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Camera Assisting with film Vs. Digital


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#1 James Malamatinas

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Posted 02 July 2011 - 08:15 AM

Hi,

I have been given my first opporunity to work on a film (rather than digitial) produciton tomorrow as the 2nd AC. Although I have AC'd for a while now it has until now only been on digital so I wanted to get some advice on the main differances and things that I may need to differently, or things I won't have done with digital.

I should point out that I won't necessarily actually be loading, I have only done this in a test room thus far and the production is short on stock so they haven't said that I will actually have to load, my role will be more assisting the first AC. There may however be time to try loading in the morning if everything is not too rushed.

I'm slightly concerned about:

- Camera reporting and keeping accurate notes on each shot. With digital I've noticed this isn't a common request these days and people skip reporting quite often.
- Marking up film cans correctly, processing sheets and so forth
- Slating; is there a different procedure with film at all, or are there any additions you might need to make to a clapperboard which are film specific (similar to PU, AFS or MOS) ?

I have worked as a runner on a film production before so I have some idea on how much more profressional the set exprience is i.e. so as not to waste film stock and so forth. My main concern is making sure I do a good job as 2nd.

The camera is an Arri 435.

Thanks in advance for advice.
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#2 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 02 July 2011 - 10:33 PM

Bring up all your concerns with your 1st AC. He/She will answer any question you have, how you should work, how he/she works, whether you're doing reports or not and what to do with exposed footage, etc.
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#3 Stephen Williams

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Posted 03 July 2011 - 04:48 AM

If you can't load an Arri mag, then you won't be much help to the 1st. You need to go to the rental house & practice. In an hour you will be able to do it fine, then you will be useful on set.

Hi,

I have been given my first opporunity to work on a film (rather than digitial) produciton tomorrow as the 2nd AC. Although I have AC'd for a while now it has until now only been on digital so I wanted to get some advice on the main differances and things that I may need to differently, or things I won't have done with digital.

I should point out that I won't necessarily actually be loading, I have only done this in a test room thus far and the production is short on stock so they haven't said that I will actually have to load, my role will be more assisting the first AC. There may however be time to try loading in the morning if everything is not too rushed.

I'm slightly concerned about:

- Camera reporting and keeping accurate notes on each shot. With digital I've noticed this isn't a common request these days and people skip reporting quite often.
- Marking up film cans correctly, processing sheets and so forth
- Slating; is there a different procedure with film at all, or are there any additions you might need to make to a clapperboard which are film specific (similar to PU, AFS or MOS) ?

I have worked as a runner on a film production before so I have some idea on how much more profressional the set exprience is i.e. so as not to waste film stock and so forth. My main concern is making sure I do a good job as 2nd.

The camera is an Arri 435.

Thanks in advance for advice.


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#4 Chris Keth

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Posted 04 July 2011 - 12:01 PM

What kind of shows have you been working on where they skip reporting ever, let alone often? I'd get smacked up one side of the head and down the other if I suggested that. There must be good, useful camera reports with circle takes. Better yet, each setup should list the lens and stop as well.

If there's a loader, they will keep film inventories and take care of daily film shipments with POs, etc. If there isn't a loader, that is all for you. Best place I've seen all that explained is in Doug Hart's camera assistant manual.

Slating protocol is the same but keep it quick. A lot of digital shows get really sloppy with slates. You want to mark as soon as the camera is to speed and get out so the operator and 1st can be set.
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#5 James Malamatinas

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Posted 04 July 2011 - 04:54 PM

The shoot went really well, was great to get a chance to work with film at last.

I had loaded during some work experience at Panavision so I knew how to load and download, but I was a little nervous going to set about not wanting to mess up on my first shoot! In the end I didn't have to do either but there were some mags and dummy rolls there so I spent more time practising inbetween down periods, I feel pretty confident now and would be very happy doing it on a future shoot. I was mainly there to help the 1st AC with the kit, swing lenses, slate and so forth. I was also givent he chance to do the camera reports which was another good thing to learn, I had read about it in 'The Camera Assistant's Manual' so I already had an idea of what to expect. The only other thing that was different was the labelling of magazines and film cans which are obviously not done in the same way with digital.


Chris, the shoots I'd done up to now have all been digital and it has been lower budget work where, even when I've bought it up with the DoP and asked if I should do the reports they have said don't bother. It was nice working on film where everything is obviously that bit more efficient and professional!

I'm keen to work on some more film work but with the kind of work I'm getting at the moment it is pretty rare.

Thanks for the tips everyone.

James
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Ritter Battery

Wooden Camera

The Slider

Aerial Filmworks

CineLab

Metropolis Post

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rebotnix Technologies

FJS International, LLC

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Technodolly

CineTape

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Opal

Glidecam

Rig Wheels Passport

Paralinx LLC

Visual Products