New Digital Camera Reports and Log Forms.

Hello to all, I hope that everyone is having a great year of shooting so far. I wanted to do a follow up blog post on the one I did last month about my good friend David E. Elkins-SOC and his new book "The 6th Edition of the Camera Assistant's Manual". 

Before david wrote me an e-mail saying that he was going to do a new book and wanted my input, I sent him a rough copy of some new up to date camera reports and log forms but for digital. David had some video forms up but no new updated ones for the digital age that we now live in and there was really none around other then ones from Foto Kem but they were for the RED Camera only and no other formats. 

So I took the same template and layout that dave had and pretty much built 2 brand new forms in about 2 hours from a blank page. I sent them over to david to get his thought and he said he loved them even though most of his background is in film so his experience in digital is limited but thanks to me, E. Gunnar MortensenJennifer Braddock, Mako Koiwai and many other people he was able to implement both Film and Digital in his new 600 page book which I am so honored and proud to be a part of. Thank you again David. 

To download the forms you can go to Camera Assistants Manual website to choose a Word Doc or PDF. 
Here below is what I wrote to dave regarding the changes with in the camera department but particular to the media management side of it. 

"Hey Dave,

For data management the 1st AC I think should know how to do media and work flow but it's mainly up to either the 2nd AC,digital loader or DIT depending on the show and budget. They also have to understand not only how the camera records but what formats.  When you dump the footage you need to know what editing system it's going to cause each editing suite is different (but still the same in a way) were premiere CS5 you can choose which format you shot (which has all of the different codecs) but with Final Cut Pro 7 you have the same codecs (most but not all) but you have to log and transfer the footage. Because if you don't put in the right codec then you could loose some data (color and resolution). Media Management is just as an important role as the DP and Camera Op."
So with that being said the role of the 1st AC, 2nd AC and Loader has not changed all that much other then the fact that you need to know more about the camera and it's workflow then ever. And just to give you an example here below is a recent question that my friend Connie Swanson posted on facebook last month

"OK Editors and post friends. On Alexa Camera (only)...Transcoding OR not on deliverable to you?

Joe Murray: 
Depends on if you're recording ProRes Quicktimes or raw using an external recorder. No need to transcode the first, helpful to transcode the second.

Disco San Andreas: DIT should hand it to you how the editor wants it.

Corey Steib: both comments are correct. I always ask the client what NLE they are using and if they don't know then I get the editors e-mail and or phone number to find out what best works for him as if it's a quick turn around then ProRes would be the best.

Joe Murray: I answered the question assuming Connie is delivering to me - but yes, assuming you know who the editor is, they may have a different answer.

Joe Murray: Wait a minute, is this a trick question? If I answer correctly do I get the job?

Connie Swanson: You will always get my POST!! Too funny. I think the misconception is that if transcoding is a must on live action side it's $$ in OT on the DIT. My last 5 jobs with Alexa no transcoding which can save the live action 2-4k

John H. Atkinson: There is not need to transcode for Final Cut Pro if shot Pro Res in camera.

Corey Steib: Connie Swanson- True but if you want to get the full 4K on SXS then you need to upgrade your sxs cards and or use an external recorder.

Joe Murray: The only time I have needed to transcode down from ProRes 4:4:4:4 to regular ProRes is when a freelance editor working on a laptop requested it. To save storage and give a bit better realtime playback during offline.

Connie Swanson: Thanks Joe, John and Corey. It's hard to inform production companies in the ways of Alexa!

Corey Steib: Yes it is but it's our job to say hey this is what does and does not work . It's the reason why we are camera people cause we are suppose to know it all

Norma Sardy: I've had 2 situations with AVID editors that we had to transcode for. We discussed up front cheaper to get someone to transcode on production budget than to have post house do it. Agency was happy to pay.

Connie Swanson: Thanks Norma! From technical /saturation side not sure needed. In the end my editor-EDITat JOES (If you need one) confirms:: "Depends on if you're recording ProRes Quicktimes or raw using an external recorder. No need to transcode the first, helpful to transcode the second.""
The above conversation is a really good one and it shows just how important knowing and understanding the Media and the Workflow behind it as well as the Camera.  So don't forget to download the new forms that are linked above today cause it will make your life on set less stressful. 

Corey Steib

I am an award winning cinematographer and photography based in Orlando, FL. I have worked on over 200 feature films, tv shows and live events.

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