After working as director of photography on a feature film in Los Angeles, filmmaker Harlan Bosmajian, assistant professor in the Visual and Media Arts Department, is returning to Boston to continue sharing his knowledge with students.
Bosmajian will teach cinematography and filmmaking when the Spring 2014 semester begins January 15.
The film he worked on, Any Day, stars Sean Bean, Eva Longoria, Tom Arnold, and Kate Walsh.
“It’s about an ex-con who comes back to his hometown. He’d been in jail for 15 years,” Bosmajian said of the drama. “He’s kind of a violent person. He’s trying to taper that and just start a normal life again.”
Bosmajian said cinematographic techniques he has used on feature films over the past 25 years tie directly into what he teaches at Emerson. He has also worked on The Social Network, the movie about Facebook, and the television show Mad Men.
“To me, it’s all about reading something and having a way to visualize it,” Bosmajian said. “One of the first assignments I do…starts with something evocative, like a poem. We read a poem in class and I ask the students, ‘How does this make you feel? What is the poem about?’
“We start talking about it and realize, ‘Oh yeah, if we were visualizing this as a script, we would want this to take place at the end of the day after the sun goes down, when the blue sky has a tint to it, as opposed to shooting in mid-afternoon with harsh sunlight, because the character has a melancholy mood.”
This semester, Bosmajian is teaching a course that, in conjunction with a similar film course taught by faculty member Theodore “Regge” Life, has students produce a 20-minute short film based on a script previously written by an Emerson student.
In the VMA Department, there is something called a “script bank,” in which scripts written by students for film classes are stored for the next five years to be used on student film projects.
“The scripts are organized by different genres and lengths. Right now, we’re looking for a good 20-minute drama,” Bosmajian said. “Our goal is to make the film and send it into the festival circuit.”