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Basic Cinematography

A creative guide to visual storytelling

The cinematographer must translate the ideas and emotions contained in a script into something that can be physically seen and felt onscreen, helping the director to fulfil the vision of the film. The shots may look good, but they will not serve the story until the composition, lenses, and lighting express, enhance, and reveal the underlying emotions and subtext of the story. By making physical the ideas and emotions of the story, the cinematographer supports blocking as a visual form of the story through these tools.

Rather than delve into technical training, Basic Cinematography helps to train the eye and heart of cinematographers as visual storytellers in support of documentary and narrative filmmaking.

Features insights from the DP of Jessica Jones, Manuel Billeter, and the DP of Chef’s Table, Adam Bricker.


"Lancaster’s book Basic Cinematography provides strong tools for visual storytellers. [It] will allow you to find your own voice when writing with images."
Billeter, Cinematographer, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, The Punisher

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