Eric Kress Lighting Workshop – part 1

thefilmbook by Benjamin BFor the past 3 years I have organized cinematography workshops & master classes at the Gothenburg Film Studios during their annual Gokinema event.

The Danish cinematographer Eric Kress led the first of these workshops, demonstrating the lighting of matched close-ups.

This is the first of several posts about Eric’s workshop

Eric Kress DFF -thefilmbook-


Eric Kress

Eric Kress, DFF, is a leading European cinematographer whose credits include:
The Kingdom
Flickering lights
Arn the Knight Templar
Monica Z
and my personal favorite, the original 2009 version of
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Eric has also shot some Danish television episodes, notably for the wonderful series Borgen, about a woman Prime Minister.


the Gokinema workshop

During the workshop Eric demonstrated simple variations of lighting close-ups of a man and a woman near a window. When we designed the session, Eric and I chose the theme of dual close-ups because lighting matching close ups is something that every cinematographer has to do often.



In part 1 of the workshop video, Eric introduces the workshop and then demonstrates 3 lighting variations around a window on the sound stage set:
1. one exterior soft source
2. adding an exterior poly bounce as a background light
3. adding an interior fill

These set-ups are illustrated in the slide show below
(you can use the arrow keys on your keyboard to navigate the slide show)


the video

During the workshop Eric was wonderful about sharing every step of his creative process.

Watch on YouTube


workshop & video credits

cinematographer – Eric Kress

moderator – Benjamin B

Matilda Jelse
Pontus Tornqvist Loven

gaffer – Luisa Fanciullacci
1st AC – Filip Lyman
set designer – Kristina Sandfors
on-set DIT/editor – Jonas Andersson

producers – Benjamin B & Michael Petersen
Gokinema at Gothenburg Film Studios

with the support of
Marc Galerne – K5600 Lighting Europe
Jacques Delacoux – Transvideo
Anders Johannsson – Media Teknik

video cameramen – Abdul Danesh, Michael Petersen, Nokokure Zaire
video editor – Barbaros Gokdemir
video by Benjamin B



Eric Kress Lighting Workshop – PART 2

Eric Kress website
imdb: Eric Kress
wikipedia: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009 by Niels Arden Oplev)
YouTube: trailer for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
wikipedia: Borgen TV series

Gokinema – yearly event with workshops, seminars, trade show
Gothenburg Film Studios

K5600 Lighting

Barbaros Gokdemir on vimeo
imdb: Barbaros Gokdemir

Robert Hardy’s insightful comments about the Part 1 video on the nofilmschool site.



Eric Kress Lighting Workshop – PART 2

Eric Kress Lighting Workshop – PART 3

Eric Kress Lighting Workshop – PART 4

see part 3 or 4 for links to download the original footage



  1. Ipsit Nayak

    I am from India. I am 29 years old. I have a experience of 10 years in Media. I am a Writer-Director. I want to attend one of these workshop. What qualification and documents should I procure to able to get VISA and able to attend the workshops.

    1. Benjamin BBenjamin B Post author

      Hello Ipsit

      These 1-day cinematography workshops are held every January at Gokinema in Sweden, along with a Master Class. Both the Master Class and Workshop are open to anyone who wants to attend.

      For more information see:

      The Workshop fee is very reasonable (this year it was 56 Euros, including lunch), but in your case it would mean a long trip ! :)

      All the best,


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  7. kishor rawat

    great workshop…….thnks for this video,,,,it would help me in my upcoming shortfilm……:-)

  8. Michael Papavero

    it would be very cool to see the alexa footage as Eric makes the changes. You show each scene after Eric sets the new light, but to actually see the full process through the lens would also be very insightful. thanks for a great vid

    1. Benjamin BBenjamin B Post author

      Thanks Michael,

      That’s a great idea.
      For this workshop however we only shot footage after Eric finished each set-up. I will make this footage available online soon.



  9. Doug

    Very cool! Reminds me of my digital setups for still photography. By the way, I am starting a hunt for a cinematographer for my first feature film. Any suggestions in this process?

    1. greg de marigny

      Hi Doug
      Look no further!
      Please take a look at my website which has my reel, a few trailers, stills, bio and Cv.
      I’m always on the look out for new and exciting collaborations. My website has contact details.
      Look forward to hearing from you.

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