The Life of a Camera Assistant as Told Through GIFs

The Life of a Camera Assistant as Told Through GIFs

It's been too long since we've explored what it means to be a camera assistant (AC) though the lens of the animated GIF. So here's 30 GIFs that illustrate life as an AC below-the-line and behind-the-scenes. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll question your career choice – well, you'll mostly laugh.

When I hear somebody say “shoot the rehearsal,” I’m like:

200mm. F1.8. Camera on dolly.

When you have to shoot in a public location that isn’t locked down:

Dayplaying on a feature:

That one extra who listens to you talk with the DP between takes:

Watching playback on a ridiculous camera move that you nailed focus:

Data management gigs in a nutshell:

When production asks to push back lunch for 15 minute grace period:

And then how I feel those last 5 minutes of lunch when there’s still 8 pages to shoot:

What I hear from the first AD throughout the day:

but then at the wrap party we’re both like…

During a week of split days:

When the mag is about to roll out during a take:

Bumping up the resolution on a RED Epic:

Working with a RED One these days:

What would happen if I tried to work in G&E:

The camera op when you leave the front cap on after mounting a lens:

That time the director asked me to “check the gauge,” I was just like…

Grips at the wrap party:

When crappy catering is all crew can talk about for the rest of the day:

When that one PA gets laid into by the AD for being late:

Finding out about a 5AM call time with a less-than-12-hour turnaround:

Completely missing the rack focus at the end of a long take:

The key grip trying to tell me that joke about DP being God:

When a director actually moves on after one take, I look at the DP like:

Trying to get the fog to settle right before shooting a take:

How I imagine life at video village:

The camera PA after asking him again to bring me that bag of T-stops

My reaction to Sony’s camera naming scheme:

The first time I ever wrangled cable on a handheld shot:

My reaction to my ditty bag by the end of the day:

Check out more hilarious filmmaking jokes in GIF form here

  • Lawrence Marshall

    Love. It.

  • Kevin Marshall

    Not long ago had a 64ft jogging/running truck-in at 500fps on a 135mm at 3.5 of a kid soccer player running at the camera. No real rehearsal. That was the exact expression on my face.

    • http://www.theblackandblue.com/ Evan

      And then the same expression when you had to watch playback haha

  • Sean Irish

    It’s the same in theater – yet logistically speaking, some of the turnarounds require it! Some shows are just so big, and so complex to load in and set up, that they would require 2 separate 7-10 hour crews otherwise, which is about a 14-16 hour day, in which case the crew lead would not be present for about a half a day – which is unacceptable by anyone’s estimation, since that is entirely counter productive. If people wonder why the union crews working these incredible hours and shows look so controlled and relaxed on the set, and take frequent breaks – well, it’s because they’re being asked (and required) to work 4-10 such days in a row, and thus they’re having to pace themselves to make it through that schedule without falling prey to sickness or injury. End of story. Listed through IATSE 927

  • MartinBelderson

    Oh, Evan, this brings back so many painful memories. Best laugh I’ve had in ages. How long did it take to make all these? It’s great to see so many film shoot negative experiences turned into a gem like this.

    • http://www.theblackandblue.com/ Evan

      Well I didn’t make the GIFs themselves, so it probably took me a few hours to pour through an archive of GIFs and come up with the one-liners for what I felt they represented. Glad you liked them!

  • http://cinemalanguage.org cinemalanguage.org

    Wow. One of the funniest things I’ve seen in a long time. Hilarious! Thank you! So well done.

  • Sergio Leyva

    Brilliant, especially with the ones about DAs. I never laughed so hard. :D

  • klarth1234 .

    I had to scroll down to the bottom past all those retarded .gifs to have a chance to say this: STOP PUTTING .GIFS ON A PAGE AND CALLING IT AN ARTICLE. IT ISN’T AN ARTICLE IT’S TRASH!!! YOU AREN’T MAKING ANY CONTENT NOR ARE YOU PAYING ROYALTIES TO THE PEOPLE WHOSE CONTENT YOU ARE STEALING. YOU ARE EXPRESSING NOTHING ORIGINAL YET WANT TO MAKE MONEY OFF OF THE ADVERTISING REVENUE MADE FROM SOMEONE ELSES .GIF IMAGES.

    FUCK OFF WE’RE ALL TIRED OF THIS BULLSHIT.

    • http://www.theblackandblue.com/ Evan

      Well, a couple of things:

      1. I didn’t call it an article. Where did you see that? Nobody called it an article until you did. Even if I did, I’ve posted about 500,000 words of content on this website and over 500 blog posts. Out of that there’s only two (2!) GIF posts! Or, in other terms, 0.4% of posts are GIFs.

      2. What advertising revenue? Where do you see ads?

      I’m cool if you don’t like the content, but please understand my website and how it works better before accusing me of several things which are untrue.

      Despite the fact that you’re in violation of several parts of our comment policy (another misunderstanding), I’m going to leave this comment up and hopefully deter anyone else from posting something as inflammatory and ignorant.

      • klarth1234 .

        Sorry for the outburst, long time reader here I know you’ve written quite a lot of high quality articles for this site before and I didn’t want to come off as abusive. That’s why it was such a shock to be browsing Reddit and to see this site posted there and when the link loaded I thought I’d been redirected to Cracked.com or Buzzfeed.com both two terrible websites that rely on easy click bait techniques to generate revenue and get more readers.

        Anyway, you have an awesome website please don’t shit it up with d- grade material.

        • http://www.theblackandblue.com/ Evan

          First, I appreciate you reading the site for awhile, liking some of the other posts, and for the kind words about it. I’m really glad to hear you’ve read some articles here and enjoyed them.

          But your comment did come off as abusive – I mean it was one of the first things I read in the morning before heading to set. Being told to “Fuck off” isn’t exactly how I like to start my days!

          Even if you were on Cracked or Buzzfeed I don’t think that’s an excuse to leave a comment like you did. It’s one thing to express why you’re upset or angry or frustrated, but it’s another to do it in all caps while insulting the author. Sure people have left worst comments around the internet or similar comments to yours, but do you really want to be a part of that group?

          A lot of those comments go unnoticed on the big sites because moderating them is tough, but here on my site I treat it like my home turf and every comment goes straight to my inbox where I read it (and reply when I’m able to).

          My point is that I hope next time you comment on my site – or any other – that you do so with a more considered approach like you did in your reply to me. Criticism and feedback is encouraged, valuable, and necessary and it’s much more likely to be taken seriously when submitted thoughtfully.

          I hope you understand and I hope to see you around the site again!

          P.S. I respectfully disagree that this is d-grade material, but hey, if I can average A or B material for 99.6% of the site then I’ll take that :)