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rental house checkout director of photography camera checks

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#1 Hamilton Yu

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 09:35 PM

What exactly does a camera team do when they go to a rental house to check out a camera. What are the normal checks and exercises and what are some more specific checks? Both for a DP and for an AC?


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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 10:40 PM

It's a pretty long laundry list -- at minimum you are turning things on, running the camera, recording a clip, connecting it to accessories (matteboxes, follow-focus, remote focus), to monitors, even building it on a Steadicam, to make sure you have every connector and widget you think you need, and that it works.

 

That doesn't include examining each lens and putting it up on the cameras, checking back and front focus, etc.

 

And then there are all the batteries and chargers, and then there are the filters.

 

I think I've only thought of a third of the things the AC's go through.

 

As for the DP, it's a chance to talk to the rental house techs, go over the menus, make sure it can do what you need it to do, it mays also be a time to shoot some tests.


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#3 Dom Jaeger

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 03:03 AM

It tends to depend on the type of show and how much time production has allowed for gear check and testing. Feature films will spend quite a bit of time going through the gear and building up kits, shooting tests and basically checking everything thoroughly. Usually done by ACs, DITs and Steadicam ops, DPs might come in to shoot specific tests or look at lens projections or familiarise themselves with a new camera system. Some DPs are more involved than others.

 

Shorter rentals tend to spend less time on testing, sometimes these days an AC will barely have time to do a quick gear check. 


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#4 David E Elkins

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Posted 14 September 2013 - 09:02 PM

Check out my book, The Camera Assistant's Manual, Sixth Edition.  There is an entire section on camera prep and what you need to do.

 

David E. Elkins, SOC

Camera Operator

www.davidelkins.com

Old Saybrook, CT

USA


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Willys Widgets