Jump to content


Photo

"Qualified" data wranglers?


  • Please log in to reply
7 replies to this topic

#1 Phil Rhodes

Phil Rhodes
  • Sustaining Members
  • 11934 posts
  • Other

Posted 31 October 2009 - 12:27 PM

I recently noticed that the ICG had run courses to somehow qualify people to be P2 data wranglers.

Two things worry me about this:

- P2 data wrangling is exceptionally simple; really, requiring nothing more than dragging files from one place to another and running perhaps one but not more than two processes on them if you're being careful (but see below). If you need to do a course to understand it, you shouldn't be doing it.

- Most of the P2 (and similar, such as Red and 5D) worflows I've seen have been catastrophically lax and failure-prone, so what these people are being taught is a very long way from best practice.

Has anyone been on one of these courses? What do they cover? Why does anyone feel that this almost trivially easy task requires special training? I have a feeling that some producers are being taken for a ride by people claiming they're worth more on the basis of their special qualifications to breathe in and out.

P
  • 0

#2 Chris Keth

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

Posted 31 October 2009 - 12:37 PM

I recently noticed that the ICG had run courses to somehow qualify people to be P2 data wranglers.

Two things worry me about this:

- P2 data wrangling is exceptionally simple; really, requiring nothing more than dragging files from one place to another and running perhaps one but not more than two processes on them if you're being careful (but see below). If you need to do a course to understand it, you shouldn't be doing it.

- Most of the P2 (and similar, such as Red and 5D) worflows I've seen have been catastrophically lax and failure-prone, so what these people are being taught is a very long way from best practice.

Has anyone been on one of these courses? What do they cover? Why does anyone feel that this almost trivially easy task requires special training? I have a feeling that some producers are being taken for a ride by people claiming they're worth more on the basis of their special qualifications to breathe in and out.

P


I've been wanting to go to one out of curiosity (I have never digitally loaded and would prefer not take a step back in job description). I'll let you know if I go.
  • 0

#3 Alessandro Machi

Alessandro Machi
  • Sustaining Members
  • 3318 posts
  • Other
  • California

Posted 31 October 2009 - 12:51 PM

Phil,

First you ridicule anyone taking the course, or needing to take the course, but then you say such a course is probably needed to prevent workflow mistakes.

What I'm hearing is, you probably could do a fine job teaching such a course, (not that you want to).

Maybe the instructors should get the Phil seal of approval, and I don't mean that in a ridiculing manner. I guess what you really meant was, you hope an actual DP is teaching a workflow class rather than someone with computing skills and minimal on set experience.

Or would you prefer that an actual editor teach such a class.

Why don't you just tell us who YOU THINK should be teaching such a class.
  • 0

#4 Gus Sacks

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

Posted 31 October 2009 - 01:33 PM

Phil, I don't know what they teach there, but when I used to (and still have the proficiency to) data manage, it involved drag-and-drops and backups, yes, but for jobs that require it (which the good ones do), I'd also generate notes and spreadsheets for editorial, do checksum operations on the cards, and obviously troubleshoot any issues that might arise. While also being able to playback for production if necessary, it can be time consuming, not to mention doing it for A, B and C cameras at times.
  • 0

#5 Satsuki Murashige

Satsuki Murashige
  • Sustaining Members
  • 3510 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • San Francisco, CA

Posted 31 October 2009 - 04:48 PM

Phil,

I would suspect it's more about standardizing a workflow so that you can hire any data manager who has gone thru the program and know what you're going to get. I find I often have to explain exactly what it is I do when I work with a producer for the first time as a data manager and why things should be done on set a certain way. Many client-improvised systems I've been told to follow have been a total disaster, leading to data loss.

Nowadays, I provide all the main gear (cart, laptop w/ required software, RAID, UPS, AKS - cables, card readers, adapters), and just tell them this is the way it's done, trust me. They just provide the backup drives. It seems to work much better and I sleep better at night... But I've never been thru one of these programs, so I'm curious to know what they are teaching as well.
  • 0

#6 Adrian Sierkowski

Adrian Sierkowski
  • Sustaining Members
  • 7115 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles, Ca

Posted 31 October 2009 - 04:53 PM

For myself when I'm working tapeless I normally work it out with the directors and tell them "my version," which i can keep standardized across any tapeless format, though it's not exactly scalable. I think as Satsuki does, that this is all just about creating standardization which, let's face it, is kinda vital in the film industry.
  • 0

#7 Keith Walters

Keith Walters
  • Sustaining Members
  • 2219 posts
  • Other
  • Sydney Australia

Posted 31 October 2009 - 07:12 PM

Has anyone been on one of these courses? What do they cover? Why does anyone feel that this almost trivially easy task requires special training? I have a feeling that some producers are being taken for a ride by people claiming they're worth more on the basis of their special qualifications to breathe in and out.

P

Yes well the trouble is, what is "almost trivially easy" for the likes of you and me, represents a 100 foot stone wall to the average industry chucklehead wannabe.

I have no direct experience of this particular field, but I do know that a huge problem in commerce generally is the sheer number of people who imagine being "computer literate" starts and stops with being able to operate Facebook, Hotmail and various video games :lol:

So maybe a lot of these courses consists of just understanding computers and file systems generally. Otherwise, apart from developing a methodical approach, if you understand what you are supposed to be doing, I can't see how it could be all that hard.

Although rarely acknowledged, undiagnosed computer illiteracy can be just as big and damaging a problem as written illiteracy, and is a major cause of midlife un-employability

You should see the standard of some of the emails I get from "above" :rolleyes:

" I have a feeling that some producers are being taken for a ride by people claiming they're worth more on the basis of their special qualifications to breathe in and out."

A couple of years back I made a surprisingly large amount of money as an actor appearing in a series of big-budget TV commercials. When word of this got out amongst family and friends an amazing number of people started coming out of the woodwork, who had spent thousands of dollars on "courses" that were supposed to groom them for TV and movie acting work, but not a single one had ever seen a single frame of on-camera action.

The bizarre thing was I didn't spend one single cent on doing any of it. I took my own digital photos in a carefully set up but totally makeshift "studio", and e-mailed them to the casting agent, so I didn't even spend 50c on a stamp.

When I was told what the part was, I spent several evenings in front of my handycam practicing acting like a country bumpkin, and when I went to the casting I dressed like one. Bizarrely, the casting studio was only a few minutes away from where I was working at the time, so I didn't even spend anything getting to that either.

OK, I was very lucky, but the point is, I didn't do any of the things that the other people were taught in their "courses" and I sure as f*ck didn't pay thousands of dollars for a badly-shot "photo album".

Both my wife and I have appeared in numerous other commercials and a few movies, so clearly the "training" is not a pre-requisite, more that you just sound like you know what you're doing.
  • 0

#8 Richard Boddington

Richard Boddington
  • Sustaining Members
  • 5482 posts
  • Director

Posted 01 November 2009 - 12:44 AM

so clearly the "training" is not a pre-requisite, more that you just sound like you know what you're doing.


Pretty much sums up every position on a film set. ;)

R,
  • 0


CineLab

Aerial Filmworks

Willys Widgets

Abel Cine

Visual Products

The Slider

CineTape

Tai Audio

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Ritter Battery

FJS International, LLC

Rig Wheels Passport

rebotnix Technologies

Wooden Camera

Metropolis Post

Glidecam

Opal

Paralinx LLC

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Technodolly

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Tai Audio

Willys Widgets

The Slider

Metropolis Post

Visual Products

Paralinx LLC

Opal

CineTape

Aerial Filmworks

Wooden Camera

Rig Wheels Passport

rebotnix Technologies

Abel Cine

FJS International, LLC

CineLab

Ritter Battery

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Glidecam

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Technodolly