Assisting on the Red
Posted 29 September 2008 - 08:46 PM
I was hired to AC for the first time on the Red in a few days and I'm sure you all could provide some helpful insight. I'd like to know what, specifically related to this camera, I should read before I start. Any experiences you could share? Thanks!
Posted 29 September 2008 - 09:59 PM
Posted 29 September 2008 - 10:53 PM
If the camera is in a hot setting I like to drink about 25% of a cold water bottle and then shove it under the handle. The condensation wont hurt the camera but feel free to wipe it off every once in a while.
If they have the red sliding plate its a POS. You should spend some time being creative with gaf tape and you can probably get it *more* stable.
You need a star screwdriver to change mounts if any of that is happening.
Theres really not much you need to read. the menus are very simple.
I feel like there is more but thats all I can remember at the moment. I should be asleep =\
Posted 29 September 2008 - 11:27 PM
Posted 30 September 2008 - 06:45 AM
It might be worth checking if they're using CF or hard drives. With the former you need to keep a robust routine that prevents the fresh CFs being mixed up with the exposed CFs.
Edited by Brian Drysdale, 30 September 2008 - 06:45 AM.
Posted 30 September 2008 - 08:13 AM
Make sure your settings are right... you're shooting in the resolution they want (or else your frame/field of view's going to be completely different), make sure you're not in RAW mode unless they want that (although itll say it in the bottom left of the screen for some reason even if you're on REC709). Make sure your operator knows the difference between the black Power button and the red Record button (hah, that 90 seconds is a bitch to boot up).
And, I guess like any camera before you walk with it just make sure everything's locked. There's a lot of accessories hanging off it and it's best they don't flop around.
Posted 30 September 2008 - 11:54 AM
If using ND, be sure to have a Hot Mirror (Infra-Red filter) in the matte box as well. The Red is (like all digi-cams) very sensitive to IR, and you may notice some magenta artifacts in the shadows when using heavy ND. Because of this factor, a 3-stage matte box will be your savior, and keep you from taping Hot Mirrors into the front of your matte box all day.
You may want to use P-touch labels (or chart tape) to label the user buttons on the body and the EVF. Since there are so many options to set these to, the DP may forget what's what and start mashing buttons (my worst nightmare).
Learn to "see" in RAW and False Color (an exposure index that looks like "Predator-vision"). It will help greatly in learning to expose for this cam.
The joystick control on the back is very light-duty. Be nice to it. A friend/Red owner has a handful of model-airplane wheel parts to replace it every 2-3 shows (when the hotshot DP inevitably snaps it off).
Be mindful of the "Drop" display (this refers to frames dropped during encoding/recording). If it says anything other than 0? that take effectively does not exist (Question: will the "Internal recording Error screen pop up every time this happens, as was my experience, or are these two independent alerts?)
And most importantly:
Make sure the camera mount is properly collimated with the lens set. Talk to your rental house / DI®T and make this a part of your checkout. Since changing "backfocus"/flange depth is not as quick as with HD-style lenses, you want to make sure this is set so you can trust your barrel marking and sleep like a baby.
Posted 30 September 2008 - 02:11 PM
Make sure your operator knows the difference between the black Power button and the red Record button (hah, that 90 seconds is a bitch to boot up).
Yeah I've done that a few times, and had to walk away from the camera in shame... =(
Posted 30 September 2008 - 02:16 PM
In addition, hitting 2 (on the smart side under the record button) will zoom in further to take a peek at focus. This doesnt work while rolling.
There is also a little focus via contrast function much like on the newer panasonic cameras. I dont like it much but some people do; I find it annoying to be switching back between the other meters the DP always wants to see.
And if you can test your lenses before and vouch for their accuracy, you can always just do it the traditional way.
Posted 30 September 2008 - 03:13 PM
1- There are two features that help with focusing. One is the Focus Assist Meter. This is kind of cool in concept. It allows you to select a section of the image and will display a waveform for that section under the image. Theoretically, you'll see a spike in the Waveform when the subject's eyes are in focus, especially if there is a nice catchlight.
In my opinion this is only useful for double-checking focus, not pulling focus during a shot. This is because you lose the waveform when you zoom in on the monitor, and you can see a sharp catchlight in the zoomed-in monitor without the help of the waveform anyway.
The other feature is the false-color focus assist, I find this very useful (if you can actually find it in the menu- I have no idea where it is). If you push the right user button on the EVF, it is by default set to display the false-color focus assist though. This basically turns the image B+W and makes sharp edges glow red. If there's a catchlight in the talent's eyes you just need to keep their eyes red and you're golden.
2- Get the Arri baseplate/dovetail. The Red mounting system consists of a flimsy 'baseplate' type thing that is secured into a cheesplate-like thing by means of this tiny little bolt. It's an abomination and it doesn't work. If you're stuck with it, you can put 2 strips of gaffer's tape on either side of the lower plater then attach the baseplate to the lower plate before you secure the camera to the baseplate. The weight of the camera will make the tape bunch up otherwise.
The best advice I can say in terms of focus is make sure you're NOT USING THE RED LENSES!! They are optically quite good (Cooke glass, some say), but are horrible mechanically. The focus scale is VERY compressed and the lens behaves very erratically. A tiny little movement even near the top of the scale will correspond to a dramatic shift in the lens. The witness marks are useless to boot. They are like photo lenses.
I can't harp on these lenses enough- they are awful to pull on.
The Red's alot of fun to use though. Get lots of batteries and make sure the AD knows it takes awhile to boot up so you can get '2 minute warnings'.
Posted 30 September 2008 - 03:16 PM
Seriously every person on set will try to have a conversation with you while you're trying to build it. It seems to be a conversation piece.
Posted 30 September 2008 - 03:45 PM
Good luck Diana, and if you have sudden issues or problems, be sure to let me know, I'll do the same:-)
Posted 04 October 2008 - 04:40 PM
1. Mark with red tape
2. Unmount and disconnect from camera
3. Attach camera report
4. Deliver to Media Management/DIT (Skip this step if you don't have one)
5. Make a record of the time the transaction occurred (usually MAG#, CR, and Time)
*The mag is now in the media manager/DITs hands, and they would continue from here.
6. Copy the hot mag to HDD1
7. Verify all footage against camera report
8. Copy from HDD1 to HDD2 (backup drive)
9. Format Magazine
10. Remove red tape
11. Return to camera dept.
12. Camera Assistant makes a note of the time the mag was returned
13. Stow or mount to camera
I've followed this procedure and never had a problem. If something happens to the mag the notes will show whether or not it was in the DIT's charge at the time, or if it was the AC's responsibility (CYA!)
Posted 07 October 2008 - 06:44 PM