Selected Student Work



Lighting Assignment for
Advanced Lighting and Composition

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Student Jeff Galyan
About his time at Global Cinematography Institute:

"Having the mentorship of some of the world's best cinematographers has done wonders for my own work. The work I'm capable of today is a direct result of the guidance and teachings of my mentors, who have helped me take my work to the next level."


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Student Aaron Leong
About what he learned from the assignment:

"My experience with GCI has been extremely helpful in my knowledge and understanding of lighting and composition. It’s the absolute next progression where we, now, have to analyze lighting from a movie. We had to figure out where the lights are coming from, the quality of light, lighting ratios, as well as camera placement and lens choice."


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Student Erik Van Beuzekom
About his transformative experience:

"GCI is as close to real production experience, with helpful and constructive guidance, as there is. A true trial by fire. How good are you with all the tools at your disposal? How can you see something and then recreate the image dissecting every minuscule detail, and then building it from scratch with a limited time frame? These are the challenges that GCI asks of you, and you must respond with every aspect of image design. You enter as a novice or an amateur, and you exit a skilled practitioner."


About the Assignment, by Instructor & GCI Co-Founder
Yuri Neyman, ASC:

The classes “Foundation of Lighting and Composition” and “Advanced Lighting and Composition” have different assignments, structures and methods of evaluation but they have on the most important thing in common – they teach our students TO SEE!


As you know GCI teaches mainly cinematographers with production experience who would like upgrade their skill and to move to the next tier of production and creative ladder in movie making universe. And we found that in the ability TO SEE! is one of the first skills that need to be refreshed and updated.


What viewer sees first in the reel? They see THE IMAGE, how it is framed and lit, how the parts of a scene are arranged, how they form the certain pictorial effect. In other words how the COMPOSITION, i.e. arrangement of different elements of the frame and their lighting methods, creates needed point of view to form a desirable visual result. Desirable from aesthetical and the script content and its interpretation point of view.


During the “Advanced Lighting and Composition” class, the students’ assignment is to copy the scene from their favorite film. And I want to underline – TO COPY, in the tradition of the best art schools where students when students copy work of great masters and try to understand the technical and artistic logic of the Master, And this makes them ready to start to think about more complex and ambitious goals in their carriers and creative lives.


GCI creates the special methods of technical and creative analysis of cinematographer’s work which students use for their preparation to the assignment in the order to be as close as possible to the original. It includes the study of the type of light used, lighting ratios of the scene, optics and other components the process of the original scene creation.


And those findings are guidelines for student’s re-creation process, and when student shows his work to the class with side-by side images from the original and from students work we all look very carefully how accurate the scene was reproduced from technical and artistic perspectives.


As a result of this exercise students learn how much efforts and knowledge needed for creation of lighting design of the shot. They start to understand the most invisible mechanics of composition and lighting motivations, the level of “compromise” and “ cheating” they can get away with during the production and the role of precision, preparedness, intuition and improvisation in the every day’s cinematographer’s work.


And then the most important result of their study happens – students became much more comfortable with themselves, with the level of their knowledge and ambitions and it makes them confident to pursue theirs new projects with the zeal they learn and strengthen in Global Cinematography Institute – to approach any project, big or small, as a creative and technical challenge which they are able to overcome!

Work from Students of March Session 2016
Advanced Lighting and Compostion - Scene Replication Assignment

Work from Students of July Session 2015
Advanced Lighting and Compostion - Scene Replication Assignment


Select Student Images from
Foundations of Lighting and Composition:

About the Assignment, by Instructor & GCI Co-Founder Yuri Neyman, ASC:

During “Foundations of Lighting and Composition”, student’s assignments are directed toward learning and better understanding and practical applications of color and tonal balance, various types of framing, relations between types of lighting, texture, lines, shapes, forms and spaces.