Director of Photography: Matthew Rivera

Posted by Samantha George
September 19, 2017 | 1-Exposing The Crew, Cinematographers


The Counselor


Director of Photography


Matthew Rivera

“I believe a DP is someone who supports the director’s vision – an aid to enhancing storytelling with visuals appropriate to the narrative.” – Matthew Rivera

Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho is considered to be one of the one of the greatest films of all time. The film offered a new kind of acceptance for violence, abnormal behavior, and sexuality in American movies. It’s also considered to be one of the earliest examples of a slasher-genre film – probably due to its infamous ending. Psycho has been the center of countless remakes and homages, if not for its cinematic storytelling, then certainly for that twist of a conclusion; this weeks “EXPOSED” project is no different – the ending is a real surprise!

Director of Photography, Matthew Rivera, worked with Guy Bauer to create the short film The Counselor, and while we won’t spoil the ending for you, we did talk with Matthew to get a better understanding of his job.

“We wanted the film to feel right for the time. The challenge in that was shooting digital while trying to make it feel classic. So we referenced films like “All the President’s Men” and “Spotlight” for aesthetic.” – Matthew Rivera

As the Director of Photography (DP), one of Matthew’s main concerns is figuring out what the visual identity (or “look”) of a film will be. This doesn’t only involve framing and lighting, but also creatively managing all the aspects of a shoot: what lenses to use, what camera to use, type of lights to use, location scouting, shot lists, camera testing – any every other aspect of filming.

“Things take time: prep, lighting, and overall execution…I wish more people understand that certain shots call for the right tools that may cost the production more money, but will be worth it in the end.” – Matthew Rivera

For many small productions, DP’s tend to also act as the camera operators. But, on larger productions and commercials, the DP is the one who (along with the director) takes and gives orders to the camera and lighting departments to create the overall “look” of the film. Once filming ends, the DP’s job isn’t necessarily over – they are often involved in the color grading of the film as well. While the hours may be long, the work of a DP is also incredibly rewarding.

“We had about a three day prep and one day of shooting the film. Most of my pre-production discussions with Guy were over the phone. I currently live in LA, so we would call each other to bounce ideas back and fourth. I really enjoyed the collaboration and, once on set, the camaraderie.” – Matthew Rivera

Thank you to Matthew Rivera for sharing The Counselor with us, and being our “EXPOSED” crew member of the week! And thank you for watching this week’s Exposing the Crew “EXPOSED” indie project!



(We just want to do our part in supporting the indie community!)

We’ll See You All Next Tuesday,

Samantha George (Producer, JJack Productions)