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#1 Justin Boyer

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Posted 30 October 2007 - 04:19 PM

Hello,

I am just wondering if ya'll know of places for DIT training.
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#2 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 30 October 2007 - 04:26 PM

All I can say is don't do it.

Quite apart from my own highly negative experiences in the role, I have it on the authority of at least three very experienced people that DITting is the job with the highest staff turnover rate in the industry. Put bluntly, you'll get fired a lot.

I suspect this happens because none of the traditional industry people understand what the job is for, and feel threatened by new technology they don't fully understand, but regardless of the causative factors, it is a big issue.

Phil
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#3 John Sprung

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Posted 30 October 2007 - 04:44 PM

I'd agree with Phil that DIT is a job to avoid. It only exists because tape recording can't capture everything that comes from the chips in the cameras. This is a temporary transitional job. It'll go away when cameras that record the full raw output of their chips are in widespread use. Film doesn't need a DIT, and neither will digital when we get it right.



-- J.S.
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#4 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 30 October 2007 - 04:48 PM

I agree entirely.
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#5 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 30 October 2007 - 06:20 PM

Hello,

I am just wondering if ya'll know of places for DIT training.


Hi! To answer the question, your training begins by taking an HD workshop, like the Santa Fe Workshop that goes over all of the menus and particulars of the F900 specifically. To be fully "trained," you need to also familiarize yourself with the other HD systems as well, like Dalsa, Genesis, Viper, and Varicam. You need to understand the workflow through post-production so that the cameras are all set up properly at the outset.

Technical knowledge is only half of the job. The other half is knowing the politics of the set and being able to gauge the crew (and DP) in terms of how much they know about the technology and how much input you'll really be allowed to have. As you might be able to tell, most film-traditionalists aren't very excited about HD on a narrative set so you may have to do with negative attitudes and varying levels of experience with the gear.

Working with the DP and figuring out his expectations and limits is also very important. You never want to tell him that something can't be done, but it is your responsibility to explain the ramifications if certain choices are made that could cause "trouble" down the road. Some DPs will collaborate fully with you while others may never really speak two words with you.

Machines are easy to learn. People, on the other hand, can be a little tricky. :)

Good luck!
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#6 Justin Boyer

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Posted 30 October 2007 - 08:26 PM

While I do not care to become a DIT'er I would like to learn how to fix the cameras and all that jazz. It seems like knowing how to fix the cameras in addition to being able to shoot properly would help me get a job. Is this a good thought? Are there other ways to learn the expensive cameras without forking over too much dough, such as books, etc..? I read "How video works" and that was helpful, but something more specific to certain things - i.e. you mentioned viper, dalsa and such.

Thanks for all your help.
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#7 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 30 October 2007 - 10:29 PM

While I do not care to become a DIT'er I would like to learn how to fix the cameras and all that jazz. It seems like knowing how to fix the cameras in addition to being able to shoot properly would help me get a job. Is this a good thought? Are there other ways to learn the expensive cameras without forking over too much dough, such as books, etc..? I read "How video works" and that was helpful, but something more specific to certain things - i.e. you mentioned viper, dalsa and such.

Thanks for all your help.



Something very important to understand is that knowing how to fix an electronic camera (or any camera for that matter) is not a prerequisite for learning how to perform the duties of a Director of Photography or Videographer.

So, if your interest is in the engineering side of things (fixing and maintaining equipment), then there are electronics schools that specialize in professional cameras and videotape machines.

If you have more interest in being a Cameraman (lighting, camera operating, working with a Director and crew), then you can forego the intensive education into the electronics and concentrate on learning the skills related to camerawork (lighting, framing, operating, exposure, etc.).

The more you know about the equipment, the better you should be able to do your job as a Cameraman, but generally, when a piece of gear goes down on a shoot, a backup is brought out and the broken one goes back to the rental house or into the shop. A limited amount of field maintenance can be done, but generally, there isn't time for that.

So, my advice is to pick your career path and head that way. Both take time and you won't be able to learn everything you need to from a library of books. And once you learn the skills you need (and you'll actually never stop learning), you still need to get out into the world and meet people who will like you and have confidence in your skills.

Good luck!
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#8 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 31 October 2007 - 04:30 AM

> You never want to tell him that something can't be done

Yes. The problem with this is that you may actually be asked to do something that cannot be done, in which you are faced with the unenviable choice of either lying about it and thus setting yourself up for a fall, or being upfront about it, which of course any reasonable industry would prefer, and setting yourself up for a fall. As many engineers and technicians have tried to suggest in the past when trapped in the interminable gulf between artists and their equipment, a positive attitude does not make the impossible possible, much as many (all?) DPs would like it to be otherwise.

Seriously. Don't do it.

Phil
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#9 Elhanan Matos

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Posted 06 November 2007 - 09:33 PM

I have never been fired, but I have heard many horror stories of other DIT's being fired... and I've gotten many phone calls to replace other DIT's. From what I can gather, it seems that most of the DIT's I have heard getting fired are usually incompetent, arrogant, or both. Any ways back to the original question... I would recommend the Santa Fe workshop if it's still around, I have attended a couple of them and met some really great knowledgeable people. And as for the DIT position being a temporary job I would probably agree, when all cameras are tapeless, and data does not need to be transferred from cards to disks and then from disks to archival tape, and HD monitors are no longer needed on set and when all cameras work exactly the same and have no menus or settings other than framerate and shutter, then there will be no need for a DIT.
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#10 Mitch Gross

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Posted 07 November 2007 - 01:55 AM

And as for the DIT position being a temporary job I would probably agree, when all cameras are tapeless, and data does not need to be transferred from cards to disks and then from disks to archival tape, and HD monitors are no longer needed on set and when all cameras work exactly the same and have no menus or settings other than framerate and shutter, then there will be no need for a DIT.

Priceless.

Or you could take the tack of the "REDheads" whom seem to believe that when everybody learns everything there is to know about running a digital camera system and all variations of the possible post workflows, then there will be no need for DITs. Simple, right?
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#11 John Sprung

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Posted 09 November 2007 - 04:04 PM

And as for the DIT position being a temporary job I would probably agree, when all cameras are tapeless, and data does not need to be transferred from cards to disks and then from disks to archival tape, and HD monitors are no longer needed on set and when all cameras work exactly the same and have no menus or settings other than framerate and shutter, then there will be no need for a DIT.

It's kinda like telephones prior to 1917, when all calls had to be placed manually by operators. It took a few years for Strowger's automated switchgear to replace the vast majority of them. A very few hand crank phone systems lingered on even past WWII...

The menus and settings are complex enough to require a new employee only because the recording systems in use can't handle the full dynamic range of the sensors. They'll get simpler when this color timing function moves back into post where it belongs. At that point, the camera settings will be within the ability of the First AC, and the offloading of the finished work will be within the ability of the Second AC, just like it is with film. The DIT may linger a while on big budget features, where the cost is insignificant. But the DIT will be DOA for TV.



-- J.S.
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#12 Bruce Greene

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Posted 21 November 2007 - 03:59 AM

A few thoughts on the subject...

I few years ago I wanted to learn this stuff, not to be a DIT, but for my own shooting. I discovered that there were no books, a few websites of varying quality, much misinformation, and a strong reluctance of DIT's to tell me what they knew for fear of giving away the "secrets", even if paid for their help.

Frustrated with all this I ended up buying my own camera and learning by spending hours with a waveform/vectorscope and a DSC color chart. I still don't know what other advice I would give for learning this stuff but I believe that knowing photoshop and color correction is the best and most important place to start.

About the future of the DIT position: At first I thought that the job would be temporary and would fade out as we evolved to a raw data workflow, but I have since changed my mind. The growth of the importance of the "video village" over the years has created the need for someone to just manage the village and play back. With the move toward raw capture, I personally would also love to have an HD preview through a LUT (color look up tables) for visualizing the lighting. This greatly helps with communicating with the director about the look of the shot, and is just plain more fun than waiting for dailies. It also means I can give (and record) my own color correction/gamma adjustments for post while on the set.

Add in the ability to preview some digital effects and we're talking about actually expanding the DIT job into a kind of on set post production preview station. I think that there's a lot of career opportunities in this field, especially for a DIT with their own preview/viewing equipment set up as a portable system.

-bruce
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#13 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 21 November 2007 - 11:43 AM

> has created the need for someone to just manage the village and play back

That's video assist. It is not the same job, nor should it be, as recording of the production image. I've been made to do both and it means you can't do either job properly - when you should be juggling data you're playing back, and when you should be playing back you're juggling data - it's a mess.

Two separate jobs.

Phil
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#14 John Sprung

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Posted 21 November 2007 - 12:57 PM

.... expanding the DIT job into a kind of on set post production preview station.

That, or a kind of day care center for directors. The danger is that the more fun things you give them to play with, the less they'll get done in a day.



-- J.S.
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#15 Ben Schwartz

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Posted 21 November 2007 - 01:10 PM

I'm not so sure the DIT job will disappear. Even with the move towards raw capture, you still need someone on set to manage and maintain the equipment, construct and implement LUTs, run cable, manage the signal, calibrate monitors...this stuff is all outside the realm of both video assist and the second AC. Not to mention that I find it highly unlikely that HD image capture will someday become ENTIRELY based around color correction in post. There will always be at least some people who want a finished image on tape at the time of acquisition, and that means a continued market for cameras with more complex menu structures and a need for a DIT/VC. So while I agree that the job will evolve considerably over the next few years, I do think the job is here to stay.
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#16 John Sprung

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Posted 21 November 2007 - 04:12 PM

There will always be at least some people who want a finished image on tape at the time of acquisition, ....

I'm not so sure that there will even be tape cameras 5-10 years from now. Film may outlive tape. Solid state to LTO or something like that looks like the best bet. We're going to a file centric workflow, where the last thing you do is make the tape that the network ordered.



-- J.S.
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