Posted 01 June 2005 - 03:56 AM
Thanks in advance for any information as this has been on my mind for some time. I read all the posts I could find after doing a search on "pullers", but didn't really find anything that explains the history, culture, and psychology/philosophy of this position and the people that do it.
Posted 01 June 2005 - 09:51 AM
Posted 01 June 2005 - 10:50 AM
1st AC's were often 2nd AC's previously. 2nd AC's were often loaders or camera PA's previously.
Some 1st AC's make it their career. A 1st AC who knows how to set focus marks quickly and is able pull focus accurately is invaluable to a production, especially on 35mm productions where DOF is often shallow.
Posted 01 June 2005 - 12:40 PM
Focus pulling is generally the job of the 1st Assistant Camera person here in the US...
I wasn't aware of this, and that they normally handle all of those other camera related responsibilities: lenses, filters, maintenance, etc. Thx.
Posted 01 June 2005 - 06:48 PM
I am currently working on a friend's film as a 1st AC and it's been great, to the point where I have decided I want to make a living as a camera assistant. As much as I enjoy operating, I somehow get a greater satisfaction out of standing to the side of the camera and, well, assisting. So while we're on the subject, I'm trying to be polite here but it's sort of a blunt question... I guess I'll just come forth and ask: do camera assistants make a lot of money? If I do indeed become the Zen master of focus, how comfortably can I expect to live?
Posted 01 June 2005 - 08:00 PM
Many AC's earn a lot, lot more than I do. Don't know the US rates, but I'd think somewhere in the $500-800 region a day is normal. Keep that up for 5 days a week with some extra overtime and you're pulling in a lot of money....
Edited by AdamFrisch, 01 June 2005 - 08:02 PM.
Posted 01 June 2005 - 08:17 PM
Posted 02 June 2005 - 12:36 AM
They help the operator also by careful watching the action. They may sense the operator has forgotten the actor bends over in the scene and a casual reminder can save the shot. Maybe even the operator?s job.
It requires tact and an amazing ability to judge the DP?s and operator's mood. A first AC can sort of be like a skilled golf caddie. Making recommendations on wind, break, and club selection. The AC can also be a sounding board for a DP?s who like to spend a lot of lighting time near the camera. The AC needs to be near the camera and so it is natural for the DP to share thoughts with the AC.
Posted 02 June 2005 - 02:44 AM
A first AC is also a valuable collaborator with the DP and Operator...
...The AC needs to be near the camera and so it is natural for the DP to share thoughts with the AC.
Sounds like a great opportunity to learn, especially if you develop that rapport with a DP you respect and/or admire.
Posted 02 June 2005 - 04:38 AM
And it was subconsious
Talk about obsessed! but for some of the steadicam, remote (helicopters, crane etc) world - it has to be your calling
I have got into the bad habit of pulling my own focus while DPing - but I am going through a whole "documentary look" to 35mm thing at the moment
Posted 02 June 2005 - 04:40 AM
> Many AC's earn a lot, lot more than I do.
Yes, but you're in the UK, which does curtail your (and my) earning potential by, I'd guess, over eighty percent compared to the US!
Posted 02 June 2005 - 01:47 PM
Why do you say that pulling your own focus is a bad habit of yours? I thought it was really interesting, because here in South Africa, many production budgets have been cut drastically, so it is not uncommon to find camera crew doing two jobs simultaneously, eg a loader who is also the focus puller, etc.
To me, pulling your own focus would mean that there wouldnt be any misunderstandings between the focus puller and DP, because as a DP, you know exactly what you want and how you think, so I would consider it to be an advantage.
I would love to hear your response!
Posted 03 June 2005 - 04:21 AM
I wind up doing too much - framing, scanning frame edges for issues, flare checks and focusing - so if something goes wrong it goes horribly wrong
Multiple jobs is fine but not at the same time so a 2nd AC and 1st AC can be the same person but a 1st AC and Dp being the same person is harder
It is better to delegate to trusted co-workers
Finance - I never get paid what a DP and FP would get paid
Off the point I was in Cape Town in Feb and was shocked at how expensive everything is. The price changes in 2 years since I was last there. Even dealing in pounds. Spoke to some companies out there and they were complaining about all the commercial work going to Chile and Argentina this season - apparently a third of the cost...
But even the cost of living has gone through the roof and loads of poor poor people with nothing. I was shocked
my 2 cents
Edited by Rolfe Klement, 03 June 2005 - 04:25 AM.