Pro-Level Workshop: The Camera Assistant & Data Management


Saturday, May 12, 2018 – 10am-5pm
Portland Media Center, 516 Congress Street, Portland

Digital cinema cameras and their associated technologies are constantly changing. No matter what camera platform is used for image acquisition, the skills of the camera assistant remain vital to a successful and professional film shoot.

This one-day intensive camera assistant workshop is an introduction to the art, craft, tools and technology of the camera assistant position. The workshop is designed for those looking to gain knowledge and experience that will enable them to begin work as a professional camera assistant and for those DPs, directors, and producers looking to communicate more effectively with their camera department.

The MFA Camera Assistant and Data Management Workshop provides its participants with knowledge of the tools and protocols expected to work in today’s fast-paced and demanding production world. Working in small groups, participants will receive hands-on training using cameras like the URSA Mini Pro, the RED Epic, and the ARRI Alexa.*

This workshop will be conducted by professional camera assistants and cinematographers who will share their production and technological knowledge gained from years of on-set experience.

Through presentations and hands-on exercises, the workshop will provide instruction on the following: Rental house camera prep, basic tools, “ditty” bag supplies, paperwork and administration, labelling standards, marking actors, slating techniques, 1st AC and 2nd AC on set procedures, camera set-up and menus, focus pulling techniques, basic imaging theory, and review of industry standard apps.

The MFA Camera Assistant and Data Management Workshop will supplement the classroom component with a hands-on opportunity to build cameras from the ground up. This module will use current digital cinema camera systems, onboard monitors, and a full range of industry standard accessories. The number of participants is limited to 16, which ensures sufficient hands-on opportunities.

As participants shoot sample clips and discuss workflow, they will learn how to manage data files for postproduction, importing their media using Shot Pro 6.  Checksums and versification will be discussed as a necessity for safely archiving large data files.

Students will leave the workshop with the fundamental skills to participant as a member of the camera department on a working narrative, documentary, or commercial set.

Cine EvolutionThank you to our Workshop Sponsor Cine Evolution for donating a full cinema-style Arri Alexa Package and an Arri Amira for workshop participants’ use.


*Cameras subject to change based on availability.

Instructor: Matt Siegel, Director of Photography.
Matt Siegel is an award-winning producer and director of photography, and…a former camera assistant.

As a Union camera assistant and operator, Matt worked his way up through the camera department before assuming the duties as a director of photography. He assisted and operated for the world’s finest directors of photography including Allen Daviau, Haskell Wexler, Conrad Hall, John Alonzo, Bob Primes, Nancy Schreiber, and Vilmos Zsigmond.

From 2003-2007, Matt was head of nationwide training and new technology education for the International Cinematographers Guild (ICG) IATSE Local 600. He also worked with Doug Hart, author of The Camera Assistant: A Complete Professional Handbook, and for 15 years team taught his famous Camera Assistant Workshop at The Workshops in Rockport, Maine.

Matt balances his professional film career by conducting camera and lighting workshops around the world, demonstrating production techniques and new technology for ARRI, Blackmagic Design, Canon, and Panasonic. He is a former professor of cinematography at NYU Tisch School of the Arts, and will be teaching cinematography and lighting workshops this summer at the Maine Media Workshops in Rockport, Maine.

Price: $150 non-members; $75 MFA members* Register to attend today through Eventbrite!
This full-day workshop is limited to 16 participants.
Join the Maine Film Association today for free or discounted admission to all MFA workshops and events, and many additional perks: MFA membership is only $30 for professionals and $19 for students until April 1–join today before annual dues increase!

Workshop Schedule:
We plan to begin the workshop promptly at 10:00 am. Please plan to arrive between 9:30-9:45 to check in/register.

Parking: There are various parking garages located in close proximity to the Portland Media Center. We encourage you to carpool or use mass/active transportation!

*Scholarship opportunities are always available for any of our educational events. Please email us at to inquire!