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Beyond the technical: Research into cinematography as art

More than just a category at the Academy Awards, cinematography as an art form is rich for research exploration according to a University of Southern Queensland filmmaking expert.

Dr Daniel Maddock, an award-winning cinematographer and academic, has stressed the significance of the field and has helped spearhead a new journal dedicated to its study.

Cinematography in Progress is an open access online journal published from Belgium with the support of the Free University of Brussels and the International Federation of Cinematographers (IMAGO).

Dr Maddock is the journal’s Australian representative and recently wrote the editorial feature for its first issue, Reaching Out.

“This is the first double-blind peer-reviewed journal publication with a sole focus on cinematography in the world,” he said.

“We want to build a community of researchers and artists who care about what cinematography is, what it can do, and where it has come from; and explore the art form in all its different permutations from cinema to television, from advertising media to educational media, from art film to short film, and beyond.”

In his editorial, Dr Maddock cited the vast field of topics that were ripe for analysis.

“Some of the key contentions of cinematographic inquiry today include: authorship; virtual and digital imaging; the definition of our practice and the role of the practitioner; equality and the advancement of women in cinematography; technology and its influence on the practice; and the scholarship of cinematography (particularly approaches by leading film-schools and universities around the world),” he said.

“This certainly does not cover all the facets of cinematographic practice today or the breadth of concepts covered throughout cinematography’s over one-hundred-year history – but this is our starting point.”

The University of Southern Queensland offers a range of creative arts degrees including a Bachelor of Film and Screen Production and a Bachelor of Television and Radio Production.

Two men, one looking through a video camera
Award-winning cinematographer Dr Daniel Maddock