“Capturing room tone requires [Criterion Collection] interview subjects to sit quietly for thirty to sixty seconds, and of course when you ask a bunch of people to do the exact same thing, they’ll all end up doing it differently. As you’ll see, some are very playful while others are more meditative; some close their eyes, and some look around the room or check their phones.”
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Actress Jennifer Garner talks about the “dance” that takes place between her, the camera operator, the focus puller, and the boom operator – and how it’s one of the things she misses most right now.
At NAB this year, I had a chance to interview Sam Fisher, creator of the Andra Motion Focus system, alongside Matt Jeppsen of Pro Video Coalition, about Andra’s innovative wireless FIZ system and find out how it could potentially help – or harm – productions and AC’s putting it to work.
In this video, David Elkins, author of The Camera Assistant’s Manual, shows how to properly check out a camera package and prep it for a shoot. He covers everything from checking lenses, to the camera body, to the paperwork you should have with you. This is a must-watch for all camera assistants.
Those of us in the camera department have known for years that we dress to impress – by being ready for cold weather, hot desert, or a really long day. Adam Carolla agrees and, on one of his podcasts turned into this video, explains why cameramen dress the best.
As a cinematographer, Haskell Wexler has brought to life some Hollywood classics and brought home two Oscar statues. But Wexler has also had to put up with the same strenuous working conditions that film crews are often beholden to. Specifically, long working hours that cause sleep deprivation. So he did what any filmmaker might do – he made a movie about it.
Netting a lens is a great and simple way to add style to a scene using cloth material mounted on the rear element of a lens. While netting lenses won’t happen on every job, it’s a technique camera assistants are expected to be familiar with – and can learn how to do in this video.
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.
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.
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.