Training & Development

Back to listing


Cinematography with Marcus Zaiser

Start date:
Sep 27, 2017
Ability Level:

In collaboration with the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg
As part of Qatar Germany 2017 Year of Culture

This seminar teaches participants the advanced knowledge of cinematography all the way from the preparation and planning of a project through shooting to post-production. How does a cinematographer lead departments like camera, grip and lighting? How does a cinematographer communicate with the director and the other departments? Participants learn about visual language and visual storytelling; how to block a scene; how to get from script to film; and how to create a visual concept and cinematic look that corresponds to the story. Sessions also address how to move the camera and how to paint with light.

Dates: 27 September to 1 October
Application Deadline: 13 September
Wednesday to Friday 2:00 PM to 8:30 PM
Saturday 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM
Sunday 2:00 PM to 8:30 PM
Language: English
Fee for single lab: 1000 QAR
Package fee for 3 labs (lighting, grip and cinematography labs): 2500 QAR
Group Size: 10 to 12 participates
Ability Level: Intermediate

Submission Requirements
Please send the following as Word documents or in PDF format to, including your full name, email and contact number in all text documents:

  1. Specify in the email subject line which practical lab or labs you are applying for
  2. Brief letter of intention explaining why you are applying to the lab (maximum one page)
  3. Showreel, examples of previous work, or link to website (if available)
  4. CV or short biography
  5. Copy of Qatar ID

Submission Process and Selection of Candidates:
Please submit all required documents listed above to After the application deadline, the lab mentor and the DFI team will review applications. Candidates may be invited for a supplemental interview during the selection process. Please note that submission of your application does not guarantee a place in the workshop. Depending on the number of submissions, some applicants may be waitlisted or declined. All applicants will be notified of the results of their submission in a timely manner.


Day 1

  • Visual language and image composition (Framing)
  • Visual storytelling and dramaturgy
  • Hands On: Blocking and recording an example scene in different variations. Editing and analyzing the footage

Day 2

  • Cinematography workflows
    – Preproduction: Working with the script / Moodboard / Storyboard / Floorplan / Selection of equipment and equipment lists / Test shoots / Looks and LUTs
  • Hands On: Creating a Moodboard, Storyboard and Floorplan for a predetermined scene
    – Production: Multitasking / Advance planning
    – Postproduction: Color correction / Grading
  • Communication between departments

Day 3

  • Overview of lighting techniques
  • Lighting for drama and fantasy
  • Hands On: Designing light setups for drama and fantasy scenes
  • Overview of camera movements
  • Camera movements: Dolly and Jib
  • Hands On: Setting up tracks, rehearsing and recording dolly movement that corresponds to previously lit scenes. Analyzing the footage

Day 4

  • Multi-camera recording
  • Hands On: Lighting and recording a scene with more than one camera

Day 5

  • Editing and grading
  • Hands On: Editing and color correction of the multi-camera scene. Analyzing the footage

Lab Mentor
Marcus Zaiser

Marcus Zaiser was born in 1976. He has been active in the film industry since 1998, and has worked on more than 100 productions in various positions. From 2000 to 2006, he studied Film and Media with a focus on Cinematography at the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg in Ludwigsburg, Germany. He also studied at the renowned PWSFTViT Film School in Łódź, Poland. Since 2007, Marcus has been working as a cinematographer in both cinema and television, and since 2010, he has been a consultant for stereoscopic film projects in addition to his jobs behind the camera.

Lab Advisor
Thorsten Schütte

German documentary filmmaker Thorsten Schütte has worked for more than 20 years as a writer, director and producer. He has produced and directed numerous television films and series, including WORLD JAZZ (1998), TRIP TO BRAZIL (2001), THE CACTUS OF KNOWLEDGE (2001) and NAMIBIA GENERATION X (2005). His thought-provoking and well-reviewed films have been widely shown at international film festivals, including the Sundance Film Festival, the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam and the Berlin International Film Festival.

Parallel to his passion for music documentaries, Schütte dedicates a substantial part of his work to film-based environmental and labour activism in Southern Africa. Some of his documentaries, like LAND MATTERS (2008) and THE FORGOTTEN (2015), deal with subjects like land ownership, affirmative action and farm workers’ rights.

As a founding member of the Stolen Moments-Namibian Music History Untold Research Group, Schütte and his team members have for several years been exploring the Namibian music culture that was almost forgotten, suppressed under apartheid. He currently runs a digitalisation campaign in co-operation with the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation, and is co-curating an international exhibition that is scheduled to open in Berlin in the Fall of 2017.

Since 2002, in Germany, Schütte has co-ordinated documentary and fiction studies at the internationally renowned Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg.

This workshop is in collaboration with

To learn more about the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg, please click here.

To learn more about the Qatar Germany 2017 Year of Culture, please click here.