Cinematography Summer Institute


June 18 - June 25, 2021

UCLA Course Credit: FILM TV 75 (2 units)

Dates are subject to change


Program Overview

Due to the rapidly developing COVID-19 situation, students will participate in courses remotely via Zoom in order to protect the health and safety of our community and visiting students. Each Cinematography student will be provided an equipment kit to facilitate the completion of their exercises and projects, which they can keep for future use. The equipment kit will include a gimbal, tripod, Moment lenses, LED lighting kit, and expendables.

*Equipment provided is dependent on availability from suppliers.

The UCLA Film and Television Cinematography Summer Institute give high school students an unparalleled opportunity to study cinematography at one of the most prestigious film schools in the world. This one-week intensive workshop is designed for highly motivated rising juniors and seniors and spring 2021 high school graduates. Students are immersed in the concepts, creativity, and technique of cinematic lighting through a combination of lectures and hands-on lighting exercises. Students will explore concepts such as composition, framing, blocking, lens choice, camera movement/placement, exposure, lighting techniques/equipment, shot design, and set protocol.

  • Students work on UCLA sound stages with the latest digital cinema cameras and lighting equipment
  • The program curriculum consists of a combination of lectures and hands-on lighting exercises
  • All class exercises will be screened in a state-of-the-art theater during the certificate ceremony at the end of the workshop. Friends and family are welcome!
  • As part of the program, students will visit a Hollywood Camera House
  • This workshop carries two units of UCLA college credit

This is an intensive immersion experience for beginning filmmakers designed to form a basic understanding of the aesthetic, creative, and logistical decisions involved in lighting for film and television. Previous experience in cinematography is not required.


Program Eligibility

To participate for the Cinematography Summer Institute, you must meet the following qualifications:

  • Enrolled in grades 9th – 12th during Spring 2021. Recent high school graduates are also eligible for participation.

Students who do not meet the minimum program requirements should not register and should consider other summer opportunities.

Application Requirements

As part of the application process, you will be asked to complete the following:

  • Responses to the following essay prompts:
    • Why would you like to participate in the program, and what do you expect to gain from the experience? 150-200 words.
    • What prior experience, if any, do you have in cinematography? Include both academic coursework and extracurricular activities. Previous experience in cinematography is not a requirement. 150-200 words.
    • Filmmaking requires creative collaboration at every stage. What qualities do you possess that make you a good collaborator? 150-200 words.
  • One letter of recommendation from a high school instructor verifying your ability to successfully participate in a disciplined and rigorous program.
  • An unofficial transcript confirming a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.

How to Apply

Application for the Cinematography Summer Institute can be done conveniently online using the steps below.

  1. Access the Summer Institute Online Registration Form. Read all terms and conditions, then scroll to the bottom and “Continue to Registration.”
  2. Complete the first page of the online registration form by answering all mandatory questions, then, select “Continue” at the end of the first page.
  3. Provide responses to all questions on the second page of the online registration form, including your essay response (see Application Requirements above for more information)
  4. Submit your registration form.
  5. Once your form is submitted, you will be directed to the Retrieve Registration page. Select “File Uploads” to upload your letters of recommendation or have your recommender send their letter to along with your five-digit registration number. You may also use this option to upload your unofficial transcript (see Application Requirements above for more information)
  6. Allow up to two weeks for the program instructor(s) to review your application after submission. An email will be sent to you with the official decision.
  7. If accepted to the program, follow the steps in your acceptance email to make payment of the $350 non-refundable registration fee and reserve your space in the program.

A space in the program is not reserved for you until valid payment of the non-refundable registration fee* is completed. Those who are not prepared to pay after program acceptance can submit their registration form and retrieve registration at another time to make payment, however you risk losing a space in the program if the program reaches capacity prior to the ability to pay.

This registration fee is not refundable under any circumstances including, but not limited to, drop for non-payment and withdrawal, even if you withdraw from the program before it begins.

If the program is full, you will not be prompted to make payment. When your application is accepted from the waitlist, you will be notified by email with instructions for methods of payment.

If registering after May 1, full payment of all fees including the non-refundable registration fee but excluding any applicable document and IEI fees is required to reserve your space in the program.

How to Make Changes to My Registration

Already submitted the online registration form but need to make a change or finish your registration? You can easily do so by retrieving your registration. To retrieve registration, please complete the steps below:

  1. Access the Summer Institute Retrieve Registration Form here.
  2. You will need your five-digit registration number that was sent to your email address. Fill out the form, then “Submit”.













Program Dates

JUNE 18 - JUNE 25, 2021

Important Dates

FEBRUARY 15 - APRIL 1: Summer Scholars Support for California High School Students Application Period

FEBRUARY 15: Registration Opens

MAY 1: Payment due in full

JUNE 15: Refund Deadline

JUNE 18-25: Cinematography Summer Institute

UCLA Summer Sessions COVID-19 Updates. Learn More.