexa XT and Alexa Mini Cameras.
Our graduates are in demand in the UK, Europe and the US and go on to work in both film and television. Recent graduates, from the last four years, have gone on to shoot films shortlisted for Oscars and produce BAFTA-winning work as well as shoot commercials, television series and documentaries for Channel 4, Granada and Sky.
All NFTS students can attend Masterclasses. Recent guests include David Fincher (Fight Club), Greta Gerwig (Little Women), Steve McQueen (12 Years A Slave), Edgar Wright (Hot Fuzz), Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Fleabag) and Denis Villeneuve. Cinematography-based Masterclasses include Roger Deakins (1917), Hoyte van Hoytema (Tenet), Mihai Malaimare Jr (Jojo Rabbit), Mandy Walker (Mulan), Reed Morano (The Handmaid’s Tale) and Bradford Young (Arrival).
This course is industry recognised by ScreenSkills, the industry-led skills body for the UK's screen-based industries, and carries the ScreenSkills Select quality-mark which indicates courses best suited to prepare students for a career in the screen industries.
Recent credits and successes
What you will study
This course explores the many ways in which the cinematographer participates in the collaborative process of translating screenplays into films. Exercises, workshops, masterclasses and productions, supported by critical and analytical study of the history and development of cinematography, give students a solid foundation in the art and craft of their future career.
As well as working with film, training in High Definition, Digital Cinema and Digital Post Production is an integral part of the course. Visual storytelling is emphasised alongside the art of creating mood and evoking emotion through the right combination of composition and lighting. Working closely with students of other specialisations, student cinematographers have the opportunity to shoot fiction, animation and documentary films, commercials and multi-camera television.
During the course students will be provided with tutorials, seminars, screen studies, workshops and master classes with specialist tutors and visiting professionals.
Heads of Department
The course is run by award-winning Co-Heads of Cinematography Oliver Stapleton BSC (My Beautiful Laundrette, The Grifters, Shipping News) and over 60 other feature films, and Stuart Harris, award winning Cinematographer of David Hare’s Wetherby and over 4500 commercials and music videos including Pink Floyd's High Hopes.
Current or Recent Tutors
Recent visiting tutors have included Charlotte Bruus Christensen (A Quiet Place), Fabian Wagner (Game of Thrones, Justice League), Stuart Bentley (Black Mirror, Top Boy), Robbie Ryan (The Favourite) and Dick Pope (Mr. Turner)
Every year, our students shoot a number of short films.
We are looking for people with innate talent. Therefore, previous training in these areas is not mandatory but some basic technical knowledge is required. Experience gained from working in the camera department of the film and television industry is helpful but not essential.
You must have an understanding of the role of the Director of Photography and its creative and logistical responsibilities. You would also need to be able to demonstrate good communication and collaborative skills and leadership qualities.
You must have a good understanding of “cinematic language” and demonstrate this in your submitted film material.
While many applicants will have a degree from a British or overseas university, we will consider applicants who do not have a degree if they have an impressive portfolio, a creative track record (for instance, in theatre or other arts) or an alternative qualification.
For international students, more information about our entry requirements, including Visa and English language requirements, can be found on our What You Need To Know section of our Students From Abroad page.
As a part of our admissions selection process, following a successful interview applicants are required to attend a selection workshop for three days, which has a fee of £100.
If you have any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to apply
Application deadline:Contact Registry
Applicants should provide up to 3 Vimeo link(s) to their work, no longer than 15 minutes in total.
At least one piece of work should contain a continuous narrative piece of fiction and/or documentary film that you have shot. All pieces must feature your work as Cinematographer/Director of Photography and at least one piece should also show your work as Camera Operator.
Submitted work should also demonstrate a strong visual sensibility and an awareness of the considerations of camera operating, composition and lighting and their potential for creating mood and atmosphere. Most importantly, your fiction film or documentary should have a clear element of visual narrative and show your ability to tell a story with images, using all the elements that can be brought to contribute to it.
Fiction/Documentary submissions must have original titles and credits at the beginning and/or the end. Please do not send in Montage cuts of your material. Works in progress are not acceptable.
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