About Light and Shadow
Our workshops aim to instruct participants on how to utilize simple, fast, effective techniques on a tight budget. We emphasize intensive hands-on participation as a way for students to immediately apply what they learn and gain experience.
All workshops are suitable both for beginners who are trying to learn the fundamentals of filmmaking or filmmakers who have already been in the business for a few years and want to sharpen their skills or develop their own style.
Our workshops include the 5-Day Digital Filmmaking Workshop, the Lighting Workshop, and the Directing Workshop.
All are united under the shared goal to teach practical, economical, and effective techniques through extensive hands-on practice.
ERIC LAU is an alumnus of NYU's prestigious Graduate Film Program. He has worked in the film industry for 34 years. His films, Nightwatchman and Ragged Edge, won the Best Narrative Film Award in the 1981 and 1984 Hong Kong Independent Film Festivals as well as Best Production, Best Editing, and Best Cinematography Awards in the 1984 First Run Film Festival.
Lau has been a Director / Producer / Cinematographer for many commercials and feature films. In 2007, he directed and produced Elevator Weekend which won the Official Selection category for both the Staten Island Film Festival and Long Island International Film Festival.
He has produced and directed international TV commercials for Snapple, Toyota, China Unicom, and Blue Man Group among others, and garnered numerous awards including the Telly Award and the Gold and Silver Awards for the Taiwanese Annual TV Advertisement Awards. His work with AARP TV for NBC's TODAY SHOW: Your Life Calling Today with Jane Pauley won the 2011 Cine Golden Eagle Award.
He has been a distinguished guest lecturer at numerous universities and film festivals including Tribeca Film Festival on behalf of APPLE on film and video production, lighting, and cinematography. Lau has been invited to be a jury member at numerous international film festivals including CBGB Film Festival, and the Brooklyn International Film Festival. Most recently, Lau was a jury member at the 2014 Asian American International Film Festival and 2013 Durban International Film Festival. He was also an Adjunct Professor for Video Production courses at Brooklyn College.
For the past 27 years, Lau has been President of Solar Film/Video Productions, a full service production company in NYC. His credits include internationally acclaimed films such as American Psycho and Y Tu Mamá También. He has also worked with filmmakers Ang Lee, Spike Lee, Alfonso Cuarón, Ernest Dickerson, John Turturro, Peter Bogdanovich, Mary Harron, James Toback, Jon Turteltaub, and Joel Schumacher.
For more information, please visit Eric Lau's website at www.solarnyc.com
How do we teach?
1) I am seeking a course that will allow me to physically handle the lighting equipment, and one that will teach me how to take the equipment out of the box, set it up, turn it on, which way to point it, where to place flags, etc., where to place actors/subjects I am interviewing, etc in order to get the desired look. I am seeking a course that would show me how to do this and then allow me to do it myself during the class. Does your class do this?
As we stated in our website:
We are looking to demystify the filmmaking process. Too many people leave workshops with nothing but theory. We believe you learn more in the field than you do in the classroom. Our workshop puts the equipment in your hands.
The class is always small. Each student will take turns setting lights for different scenes while the others will be his/her assistants. As long as you are not afraid of getting your hands dirty, you'll be working with lights plenty of the time.
2) In the workshop, how many hours is spent on lecture and how many hours are spent on me actually physically setting up lighting for myself in order to create a scene? I don't do well with theory. It's all over my head. I have to do it myself in order to learn.
Our workshop's philosophy is Less Talk, More Hands-on!
We do have to teach some basic theories. But the rest are practically knowledge, tips and tricks for lighting. It's about 40-60, if not 30-70. We encourage people to watch our demos and ask questions instead of looking down and busy writing notes. You'll be busy setting up lights most of the time. We have actors to perform different scenes with different mood for the student to work with.
3) I've never handles lighting equipment beyond hand-held portable lights. What kind of equipment does the workshop use and do I need any experience with it?
No worries, we have everything. All professional lights. You don't need any experience. Just need your creative mind.
*Questions directly quoted from our students' emails.