A Cinematography System: The Playbook Approach - Volume III

The Foundation of Filmmaking



Welcome to the third volume of the Cinematography System: A Playbook Approach.

This course lays out the exact playbook that I use as a cinematographer day in and day out on all of my projects.

I am sharing this material for the first time ever and I am excited to finally be able to share these concepts to students around the world.

Early in my career I began to notice a pattern of scenes or set ups that I was asked to shoot time and time again. From these observations I set out to construct a system that would allow me to develop looks and problem solve potential issues well before I ever stepped on set. It was developing this ability to see in to the future that really accelerated my skills and allowed me to fast track my career.

In time that system grew to what it is today and it forms the foundation for how I approach every project. It is the bedrock of my cinematography.

In this course I am sharing what I believe to be the most complex of all set ups. In my system I refer to it as the Dining Room Table scene.

Anytime you have more than 3 people in a scene things can get very complicated very quickly.

How much coverage do we need? What is the best way to get the wide? How should the actors be positioned relative to one another/relative to the camera?

These questions may sound simple but once you start to dissect the scene they can become incredibly complex. If you want to succeed you have to get the basics right and in this course I will show you a system for ensuring you have everything covered.

You will never view blocking, framing, or cinematography the same.



I've been a cinematographer since 2009 and have shot 100s of commercial projects over that time.

Throughout the course of landing, prepping, and shooting those jobs I have learned a lot about the different approaches a DP can take in their role.

And over the past few years, I've shared that knowledge of how to shoot commercials in over 400 episodes of The Wandering DP Podcast. Every week I receive emails from people who have found the podcast and immediately improved their work because of it.

During the course of my own career I discovered that while it may appear that there are countless different scenes and set ups, in reality, there are only a handful. When you can recognize these situations you can drastically increase your results because you know where the path leads. If you know the final destination then you can work backwards and make decisions accordingly.

Working with a system can improve your results overnight no matter what situation you are in.

The goal of A Cinematography System: The Playbook Approach is to present the way I approach the work and show you why using a specific system will make you more effective as a DP.


I designed this course to teach anyone what are the major questions they need to answer before they start a project, while they are shooting a specific scene, and even after the job is done.
I use this system everyday I am on a job and even experienced DPs can benefit from seeing a different approach.

  • The Most Difficult Scene Format This course focuses on the most difficult of the "5 Scenarios" which I refer to as the Dining Room Table Scenario. No set up in the BODVO system is more challenging for even the most experienced cinematographers.
  • A Solid Launch Pad You will learn why having a systematic approach improves your results exponentially faster than not using one. The faster we can get better, the more we can focus on the interesting aspects of storytelling through imagery.
  • Instant Access. There are 8 unique modules that outline in great detail all of the elements we need to cover to produce the best images possible for a given project, from why a system is important to watching every decision on set as we deploy the plans.
  • Lifetime Access There is an enormous amount of content in this course. You have lifetime access to the material so you are free to consume and revisit it when necessary at your own pace.

Become a Blocking & Coverage Maestro

Across eight distinct course stages, you’ll learn all about:

  • The Benefits a System: Why have a system in the first place and how do you structure the decision tree to help maximize the effectiveness of your choices.
  • Overhead Lighting vs. Outside Lighting: There are two ways to light a scene with multiple people in it. One is used vastly more frequent than the other. Do you know which is which and why you should use one over the other?
  • The Concept of the Circle: Blocking talent relative to the camera's position is absolutely imperative to help you set the stage to get the most out of your lighting tools. The concept of the circle will help keep you on track for quality images no matter what the location is.
  • Predict the Future: It is a cinematographer's job to look in to the future and see any potential issues that might appear because of decision being made by cast and crew. You need to be aware of all of the possibilities so you can make informed decisions and become an asset for any production.

The More Options You Have, The Better Off You Are

This course is the result of 10+ years on set working as a professional cinematographer. This system for thinking about blocking and framing has allowed me to fast track my results and I couldn't have had the success I have been lucky enough to achieve without this system.



A Cinematography System: The Playbook Approach is designed for cinematographers looking to take their knowledge and efficiency to the next level.

Up until now the only real way to develop a system for cinematography was to do so on your own.

Through real world trial and error an individual could start putting together techniques and approaches for common situations. This limited learning because it put real world constraints on a person's time and energy.

This course is for people looking to build upon a proven system and take their work a step further. If you liked previous volumes of the Playbook Approach then you are going to love this instalment.

Course Curriculum

  Section 1.0 Introduction
Available in days
days after you enroll


Time to Level Up

The techniques discussed in this course have changed the quality of my professional work multiply times over. Every job, every project, every scene, every shot I am a part of is an opportunity to put these ideas in to practice.

There is nothing in this course that you can't immediately try out for yourself on your very next project. It doesn't require any specific gear or circumstances. Once you understand the system you can begin to reap the benefits immediately.

This course walks you through my system for evaluating coverage, framing, and lighting opportunities in a given environment. Once you understand how the system is structured you can build on it to meet your own unique styles.

I look forward to seeing you in the course.


Frequently Asked Questions

How long do I have access to the course?
Lifetime access. After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will happily provide you with a full refund.
Can I Pay with Paypal?
Yes. On the checkout page under the "Billing Information" section, switch from the Credit Card tab to the PayPal tab. Choose your country and click "Enroll in Course" to be directed to the PayPal checkout. PayPal is not available for the instalment plan.
What skills will this course teach me?
This course lays out my system for approaching a wide variety of scenarios. The information detailed in the videos will show you how to know what your options are and understand what the important decisions are that go in to creating the final look.
Do I need years of experience to use the system?
Absolutely not. The whole point of using a system is so that you can quickly level up your skills and maximize your results on set. A DP of any experience level will benefit from seeing the approach.
Are there lighting examples/breakdowns shared in the course?
We use a virtual set via Cinedesigner so that you can see the methods applied in real time. This gives students access to on set work never before possible.