Presented by Dan Thorburn and Max Graham

Filmmaking 101: Making Your Film Cinematic

How do you make your film feel like a piece of cinema, rather than something that has just been filmed? How do you make every frame count when you have a great story to tell on film?

Join Director Dan Thorburn and Director of Photography Max Graham as they go through the best way to make your film pop on screen visually.

Using practical examples from their long-standing collaboration, Dan & Max will talk through working on no-budget and low-budget, where to put your money, what cinematic means and how to achieve it (its not always fancy kit!), how to collaborate with a DOP and how that relationship starts and thrives over time.

This workshop will be mainly conversational and include some practical group work and conversations (there will be no playing around with lights and camera).

Themes covered include:

  • Understanding film language and thinking about what the best shot is to tell your story, no matter what tech you have to play with
  • Thinking about how the use of different styles translates to an audience and the right choice of shots can cause a greater emotional response.
  • The importance of location, production design and the all-important lighting (again, it’s not all about fancy kit and money!)
  • The director – DOP relationship, how to work together as a creative collaboration, how to find someone who shares your vision and how this collaboration works in practical, day to day terms.
  • How to best use your money, whatever your budget is.

Dan Thorburn is a writer and director from the North of England. Originally a painter, he studied at Central Saint Martins School of Art in London where he transitioned his practice into film. His short work (Salt Water Town, Trucker’s Atlas) has played at London Film Festival, Raindance, LIFF and has gained recognition from festivals world wide. He was part of of Screen Yorkshires inaugural FLEX program, is a member of BAFTA Connect, won the Sony Future Filmmaker Award 2023 and was a cohort member of the prestigious talent lab NETWORK@LFF. His debut feature Barfly won best project at Galway Film Market 2023 and is now in development with the BFI.

Max Graham is a director of photography from the North East of England. After receiving an award from the Royal Television Society early on in his career, he has gone on to shoot multiple BFI-funded short films, including the gritty Welsh coastal drama: Salt Water Town. His work has played at BAFTA and Academy Award-recognised festivals across the world and has won accolades at BIFA qualifying festivals. He is renowned for his intimate handheld operating style and has also worked commercially, shooting for fashion brand Barbour and music label Distiller Records.

This event is now sold out. To join the waiting list please ring box office on 0161 200 1500 or email In the email please indicate you your name and phone number and specify the name, date and time of the event (“Filmmaking 101: Making Your Film Cinematic” workshop, Sat 27 Jan at 10:30).

The event runs 10:30 – 14:30 (inc lunch break)

Suitable for Age 18+

Tickets are available as ‘Pay What You Can’ – the suggested price for this event is £10 – but there are a range of ticket prices so you can choose what you can afford from the options.