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Dumb question about beeing an ac


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#1 grahamstanly

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Posted 06 August 2006 - 03:17 AM

Ok basically I tried to search is mabey this should be in the newbie section but what exactly does the Ac do I dont really understand in my film classes we never learned about the AC. Is it like a grip for the camra man?
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#2 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 06 August 2006 - 06:56 AM

Ok basically I tried to search is mabey this should be in the newbie section but what exactly does the Ac do I dont really understand in my film classes we never learned about the AC. Is it like a grip for the camra man?


When talking about camera work, there are many things that need to happen before an eye goes to the eyepiece and the switch is thrown to "on." The camera assistantS are the technical crew who support the "artistic" elements of the department, those being the Camera Operator and the Director of Photography.

The Film Loader is the entry level position in the department. His primary purpose is to load film into the magazines and then unload the magazines after the film is shot and prepare it for delivery to the lab. When he isn't doing that, he is aiding the Second AC with the intention of moving up to that position one day.

The Second AC is the equipment manager of the department. It's his job to "feed" the First AC with all the parts and pieces that the First needs to build and maintain the camera. He typically organizes the camera truck as well as all of the carts which roll onto set. He also is in charge of "slating" each shot and works with the Script Supervisor to provide a running log of what was shot on each roll of film. If the opportunity arises, he may also be given the chance to pull focus on an extra camera which helps to prepare him to move up in the ranks.

The First AC can almost be considered the department head, if not officially, then practically speaking. He should know everything that the Loader and the Second knows as well as his own duties. For his part, the First, or Focus Puller, manages the department, pulls focus on every shot, makes sure the camera is running correctly, maintains the camera, threads new film, and aids the Operator when necessary.

The Camera Operator works closely with the DP, the Director, the First AC, and the Dolly Grip. Being an AC doesn't directly train one to operate a camera, however an Operator who knows more about the equipment can make better logistical choices both in terms of what will make his job easier and what will help make the entire day run smoother for everyone else.

The Director of Photography "directs" three departments: The Camera Department, The Electric Department, and the Grip Department. He deals most directly with the Gaffer, the Key Grip, the Camera Operator, the First AC, and the Director. He is the artist who is also the technical liason between the Director and the crew which makes the "vision" actually happen.


That's a quick rundown of the jobs. Obviously there is a lot more that goes on for everyone involved, but that will give you some idea. You can learn more in my upcoming book, What I Really Want to Do on set in Hollywood. Go to www.whatireallywanttodo.com when you get the chance and leave me your contact information so we can get the book to you when it becomes available.

Thank you and good luck!

Edited by bjdzyak, 06 August 2006 - 06:58 AM.

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#3 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 06 August 2006 - 09:05 AM

I think you forgot to mention your book....

oh no, my mistake, you did :-)
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#4 Stephen Williams

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Posted 06 August 2006 - 09:13 AM

I think you forgot to mention your book....

oh no, my mistake, you did :-)


Thanks Stuart I needed a good laugh today!

Stephen
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#5 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 06 August 2006 - 09:52 AM

I think you forgot to mention your book....

oh no, my mistake, you did :-)



I wouldn't dream of forgetting! ;)

Point is, most of these types of questions can't be answered in simple short paragraphs. There is a lot more to a job than a mere three sentence description. Filmschool and the available books out there fail to adequately explain what most filmmaking jobs entail and more importantly, what one's life will be like if that career is chosen. I've written this book primarily because I've gone through the "process" myself and wish that I had had some kind of useful resource available that might have helped me avoid some of the mistakes that most people make.

For that reason, I'm creating awareness that there is a new source of information that can actually help aspiring filmmakers instead of just giving them false hopes or unrealistic expectations. Forums like this are of great help to many people, but sometimes quick answers are not enough.
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#6 grahamstanly

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Posted 06 August 2006 - 02:27 PM

thanks guys that pretty much answers all my questions
thanks again and I will definatly check out your book.
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#7 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 06 August 2006 - 05:37 PM

thanks guys that pretty much answers all my questions
thanks again and I will definatly check out your book.


You should also sign your posts with your real name (first and last), or change your User Name to a real name. I know you mentioned it in one of your other posts, so it's not like I think you're hiding or anything, Graham, just that I also suspect your last name is not "Cracker".
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Visual Products

CineTape

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

The Slider

Abel Cine

FJS International, LLC

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Metropolis Post

Ritter Battery

Rig Wheels Passport

Glidecam

CineLab

rebotnix Technologies

Opal

Aerial Filmworks

Willys Widgets

Tai Audio

Technodolly

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Wooden Camera

Paralinx LLC