Jacek Laskus, ASC, PSC, is a cinematographer and photographer born in Warsaw, Poland. After graduating from the Polish National Film Academy with a degree in Cinematography, Jacek left for the United States and made his home in New York City, where he worked for BBC TV working on many documentaries. While in New York he also worked on numerous music videos with the Academy award winning director Zbigniew Rybczynski, as well as for SNL with director Jonathan Demme. There he shot his first feature film “Parting Glances” directed by Bill Sherwood. After moving to Los Angeles he worked with the directors such as Donald Petrie Sr, ("Square Dance"), Robert Altman (“The Caine Mutiny Court Marshal“), Michael Pressman, (“Quick Sand“,“Frankie & Johnny are Married“, and the series “The Guardian“) “The Caine Mutiny Court Marshal” earned Jacek the 1989 American Society of Cinematographers nomination for the Outstanding Cinematography. In 1996 “Garden of Redemption” directed by Tom Donnelly, a WWII drama earned Jacek his second A.S.C nomination. In 1997 Jacek co-lensed a full-length documentary “Colors Straight Up”. The film was nominated for a 1998 Academy Award. In 2007 Jacek shot “Jerry was a Man” directed by Academy Award nominee Michael Tolkin. In 2016 Jacek completed his last feature film “Shot” directed by Jeremy Kagan. In 2000 Jacek became a member of The American Society of Cinematographers. In 2011 Jacek became a member of the Polish Society of Cinematographers. Jacek has travelled the globe, shooting films in Canada, Portugal, New Zealand, Italy, Lithuania, Japan, Nepal, India, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, and Peru. Jacek's second passion is photography. He has participated in two group shows, “Still Moving” at the gallery in Los Angeles and in 2006 “Photographs by the members of the A.S.C.” at the Academy of Motion Pictures. In April 2008 he held his first solo exhibit at the WM Gallery in Amsterdam. Over the course of the past five years Jacek has taught cinematography at a number of colleges including, USC School of Cinematic Arts, California Institute of the Arts and The Maine Photographic Workshop. He is currently a senior lecturer at the American Film Institute Conservatory AFI. Jacek speaks Polish, English and French.
The first day will be devoted to screening a selection of films that have inspired Jasek Laskus, as well as a selection of clips and films that he has worked on.
There will be discussions about how the language of cinematography is used to advance the story, as well as the way in which the cinematographer approached and collaborated with the director.
The second day will begin with a hands-on approach, with camera and participants acting as crewmembers and alternating their roles during the process script analysis of a short scene (2 pages).
Participants will examine how to stage a short scene in different ways and with the use of appropriate equipment (along with the camera and its accessories, a dolly, a set of lenses, monitors etc).
In the morning meeting, duties will be divided among the participants – students. Will stage the scene and shoot it. This will involve the discussion on what the scene is about, what are the important beats, and the best way to help to tell the story with the camera. It will involve discussion on lens choices, and lighting continuity. Jacek Laskus believes that hands on exercise like this will be very helpful to the understanding of what the cinematography can do.