BARDO • EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE
THE FABELMANS • LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS
BARDO • EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE
THE FABELMANS • LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS
Meet the Crew introduces you to the team that brings Camera Operator to life, like David Daut, lead features writer.
What are some of the challenges that you face in your involvement with the SOC?
The biggest challenge—and subsequently the most rewarding part of the job—is learning on the fly about the intricacies of camera operating. I’ve loved movies for my whole life and have dabbled a bit in the various disciplines on amateur and student productions. But camera operating is often an unsung craft, and I’ve learned a lot about that work through having conversations with operators for the magazine. In just a few years I already know so much more than when I started, and I’m excited to continue learning more!
What is your special SOC moment?
Back in the fall of last year, our own great Ashlie Sotelo came down sick and was unable to host the SOC Instagram Live Q&A with Lisa Stacilauskas. I was asked to fill in, and even though I host the Q&As for the magazine, the prospect of doing it live was a pretty intimidating leap. I said yes, though, and it was a really great experience! It was lovely chatting with Lisa and fielding questions coming in live from the chat.
In my free time, I…
I see a lot of movies. If you follow my Instagram account, about half of my posts are the marquee at either the New Beverly Cinema or the Aero Theatre (I also try to see at least one newly released movie a week). There’s nothing in the world quite like seeing a great movie in a full theater with an energized audience, and I’ve had the privilege to see more than my fair share of truly special screenings. Beyond movies, I spend a lot of time with friends, playing games, visiting theme parks, and other seasonal events around Southern California. Over the last few years I also co-wrote and co-directed a five episode “found audio” ghost story called Hollow Medium, which you can find wherever you listen to podcasts.
It’s an interesting question. The film and television industries are currently in their biggest period of uncertainty and upheaval since probably the 1960s. Streaming services have changed the landscape both for better and for worse, while mergers and consolidations of increasingly large media companies mean there are fewer jobs to go around. Amid all of that uncertainty, though, are incredible technical innovations and some really terrific work being done. Last year was the best year for movies that I can recall in some time, as well as a stellar year for television. It saw a ton of exciting technical innovations from filming with racing drones in Michael Bay’s Ambulance to the further spread of an entirely new production model pioneered by Industrial Light & Magic with their StageCraft Volume. There will be challenges in the coming years as we navigate the changing media landscape, but much like the collapse of the Hollywood Golden Age gave way to a rise in new and exciting talent in the ’70s, the work that’s been done over the past year gives me hope that the future ahead is bright.
The lucky situation I’m in is that asking questions to SOC members is kind of my job description. I’ve had the enormous pleasure of getting to geek out about the Volume with Obi-Wan Kenobi camera operators Chris Moseley and Chris Herr; chat with Mitch Dubin, Buzz Moyer, Colin Anderson, and John Mang about two of my favorite movies of the last few years; and go on a slightly extended tangent talking with Martin Schaer about the unique work he did with Gore Verbinski on the animated film Rango. I’m excited to continue working with cool people talking about neat projects into this new year!
THE STATE-OF-THE-ART WIRELESS INTERCOM SYSTEM FOR SAFE AND EFFICIENT FILM PRODUCTION
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President George Billinger
1st Vice President Mitch Dubin
2nd Vice President Matthew
Secretary Daniel Turrett
Treasurer Bill McClelland
Sergeant-at-Arms Dan Gold
John “Buzz” Moyer
Awards Craig Bauer, George Billinger, Dan Gold, Geoff Haley, April Kelley, Bill McClelland, John “Buzz” Moyer, Dale Myrand, Jan Ruona, Benjamin Spek, Dave Thompson, Rob Vuona
Charities Brian Taylor, Ryan
Historical Mike Frediani
Membership Dan Gold, Dan Turrett, Gretchen Warthen
Corporate Members Craig Bauer, George Billinger, Mitch Dubin, Dave Frederick, Simon Jayes, Sarah Levy, Bill McClelland, Jim McConkey, Matt Moriarty, Dale Myrand, Dan Turrett, David Sammons
Education Colin Anderson, Will
Arnot, Craig Bauer, Bonnie Blake, Dave Chameides, Mitch Dubin, Dave Emmerichs, Mick Froelich, Craig Haagensen, Geoff Haley, Sarah Levy, Simon Jayes, Jim McConkey, Larry McConkey, Matt
Moriarty, Jeff Muhlstock, John “Buzz” Moyer, Jamie Silverstein, Dave Thompson, Chris Wittenborn
Technical Standards & Technology
Eric Fletcher (Chair), Andrew Ansnick, William Arnot, Luke Cormack, David Emmerichs, Steve Fracol, Dan Gold, Jamie Hitchcock, Simon Jayes, Doc Karmen, Mark LaBonge, Rocker Meadows, Matthew Moriarty, John Perry, Manolo Rojas, David Sammons, Lisa Stacilauskas, Gretchen Warthen
Inclusion Sharra Romany (Co-chair), Nikk Hearn-Sutton (Co-chair), Olivia Abousaid, Shanele Alvarez, Alfeo Dixon, Pauline Edwards, Alexandra
Menapace, Jeremiah Smith, Lisa Stacilauskas, Gretchen Warthen, Mande Whitaker
Social Media & Content
Ian S. Takahashi (Chair), Sharra
Romany, Gergely Harsanyi, Ryan
Lewis, Brandon Hickman, Emily
Lien, Agnelia Scuilli, Gloria Bali, Julio Tardaguila
Executive Director Kristin Petrovich
Finances Angela Delgado
Calligrapher Carrie Ima
Publishing & Executive Editor
Art Director Cyndi Wood
Studio Liaison & Clearances
Writer David Daut
Copy Editor Cyndi Wood
Social Media Producer
Ashlie Sotelo, Your Voice Social
Advertising Jeff Victor
Video Editor Alex Hemingway
Colin Anderson, SOC
Bonnie Blake, SOC
Yvonne Chu, SOC
Jessica Clarke-Nash, SOC
Mitch Dubin, SOC
Michael Frediani, SOC
Kirk Gardner, SOC
Simon Jayes, SOC
Sarah Levy, SOC
John “Mango” Mang
Ari Robbins, SOC
Jan Ruona, SOC
E. Lee Anderson
Limbo Films, S. De R.L. de C.V.
Merie Weismiller Wallace/Universal Pictures & Amblin Entertainment
Digital subscriptions: SOC.org/co
Camera Operator is a quarterly publication of the Society of Camera Operators
Registered trademark / All rights reserved
An SOC Instagram Takeover is an entire week of posts dedicated to a specific camera operator and their work.
It gives the operator a chance to connect with the SOC community and provides the SOC with an avenue to further advance the art and craft of the camera operator.
Sarah Levy, SOC, took over SOC’s Instagram for a week in January. During Sarah’s takeover, she shared behind-the-scenes stories about Winning Time and The Office, her journey of transitioning from unscripted to scripted, and a historical look at her career as a camera operator.
Sarah’s takeover concluded with an Instagram LIVE where she answered questions submitted by the SOC community. She talked about her very first job as an operator, camerawork on The Office, tech on set for Winning Time, tips on handheld operating, the importance of preventing injury, and more.
Check out SOC’s Instagram @societyofcameraoperators to see the full series of posts, videos, and behind-the-scenes insights and watch the Instagram LIVE
Sarah Levy, SOC, has been a camera operator for 23 years. Based in Los Angeles, Sarah spent the first ten years of her career working around the world on documentaries and reality shows, and now she works in scripted television and feature films. She recently finished working on the new Apple+ detective series, Sugar. Other past credits include the new Disney reboot, Haunted Mansion; Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty; Captain Marvel; Little Fires Everywhere; and The Office.
Sarah has been an Active member of the Society of Camera Operators since 2008. She has served on the SOC Education Committee and has been an SOC mentor.
On February 25, 2023, the SOC hosted the Society of Camera Operators Lifetime Achievement Awards. Guests, nominees, and decorated industry leaders were among the hundreds who attended the Lifetime Achievement Awards celebration, which was held as an in-person event for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic.
A first for the awards, the SOC announced six nominees for Camera Operator of the Year in both the Film and Television categories, and for a second year, the SOC expanded nominations to include collaborative efforts and teams of operators.
Daniel Bishop SOC | ASSOC BSC | ACO took home the title of Camera Operator of the Year in Film for his work on All Quiet on the Western Front. Dave Chameides, SOC, with “B” Camera Operator Cristian Trova, were awarded Camera Operator of the Year in Television for their work on Ozark, Season 4, Episode 14, “A Hard Way to Go.”
Oscar-nominated actor Colin Farrell received the Governors Award and both ARRI Inc. and Hudson Slider accepted Technical Achievement Awards (see article on page 33). The Gordon Parks Foundation was honored for Parks’ leadership and pioneering of social justice.
Lifetime Achievement Awards were given in recognition of outstanding achievement in the field of film and video production to Don Devine, SOC, Camera Operator; Charlie Huntley, Camera Operator Live & Non-Scripted; Tommy Klines, Camera Technician; Darryl Humber, Mobile Camera Platform Operator; and Bruce McBroom, Still Photographer.
The SOC also welcomed Dr. Thomas Lee from the Vision Center at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles to center screen to salute the success of the SOC’s continued support, including filming the charity’s fundraising videos.
Camera Operator of the Year in Film was awarded to Daniel Bishop SOC | ASSOC BSC | ACO for his work on All Quiet on the Western Front. Congratulations to Daniel, and to all the nominees, for their stellar contributions to their film projects.
Camera Operator of the Year in Television honored Dave Chameides, SOC , with Cristian Trova for their work on “A Hard Way to Go,” an episode of Ozark. Congratulations to all the nominees for their excellent work in television.
Colin Farrell is recognized by the SOC for his leadership in the cinema community and acknowledged for his impressive body of work as well as his commitment and contribution to the entertainment industry.
“We are honored to present this award to such a celebrated and truly talented professional as Colin Farrell,” said George Billinger, SOC President and Awards Chair. “His variety of work and dedication to the craft as a globallyacclaimed performer has inspired many. We are incredibly proud to acknowledge Mr. Farrell’s contribution to the industry and creative world as a whole.”
A leading man in both blockbusters and independent films, the award-winning Irish actor and producer has many notable accolades as one of Ireland and Hollywood’s biggest stars. Farrell can currently be seen in the Oscar-nominated film The Banshees of Insiherin (2022), where he again teamed with In Bruges (2008) director Martin McDonough and co-star Brendan Gleeson. He is also known for The Killing of a Sacred Deer (2017), True Detective (2015), The Batman (2022), and 13 Lives (2022).
“Mr. Parks’ work and leadership has inspired myself, along with many others in our industry. He is a trailblazer in his own right, and someone I would call a cultural icon,” said Nikk Hearn-Sutton, SOC, Co-Chair Inclusion Committee and Board of Governors Member. “My uncle introduced me to Mr. Parks’ work—I have been a huge fan ever since I can remember. As an African-American myself, he is an inspiration to me personally, and this acknowledgment that the SOC is giving to his legacy for his large contributions to the many is long overdue.”
Gordon Parks, one of the greatest photographers of the twentieth century, was a humanitarian with a deep commitment to social justice. He left behind an exceptional body of work that documents American life and culture from the early 1940s into the 2000s, with a focus on race relations, poverty, civil rights, and urban life. Parks was also a distinguished composer, author, and filmmaker who interacted with many of the leading people of his era—from politicians and artists to athletes and other celebrities.
Learn more about the Gordon Parks Foundation at gordonparksfoundation.org
The SOC Board of Directors celebrates the Gordon Parks Foundation for its work in supporting and producing artistic and educational initiatives that advance the legacy and vision of Gordon Parks for social justice.
The Lifetime Achievement Awards are given in recognition of outstanding achievement by an established person within the field of film and video production.
• Camera Operator: Don Devine, SOC
• Camera Operator Live & Non-Scripted: Charlie Huntley
• Camera Technician: Tommy Klines
• Mobile Camera Platform Operator: Darryl Humber
• Still Photographer: Bruce McBroom
False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths
A Conversation with Ari Robbins, SOC Hosted by David Daut
BARDO, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths follows journalist and documentarian Silverio Gama as he reflects on his life, his work, and his own cultural identity through a series of surrealistic moments that blur the lines between what is real and what is imagined. Directed by Alejandro G. Iñárritu from a screenplay by Iñárritu and Nicolás Giacobone, the film stars Daniel Giménez Cacho and Griselda Siciliani.
Following his award-winning, yet polarizing work on films like Birdman and The Revenant, Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s latest film is something of a selfinterrogation, telling the story of an acclaimed Mexican filmmaker who is wrestling with doubts over the efficacy of his art as well as his connection with his Mexican heritage.
The visual landscape of this film blends together the mundane with the fantastical and the grotesque into what camera operator Ari Robbins, SOC, describes as like shooting a fever dream. In our conversation with Robbins, we discussed what went into shooting these intricate sequences, often in long, unbroken takes as well as what it was like filming parts of the movie on 65mm film and working in and around Mexico City. . . .
Watch the conversation here on SOC.org
SPOTLIGHT CONVERSATION WITH ARI ROBBINS, SOC, ABOUT BARDO
A Conversation with Mitch Dubin, SOC; Colin Anderson, SOC & John “Mango” Mang
Hosted by David Daut
WATCH THE TRAILER
From Close Encounters of the Third Kind to E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, the story of Steven Spielberg’s childhood and family life has existed in the margins of some of the director’s most famous works, but now after a filmmaking career that has spanned five decades, that story comes to the fore in The Fabelmans. In this Camera Operator video interview, we had the chance to talk with A camera operator Mitch Dubin, SOC; B camera/Steadicam operator Colin Anderson, SOC; and dolly grip John Mang about their roles on shooting this intimate and deeply personal new film from one of the greatest filmmakers of all time.
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The Fabelmans tells the story of Sammy Fabelman—the stand-in for a young Steven Spielberg— as he explores a passion for filmmaking while at the same time navigating the turbulent waters of a family coming to realize that even as they love each other, they may not all speak the same language. Directed by Steven Spielberg from a screenplay by Spielberg and Tony Kushner, the film stars Michelle Williams, Paul Dano, Seth Rogen, Gabriel LaBelle, Jeannie Berlin, Julia Butters, Robin Bartlett, Keeley Karsten, and Judd Hirsch.
WATCH THE CONVERSATION WITH
MITCH DUBIN, SOC;
COLIN ANDERSON, SOC & JOHN "MANGO" MANG ABOUT THE FABELMANS
When it opened in theaters in March of 2022, Everything Everywhere All at Once became a surprise smash hit and an immediate sensation, garnering rave reviews and earning more than $100 million off an estimated budget of only $15 million. Now, nearly a year later, the film written and directed by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert (collectively known as “Daniels”) has won numerous awards and is considered a frontrunner for the Academy Award for Best Picture.
TECH ON SET
• Todd AO Anamorphic Lenses
• Zeiss Super Speed Lenses
Camera Operator had the opportunity to talk with A camera/Steadicam operator Ari Robbins, SOC, about working with Daniels from their time making music videos up to now, shooting elaborate action sequences on a budget, and what it was like making this “little” movie with a scope so big one single universe can’t contain it.
With a story that spans dozens of realities, Everything Everywhere All at Once follows laundromat owner Evelyn Wang as she struggles with filing her taxes, navigating a pending divorce from her husband, failing to connect with her daughter, and fighting off an incursion from a universe-hopping nihilist who seeks an end to all existence across every version of reality. The film is written and directed by Daniels and stars Michelle Yeoh, Stephanie Hsu, Ke Huy Quan, Jenny Slate, and Harry Shun Jr. with James Hong and Jamie Lee Curtis.
Read the story for Ari's bio, and then learn more about his career and projects at IMDb.com.
Many millennia ago, in Egypt and Mesopotamia, cave wall pictographs were carved into stone along with the artist’s name. Well, at least in the example above found deep within the SOC’s “Historical Archives.”
The archaic illustration below is based on perhaps the earliest known animations.
“An eight-legged bison drawn in the Alcôve des Lions in Chauvet Cave proves that split-action movement by superimposition was already used from the Aurignacian [period]” of some 35,000 years ago, Azéma writes: “This graphic illusion achieves its full impact when the light from a grease lamp or a torch is moved along the length of the rock wall.” From C. Fritz & G. Tossello/Azéma & Rivère, 2012, Antiquity
When “the play’s the thing” became a thing a few centuries ago, the playbill served to inform the public of the who, what, where and when to consume the current entertainment fare.
A playbill is an early poster. Example at right, advertising Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Some believe the first playbill was circa 1610.
Over a century ago on-screen credits became a mainstay of motion pictures. The practice helped audiences place a real name to the “reel” name of an actor projected up on the silver screen. That in turn helped the performers, and crew become known and perhaps hired on future productions; a win-win situation.
The same holds true with commercial and streaming television, yet too often credits fly by faster than a gnat on steroids. Fortunately, there exists IMDb.com, which provides details of most people involved.
I recall a film a few years back with two equally famous movie stars. Before its release I wondered how they would bill them in the opening screen credits. When I saw the film, they were both on a single-card credit—the one on-top traditionally would be the lead actor over the other. How did they remedy this? They placed one actor’s credit on the left, but slightly lower than the other equally famous actor on the right side of the screen. Here is a current example:
It has been brought to the SOC’s attention that many Active members have been unsuccessful in ensuring “SOC” is included as part of their on-screen credit. This has been an ongoing challenge over the years. We understand this can be frustrating because each production has unique processes when giving camera operators their on-screen credits. PLEASE NOTE: SOC in the credits is our best promotion for our organization worldwide.
ACE, ACS, ASC, ACO, BSC, SOC, p.g.a., et al.
AMPTP Contract Language
“(b) Screen credit may be accorded to such other members of the camera crew as may be mutually agreed to by the Producer and employee. After the Camera Operator’s name, the letters S.O.C. shall appear if so requested.”
(Regarding “S.O.C.” we no longer use the period after each letter, hence SOC.)
Additionally, if you are an SOC Active member who also works as a cinematographer you must not use SOC following your name in credits or on the slate.
Should production request verification of your status as an Active member with the Society of Camera Operators, this may be acquired by email request to SOC Membership at Membership@soc.org
The Board of Governors compiled a list based upon our experiences.
• Include “SOC” after your name on your deal memo.
• Include detailed language if you have a contract which requests that your full credit reads, “your name", SOC.”
• Request “SOC” be included after your name on the call sheet.
• Request “SOC” be included after your name on the crew list.
“Hey, I don’t care if I get a credit, just pay me every Thursday. I’m in this business for the money.” —Eric, camera crew
Do you think credits are not worth fighting for?
George Lucas quit the DGA after disputes over the opening credits in Star Wars: Episode V—The Empire Strikes Back (1980). The movie had no opening credits and the DGA fined Lucas $250,000, which he paid, then eventually resigned.
“I have met so many great people from the SOC at various events. This has led to ongoing relationships on the set, helping my career immensely over the years.” —Kris, camera crew
“The credits on TV shows are controlled by the studio and the network. The studio works with the production coordinator, and then compiles a list per their template. They usually have rules about who can get credit and placement. Those credits are then distributed to the producers for approval and notes. As producers, we sometimes ask for changes to the order or placement of cards and crew on those cards in the end credits.
The main credits (which usually appear before the show content, but sometimes immediately after) are very strictly dictated by the crew members’ and actors’ contracts.
Though there are so many producer credits, there is only one “produced by” credit that signifies the line producer.
There are so many EP, co-EP, supervising producer, co-supervising producer, producer, co-producer, and associate producer credits because these credits are not dictated by a union. Therefore, the studio can hand those out indiscriminately to compensate writers and others as a consolation for less money.
Common insider’s joke: Co- means not.” —Robert, showrunner
Michael Frediani, SOC, was born in San Francisco, CA. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Cinema at Columbia College–Hollywood and was later inducted into IATSE Local 659 (now 600).
Frediani became an SOC Associate member in the ’80s—then as an Active member was elected president of the Society in 1995. He was again elected president in 2011, and over the years served as editor and contributor to this magazine.
Frediani has been a seated member on the Board of Governors since 1995.
My first recollection of after-the-movie outtakes and bloopers was on the 1977 film Smokey and the Bandit, although Movieweb.com states that in 1966 audiences saw the first post-credits scene in The Silencers, starring Dean Martin. The scene showed Matt Helm (Martin) surrounded by beautiful women, and hinted at the return of his character in future films.
Iconic films such as Airplane! and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off used the technique as last-minute comedic relief. Since then, the post-credits scene has spanned across several genres.
In recent years, Marvel fans remain in their seats for the anticipated post-credits scene offering them a teaser of what is to come next in the MCU.
Here are aspirational film clips of opening credits. You know these iconic movies.
The topic of credits begins with us as members of the production community—and those of us Active members—to make the effort to secure our SOC screen credit.
The immersive look is a combination of warmth and natural detail that is flattering to skin tones, silky-smooth bokeh that enhances depth in every format, and best-in-class highlight and shadow retention. Full of life and character, Signature images are beautiful whatever the format, resolution, and deliverable requirements. ARRI Signature lenses cover a focal length range of 12 mm to 510 mm, which is the largest in the industry.
“NAB Show allows me to learn about gear that I might not see, or a rental house might not show me. And the great thing is I get to see everything in one place.”—Eric Fletcher, SOC - Technical Chair
Experience the broadcast, media and entertainment industry’s unrivaled event for must-see tech, tools and gear. Connect with a global community of content creators, cinematographers, editors and crew. Get hands-on with products that enable the future of the art of storytelling.
You’ll find everything to master your craft in CREATE, the most massive of four distinct show floor destinations. Learn advanced cinematic techniques, engage with the leaders of Cine Live and hear from the best in Hollywood. NAB Show has it all. REGISTER NOW with code MP04.
Level up with SOC’s Crane Motion and Movement Workshop, ACE Editorial Workshops, the NAB Show Conference CREATE Track and/or Post|Production World. NABShow.com
Each year, the SOC is proud to honor significant advances in filmmaking technology with our Technical Achievement Awards. This coveted award is given to recognize the development of new technologies and techniques, essential innovations, and significant improvements to existing equipment. These technical achievements push our industry forward, removing hurdles for camera operators and allowing us to tell stories in new and unique ways.
Creators of qualifying entries were invited to show off their equipment at a demo day on Sunday, December 4, hosted at the SOC offices and Tiffen Burbank. Innovative technologies ranging from communications systems and camera mounting devices to lenses, integrated camera systems and a fullyoutfitted camera car were demonstrated for our panel of judges. The panel included notable Active SOC members with careers in all types of content creation, including cinema, live, studio, and non-scripted. All eight technologies submitted are featured on the following pages. We are pleased to announce this year's recipients are ALEXA 35 from ARRI Inc. and Hudson Slider from Hudson Spide r. Representatives from both companies received their awards at our Lifetime Achievement Awards ceremony.
The ARRI ALEXA 35 offers significantly improved sensitivity with lower noise and higher ISO from EI 160 to EI 6400 with color accuracy maintained. With enhanced sensitivity mode, it produces cleaner images in low light. The new Color Engine, REVEAL color science, brings what the camera “sees” closer to human vision. ARRI Wide Gamut v4 is a significantly expanded color space, larger than REC-2020. Pre-programmed Textures give content creators the option to go beyond the default imaging parameter settings and choose from an evolving menu of ARRI Textures, each carefully designed for specific imaging attributes, resulting in a major step forward that gives filmmakers creative control over the final image. arri.com
Full frame Angenieux Optimo Primes stand alone among professional cinema glass as the only lenses designed to incorporate Integrated Optical Palette (IOP) technology. This revolutionary lens design allows DPs to craft their own unique looks by combining IOP options as a painter adds hues to a brush. Optimo Primes IOP are comprised of Internal Filters, Iris Cartridges, and Rear Filter options. Due to their unique position inside the lens, IOP Internal Filters craft new looks not possible with front or rear filtration alone. Equally unique is that this process is easily reversible, returning the lens to its original configuration within minutes. bandpro.com
DJI Ronin 4D combines the full-frame Zenmuse X9 gimbal camera, a 4-axis stabilization system, a LiDAR focusing system, and an unrivaled video transmission and control system in a single unit.
DJI Ronin 4D makes high-end productions more efficient, makes spectacular camera moves possible in the most convenient way, and enables creative professionals to tell their stories with an entirely new visual language. There will be new accessories and updates coming to the system in 2023. dji.com
The HALO is a new high-speed camera car providing a broad range of efficient filming capabilities for any given sequence. Conceived with safety as the top priority, the HALO automatically contours to the car itself allowing for maximum control and a production friendly small footprint while staying in a single car lane. The HALO has the ability in shot to pan 540°, boom vertically over 8' with a maximum camera height of 15'. The HALO can hold any stabilized head with a payload of 250lbs while keeping 6 people safe and comfortable inside the vehicle’s roll cage. halocameracars.com
The new Hudson Slider by Hudson Spider is the first compounding slider designed for full size camera packages. The mechanism utilized to achieve a compounding move has the upper and lower stages on independent rails connected by a sturdy belt and pulley system, giving the slider the footprint of a 2' but the travel of a 4'. Hudson Spider has successfully eliminated slider flex and end support requirements, which frees the dolly arm and wheels to move during a take. Underslung or upright, the slider is suited for packages up to 100lbs and has an extremely smooth and incredibly quiet movement. hudsonslider.com
Matthews presents the 3iSpreader that fundamentally improves support of RonfordBaker and OConnor tripods, maintaining portability, deterring slide and topple potential. Conceived by camera people, it’s a safer, smoother, better-balanced and durable solution that eliminates bungees and spikes, ending floor scratches. 3iSpreader uses three machined metal 3iSpuds with rubber caps that bolt to the spikes so the tripod rests on rubber, inches over the floor. It securely connects to the tripod feet with three Q/R pins, eliminating old bungee cord stretchout. Spreader segments adjust to accommodate uneven terrain or varying heights. The raised 3iSpreader creates a rock-stable base grounded by rubberized feet. msegrip.com
The Tiffen MC4 Steadicam Air is a lightweight carbon fiber monopod that supports a digital cinema camera. The Air uses a Bansbach nitrogen gas lift spring and pedal that allows for real time vertical adjustment and fast camera set ups. Importantly, the Air takes the weight off the camera operator’s shoulder. It’s extremely useful for multi camera set ups where space is minimum and operators are required to handhold a camera for “too long” when dealing the digital phenomenon of not cutting—rather “still rolling, reset and everyone back to one.” This is a tool to help camera operators achieve a stable or vérité-type shot. The Air and Squish have been used successfully to stabilize shots in helicopters and moving vehicles. mc4.la
The Teradek Bolt 6 Wireless Video System transmits and receives zero-delay, 4K HDR video over the newly legalized 6GHz frequency band as well as the industry-standard 5GHz frequency band. These 12 new channels will dramatically reduce signal congestion on set by placing signals outside traditional Wi-Fi frequencies. Bolt 6 also offers an improved Longer Range algorithm, an SDI Eye Pattern Tool to check SDI signal integrity, and more. Bolt 6 is fully cross-compatible with the entire Bolt 4K ecosystem, including the iOS and Android Bolt Manager App for fast pairing and spectrum analysis. teradek.com
I have been a camera operator for seven years and in the camera department for 19 years.
What was one of your most challenging moments in the industry?
The most challenging moment was as a day player on Hawkeye, S1. My first setup and the first time ever working with anyone on the crew was a techno move at five floors in the air with two stunt performers launching from the top of a rigging tower as the camera moves behind them and then goes over the jump with them at 96fps. We knew beforehand that we only could try it four times and the amazing team of day playing crane techs and grips came together and we got it on take two. I breathed a sigh of relief and then saw it in every single trailer and spot for the show. Who has helped you most in your career?
John Brawley, ACS, has helped me the most in my career. I was very happy being a 1st AC forever. He pushed me out of my comfort zone and wouldn’t take no for an answer for me to become an operator, a job I love even more than being an AC (which I had never thought was possible).
What is the job you have yet to do but most want to do?
Any new action sequence/scene, especially if it involves a chase sequence. I think people think I just like to do drama because I’m not at all an adrenaline junkie in my non-work life, but I’m most excited and love my job the most when there are big action sequences in front of my lens and I have to be on my game 100%.
Credits: Devotion (2022); Bad Monkey (2023); The Great, S1; The Thing About Pam, S1; Young Rock, S1
I’ve been a camera operator for about 6 years now. What was one of your most challenging shots?
My most challenging shot was on Now Apocalypse. We didn’t have the money for all the crazy toys, so we did this shot on a jib arm, on dolly track, with a zoom in and a remote head with very simple controls, lacking any customization or back pan. There was a pretty wide jib swing toward the end of the shot when we zoom in too, so the back pan was pretty crazy. I did my best with what I had and it turned out ok, but I still cringe when I watch it. What is your most memorable day in the industry?
I have a few memorable moments, but I would have to say one of my favorites is the day I was able to show my Dad what I do. It was a day we had all the toys: technocranes, steadicam, etc. It was really great to show him the magic and watch his reactions to all of it.
Who has helped you most in your career?
There are two people. Michael Fimognari helped me from the very start of my career back when I was a 1st AC. He was a great mentor for me when I was starting out in the industry and was the first person to take a chance with me as an operator. Mark Swartzbard is pretty much responsible for where my operating career is now. He kept pushing for me to get hired even when the producers didn’t think I had enough credits on IMDb and I was still a pretty green operator. He’s one of my favorite DPs to work with, too.
Credits: Star Trek: Picard; Loot; American Gigolo; Love Victor; Interior Chinatown (currently shooting)
Tiffen adds a new tool for the cinematographer’s pallet. Paired with digital cameras, Black Fog and Night Fog Filters can provide a soft highlight glow reminiscent of the classic double fog cinematic look.
Black Fog provides an overall atmospheric softening that creates a smooth wide ﬂare from the highlights yet keeps the blacks, black without overly muting colors or losing detail in shadows. A subtle effect, it can be used to add an overall look to a project.
Night Fog yields a natural fog effect with overall atmospheric softening and wide ﬂare, coupled with unique contrast reduction technology that reduces highlights without darkening shadows. In light grades it provides a beautiful new look. In strong grades it ﬂattens the contrast and desaturates color so it is useful for day-for-night.
On Bridgerton Season 3, we often shot in historical locations that had priceless artwork. Therefore, we were not able to use atmosphere in the air. I achieved a similar look using Tiffen Black Fog Filters. They made it feel like there was ambient diffusion in the space. Also, when I lit the ﬁlter with a backlight, it added a creamy soft ﬂare that enhanced the feeling of atmosphere even more, which I was able to utilize during key intimate moments.Alicia Robbins Director of Photography
Video excerpts from SOC Active members sharing personal insights into camera operating, tips learned during their careers, and stories from the set.
Camera operator Jan Ruona, SOC, provides tips on staying centered on set while under pressure.
Camera operator Kirk Gardner, SOC, shares his perspective on the biggest differences between operating for television and operating on motion picture projects.
Camera operator Bonnie Blake, SOC, is given a scenario where she receives conflicting direction from the DP and director. Here’s what she says about the importance of “following” the actors and capturing the performance, above all.
Camera operator Simon Jayes, SOC, talks about crane shots and how crews, roles, and protocols on set change according to the type of cranes being operated.
Be ing a mem be r o f t he So ci ety o f Came r a O p era to rs gi ves y ou acc e ss to th e Cam era Ope rat i n g Se ries in p a rtn er s hi p wi th AFI; pri or i ty and disco unts on tra inin g; inv i tat i on s to e v ents a nd sc re e nin gs ; o v er seventy hou rs of v ide os; me mb er s only
men t o rs h i p progr am . JO I N NOW
The Society offers multiple levels of membership: Active, Associate, Student, Educator, and Corporate. For a full description of benefits, costs, and qualifications, visit soc.org/membership.