Thoroughly explore the roles and responsibilities of film and television production camera teams
Dates: Jun 24-30, 2018
Levels: Intermediate, Advanced
Workshop Fee: $2195
Max Class Size: 18
Additional Dates Offered: Sep 2-8, 2018
With Matthew J. Siegel, producer and director of photography
The Workshop Goals:
To teach the fundamental skills of a camera operator, 1st camera assistant, and 2nd camera
assistant; to introduce the creative elements and technical responsibilities of these jobs; and to
demonstrate the working components of a film crew for successful motion picture production.
Designed for cinematographers, camera operators, and camera assistants, the Camera
Department Workshop (CDW) develops professional level operating and assisting skills. The
CDW introduces industry standard production procedures, and shares a wide variety of
techniques needed to successfully work on feature films, episodic television, and commercials.
The CDW guides students through the responsibilities of the camera crew. Starting with the
camera assistant, students learn how to order and prep a camera package; set-up the latest
gear from ARRI, and other top camera systems; and select and apply the
required camera settings. Participants learn techniques to pull focus– traditionally from the
camera side as well as with wireless technology– and address setting marks for actors. The
course covers the 2nd assistant’s role in slating, completing department paperwork, and camera
CDW students will learn the subtleties of operating a fluid head and gear head. They combine
that knowledge with the aesthetic considerations and nuances of framing to explore a variety of
compositional styles. They will elevate their skills and shot complexity by operating jib arms,
dollies, and 3-axis gyro stabilizers. Using Chapman and J.L. Fisher dollies, the advanced
exercises combine blocking, camera movement, and choreography, with the operator watching
the headroom and stealthily adjusting the frame.
Team-oriented, hands-on exercises in studio and on location allow students to hone their skills.
CDW students rotate and experience a variety of crew positions. This fosters interest in the
different roles available to them and helps them to understand the importance of communication
and the responsibilities of each crew member.
Daily reviews work in concert to provide an overview of how to compose and how to design a
strong frame. The critiques explore the theory of cinematic language, composition, shot design,
and the motivation for camera movement.
Non-linear editing will be incorporated to create assembled scenes as part of the dailies process
and to create CDW final presentations.
Along with basic set protocol and procedure, set etiquette and safety will be emphasized
throughout the lectures and class exercises.
In addition to being offered on an individual basis, this workshop is also Week Four of the 10 Week Cinematography Intensive.
Workshop Sponsored by:
Behind the Scenes:
Image credits: Amanda Piela, Devin Altobello
Instructor: Matt Siegel
CLIO Award winning director of photography Matt Siegel creates visual images for commercials, features, documentaries, branded content, and corporate communications. His commercial clients include Google, Toyota, Ford, SONY, Audi, MasterCard, Microsoft, and Coca-Cola, with new campaigns filmed for Bayer, Honda, CVS, and Timberland. His commercial work has won international recognition, including ADDY, TELE, Cannes’ Golden Lion, and Cable ACE awards. In addition to commercial production, Matt has extensive industry experience as a 2nd Unit DP and Camera Operator on episodic television, including the WB series Everwood, the CBS drama Joan of Arcadia, the Jerry Bruckheimer series Just Legal, and the CBS series The Mentalist. His work as a feature film camera operator on major motions pictures includes The Matrix: Reloaded, Master and Commander, and Mr. and Mrs. Smith.