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Matthew Greiner

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About Matthew Greiner

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  • Occupation
    1st Assistant Camera
  • Location
    New York, NY
  1. I have a storage unit, so assuming I could loop that into runs when PAs are going out picking up things, it could still work. I would never ask this of a production I was crewing on, but if I was DPing I might get away with it.
  2. Nevermind, I found another post like this, but can't seem to delete this one.
  3. Hey guys, Last night I was working as a B Cam 1st AC on an indie film shooting with Arri Amiras + Master Primes on an overnight. The majority of the time, we were sitting in the range of T/1.4 - 2.8 (regularly opening up all the way or near) and often were on fairly long lenses (sometimes B cam was on a 135mm, yikes) and pulling focus was quite challenging. Now I understand that pulling wide open on longer lenses is never going to be an easy feat, and I consider myself pretty solid at pulling focus in more healthy conditions, but I'm just wondering if any long-time seasoned ACs out there would be willing to share any insight they may have about his process. Are there any tips you may have for pulling with such shallow DOF besides just doing it over and over again and developing natural muscle memory? The frustrating thing was that we had very little rehearsal time during many of our scenes, so I was left to just "feel it" and do my best as the cam-ops frantically floated around, leaving little room for marks (which were pretty useless anyway with the slightest mark adjustment rendering them quite off). Also, how kosher is it to request a deeper stop in order to get the shot easier? Is this something that is acceptable to do? Thanks guys, -M
  4. I have considered lighting and grip, but for now, I think I'd like to maintain smaller items since as I mentioned above, I don't keep a car in the city at the moment.
  5. This is an excellent list, Satsuki. I really appreciate it. I'm working in NY and at the moment living very central without a car so I've been a little hesitant about getting a camera cart just yet, but that's a good idea a little bit later down the road when I might have a stronger relationship with one of the bigger rental houses and can store it there. At the moment, I've got a couple 4' sections of speed rail for a proposed dana dolly set-up from a previous shoot I could build with, but as I don't have a care that is something worth considering. I realize that somewhere down the line, I may have to abandon my dream of remaining without private transportation in NY (please shoot me), but we'll see.
  6. Hey guys, These past 6 months have been pretty good to me in terms of work and I'm starting to think about ways I can reinvest some of the income I've made back into equipment in order to a) make myself more marketable as a dp and camera assistant, b ) make it easier for me to do my job well and c) turn a profit by taking small rental fees here and there on gear I bring to each production, etc. My question is, what does everybody consider to be the best options for investment items that don't lose value as quickly, yet are often in demand on set. As a camera assistant, my first inclination is to invest in a great monitor like a smallHD dp7 knowing that I might be able to ask for an extra $50 or 60/day on top of my normal day rate and that it would also help me do my job easier, while being a great monitor for jobs I take as a dp. The next item I thought about was getting a Dana Dolly as they're only around $800 and they go for ~100/day on productions. That's a pretty good rental rate and for lower budget sets, they're very useful. So does anybody have gear suggestions for someone starting out investing in equipment who would like to purchase quality items that would be useful to oneself, yet also make some money on the side that wouldn't depreciate quite as fast as say a camera body? Obviously, lenses are what many will say, but aside from cheapies, they're a bit out of my price range at the moment.
  7. In an ideal world, this would not be an issue, but realistically, this is a good call. I think once you know someone well enough it can be OK and some relationships may even flourish on it, but in the beginning at least its best to keep your head down, smile, and do the job you were hired to.
  8. Thanks for the thorough response, Tyler. I'm hoping that I will be able to hire an underwater cam-op to come onboard who's experienced with it so that I can focus on communicating with the director once the lighting is all set. I don't really plan on using any lighting units physically underwater...rather I plan on doing what you've mentioned - lighting from above and banking on there being enough ambience from whatever daylight there is to provide enough fill. Thus, I don't think any key lights under the surface will be necessary. It seems that hydroflex is more LA-based so I'm not sure it will be an option in NY, but a similar company called Gates offers housing packages through Abelcine out here so that could be the route we take. I should mention that I've done one other underwater shoot before, but it was with a 5d in a waterproof soft-casing. I learned how hard it can be to get shots for long periods of time without experienced ops and actors. However, I think most, if not all underwater shots will be at 120fps creating a little bit more ease in how long we will need to be rolling. I figure a few good seconds on each take should suffice, but that said, all of the safety concerns are valid. I mentioned to the director that the actor should be a strong swimmer as the previous one I'd worked with struggled with performance underwater.
  9. Hello there, I have a project coming up in a couple months that will involve shooting underwater (most likely in a pool). The aesthetic is rather straight forward in that I just want to create a moody top-lit sunny look and shoot from below the surface and the subject, but my approach will change based on how the sun moves over the water (if it does at all). If the location is shaded for the majority of the day, I will bring in a couple of HMIs to simulate the sun and shoot down into the water, but if the sun is already doing this naturally, I will most likely just work with that and schedule accordingly. My question is, in the event that the water is in a shaded area that needs to be lit for sunlight, how big of a unit will I need to get this effect at a decent stop (2.8+) while creating enough ambient bounce-back (can be quite contrasty). Will an Arri M18 suffice or do I need something bigger like a 4K? At the moment, we're talking about shooting Red Dragon, so we will likely rate it at 800 ISO. The concept is pretty abstract, so I'm completely ok with a fair amount of fall off. Thanks!
  10. This thread is 9 years old! Despite that, if anybody is interested in having another meet up (not sure if there ever was one), I'd love to meet some fellow NYers. Let's talk about it.
  11. There are a few facebook groups every now and then that have discussed similar events/meet ups. I'll look into that. Thanks, Adrian.
  12. The way I sort of imagined the scenario in which I would ever show a DP I'm working under my own work is if the conversation naturally evolved to a point where he/she asked me directly. I would never just arbitrarily discuss my side work since most of the time when I'm ACing I'm too busy anyway. But if a DP straight up asks me, I figure that would be safe. Grad projects are a good call. Undergrad projects, I know because I once attended undergrad film school, can be silly, but I wouldn't hate working with older students with fluffier budgets. Thanks Satsuki! Good advice.
  13. I think in traditional hierarchy, you have it correct, but in my opinion they are more like colleagues at the high end. Sure, as a camera assistant your role is still more support than an operator (relieving operators of weight between takes, etc), but on a properly staffed production an operator is left to op and a 1st AC is typically left to pull focus accordingly, pushing other managerial duties down the line to 2nds, Loaders, and PAs. For low budget, a 1st AC will have to do more physical work (sometimes a lot more), but in these cases usually the DP operates for themselves so that is a little bit different.
  14. Thanks for the reply, Albion. I agree. Friending other DPs is a great idea and something that often happens naturally while I'm on set, but I've never thought of showing them my work much. I'll give that a shot.
  15. Hello, I'm an aspiring DP who is primarily working as a camera assistant in NYC. I re-located to the city from LA after college for reasons mostly pertaining to preference. In the past year (moved here June '14), I've slowly, but steadily re-established myself and am now working quite regularly; no complaints there. However, now that I am not scrambling as much financially, I want to re-focus on shooting more projects in order to one day fully transition into full time DP work. When I lived in California, I had a lot of young director friends from college that I knew, but now that I am in a new city, it has proven to be a bit of a task finding collaborators. So, my question is, does anybody have any useful tips for meeting directors as a young DP? It seems that how much gear you have can play a role in getting work in the beginning, but beyond that, is there anything anybody would recommend? Ideally, I'd like to avoid shooting student projects. Thanks! MG
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