Jump to content


Photo

1st ACing on a RED shoot tomorrow


  • Please log in to reply
10 replies to this topic

#1 Kevin Pham

Kevin Pham
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 12 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles, CA

Posted 20 March 2009 - 12:53 AM

I've never officially 1st ACed before. I've measured focus with 16mm using measuring tape and I know how to zone focus. But unfortunately, my first opportunity with the position of 1st AC is on a RED shoot.

So please give me the fruits of your long accumulated wisdom. It would help dearly!

Thank you.
  • 0

#2 Chris Keth

Chris Keth
  • Sustaining Members
  • 4427 posts
  • 1st Assistant Camera
  • Los Angeles

Posted 20 March 2009 - 02:57 AM

I've never officially 1st ACed before. I've measured focus with 16mm using measuring tape and I know how to zone focus. But unfortunately, my first opportunity with the position of 1st AC is on a RED shoot.

So please give me the fruits of your long accumulated wisdom. It would help dearly!

Thank you.


You're going to have a rough day tomorrow, my friend. You won't be able to zone focus that. It's the same depth of field as 35mm so you have to actively follow with the focus, even on most wide shots. Ask for lots of marks and rehearsals and just try to relax and I think you'll do OK.
  • 0

#3 Kevin Pham

Kevin Pham
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 12 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles, CA

Posted 22 March 2009 - 06:03 PM

You're going to have a rough day tomorrow, my friend. You won't be able to zone focus that. It's the same depth of field as 35mm so you have to actively follow with the focus, even on most wide shots. Ask for lots of marks and rehearsals and just try to relax and I think you'll do OK.


Thank you, Mr. Keth. Your tips and reading around on this forum helped prepare me for the shoot. There was no follow focus, but I did well. The only problem I had was working with such an anal retentive camera operator telling me to "just eyeball it" when I was checking the marks on the lens barrel and relentlessly complaining that he could not see when I was pulling focus before rolling.

Cheers
  • 0

#4 Gus Sacks

Gus Sacks
  • Sustaining Members
  • 287 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles, CA

Posted 22 March 2009 - 06:17 PM

The only problem I had was working with such an anal retentive camera operator telling me to "just eyeball it" when I was checking the marks on the lens barrel and relentlessly complaining that he could not see when I was pulling focus before rolling.


Now THAT is annoying. WOW!
  • 0

#5 Jamie Metzger

Jamie Metzger
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 773 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • San Francisco

Posted 23 March 2009 - 12:39 AM

Hey man, I'm sure you know now that there are many steps that you missed before starting the shoot.

I would suggest not to do another until you are ready, because no excuse is good enough for a soft shot, over and over again.

That and the amount of pressure put on a 1st just normally is a lot to deal with. Match that with a camera that should still be in R&D, with a first timer, and it won't be an easy shoot.

Make sure you prep before the shoot day, and always have a FF.
  • 0

#6 Jonathan Bowerbank

Jonathan Bowerbank
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2815 posts
  • 1st Assistant Camera
  • San Francisco, CA

Posted 23 March 2009 - 02:27 AM

Thank you, Mr. Keth. Your tips and reading around on this forum helped prepare me for the shoot. There was no follow focus, but I did well. The only problem I had was working with such an anal retentive camera operator telling me to "just eyeball it" when I was checking the marks on the lens barrel and relentlessly complaining that he could not see when I was pulling focus before rolling.

Cheers


I hope you were on an 18mm at T5.6 all day! Otherwise, that's ridiculous that they didn't get you a FF. What sort of gig was it, just a bunch of kids shooting some "straight to web" video? You can find a lot of videos like that, shot on a Red, on YouTube and such.
  • 0

#7 Brad Grimmett

Brad Grimmett
  • Sustaining Members
  • 2660 posts
  • Steadicam Operator
  • Los Angeles

Posted 23 March 2009 - 11:49 AM

The only problem I had was working with such an anal retentive camera operator telling me to "just eyeball it" when I was checking the marks on the lens barrel and relentlessly complaining that he could not see when I was pulling focus before rolling.

Cheers

Why couldn't he see? Were you rolling the lens way out of focus before you rolled or blocking him from putting his eye on the viewfinder? If you were, then he had a valid complaint. It's not anal retentive to want to be able to see an image before you roll the camera.
Also, what did he want you to "eyeball"? If he wanted you to eyeball a wide shot on an 18mm at T8, or a similar type of shot, and you were constantly fiddling with the focus then, again, he was right.
Maybe my assumptions are incorrect....please explain what you meant.
  • 0

#8 Chris Fernando

Chris Fernando
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 148 posts
  • 1st Assistant Camera

Posted 23 March 2009 - 12:11 PM

Hey man, I'm sure you know now that there are many steps that you missed before starting the shoot.

I would suggest not to do another until you are ready, because no excuse is good enough for a soft shot, over and over again.

That and the amount of pressure put on a 1st just normally is a lot to deal with. Match that with a camera that should still be in R&D, with a first timer, and it won't be an easy shoot.

Make sure you prep before the shoot day, and always have a FF.



Sounds like the operator is in on this thread, as well. Maybe we can get some constructive criticism from the horse's mouth.
  • 0

#9 Gus Sacks

Gus Sacks
  • Sustaining Members
  • 287 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles, CA

Posted 23 March 2009 - 12:15 PM

Why couldn't he see? Were you rolling the lens way out of focus before you rolled or blocking him from putting his eye on the viewfinder? If you were, then he had a valid complaint. It's not anal retentive to want to be able to see an image before you roll the camera.
Also, what did he want you to "eyeball"? If he wanted you to eyeball a wide shot on an 18mm at T8, or a similar type of shot, and you were constantly fiddling with the focus then, again, he was right.
Maybe my assumptions are incorrect....please explain what you meant.


I'm assuming it was a situation where they slated, and he was slow in rolling the focus back to correct, or he was taking lens eye marks and it wasn't in the correct plane of focus for him. But, being there was no follow focus, and ripping on a lens barrel on a camera with a silly loose lens mount sometimes, I wouldn't want to be pulling focus quickly either. And there's a nice way to say things sometimes, isnt there?
  • 0

#10 Kevin Pham

Kevin Pham
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 12 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles, CA

Posted 23 March 2009 - 04:58 PM

The project was a senior project at my school and we had two REDs. I was 1st AC on B camera. "A" camera had it all, FF + whip, viewfinder for operator and LCD for 1st AC, matte box , 2 grips for shoulder mount...

B camera was absolutely barebones. The only things leftover from A camera we could put on there besides the lens was a LCD screen and battery pack. You could imagine my dismay when I discovered this.

We matched exposures with A camera, so we were constantly at: 50mm f4, 85mm f4, 35mm f2. I was pulling focus to find the actors marks and the "B" camera operator got all butt hurt and told me to "eyeball" the focus, keeping my eye on the LCD to rack focus.

The camera operator could not see because we had to share the LCD screen and I had to get in front of it to make sure we were in focus long before the slate, when actors were doing rehearsals.

I had to rack focus from the slate back to the actors too, so how could I not look at the lens barrel?

That was difficult, but I did as well as conditions permitted me to. The camera operator added a lot of unnecessary stress. I'm glad I took the job though, it's from the harshest conditions that you learn.
  • 0

#11 Brad Grimmett

Brad Grimmett
  • Sustaining Members
  • 2660 posts
  • Steadicam Operator
  • Los Angeles

Posted 24 March 2009 - 12:42 AM

We matched exposures with A camera, so we were constantly at: 50mm f4, 85mm f4, 35mm f2. I was pulling focus to find the actors marks and the "B" camera operator got all butt hurt and told me to "eyeball" the focus, keeping my eye on the LCD to rack focus.

The camera operator could not see because we had to share the LCD screen and I had to get in front of it to make sure we were in focus long before the slate, when actors were doing rehearsals.

I had to rack focus from the slate back to the actors too, so how could I not look at the lens barrel?

That was difficult, but I did as well as conditions permitted me to. The camera operator added a lot of unnecessary stress. I'm glad I took the job though, it's from the harshest conditions that you learn.

So you were working with a student, and it sounds as if this person was overcompensating for his in-experience. Correct? That's a bummer if it's the case. But I can understand where your trouble started. Of course, a sub-standard camera package didn't help either obviously.
But yes, you're correct, often you learn the most by seeing someone else do things the wrong way.
  • 0


Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

CineLab

rebotnix Technologies

Technodolly

Visual Products

Rig Wheels Passport

The Slider

Tai Audio

Paralinx LLC

Ritter Battery

Wooden Camera

CineTape

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Metropolis Post

FJS International, LLC

Willys Widgets

Aerial Filmworks

Opal

Abel Cine

Glidecam

Abel Cine

Ritter Battery

Glidecam

The Slider

Tai Audio

Willys Widgets

Wooden Camera

Opal

CineLab

Visual Products

FJS International, LLC

Aerial Filmworks

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

CineTape

Paralinx LLC

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Technodolly

Metropolis Post

Rig Wheels Passport

rebotnix Technologies

Broadcast Solutions Inc