Film & Theatre
Year Retired from SJSU
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Harry Mathias: Author, Cinematographer, Consultant
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San Francisco State University, Radio, Television, Film, BA, 1968
San Francisco State University, Creative Arts Interdisciplinary Studies with emphasis Film Production, Broadcast TV Production, Broadcast Engineering, Drama, and Computer Graphic Video Imaging Systems Design, MA,1974,
San Jose State University, Associate Professor and Associate Chair, Department of Film & Theatre, Fall 2012-
I teach the following classes, all of which I designed, as they did not exist before I joined the faculty:
- Cinematography covers both film and digital cinema production mastery and lighting. I utilize a teaching methodology that I pioneered in my last and my current book, which uses the same image control techniques for film and digital cinema image control, exposure and lighting.
- Advanced Cinematography using 35mm cameras, and digital cinema cameras. This course covers both film and digital cinema production mastery and lighting on a much more advanced level. The students work on advanced narrative projects shot on 35mm film and utilizing digital cinema cameras. This course also adds to the student’s creative work portfolio.
- Advanced Editing of the Dramatic Short Film using AVID, Final Cut Pro, and Premier Pro non-linear editing software systems. I utilize a teaching methodology that I pioneered at SJSU. This is an in-depth course in the advanced editing skills needed for cutting narrative and dramatic films. This class focuses on creative styles, and the principals of editing a dramatic or comedic film. The techniques taught in this class are equally applicable to film and to digital cinema editing. Students in this class team up and cut as many as five of the short films that my own production class film students have already shot as in-class end of the semester projects in previous years.
- Making Films that move Audiences! This new class views and analyses some of the most compelling films of history. We learn why they are so powerful, and some of the techniques and methods that make them so memorable. This class will expose students to years of great films in one class. The purpose of this class is not to survey film history, but to understand what goes into making a great film. Students achieve an understanding of the enduring principles of motion picture storytelling through lectures, discussions, and screenings. The goal is to acquire an appreciation of the visual art of the cinema, and the techniques of direction, acting and cinematography. The expert analysis and critical judgment taught in this class will apply equally to understanding digital and film cinema.
I also teach these classes which I did not design:
- Alternative Cinema: The Visual Art of Film This is a variation on an existing course, which focuses on the critical study of cinema. My variation teaches students how to “read” the filmic medium as a visual art form. We explore the analysis and interpretation of lighting, camera techniques and composition. These are the key structural elements of the cinema as a visual language. The students are brought to an understanding of cinema technically, terminologically, and structurally, by reviewing, discussing, and writing about key culturally important international films.
- Film as a Visual Artform This course focuses on the critical study of cinema. It teaches students how to “read” the filmic medium, that is, how to analyze and interpret it. This requires that they understand cinema technically, terminologically, and structurally. This also requires thinking about the art of the cinema critically, theoretically, structurally, and culturally.
- Intermediate Production teaches the modern techniques of film (single camera) and live television (multi-camera) production. This class consists of lectures, text readings, lab and crew production work. Students write, produce, and direct their own projects. They get experience working with talent, editing their portfolio level exercises and productions. This course also adds to the student’s creative work portfolio.
- Independent Projects teaches the modern art of film and digital cinema production processes, techniques, and the use of production tools. Utilizing lectures, demonstrations, and through the student having an assigned part in a production crew, they learn to work with talent, accomplish project related tasks and the managing of sets, props and equipment.
- Film History Post 1945 teaches The history and evolution of the motion picture since 1945. Through the viewing of representative films, study and discussion of major world film movements, important directors, and key genres. The student becomes conversant in the styles and methods of the cinematic language, and its history.
Santa Fe University of Art and Design, Chair of the Moving Image Arts department, and Full Professor of Cinematography. Fall 2010 to Spring 2012
I taught the following classes, all of which I designed.
- Cinematography covers both film and digital cinema production mastery and lighting. I utilized a teaching methodology that I pioneered in my last and my current book, which uses the same image controlled techniques for film and digital cinema image control, exposure and lighting.
- Advanced Cinematography using 16mm and 35mm cameras, and digital cinema cameras. This course covered both film and digital cinema production mastery and lighting on a much more advanced level.
- Major Filmmakers, this was a critical studies class that screened and analyzed the 32 major films which "changed the world". Meaning that they had the greatest impact on the world's aesthetic and emotional shared human mass culture (zeitgeist). This was the most popular class in the Moving Image Arts curriculum, by far, and it also drew many students from the Performing Arts, Creative Writing, Contemporary Music, Fine Arts, and Graphic Design departments.
Alternatively, I often taught my other unique classes:
- Digital Cinema Technology, a theory and practicum class in digital cinema technology, production and postproduction workflow.
- Production, this was a theory and practicum class in narrative dramatic, documentary and personal statement film production. This class covered all aspects of the production process, from script breakdown, planning, budgeting, production management, through to post production and distribution.
San Francisco State University, Graduate Teaching Assistant for Dr. Richard Marsh, PhD in Communications Theory and Far Eastern Religion for 2 semesters.
Invited Master Classes taught as a guest at other Universities
The London Film School, Visiting Professor, London, England July 26th, 2017. Invited meeting with the professors and Department Chair of this MFA graduate University program in film production, to plan and share production pedagogy and cinematography best teaching practices. Their cinematography and production departments are adopting my book for use in this University curriculum.
San Francisco State University, Visiting Professor, March 16th, 2017. I taught a daylong master class in cinematography, creative image control, editing, and film production to several classes of MFA grad students at the Cinema department in this University program.
Baylor University in Waco Texas, Visiting Professor, September 15th, 16th, 17th, 2016. I taught a 3 daylong master class in cinematography, creative image control, editing, and film production to several classes of grad students at this post-graduate advanced production University program.
The Banff Center for the Arts, University of Ottawa, Visiting Professor, The week of March 26th 2016. I taught a week-long master class in cinematography, creative image control, editing, and film production to several classes of Fellows at this post-graduate advanced production arts institute.
American University, Washington D.C., Visiting Professor. Summer Intensive Seminar on Film Directing Technique, June to July 1986. I taught a month-long summer master class in film Directing, and production.
Invited Lectures - For Selected List, see CV
Administrative and Professional Experience
The worldwide film production industry
I have Fifty-five years of experience making all kinds of films in various senior capacities, but principally as a Director of Photography. I have been responsible for over one hundred feature motion pictures, hundreds of television films, hundreds of documentaries, scores of commercials, and music videos.
Feature Films (partial list) - Director of Photography
One More Shot, WEB Productions, Jeffrey Butschher, Greg Zekowski, Producer; Robert McNamara, Director: Starring: Wayne Eric Boyd, Danny Hodges, John Smith.
Unbecoming Age, Ringelvision Productions, Alfredo Ringel & Debra Ringel, Producers, Directors; Starring: Diane Salinger, John Calvin, Wallace Shawn.
The Grand Tour, Wildstreet Productions for Paramount Studios, John O'Conner, Producer; David Twohy, Director: Starring: Jeff Daniels, Ariana Richards, Jim Haynie.
Beverly Hills Brats, Taurus Releasing, Moore/Rivers Prod., Producers; Demitri Sotirakis, Director; Starring: Martin Sheen, Burt Young, Peter Billingsley.
My Chauffeur, Crown International Pictures, Michael Bennet, Steve Wolfe, Producers; David Beaird, Director; Starring: E.G. Marshal, Howard Hessman, Deborah Foreman.
Creature, TransWorld Entertainment, Bill Malone, Bill Dunn, Producers; Bill Malone, Director; Starring, Klaus Kinsky.
White Bird, Gemini Prod. Albert Smith, Producer; Miles Rubin, Director.
Solly's Diner, Harry Mathias, Larry Hankin, Producers Academy Award Nominee 1980.
See CV for information on:
- Feature Films - Second Unit Director of Photography
- Industry Experience
- Research and Patents and Patent List
- Television Movies - Director of Photography
My Santa Fe University committee service, and governance activities: University Leadership committee, University Curriculum and Academic Procedures committee (UCAP), University Assessment and Evaluation committee, Department Chairs committee, Chair of the Moving Image Arts Department Faculty committee, Chair of Film & Digital Production committee, Chair of Visiting Artists Committee, Chair Student Recruitment and Enrollment committee, Organizing Committee for Faculty Senate.
Standards Committees and Professional Organizations I have been a long-term member of the SMPTE (the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers) and held committee Chair and voting membership positions on the following committees: HDTV Electronic production standards, (Chairman of the Adhoc Film Quantization Committee); the 30-Frame Film Study Group (Chairman of the Camera Committee). I am a founding member of SMPTE DC-28 Digital Cinema Standards (all Study Groups, and Committees). I am also a founding member of SMPTE 21DC (the successor to DC-28) I am also an active member of the BKSTS, now The International Moving Image Society (the UK equivalent of SMPTE). I have been elected to the rank of Life Fellow of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) for my contributions to setting global Digital Cinema Standards.
I am also an active member of SID (Society for Information Display), ICTA (the International Cinema Technology Association), the ISDCF (the Inter-Society Digital Cinema Forum), ASC Technology Committee (The American Society of Cinematographers), and the Image Interchange Framework project of the Science and Technology Council at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
I was twice elected as a Board of Directors member of the International Cinema Technology Association.
I was a technical advisor to DCI (Digital Cinema Initiatives) the technical consortium of the Seven Major Movie Studios that was formed to produce a User Requirements Specification Document for Digital Cinema commonly called the “DCI Spec.” in the global film imaging community.
Harry Mathias, Author of The Death & Rebirth of Cinema: Mastering the Art of Cinematography in the Digital Cinema Age, published by Waterfront Press, on Dec. 2015, ISBN 978-1-943625-14-7; Also available as a Kindle E-book as ISBN 978-1-943625-13-0
Harry Mathias, Author, and Richard Paterson, Coauthor of Electronic Cinematography: Achieving Photographic Control Over The Video Image, published by Wadsworth Publishing, (Since it was first published in 1985, the book has been reprinted 4 times, and is now in a new paperback printing), also translated into Spanish and published as Cinematografia Electronica, translated into Greek and published as Hilektroniki Kinimatografia, in 2006, and distributed worldwide.
Coauthor, with former Vice President Al Gore, of HDTV, The Politics, Policies, and Economics of Tomorrow's Television, a book published by Union Square Press
Contributing author to Television Image Quality, a book published by the Society of Television and Motion Picture Engineers
Contributing author to The American Cinematographers Handbook
Contributing author to The American Cinematographers Video Handbook
Periodicals and Published Papers - Peer-Reviewed Journals
“TECHNOLOGY IS IMPORTANT, BUT STORY-TELLING IS THE FUTURE” a five-page in-depth interview with Managing Editor: Jim Slater that I did for the 30 Year Anniversary Edition of Cinema Technology magazine (a review of my London invited talk was also in that issue of the magazine.) December 2017 • Volume 30 • No.4 Published and distributed by the International Motion Image Society, London.
“Hot Button Discussion: Creative Control as the Palette Expands” Harry Mathias and Michael Goldman, co-authored an article based on my ideas on the SMPTE website of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers, February 2017
“Gamma and Dynamic Range Needs for an HDTV Electronic Cinematography System,” SMPTE Journal, 96:840, Sept. 1987.
“A Proven Method of Establishing Exposure Indexes for Video Cameras,” SMPTE Journal, 94:1028, Oct. 1985.
“Image Quality from a Non-Engineering Viewpoint,” SMPTE Journal, 93:712, Aug. 1984.
The SMPTE Journal is the, peer reviewed, official publication of The Society of Television and Motion Picture Engineers, an international Standards setting group for motion pictures and television technology.
Numerous articles and published studies were also published in each of the following magazines: The International Photographer, The BKST Journal, Film Journal International, Boxoffice, On Location, American Cinematographer, VideoSystems (I was the Contributing Editor of Video Systems, 1978-80).
Download Curriculum Vitae (543 KB)