Go Behind the Camera and Learn Documentary Cinematography with Kirsten Johnson, ASC

Kirsten has been a documentary cinematographer on "Citizen Four," "Fahrenheit 9/11," and "The Invisible War," all of which have been nominated for numerous Academy Awards; as well as won several other awards.


Watch Anywhere On Anything

Watch our courses on your phone, computer, or tablet - anywhere you have internet access. 

Your Class at Your Pace

Self-paced videos that give you the flexibility to do the course when it fits into your schedule.


Additional learning materials include PDFs, educational videos, and further class footage from the cutting room floor.

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Meet The Instructor

Kirsten Johnson has worked as a cinematographer on numerous Academy-nominated and award-winning documentaries. Films such as "Citizen Four," "Fahrenheit 9/11," and "The Invisible War," just to name a few of her DP projects. Her directorial debut "Cameraperson" was short-listed for the Oscars, and her recent feature documentary "Dick Johnson is Dead," got rave reviews at its Sundance premiere leading to it being released on  Netflix.

Learn From This Mentor

Course Breakdown


Chapter 1 - The Beginning

  • Meet Your Instructor (2 Min)
  • Unspoken Insight (11 Min)
  • Challenge Yourself (11 Min)
  • Be Prepared for Failures (9 Min)
  • Economic Survival (7 Min)

Chapter 2 - Personal Work

  • Following the Story (Coaches Capture) (26 Min)

Chapter 3 - The Camera Person's Body

  • The Camera Person's Body (6 Min)

Chapter 4 - Ethical Dilemmas

  • Truth and Context (4 Min)
  • The Psychology of the Witness (7 Min)

Chapter 5 - Storytelling Without a Script

  • Searching to Understand (6 Min)
  • Finding Focus in Chaos (9 Min)
  • When to Follow the Moment (11 Min)

Chapter 6 - You Automatically Influence the Work and it Influences You

  • Subjectivity (2 Min)
  • Check Your Own Biases (6 Min)



Chapter 7 - The Technical and Art Balance

  • Tools For Your Audience (7 Min)

Chapter 8 -Fly on the Wall 

  • Fly on the Wall (5 Min)
  • Pratt Institute Workshop (78 Min)
  • The Bronx Workshop (86 Min) 

Appendix A - The Cutting Room Floor

  • Bosnia (3 Min)
  • Disassociation (1 Min)
  • Gaining Access (4 Min)
  • Meeting Deride (2 Min)
  • Workshop Questions from The Bronx Workshop (15 Min)
  • Workshop Questions from The Pratt Institute Part I (13 Min)
  • Workshop Questions from The Pratt Institute Part II (14 Min)  

Appendix B - Extras

  • Sight, Sound & Story 2021 - Making it Work: From Editor to Director - FULL EVENT (90 Min)

  • Sight, Sound & Story 2016: The Art of Cinematography - FULL EVENT (97 Min

  • Kirsten Johnson on "Cameraperson" Part 1 (3 Min)

  • Kirsten Johnson on “Cameraperson” Part 2 (3 Min)

  • Glossary (PDF)

  • Credits (PDF)


$99 USD

 Go behind the scenes with documentary cinematographer and director Kirsten Johnson. Learn her approach, techniques, and tricks she uses to help make films stand out in a crowded cinema. Get unparalleled insight on some of the greatest documentaries ever made, first hand from the DP and filmmaker who made them.

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