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On December 6th, MEWShop's acclaimed speaker series returns for the second year with an evening devoted to the art of cinematography.  This year we went behind the camera with Documentary Cinematographers Kirsten Johnson and Wolfgang Held. Our last panel featured DPs Vanja Cernjul, ASC, Eric Edwards, and Eric Lin.




Tuesday, December 6, 2016


4:30pm - Check-in


5:00pm - 6:00pm - "Thinking in Pictures - Perspectives, Composition, Lighting and Mood"

Moderator: David Leitner (Director, Producer, and Cinematographer)
Speakers: Wolfgang Held (Sophie and the Rising Sun, Bruno, Years of Living Dangerously) and Kirsten Johnson (Citizenfour, Cameraperson, Fahrenheit 9/11)


6:15pm - 7:30pm - "Life Behind the Lens: DP's Talk Careers and Creativity in Films and Television"

Moderator: Marcin Kapron (Cinematographer)
Speakers: Vanja Černjul, ASC (30 Rock, Orange is the New Black), Eric Edwards (Knocked Up, Kids, My Own Private Idaho), and Eric Lin (I Smile Back, Equity)


7:30pm - 8:30pm - Networking Party & Tech Lounge


$45 General Admission


2016 Panelists:

Born in Croatia, Vanja Černjul, ASC, earned his first cinematography degree from the Academy of Dramatic Arts at the University of Zagreb in 1991. Graduation ceremonies coincided with the first political and military actions that triggered the Croatian War of Independence. Days after graduation, he pledged his skills to reporting the upheaval to the rest of the world and joined the ranks of international journalists providing combat footage for international news outlets like BBC, CNN and NBC. In 1995 Vanja moved to New York and enrolled in the MFA program of the Tisch Graduate School of the Arts at NYU.

​He has since photographed 20 feature films, numerous hit television programs and countless other projects with a wide range of collaborators. Vanja Černjul’s recent work includes HBO series The Deuce (David Simon, creator) and the Netflix original series Marco Polo (John Fusco, creator). His work on Marco Polo has been granted the ASC Award for cinematography in 2016.  His other work includes Bored to Death, Orange is the New Black, Nurse Jackie, and 30 Rock.  Vanja is based in New York City.


Eric Alan Edwards is best-known for his association with childhood friend writer and director Gus Van Sant, though in recent years he has successfully worked with other directors as well. His work is best described as "atmospheric," ranging from the dreamy, almost painterly landscapes of Van Sant's My Own Private Idaho and To Die For to the gritty photojournalistic style of Larry Clark's Kids.  Eric's other works includes Knocked Up, Dirty Grandpa, The Break-up, The Change-up, Couples Retreat, and Flirting with Disaster.

Emmy Award-winning director of photography Wolfgang Held has worked in New York City since the late 1990’s.  During his career, he has assembled an extensive filmography in both narrative and documentary genres.  He has photographed feature films for directors Larry Charles and Sacha Baron Cohen, Maggie Greenwald, Rob Morrow, Mitchell Lichtenstein, and the late Gary Winick, as well as feature documentaries for flimmakers Nanette Burstein, Susan Froemke, Joe Berlinger, Marilyn Agrelo, Dan Klores, Madeleine Sackler, and many others.  Most recently Held has put his emphasis on photographing socially minded films and TV shows such as The Lottery, Escape Fire, Half the Sky,A Path Appears, Years of Living Dangerously, and Far from the Tree.

Kirsten Johnson is a documentary cinematographer and director. Her most recent film Cameraperson which has been nominated for four Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards, is an official select of Sundance 2016, was the winner of the 2016 San Francisco International Film Festival and won Grand Jury Prizes at San Francisco and Sheffield Doc Fest, and winner of the 2016 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival winner, along with a host of others.  Her short film The Above premiered at 2015 New York Film Festival in The Intercept’s Field of Vision launch. Kirsten is the principal cinematographer on over 40 feature-length documentaries.  Her most recent camerawork appears in the Cannes 2016 premiere of Risk, Oscar-winning Citizen FourBorn to Fly: Elizabeth Streb vs GravityThe Wound and the Gift and Very Semi-Serious.  Her credits include Academy Award nominated, The Invisible War and Tribeca Documentary winner, Pray the Devil Back to Hell.  She and Laura Poitras shared the 2010 Sundance Cinematography Award for The Oath.  Her shooting is featured in Fahrenheit 9/11, Academy Award nominated Asylum, Emmy-winning Ladies First, and Sundance premieres: A Place at the Table, This Film is Not Yet Rated, and Derrida.  Deadline, (co-directed with Katy Chevigny), premiered at Sundance and won the Thurgood Marshall Award.

Marcin Kapron is a Brooklyn-based cinematographer.  Born in Poland, he has lived in NYC since 1990.

His work including fiction, documentary, and fashion projects have brought him to various places around the world, from medieval castles in Europe, deep into the Amazonian Jungle, and to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro. 

David Leitner is a director, producer, and Emmy-nominated DP (Chuck Close: Portrait in Progress), with over eighty credits in feature-length dramas and documentaries, including eight Sundance Film Festival premieres. These include his own Vienna is Different: 50 Years After the Anchluss, Alan Berliner’s Nobody’s Business, Sandi Dubowski’s Trembling Before G-d, the Oscar-nominated documentary For All Mankind, for which he spent nine months at NASA’s Johnson Space Center restoring original 16mm lunar footage, and Memories of Overdevelopment, a Cuban follow-up to 1968’s film classic, Memories of Underdevelopment. For over 25 years, as DP, he has photographed hour-long documentaries on iconic writers, artists, and architects for New York’s Checkerboard Film Foundation. Subjects include Brancusi, Picasso, James Salter, Joel Shapiro, Sir John Soane, Ellsworth Kelly, Milton Glaser, Daniel Libeskind, Dorothea Rockburne, Peter Eisenman, Roy Lichtenstein, Eric Fischl, Jeff Koons, Frank Stella, and Sol LeWitt. Leitner is also an author, columnist, motion picture technologist and industry consultant. From 1977-1985 he was Director of New Technology at DuArt Film & Video in New York, where he created innovations in optical printing, cine lens testing, film-to-tape transfer, and played a key role introducing Super 16 to the U.S. He is a Fellow of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers.

Eric Lin first started making films while studying sociology and film criticism at UC Berkeley.  His passion for visual storytelling led him to New York University's Graduate Film Program, where he earned his MFA in cinematography.  His feature film work includes Bradley Rust Gray’s, The Exploding Girl; William H. Macy’s directorial debut, Rudderless, starring Billy Crudup, Anton Yelchin, Laurence Fishburne and Selena Gomez; and Adam Salky’s I Smile Back, starring Sarah Silverman and Josh Charles.  His most recent projects include Meera Menon's Equity, featuring Anna Gunn and James Purefoy, which premiered in competition at Sundance 2016; and Sophie Goodhart's My Blind Brother, with Adam Scott, Nick Kroll, and Jenny Slate, which premiered at SXSW 2016. He recently completed production on Brian Shoaf's feature, Aardvark, starring Zachary Quinto, Jenny Slate and Jon Hamm. Based in Brooklyn, Lin’s work has taken him abroad to Hong Kong, Cuba, Iceland and Haiti. He has shot commercial projects for clients such as Miu Miu, HP, DuPont, Mattel and SAP. 

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