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First Step Camera Workshop

Cost: 249€
225€ for Students and participants over 65 years old
Max number of Participants: 8 people


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Product Description

Sat. Jun. 8th – 09:00 – 18:00
Sun. Jun. 9th – 09:00 – 18:00
Space Meduza, Skalitzer Str. 80 10997 Berlin

A camera is not just an artistic tool, it is also a complicated piece of technology. The more you learn how a camera functions, the more using it becomes second nature. When you don’t have to think about the technical details of the camera, you get to spend more time being creative with your camerawork, focusing more on the art of filmmaking. And once you get to a certain level of mastery you will be able to harness the power of the technology to creatively capture images that best fit your particular story.

I am a firm believer in learning by doing, not having you hear my voice the entire time. There will be demonstrations to put into practice the theories I will be teaching and you will see a lower end camera rigged up to be more suitable for filmmaking. We will also shoot a short scene using the knowledge you have learned. However the best part of this workshop is that you will get 1 hour of personal instruction from either me or one of my colleagues, all of whom have several years of filmmaking experience. They will work with you to show you how to best use your specific camera and answer any questions you may have. You will also have the opportunity to go out and put into practice what you have learned by filming with your camera with your instructor at your side.

This is a filmmaking workshop that will teach you the basics of how to use a camera for filmmaking. Though there is a lot of crossover in the operation and theory, this is not a photography workshop. You will be using your own camera to practice and you must have at least a DSLR or mirrorless camera that you can film with in full manual mode. If you don’t know if your camera meets these requirements, reach out to me and I can help you find out.

The workshop will be taught in English and will be limited to only 8 places due to the hands-on nature and the personal attention you will receive.

Once you have completed this workshop you will be ready for the Next Step Camera Workshop, which will be a deeper dive into camera technology and camerawork, going over how filmmaking is done at a more professional level. You will get hands on experience using a higher end filmmaking camera and more advanced information and theory. If you would like to attend both workshop, the price for both workshops is 449€.

If you have any questions or would like to know more, feel free to reach out to me at alexdepew@gmail.com.


Day 1

Saturday, June 8, 2019 – 09:00 – 18:00

Different types of cameras

DSLR and Mirrorless
Low and mid-level cinema cameras
Top tier cinema cameras

Exposure Triangle with live demonstration

Aperture, shutter speed, ISO
Exposing for film – Don’t use your histogram

Shutter speed for for film

180 degree guideline
High speed shutter
Pushing shutter speed for effect or to gain light

Frames per second

24fps, 25 fps, higher fps
Lighting Issues to looks out for – flickering lights

White balance with live demonstration

Color temperatures in Kelvin
Setting color temperature in camera


Focal length explained
Effects of different focal lengths on faces
Depth of field explained
Ways to get shallow depth of field
How lenses affect story


Examples of shots with complicated focusing with behind the scenes
Auto-focus and when to use it, different auto-focus settings
Manually focusing – the benefits of an external monitor with demonstration

Basic Audio Recording

Your camera’s internal mic sucks
Different types of microphones and audio connections
Monitoring levels, external recorders and synching sound

Q&A & Review

Day 2

Sunday, June 9, 2019 – 09:00 – 18:00

Test of Day 1 knowledge

Review & Q&A

Deep-dive camera Info

Sensor size differences explained
Basic codec & Picture Profile breakdown – Raw vs Log vs Compressed
Shooting Formats: 4:3, 16:9, 2.35:1
Resolutions: 720p, 1080p, 2K, 4K, 6K and up

Rigging your camera for filming

Rigging on a tripod – demonstration
Shoulder mount rigging – demonstration
Gimbal, Dolly, Jib, Crane, and Drone examples

Camerawork theory

Different shot sizes and what they mean
Camera Level – low, high, eye level and their impact
Camera motion – pan, tilt, dolly when to use them
180 degree rule and eye lines

Breakdown of a film scene

Shooting for the edit – getting enough coverage
Shoot a pre-scripted scene
Practical learning of how to shoot a film scene

Hands on camera learning

Shooting with your camera and a private instructor

Review of footage & Q&A

Review and analyze selected footage from participant cameras

Conducted in English.
No previous experience is required.
A minimum of a DSLR or Mirrorless camera that can shoot movies in full-manual mode is required.

About the Workshop Leader

Hi, I’m Alex DePew and I will be your Sherpa, guiding you on this adventure. I have been working in the film industry for over 14 years and have led several filmmaking workshops. I absolutely looooooove teaching newbies the ropes. I get tons of joy when I see someone light up when they make a connections between what I am teaching and something they have seen in a movie. And when they apply that to their own film it is a thing of beauty.

I am a Cinematographer and Gaffer working on shorts and commercials. For the 12 years before coming to Berlin I worked on both large and small sets in various roles. I have worked with all kinds of cameras from old school 16mm film cameras up to the Alexa Mini and the offerings from Red. I started out in New York City working my way up the ladder, starting as a one-man-band, where I produced, shot and edited content for small commercial projects. I eventually got onto larger commercials in the camera department as a camera assistant. After doing that for several years I moved to New Zealand and continued to work on ever larger projects including commercials for Samsung, New Balance, Corona, Adidas and a host of other large companies. All the time I was always working on the skills I would need to become a good Cinematographer by shooting shorts and helping directors realize their visions.

Together with Linda Paganelli we run the Berlin Independent Film Community, a community of filmmakers and people interested in film. We host events such as Drink, Watch, Talk and the Pitch and Planning Session. We are nearly 4,000 people strong at the time I’m writing this.

If you have any questions or would like to learn more about the workshop, reach out to me at alexdepew@gmail.com.

Additional information

Ticket Type

Standard Ticket, Senior Ticket, Student Ticket


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