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Issue with camera operator


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#1 sneeze proof

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Posted 05 August 2005 - 09:58 PM

Hi

I'm hoping to get a little advice from the experienced crew around here in regards to workplace relationships.

I'm an editor (am slowly learning the aspects of cinematography) and am having issues with the footage I'm being currently fed.
They are just talking head interviews, talking about culture and intercultural awareness and interactivity.
Anyway, some of the shots just plain suck. A couple I have refused to use - you have to draw the line somewhere. (two interviewees looks really stoned due to bad lighting).
Others have been over exposed and off white balance etc....

Now, the guy who's doing the interviews is not a cinematographer, nor has he anything to do with film making. He writes the interview, sets up the camera (pdx10p) presses some buttons (depending on his mood) and does the interview.
I brought him into the editing suite to show him the shots and chat about the good aspects and some things to avoid (being very gentle and constructive).
He even went and did a short course on the basics of camera operation and lighting setup etc... (as he refuses to let anyone else shoot it).

So the last time he called me to advise him on the setup and talk about lighting and composition and camera adjustments before he started shooting.
We got a good setup, I adjusted the camera's exposure and focus and white balance and all things necessary - it was looking really good (all the while explaining to him why we were doing it and the effect it would have in post).

After the interview I find out that he flicked everything back to auto (auto exposure, balance, focus)
So now the shot is over exposed and looks blue and there's just no fixing over exposed dv, and I have to match 4 other interviews with differing, but equally bad mistakes.

So what to do?
I don't want to keep going down this path as I'm the one that gets talked to about the quality issues, yet I have the guy using the camera who refuses to trust my advise and continues to give me terrible shots (I haven't even mentioned composition).
I have been nice and very constructive in the way I deal with him but am now at a loss as to how to deal with this issue.

I guess the bottom line is, I want to get good work as an editor, but can't get good work if I'm producing crap.
Is there a Dr Phil equivalent in here?
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#2 Tim J Durham

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Posted 05 August 2005 - 10:23 PM

He even went and did a short course on the basics of camera operation and lighting setup etc... (as he refuses to let anyone else shoot it).

So the last time he called me to advise him on the setup and talk about lighting and composition and camera adjustments before he started shooting.
We got a good setup, I adjusted the camera's exposure and focus and white balance and all things necessary - it was looking really good (all the while explaining to him why we were doing it and the effect it would have in post).

After the interview I find out that he flicked everything back to auto (auto exposure, balance, focus)
So now the shot is over exposed and looks blue and there's just no fixing over exposed dv, and I have to match 4 other interviews with differing, but equally bad mistakes.

So what to do?

I guess the bottom line is, I want to get good work as an editor, but can't get good work if I'm producing crap.
Is there a Dr Phil equivalent in here?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

It's well known that the ratio of bad cameramen to good cameramen is roughly 10:1 while the ratio of bad cameramen who think they're good to good cameramen is also 10:1. What that knowledge does for you? I don't know.

Most production people would realize that you didn't do the shooting, only the editing.
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#3 Chris Cooke

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Posted 06 August 2005 - 12:10 AM

Show him some great looking interviews from television or dvd special features. Explain the difference between his camera work/lighting compared to these. Although, he sounds like the type of person that has trouble taking critisism. Maybe tell him about this forum.
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#4 Jonathan Spear

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Posted 06 August 2005 - 03:42 AM

Being a pretentious amateur myself, I think the best way to handle a situation like this is to take the guy out for a beer. Even the most rigid, anal retentive people eventually open up after a few drinks. It seems like the only way to get through to him is to be on the same page he is. If and when he earns your trust, do what Chris recommended.
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#5 sneeze proof

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Posted 06 August 2005 - 04:22 AM

hmm .... beer in combination with good cinematography
I think that's do-able :)
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Visual Products

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Broadcast Solutions Inc

FJS International, LLC

Ritter Battery

Rig Wheels Passport

Paralinx LLC

Wooden Camera

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Willys Widgets

CineTape

Glidecam