Without resourcefulness, I wouldn’t be able to solve camera problems effectively. I wouldn’t be able to handle the pressure of pulling focus handheld on wide open SuperSpeeds. I wouldn’t be able to ruthlessly cut inefficiencies on set. It’s worked wonders for me and it can help you, too.
How to Get Better at Pulling Focus, Slating, and Being a Badass AC
Most Recent Articles in "Camera Assisting"
Have you ever wanted to sit down for coffee with an industry pro just to ask them a few questions about their experience and their life as a crew member? That’s exactly what a Reddit AMA (ask me anything) is like – a virtual version of a coffee meet-up. And though it won’t get you that latte you’re craving, this AMA with a union camera assistant may help you answer a few questions.
Have you ever been pulling focus and found yourself off the mark during that split-second in which you glanced between the actor in a scene and your marks on the follow focus? It only takes a split second for the focus to go soft. By that time, the camera operator mutters, “Buzzy” and you know you’re going to need another take.
When rigging a camera to a jib, a crane, or even a Steadicam, you don’t want to leave anything to chance by making false assumptions. So, to stay safe and keep your job, avoid making these 7 stupid assumptions that could lead to your demise, the camera’s demise, or put the crew in danger.
What came forth were laws and commandments written by the Lord himself for all camera assistants and clapper-loaders to learn and to follow. With their slates in hand, they waited patiently as, one-by-one, the rules of slating were laid upon them.
It’s true there are some things that are primed for post-production and are better done in front of a computer rather than in front of a camera. But there’s a difference between planning a shot to be enhanced in post and relegating a shot to be fixed in post. As camera assistants, we may have a small role to play, but if we play it effectively, we can help avoid some major “fix it in post” headaches.
At less than two minutes long, the video above, from Jared Abrams at Wide Open Camera, covers the most popular types of marks you need to know. And I have a few extra tips of my own to share with you.
I find looking at other slates to be extremely helpful. When I was first starting out as a 2nd AC, it was useful to see how others applied the principles I had learned about slating. So let’s take a look at twelve completed clapperboards.
The film slate hasn’t existed for so many years — adapting to the ever-changing filmmaking landscape — without developing nuances and best practices for a few non-conventional situations. So I want to help you navigate these grey areas.
All of the advantages of the slate in post-production start in the camera department with the camera assistants who step in front of the lens with the clapperboard. And it’s crucial you fill it out properly to prevent bottlenecks in post-production. Once you grasp what each section means, it makes it easier to leverage the slate into the useful cinematic tool that it is.