Duration 2 Years
Next intake January 2022
Application deadline 06 May 2021
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.
Graduate Roger Deakins won the 2018 Oscar for Best Cinematography for Blade Runner: 2049.
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), Ben Wheatley (Free Fire), Rapman (Blue Story), Louis Theroux, Debra Granik (Winter’s Bone), Denis Villeneuve (Bladerunner 2049), Lynne Ramsay (You Were Never Really Here), Sam Mendes (1917), Asif Kapadia (Senna), Joanna Hogg (The Souvenir), Russell T Davies (Doctor Who) and Roger Deakins (1917).
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 (My Beautiful Laundrette, The Grifters, Shipping News) and Stuart Harris, acclaimed film commercials and music video Cinematographer and Winner of the D&AD Pencil.
Current or Recent Tutors
Recent visiting tutors have included Charlotte Bruus Christensen (A Quiet Place, Molly’s Game, The Girl On The Train), Rob Hardy (Ex Machina, Annihilation, Mission Impossible: Fallout), Ula Pontikos (Film Stars Don’t Die In Liverpool, Humans, The Game) and Tom Townend (You Were Never Really Here, Attack The Block).
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.
If you have any questions, please email email@example.com.
How to apply
Application deadline: 06 May 2021
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. It should clearly identify you as the camera operator and also the creator of the lighting design, i.e. that you are Cinematographer/Director of Photography. It 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 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.
Each submitted item must have original titles and credits at the beginning and the end. Works in progress are not acceptable.
Applications open 4th January 2021.
We are happy to receive applications from 4th January until the midnight of the application deadline date.