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.
How to Get Better at Pulling Focus, Slating, and Being a Badass AC
Most Recent Articles in "Camera Assisting"
Pulling focus is arguably the 1st Assistant Camera’s most important duty. A shot can be beautifully lit, impeccably framed, and feature Oscar-winning acting, but if it’s not in focus, it’s likely to end up on the cutting room floor. That’s what’s at stake for the focus puller.
No you don’t need to be able to run a marathon to be an astute camera assistant, but you’ll be much better and faster if you can last a whole day on set without getting sore the next day. And the AC’s that can keep up are the ones who keep getting phone calls.
Filmmaking isn’t always fun. Sometimes it can suck — and suck pretty hard. The public persona of Hollywood may be glitz and glam, but there’s definitely moments when that facade falls apart, especially below the line.
Ed Colman, a talented cinematographer, knew the value of rehearsals. Of all the great wisdom he shared, one remark speaks directly about the push-pull for rehearsals: “When you are told to ‘shoot the rehearsal’ it’s not a rehearsal any more.”
The duty of slating falls to the 2nd assistant camera (AC) who must stand in front of the camera, hold the slate, and clap the sticks. Holding the slate seems like an obvious act — and it largely is — but you should take these five tips into consideration before stepping in front of the camera.
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.
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.