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MEA-120 - Intro to Cinematography - Frederick Thornton

Course:Intro to Cinematography
Professor:Frederick Thornton
  • InPerson
Course Length:
  • 16 Week




My name is Frederick Thornton, and I am excited to be your instructor for cinematography this fall. I have been a working filmmaker for over a decade now. I have won a Gotham Award, AFI Audience Award, Imagen Award, Sony Pictures Award, and been nominated for a Spirit Award. Furthermore, I love talking about film, the history of cinema, and the craft of filmmaking, so please always feel welcome to nerd out with me.

Course Description

Our class will focus on Cinematography for a filmmaker. You will learn the ins and outs of being a DP, as well as some other key positions within the Camera department. You will also learn how to be a more informed filmmaker and how to engage with cinema with a better understanding and ability.

What to Expect in this Course

Expect a welcoming environment and lively discussions about cinema. You will learn all the pertinent information regarding camera types, lighting, and grip equipment. You will learn how to use your camera, lighting, and grip equipment for full emotional story driven standpoint versus this is an ARRI Alexa LF it shoots in 4.5K ARRIRAW or 422 ProRes. At the end of the class you will be able to distinguish how filmmakers use focal lengths, stylistic shot selections, framing devices, lighting setups, camera motivations, etc to tell a story to audiences. Students will also become stronger visual storytellers and believe in their own ability to craft stories without overly relying on expository dialogue and clichés. You will be exposed to cinema that is more avant-garde and outside the mainstream American cinema experience. Therefore, you may be exposed to cinema from filmmakers covering topics and stories that you may be unfamiliar with.

Additional Resources


This course can be accessed on the first day of class via Canvas at Log into Canvas using your CanyonsID single sign-on:

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  • CanyonsID Password is your COC student email password

Please visit the Get to Know Your Online Classroom page for help logging into Canvas and for tips on using Canvas and Zoom. Canvas Chat Support is also available 24/7 for any Canvas related issues.

Online Education

Check out the Online Education website for more information on a variety of topics that can help you be a successful online student such as: exam proctoring, learning styles, computer skills, and tips for student success. If this is your first online course, feel free to take our online learning readiness assessment to assess your skills.

The Learning Center (TLC)

The TLC provides FREE online tutoring resources to COC students!

Academic Accommodation Center (AAC)

College of the Canyons AAC provides educational services and access for eligible students with documented disabilities who intend to pursue coursework at COC. A variety of programs and services are available which afford eligible students with disabilities the opportunity to participate fully in all aspects of the college programs and activities through appropriate and reasonable accommodations. For more information on their services visit the Academic Accomodation Center website.

Online Counseling

The Counseling Department offers appointments online. You can schedule an appointment by visiting the Online Counseling website. Counselors can help you map out a plan to reach your educational goals as well as advise you on course selection and registration.

Management of Stress and Mental Health

Often the pressure on our students is very strong, involving academic commitments, relationships, outside jobs and family pressure to name a few. The staff and faculty of College of the Canyons are here to see you succeed academically and care about your emotional and physical health. You can learn more about the broad range of confidential student services, including counseling and mental health services available on campus by visiting the Student Health & Wellness Center in the Student Services Building (across from the bookstore). The phone number is 661-362-3259 that you can call 24/7. You can also e mail for an appointment at At the Canyon Country Campus the Health Center will be in the new Student Services Building.

Also, the National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline number is now 988. All students at COC are encouraged to enter that phone number in their cells. You can call it when you, or someone you know, is having thoughts of suicide or is in severe distress.

You can also now use the Crisis Text Line: Just text "Courage" to 741741. Someone will get back to you immediately. Its free, 24/7, and confidential.

Veterans Resource Center

The College of the Canyons Veterans Resource Center is a department within the Student Services Division at the college, created to help veterans and veteran dependents with applying to College of the Canyons, enrolling in classes, and requesting VA Education or Vocational Benefits. For more information please visit the Veterans Resource Center website, email or phone (661) 362-3469.


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Last updated: 10/26/2021 Sub#: 71