Kurt Lancaster, PhD

Kurt Lancaster Associate Professor
Northern Arizona University
Blg COM 16 Rm #367
Phone: 928-523-5159

Personal webpage:


Research and teaching interests

Kurt Lancaster is a digital filmmaker, specializing in documentaries, several of which have screened at national and international festivals. His current research includes cinematic journalism, DSLR cinema, and shooting in CinemaDNG raw. In addition, Kurt consulted for the Pulitzer prize winning international newspaper, The Christian Science Monitor—training their reporters on video journalism for the web, as well as editing video for the San Francisco Chronicle. Formerly, Kurt taught at Fort Lewis College, MIT, and NYU.

Kurt helped lead the creation of the convergent journalism program at NAU, as well as a MA emphasis in Documentary Studies, proposed to start in Fall 2014. He also consults with NAU's University Marketing, leading a team that shoots cinematic style promotional films.

Courses offered 

  • JLS 106 Introduction to Documentary Studies
  • EMF 225 Production Techniques
  • EMF 326 Field Production
  • EMF 405 Field Production Topics (DSLR Cinematography, Documentary, Ethnographic Documentary)
  • EMF 426C Production House Experience Capstone  

Representative Research

Recent Books

Cinema Raw: Shooting and Color Grading with the Digital Bolex, Ikonoskop, and Blackmagic Cinema Cameras. Focal Press, 2014.
DSLR Cinema: Crafting the Film Look with Large Sensor Video. Focal Press, 2013, 2nd ed.
Video Journalism for the Web: A Practical Introduction to Documentary Storytelling. Routledge, 2013.

Recent Essays

The Performative Language Games of Dramapolitik: How Abraham Lincoln became an intellectual patriot and George W. Bush became a cowboy diplomat.” International Journal of Communication. (Vol. 2) 2008: 1043-1079.
News Media Coverage of the Iraq War in Basra, Fall 2007: A case study in ‘spinning’ news for the state. International Journal of Communication #2 (2008): 976-992. 

Creative Activity

Consultant and producer, NAU Marketing video team. Representative projects:

Director, principle investigator, Timpanogos Caves, DSLR, podcast series, 2011-2012. For the National Park Service:

Producer and cinematographerThe Making of a Graphic Novel: Louis L’Amour’s Law of the Desert Born, Louis L’Amour Enterprises, Inc. 2013. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6lW3QuWyLFE)

Director, producer, editor, Icarus Refried: A Pro-Creative Process, DSLR, 9 min, 2011. (http://vimeo.com/24299832)

Director, co-producer, co-editor, Cher Lyn: A healing journey, documentary, digital video, 9 min, 2010. Official selection of the following festivals: Awareness Film Festival, Los Angeles (May 2010); Flagstaff Film Festival (August 2010); DOCUTAH—Southern Utah International Documentary Film Festival (Sept. 2010); Spirit Enlightened—Culture Unplugged online film festival, 2011. (http://vimeo.com/20740838)

Director, editor, producer, Skins Anatomy: the making of a scene, multimedia documentary, 21 min, 2008. Screened at the Rocky Mountain Theater Association. (http://vimeo.com/7138722)

Director, editor, producer, Dreams from a Red Planet: the next giant leap for humanity, documentary, digital video, 22 min, 2006. Partial funding from three grants. Official selection Sci-Fi London April 26-30, 2006; Official selection of the Durango Independent Film Festival, March 2006; Official selection of the San Diego ComicCon, July 2006. Invited screening at the Mars Society Conference, Washington, D.C. August 2006. Invited screening at Star Trek: The Show that Changed the World, The Science Fiction Museum, Seattle, Washington, Sept. 8-10, 2006. (http://vimeo.com/7137665 and interactive Flash site: http://redplanetdreams.com)

Producer, Portrait from the Edge: the photography of Antonin Kratochvil, documentary, 7:15 min, 2005. The Maine Workshops. (http://vimeo.com/37388411)

Director, editor, and producer, Folding Paper Cranes: the poetry of atomic war veteran, Leonard Bird, documentary, digital video, 24 min, 2005. Official selection of the Durango Film Festival, March 2005. Screening and discussion at the Southwest Popular Culture Association Conference, Feb. 2006. (http://vimeo.com/6737613 and interactive Flash site: http://redbirdfilm.com/index.htm)

Director, editor, and producer, Huckleberry August, documentary, digital video, 24 min, 2004. Official selection of the Utah Film and Video Festival, Salt Lake City, June 2004.

Links of interest

Digital Cinema Society  
International Documentary Association 
The Digital Journalist  


PhD, Performance Studies, New York University, 1999
MA, Theater, University of Maine, Orono, 1991
BA, English, Principia College, 1989