Camera assisting is an insanely complex profession. But at its core, it can be whittled down to four simple rules set forth by legendary camera assistant Dick Barth who took a no-nonsense approach to the craft.
How to Get Better at Pulling Focus, Slating, and Being a Badass AC
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In the film industry, there are a group of rules known as “setiquette” — or, set etiquette — that defines the appropriate and safe way you should act on a film set. With so many different crews in different countries, it can be difficult to grasp these rules and the details of them without logging hours of experience.
As the intermediary between the rest of the film set and the 1st AC, 2nd AC’s are crucially important to the ebb and flow of the camera department. A slow 2nd will bring everyone down with them and, similarly, a fast 2nd AC will improve the speed at which the camera is ready. The more you, as a 2nd AC, can meet those demands, the happier you keep your department.
Do you know what depth of field is? Are you able to calculate it with just the power of your mind? Well, it’s time to put you to the test with this 20-question quiz.
There’s nothing easy in a desert — food, water, shelter… filmmaking. Sand and dust, while obviously expected, aren’t the only elements you have to worry about — there’s also incredible heat. Shooting a movie in a desert means not only protecting the camera from all this, but also yourself and the rest of the equipment.
Pulling focus is hard. Really hard. It’s certainly no walk in the park. These are three must-have skills for focus pullers and show you practical methods to improve them so you can panic a little bit less when the DP sets the stop to T 1.8.
Walk by any camera cart or snoop inside any camera assistant’s toolkit and you’re guaranteed to find at least one thing: camera tape. And you’ll find it in various sizes, styles, and colors.
When you think of show choir do you think of jazz hands? Glee? Shiny outfits and off-key singing? Probably the last thing you think about is camera assisting. Yet almost everything I do as a camera assistant I can trace back to show choir.
As a camera assistant (AC), you have to continually improve to be better at your job. And the grips and juicers have a lot to teach us if you’re willing to watch and listen. To start, here are 7 techniques you should be stealing from them to use in the camera department.
If you think that because film is a visual medium there isn’t much paperwork involved, you’d be dead wrong. From call sheets to contact lists to strip boards to screenplays — whether it’s given out in person or digitally emailed — there are tons of papers passed between crew members.