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B camera op


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#1 Saba Mazloum

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Posted 02 December 2009 - 01:34 PM

Hey friends,

im going to be (B)camera op'ing on a feature next month, with a Union DP on the show.

Was wondering what are some things i should know about before i venture into this project.

any heads up or advices would be great .

Thanks!
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#2 Dan Salzmann

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Posted 02 December 2009 - 02:27 PM

Listen to the director, the DP and the A camera operator.
Follow your instincts based on what you heard.
Have a good shoot!
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#3 Tom Jensen

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Posted 02 December 2009 - 02:45 PM

Always be on set, always have your camera ready, always be looking for a shot. Be ready to tail slate. Don't ask for too much, you may end up compromising the A shot. Be low key. Turn you synch blip down on your camera. Suggest to the dp and not the director. Keep your ears open.
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#4 Saba Mazloum

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Posted 03 December 2009 - 01:17 AM

Thanks guys, we are using Arricam LT for A camrea, and ill be using 535b..
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#5 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 05 December 2009 - 05:45 PM

Always be on set, always have your camera ready, always be looking for a shot. Be ready to tail slate. Don't ask for too much, you may end up compromising the A shot. Be low key. Turn you synch blip down on your camera. Suggest to the dp and not the director. Keep your ears open.


This is great advice. I would add:

Always communicate with the A cam operator to find out what he's doing - make sure your shot will cut with his.

Fight for your time to get ready, B cam is often thrown in at the last minute, when they say "can you get in there on a 300mm and pick off a CU?". Sure you can, but your 1st AC needs time for sharps. If you don't get that time, then the first take is just a rehearsal...

Learn when to stand back. B camera can slow things down as often as it speeds them up. Don't try to big up your part just because you're bored.
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#6 David Rakoczy

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Posted 05 December 2009 - 06:42 PM

Bring a book.... B Cam can be a lot like steadi-cam.... a lot of hurry up and wait. Either way, be thankful. Camera Op (in my opinion) is one of the best jobs on Set. You are right there in the vortex. Watch. Learn. You can pick up SO much! I was A Camera Op for a season of Silk Stalkings (USA Network). It was one of the most enjoyable jobs I ever had. Not near as rewarding (for me) as DPing but man, it was enjoyable! Paid well too.

Leave your ego at home and enjoy the Show.
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#7 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 05 December 2009 - 08:05 PM

I agree, camera operating is one of, if not the best job on set. One gets to go home early, arrive on set fresh and well slept, the DP deals with all the on set politics, the assistants deal with all the camera gear and the camera dept drama. Then, as David suggests, one can learn tons by virtue of just being there, in the thick of it. Need I add that operating is loads of FUN???!!! Cam op = dream job!
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#8 Tom Jensen

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Posted 05 December 2009 - 10:59 PM

Bring a book.... B Cam can be a lot like steadi-cam.... a lot of hurry up and wait. Either way, be thankful. Camera Op (in my opinion) is one of the best jobs on Set. You are right there in the vortex. Watch. Learn. You can pick up SO much! I was A camera Op for a season of Silk Stalkings (USA Network). It was one of the most enjoyable jobs I ever had. Not near as rewarding (for me) as DPing but man, it was enjoyable! Paid well too.

Leave your ego at home and enjoy the Show.


Was Ernie DP at the time?
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#9 David Rakoczy

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Posted 06 December 2009 - 08:42 AM

He sure was. :rolleyes:
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#10 David Rakoczy

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Posted 09 December 2009 - 02:54 PM

Hey friends,

im going to be (B)camera op'ing on a feature next month, with a Union DP on the show.

Was wondering what are some things i should know about before i venture into this project.

any heads up or advices would be great .

Thanks!




This might be helpful.
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#11 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 13 December 2009 - 07:56 AM

Cam op = dream job!

Agreed!
One other suggestion....don't ever throw your assistants under the bus. Saying, "We need another one" is much better than saying "We had focus problems and need another one". The assistants will appreciate that type of thing and will in turn do their best to cover you when you blow a take.
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#12 David Rakoczy

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Posted 13 December 2009 - 07:57 PM

One other suggestion....don't ever throw your assistants under the bus. Saying, "We need another one" is much better than saying "We had focus problems and need another one". The assistants will appreciate that type of thing and will in turn do their best to cover you when you blow a take.


Ain't that the truth!
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#13 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 13 December 2009 - 09:43 PM

One other suggestion....don't ever throw your assistants under the bus. Saying, "We need another one" is much better than saying "We had focus problems and need another one". The assistants will appreciate that type of thing and will in turn do their best to cover you when you blow a take.


Words of wisdom, if we only had more of that on set sometimes . . ! Camera department can be a drama-laden place to work, most of the time unnecessarily.
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Opal

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Visual Products

The Slider

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