Page 1


SOC.ORG 路 FALL 2015 VOL. 24, NO. 4

The Martian Jobs House ofSteve Cards CAMERA OPERATOR 路 FALL 2015

The Revenant Fast and Furious 7 Inside Out SOC Awards Review 1












2 W W W . WA R N E R B R O S 2 0 1 5 . C O M






Chapman/Leonard Donation and more

10 ESTABLISHING SHOT Lisa Stacilauskas, SOC



Tips and Tricks from SOC Members “Safety On Set – An Operator's Responsibility” Dave Chameides, SOC

53 Tech Talk "Drones" Dan Coplan, SOC

60 INSIGHT Meet the Members



“A Total System Reboot” Geoffrey Haley, SOC

24 THE REVENANT “Shooting In the Elements” P. Scott Sakamoto, SOC

32 OPERATING THE VIRTUAL CAMERA “Behind the Animated Feature Film Inside Out” Adam Habib, Associate Member, SOC

38 THE MARTIAN "Adventures in Space with Camera Operators László Bille, Graham Hall, and Daniele Massaccesi"

56 SOC EDUCATION AND TRAINING “Festival y Muestra Internacional de Cortometrajes Corto Creativo, Hugh Litfin, SOC on SOC Education, and Under Water Camera Workshop”

32 3

Society of Camera Operators Board of Governors OFFICERS President Mark August 1st Vice President Mitch Dubin 2nd Vice President Dan Turrett 3rd Vice President David Mahlmann Recording Secretary Chris Taylor Treasurer Bill McClelland Sergeant-at-Arms Michael Frediani

BOARD MEMBERS George Billinger Rochelle Brown Susan Campbell Dan Coplan Twojay Dhillon Eric Fletcher David Frederick David Allen Grove Frank Kay Hugh Litfin Kenji Luster Kim Marks Georgia Packard Tyler Phillips Alicia Robbins Eric Roizman David Sammons Chris Tufty

COMMITTEE CHAIRS Awards Mark August Awards (Co-Chair) Bill McClelland Charities Chair Lisa Stacilauskas Communications Twojay Dhillon Constitution & By-Laws Stephen Silberkraus Corporate Liaison Bill McClelland COY Awards Rochelle Brown East Coast SOC Rep Bruce MacCallum Education and Mentor Hugh Litfin Historical Michael Frediani Historical (Co-Chair) Tammy Fouts Sandoval Membership Casey Hotchkiss Merchandising & Promo. (Co-Chair) Brad Greenspan Merchandising & Promo. (Co-Chair) Rochelle Brown Public Relations/Publicity Rich Davis Public Relations/Publicity (Co-Chair) Tammy Fouts Sandoval Publications Michael Frediani South Coast SOC Rep Heather Page Technical Standards David Emmerichs

STAFF AND CONSULTANTS SOC Operations Manager Heather Ritcheson Bookkeeper Angela Delgado Calligrapher Carrie Imai

Business Consultant Kristin Petrovich Kennedy and Createasphere

CAMERA OPERATOR MAGAZINE Publications Chair Michael Frediani Managing Editor Kate McCallum Layout & Production Stephanie Cameron VP of Advertising Matt Price

CONTRIBUTORS Reynoldo Aquino László Bille Dave Chameides, SOC Dan Coplan, SOC Michael Frediani, SOC Michael A. Garcia Adam Habib Geoffrey Hayley, SOC Graham Hall Hugh Litfin, SOC Daniele Massaccesi R. Scott Sakamoto, SOC Lisa Stacilauskas, SOC

Kimberly French, Tashi Imai, Giles Keyte, Dzsamila Kiss, Sarah Levy, Ed Litfin, Fabio Mazzarella, Sean Moe, Peter Mountain, Terrence Nightingal, Sara Sampson, Kurt Schuller, Ken Stanton


or for Subscription information questions: or 818-382-7070


Matt Price, Director of Advertising or 310-428-8071 For digital editions and back issues: Camera Operator is a quarterly publication, published by the Society of Camera Operators.

PHOTOGRAPHY Eddie Barker, Phil Bray, Neal Bryant, François Duhamel, Matt Finnerty,

Is a registered trademark. All rights reserved.

“Extraordinary. Unlike any other you’ve seen before. Director László Nemes is aided by cinematographer Mátyás Erdély’s crisp 35mm cinematography leading to the perception of being trapped in a hellacious underworld while never once straining credibility.” -Eric Kohn, INDIEWIRE

For your consideration BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY Mátyás Erdély, HSC











Letter from President Dear SOC Members and Camera Operator Readers, The Society of Camera Operators had our Board of Governors’ elections and an amazing group was voted in to lead the SOC into 2016 to build on our forefathers’ dedication to the Society. Thank you to all the members that put their names forward to be on the ballot. I am humbled and excited to serve my second year of the two-year term as President of the SOC. As we head into the final stretch of 2015, which has been a busy year, there is more to come… We’re packing our bags and heading to NYC to present the SOC panel, “How’d You Get That Shot?!” at NAB’s New York event on November 12. Following the panel we will be hosting an industry mixer. The lineup of East Coast panelists is impressive, and we are committed to continue to present events outside of Los Angeles. December will hold the highly-anticipated invitation to present to the Producers Guild of America. The half-day workshop entitled, “The Art and Craft of the Operator” will host up to one hundred PGA members, allowing us to present to an audience we’ve not had the chance to prior. Certainly, last but not least, mark your calendars for the SOC’s 2016 Lifetime Achievement Awards on Saturday February 6th at Paramount Studios, where we celebrate the best in our craft. Log on to the Awards site to get all the updates and to purchase your tickets— All SOC events are now posted on the site on the events page. Thank you for the privilege of serving the SOC and our community. Sincerely, Mark August, SOC SOC President


• November 18 eNewsletter sent • November Board of Governors meeting – date TBD


• December Holiday Party – details TBD

• December


• January 22 Winter edition of Camera Operator


• February 6 SOC Lifetime Achievement Awards 2016, Paramount Studios

Calendar SOC.ORG Calendar We are pleased to announce new activities and updated calendar events on the site. Please log onto the home page and click the navigation button, Events. A monthly listing of all SOC events are presented.

Board of Governors meeting – date TBD







漏 2 0 1 5 T W E N T I E T H C E N T U RY F OX


Chapman/Leonard Donation Our sincerest thanks to Chapman/Leonard for their generous donation of $15,000 to the Vision Center at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. The SOC will be presenting the annual donation, with Chapman/Leonard’s contribution, at the 2016 Lifetime Achievement Awards. If your organization would like to contribute, please contact the SOC.

Million Dollar Donation We are excited to announce that Dr. Thomas Lee of the Vision Center at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles used the video created by the SOC for the organization as the cornerstone of a proposal to launch a telemedicine network. They presented the concept to the Petersen Foundation who agreed to fund it with a $1 million donation (as part of a larger gift)! “Everyone here is so excited about this gift, and we are so grateful for all the work you and your crew put into the video to make this a reality,” says Dr. Lee.

SOC Technical Achievement Award The 2016 SOC Technical Achievement Award Committee will be opening up the online submissions form for companies and individuals to submit candidates for the award. If you work with a technology that you feel warrants this award, please direct them to the SOC’s online submission area at Submissions close December 1.

Under Construction: What is it?

News & Notes Producers Guild of America On December 12, 2015 the SOC will be presenting a half-day masterclass in collaboration with the PGA on "The Art and Craft of the Camera Operator."

Save the Date SOC Awards Show The SOC Lifetime Achievement Awards will take place on Saturday, February 6, 2016 at the Paramount Theater.

SOC Event at NAB CCW in New York The SOC will present a panel on Thursday, November 12 from 4:00 – 5:00pm in Room 1A07, Javitz Center. "How'd You Get That Shot!?" Meet the amazing camera operators who have gotten the shots that defy description and bend reality from your favorite feature films and television shows. Members of the Society of Camera Operators will screen clips and discuss how they did it, their onset challenges, and the gear they used to capture such breathtaking footage. Hear the operator's backstories from behind-the-scenes, learn the techniques and tips to sharpen your craft and create better images. For more information visit

Answers on page 64.

Photos by Michael Frediani, SOC


B 8



























9 W W W . WA R N E R B R O S 2 0 1 5 . C O M

by Lisa Stacilauskas, SOC

Establishing Shot in international law, and communications (TV and radio production). It wasn't until my junior year studying abroad in France that I had the epiphany that I wanted a career in filmmaking. To save money for film school, I spent four years working as a stewardess on private yachts. It wasn’t exactly like the TV reality series Below Deck, but I did get to travel the world by sea and put away some money. When I returned home to Michigan to get serious and apply for film school, I discovered that my old employer—the local production company, was planning to make a movie. I desperately wanted to work on it. I asked if could work in the camera department, but the DP owned all his own camera gear and they were shooting on film. I'd never handled film before so he said,"NO WAY." Instead the producers put me in charge of wardrobe and props for the movie. I was disappointed, but I met my (now) husband on the shoot, and worked on my very first feature film so all and all it was a success!

On the set of Thursday's Speaker. Photo by Kori Stanton Growing up in Michigan, I always loved putting on a show. Friends and I would dress up, put on a play, or sing along to my parent’s West Side Story soundtrack while acting out the characters. By junior high, I was studying ballet six days a week and performing with the local civic ballet company. Through college, I performed with dance companies, community theater, and in university plays and musicals. I loved the costumes, makeup, music, lighting, and everything that went into creating a world and telling a story. My penchant for performing led me to spend some time in front of the camera posing for ads, and performing in videos for local advertisers. I enjoyed being on set and became curious about still photography and video production. My dad taught me the basics of photography and eventually bought me a still camera. In high school I interned with a still photographer, video production company, and volunteered as a photographer for my high school yearbook. The production company internship turned into a summer job as a production assistant. I loved being a PA, but at the time I wasn't considering it as a career. My parents had always told me I should be a lawyer, so I figured that’s what I would probably do. I earned a BA degree from the University of Michigan, where I double majored in French, thinking it would benefit my aspirations to work


I attended graduate school for film at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. Most of the students in the film department were putting together commercial reels or short films so there were tons of opportunities to work and learn on set. I always volunteered in the camera or lighting departments, learned from upperclassmen and made plenty of mistakes. After film school I worked as an electrician on a number of low-budget movies including; Secretary, starring Maggie Gyllenhaal and James Spader. At the same time I was shooting short films and spec spots, usually for free, and building my DP reel. The hardest thing about starting out in the "biz" as a camera operator is getting people to trust you and have confidence in your skills. I found that having a DP reel was very beneficial. When applying for a job, without a lot of credits on my resume, I could show my reel of short films and spec commercials as an example of my operating work. It wasn't super impressive, but it showed the person hiring me that I had some experience. I applied for a job as a camera operator for a kids' reality show, however they called and offered me a job as a camera PA. I was broke and my student loans were due, but I declined saying, “Thanks for the offer but I am a camera operator.” Perhaps I was getting a little ahead of myself, but it turned out to be the best job I ever turned down. A few months later they called me in to interview for a camera operator position on a promising new reality show—Big Brother. I worked the first three seasons of that show. The rate was not the best, but it allowed me to pay my bills, develop skills and confidence as a




On the set of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. Photo by Neal Bryant camera operator, and collect enough days to become eligible to join the camera union. Young camera people ask me all the time, "When should I join the Union?" "How will I know when it is the right time?" My advice is the same as the advice that someone once gave me. Start collecting your days and join the union when you start getting calls for union jobs. During graduate school I learned that many now renowned DPs and directors started their careers working for Roger Corman. While working on numerous low-budget movies I realized, "This is my Corman!" Those productions were great learning experiences. I got my first union movie within a few months of joining the guild. A production manager recommended me to the DP, Horacio Marquinez, and we hit it off at the interview. He hired me to operate B camera on Starstruck, a TV movie for the Disney Channel. Soon after, an operator friend got me a job day-playing on the TV show, Community. The shoot that day was going to involve running/crawling around in a huge "blanket fort" filming with a Canon 5D. I got the call because I was familiar with shooting on the 5D, and also, at least


partly, because I was petite—a great attribute when filming in a "blanket fort." However, the production was behind schedule so instead of starting off with a 5D in a blanket fort, the first shot I was given to execute was a complex dolly shot involving a push in and boom down on actor Jim Rash who was on the floor crying and wailing—an intense performance and not a shot you wanted to mess up. I had to start standing on the dolly and end in a crouching position. I was so nervous, the whole time my legs felt like Jell-O. We did a few takes and moved on. It must have come out okay because I continued to day-play on that show for several seasons. While I almost never turn down a job when someone calls, I did make a conscious decision to pursue scripted jobs. I always loved the structure and careful design of narrative work so I tried to concentrate on getting those jobs even when they were less lucrative than non-scripted jobs. I researched what TV shows were on and getting renewed, who was working on them, and where were they shooting. In the digital era, all this information is pretty easy to find. One year I even made a New Year’s resolution to "watch more TV."





Matthew Libatique captures both the subtle glances between troubled collaborators through the glass of the close-quarters recording studio and the sprawling excess and crushed mass CAMERA OPERATOR · FALL 2015 of huge bacchanalian parties and crowded concert scenes.” © 2015 UNIVERSAL STUDIOS

– James Rocchi,


When I started day-playing on Community, I realized how important that experience was to getting more similar work. I turned down nonunion and unscripted jobs in order to leave myself available when they called. This obviously wasn't the most financially sound way of conducting business, but I believe it has helped my career in the long run. Currently, I am operating B camera on the highly anticipated new comedy for the CW, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. It's my third TV show in a row with DP, Charles Papert. All three shows are smart comedies written, produced and starring the talented women who created them. Although it is changing, female camera operators are still a rarity on set. Women from other departments, including the actresses, come up to me often to say, "I've never worked on another show with a female operator," or "It's great to see a woman behind the lens." While the encouragement is appreciated, I've always refused to think of this in terms of male versus female. I concentrate on doing good work, learning, improving and keep moving forward doing what I love to do. I am inspired by the many other woman camera operators who have taken this route before me including; Bonnie Blake, SOC, Elizabeth Ziegler, recipient of the 2001 SOC Lifetime Achievement Award, Georgia Packard, SOC, Vicky Walker and Kristen Glover. One of my career guidelines is to find the people I like to work with and stick with them. I've had the benefit of being a member of the SOC for the past eight years and have discovered that many of my

treasured colleagues are also members. The SOC provides camera operators with a diverse community of professionals who share a common passion. Recently, I've become more involved with the organization as a member of the Board of Governors, taking on the roles of third Vice President and Chairman of the Charity Committee. Last year I produced the SOC's annual video for The Vision Center at Children's Hospital Los Angeles with the help of several dedicated volunteers. It was a big endeavor, but extremely fulfilling for us all. The work we do benefiting The Vision Center makes me especially proud to be a part of the Society of Camera Operators.

Lisa Stacilauskas, SOC Lisa Stacilauskas, SOC has been an active member of the SOC since 2008. She served on the Board of Governors as third Vice President and currently serves as chairman of the Charity Committee which oversees the SOC's charitable activities, especially related to The Vision Center at the Children's Hospital Los Angeles. Lisa is currently working on the new CW comedy, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. Past credits include: Community, Playing House, Teachers, Stalker, Big Brother, Switched, What If?, Thursday's Speaker, The System is Broken, Starstruck, Mystery Woman, and numerous TV Movies.

“As an account of a relatively recent journalistic enterprise, ‘Truth’ is superior in every way. First-rate production values are led by Mandy Walker’s smooth cinematography.” -Todd McCarthy, THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

For your consideration


Truth 14


Introducing Blackmagic URSA Mini, the lightweight Super 35 4.6K digital film camera with 15 stops of dynamic range! Introducing URSA Mini, a handheld Super 35 digital film camera with an incredible 4.6K image sensor, global shutter and a massive 15 stops of dynamic range! The super compact and lightweight design is perfectly balanced, making it comfortable enough for all day shooting. URSA Mini lets you shoot at up to 60fps, features a 5" foldout viewfinder, dual RAW and ProRes recorders, and more!

Incredible 4.6K Sensor URSA Mini can capture images at a resolution and dynamic range that goes well beyond that of traditional motion picture film so you can shoot your own epic, cinematic masterpiece! You can capture images up to 4608 x 2592, which is larger than 4K DCI, with 15 stops of dynamic range so you get incredibly clean pictures with amazing detail in everything from the darkest shadows to the brightest highlights! URSA Mini can record 4.6K at up to 60fps, or 1080 HD at up to 120fps.

Lightweight and Portable URSA Mini’s perfectly balanced body is made out of space aged magnesium alloys so it’s rugged, yet lightweight and comfortable enough to be used all day. You get a super bright 5" fold out touch screen for on-set monitoring, that can also display overlays for timecode, histograms, audio meters, focus peaking and more! URSA Mini features full size, professional connectors, even 12G-SDI, so you don’t need custom cables, plus high quality stereo microphones and a side grip mounted on a standard rosette.

CAMERA OPERATOR · FALL 2015 Electronic Viewfinder, lens and accessories sold separately.

Completely Customizable Blackmagic URSA Mini is completely customizable so you can create a rig that’s built specifically for your production! Add accessories like the Blackmagic URSA Viewfinder and Blackmagic URSA Mini Shoulder Kit, or choose from hundreds of third party accessories. URSA Mini has 9 standard ¼" threaded mounting points on the top and bottom of the camera so you can mount it directly to a tripod as well as add accessories such as rails, matte boxes and more.

Non-Stop Recording You never have to stop recording because URSA Mini features two CFast 2.0 recorders! When one card is full, recording automatically continues onto the next. URSA Mini uses the latest, incredibly fast CFast 2.0 technology for recording speeds up to 350 MB/s. Wide dynamic range images are saved as 12-bit RAW files, which are perfect for high end grading and effects work, or as broadcast quality ProRes, for easy post production workflows with minimum storage requirements!

Blackmagic URSA Mini Models Blackmagic URSA Mini 4K EF Blackmagic URSA Mini 4K PL Blackmagic URSA Mini 4.6K EF Blackmagic URSA Mini 4.6K PL

$2,995 $3,495 $4,995 $5,495

All models include DaVinci Resolve 12 Studio


STEVE JOBS A Total System Reboot by Geoffrey Haley, SOC

Michael Fassbender portrays the pioneering founder of Apple in Steve Jobs. Photo by Fran莽ois Duhamel, courtesy of Universal Pictures



Admit it fellow camera operators–you’ve all been there...7 a.m. Monday morning blocking rehearsal. Actors are ushered onto the stage, dazed and disheveled-looking, as if they had overindulged in their fame and fortune the evening before and accidentally spent the night locked in a supermarket bathroom. With a double caramel macchiato in hand, they stumble through the lines, nose buried in their sides because not a single one of the fourteen words required to navigate through the scene was actually committed to memory before showing up to work today. But then who could really blame them–they’ve only had the pages for four short weeks, and the script is, let’s face it, kind of awful. As the rehearsal continues, the labored dialogue is interrupted only by the director’s periodic sigh, and the occasional forced laugh from the writer, who has just paid his way out of a second marriage and desperately needs the studio to renew his contract for another year. So there you are, an hour later, shooting those same actors, who have been transformed by the hair and make-up department to look strikingly less homeless. And as you track one of them from the door to the kitchen table, a shot you have done hundreds of times before, your thoughts drift off to the color palette of the patio furniture cushions you are recovering, followed by what crafty might be serving for “mid-morning snack.” Yes, we have all had those jobs. And while it’s important to remember how lucky we are to be doing what we do in one of the most privileged industries in the world, after a while, time can give way to boredom, cynicism, even disillusionment.

GETTING THE JOB ON JOBS But every once in a while...that rare job comes along, the one that reminds you why


you got into the business in the first place, and re-affirms the collaborative power of the medium we have devoted our lives to. For me, that re-affirmation came earlier this year when an operator friend recommended me to cinematographer, Alwin Küchler for a film being shot in San Francisco that my friend had to decline, to be closer to the family who had started printing his “missing” photo on milk cartons back in New York. I jumped at the chance to interview for this project–my father is a retired computer science professor and I went to Stanford at the inception of the dot-com boom. With many of my drunk college buddies having matured into the leading tech giants of today, this film’s subject was was near and dear to my heart: I HAD to get on it. A delightful meeting with Alwin Küchler, who seemed willing to take a chance on me, led to a phone call with director, Danny Boyle, who I’d never met before but fell in love with inside of the first five minutes of his impassioned pitch for the new Steve Jobs movie he had just been hired to direct. This Aaron Sorkin script, he told me, was a 180page dose of verbal adrenaline set over three forty-minute real-time events in Jobs’ life.

I’ve been a huge Sorkin fan for decades. To me, everyone in his abstracted universe talks like a coked-up statistics professor. It’s poetic—Shakespearean almost. And the same way no one in Shakespeare’s day was actually walking around spontaneously talking in sonnets and iambic pentameter, so are the rhetorical acrobatics of Sorkin’s dialogue equally unrealistic—but as mesmerizing to me as the sound of whale-song, or a drunk text argument between Alex P. Keaton and Watson, IBM’s super computer. Okay, I may be digressing a bit here.

THE DIRECTOR’S VISION The Jobs script, Boyle went on to explain, was written like a three-act stage play–powerful and emotionally compelling, but inherently un-cinematic. A two-hour chinwag backstage during a computer product launch is not exactly fertile ground for visual storytelling. Danny’s answer to this challenge would be to depict Steve Jobs’ unstoppable gravitational momentum in a literal way by keeping Michael Fassbender constantly on the move, dragging the other characters, and consequently the camera, with him. This was going to mean Steadicam, and lots of it.


Like Birdman, Danny explained almost apologetically, he would be choreographing a series of very long, uninterrupted shots through every inch of the endless network of hallways, lobbies and dressing rooms spanning the footprint of each physical location we were going to be shooting in. Unlike Birdman however, the final product would be cut up very much like a traditional film. Danny’s desire not to break up scenes into smaller chunks was purely to allow actors to maintain emotional continuity through Sorkin’s treacherous landscape. Now, I’m no mathematician, but I immediately understood why Danny’s tone was a bit contrite. If the average scene was around 12 pages long, and we shot an average of five takes per moving master, then five takes of a reverse master, then five takes of two-shots, then five takes of overs and profiles and swinging singles, we’d be shooting dozens of uninterrupted 12 minute takes per scene. And although I had had experience shooting non-stop

Steadicam films for David O’Russell, the scenario Danny proposed seemed more than a little bit terrifying. Of course by the end of the phone call, my fears of physical collapse were overpowered by Danny’s intoxicating personality—a magical mixture of profound empathy, boundless passion and childlike exuberance. If he had been calling me to sell time-share properties, I’d be spending two weeks playing shuffleboard in Fort Lauderdale right now.

THE VALUE OF PREP Part of Danny’s brilliance as a director is empowering those around him with an unfailing confidence, and equipping his collaborators with the necessary tools to do their best work. For me as the operator, that tool (which we are normally never given) was prep time. I had nearly three weeks of prep, for exhaustive location scouts, camera tests, equipment R&D, tone discussions

with Danny as well as with Alwin, cast readthroughs, production meetings and stage walks. As operators, we often arrive on location the day before shooting. But here I was able to weigh in on some key production decisions and prepare for challenging locations with enough time to actually solve issues in advance. And since I had never worked with Danny or Alwin before, the hours of aesthetic discussions during prep allowed me to establish a bit of shorthand with them before shooting began so I could hit the ground running. I credit Danny’s producer, Bernie Bellew, with the foresight to spend a little extra money (on an otherwise constrained budget) for my protracted prep period. I feel like it made a huge difference.

The famous 1984 Macintosh ad was directed by Ridley Scott, director of Alien, The Martian, and Gladiator.

Haley and director Danny Boyle discussing a set-up. Photo by François Duhamel, courtesy of Universal Pictures



LOCATION CHALLENGES Alwin had worked with Danny before, on his haunting space opus, Sunshine. On Jobs, Alwin literally had to pull a rabbit out of his hat, due to limited budget and Danny’s desire to shoot in the venues where Jobs actually launched the products we were depicting in the movie. These locations, mainly the San Francisco Opera House, the Flint Center, and Davies Symphony Hall are not very film production-friendly, and were extremely restrictive due to their full schedule of live performances we had to shoot around. Alwin had to light quarter mile stretches of hallways, lobbies, and dressing rooms with very little pre-rigging, and a shooting schedule of 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m., between opera, ballet, and symphony performances. I frankly have no idea how he did it.



For me, the shoot was the most exhausting and exhilarating time I have spent on TECH ON SET: Arriflex 416 a film set in 21 years of operating a super 16mm , Arricam LT an camera. Due to limited shooting d ST 35mm, an d Arri Alexa X days and a constricted budget, T cameras. Kodak 5219 Vision 3 Fil we consistently shot eight to ten m (35mm a nd 16mm,) C odex Arri R page days, with the cast pushed to aw Media Zeiss Maste r Primes, Zei mental exhaustion and extremely ss High Spee d T 1.3 Prim A n g es, en ie u x Optimo 15 challenging locations. Danny was -40, 28-76 and 2 4-290mm zo true to his word—we shot a lot of om lenses Tiffen Stea d ic a m Ultra-2 Sle Steadicam. Long back-to-back takes d with Klassen back mounte d and Mast racing through the bowels of some of er Series front moun San Francisco’s most beautiful architected vest tural landmarks, it wasn’t unusual to log six miles of carrying my rig in a single day —according to my trusty pedometer. Mercifully, we did incorporate occasional dolly and crane work, allowing just enough time days, and one of the creative decisions made to heal the blisters on my feet before the next during prep was to shoot each of the three acts round of Steadicam began. using different formats; 16mm film for act one, 35mm film for act two, and Arri Alexa We shot the film almost completely in script order, another rare luxury on movies these for act three. Starting the shoot with the Arri


416 cameras enabled me to condition for the grueling marathon takes with a lighter load, a happy accident to be sure. But a lighter camera mounted on a Steadicam also makes for a less stable image. Physics favors more inertial mass when you are trying to keep the camera steady–a sad paradox that all Steadicam operators learn early on. The heavier the camera, the more your body aches, but the better the shot looks. An added annoyance with 16mm is the weight shift that occurs when the film transfers left from one co-axial mag to the other. The camera loses level after maybe 20 seconds of running. Luckily my sled allows me to shift the stage weight remotely from a button on my arm post, so I could maintain a perfectly trimmed horizon without having to “death grip” the gimbal by the end of a nine minute take. As we progressed through the three acts, I noticed my Steadicam work become discernably more

“solid” and less floaty–due mostly to the increasingly heavy cameras I was flying in acts two and three. Initially I was annoyed by the seeming inconsistency of my work, but then I noticed that my own progressively increased camera precision strangely tracked the three-act thematic development of Jobs himself—from a brash, scrappy upstart, to a mature, more stable and unflappable tech giant. It certainly wasn’t an intended camera motif, but maybe it will work on a subconscious level–that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Tape marks were pretty much non-existent. Danny wanted to give the actors as much physical freedom as possible to explore the space as they saw fit. That was especially challenging for Alwin, who creatively lit many of the sets to be photographable 360 degrees while never making the lighting look

flat. His clever use of practical light sources and hidden LED panel accents enabled me to point pretty much wherever I wanted to. One of my biggest challenges, in particularly long sequences with complex blocking, was to remember exactly what I had covered at any given moment in prior takes, because in the next set-up I would need to shoot a different pass of complimentary coverage that would cut well with set-ups I had already shot. Each stand alone ten-minute shot needed to contain intercuttable pieces which could be fit together with other passes like a jigsaw puzzle in the editing room. Focus was a Herculean task for Greg Irwin, the A camera 1st AC, who didn’t have the benefit of camera rehearsals, marks, or deep

DID YOU KNOW? Steve Jobs bought Pixar from George Lucas for $10 million and sold it to Disney for $7.6 billion.

Shooting Michael Fassbender in one of the film’s many dressing room sets. Photo by François Duhamel, courtesy of Universal Pictures



shooting stops. Luckily he’s an amazingly intuitive focus puller, and years of working together have afforded us shorthand that made some of the most challenging work a bit easier. He’s the best in the business–I truly believe that.

WORKING WITH THE DIRECTOR Danny Boyle embodies the very definition of the term “auteur.” A precise, unwavering vision and creative aesthetic is rivaled only by his boundless energy and eternally positive disposition, even in the face of severe production pressures. What truly surprised me, however, was his enthusiasm for creative input from those around him. If a set electrician suggested that Kate Winslet play the next scene wearing clown shoes and a bag-

pipe, Danny would consider the idea, if only for a moment, with an earnestness that few people possess. Danny’s penchant for collaboration and his infinite supply of enthusiasm fueled my own energy reserves when I thought I might collapse from exhaustion on some of the hardest days. The actors, equally, proved to be a source of inspiration for me. Fassbender and Winslet’s emotionally grounded mastery over 180 pages of convoluted rapid-fire locution without so much as a misplaced article or pronoun (Sorkin saw to that!) was a Cirque du Soleil-style high wire act the likes of which I’ve never seen before. Their talent, preparedness, professionalism, and raw passion for the craft routinely challenged me to reach beyond myself–to make my con-

tribution worthy of the artistry displayed in front of the lens. At the risk of sounding too hyperbolic, being around all that talent and creativity made me feel like I was a part of something truly special, and reaffirmed my awareness of what the art of making movies CAN be. It was a personal system reboot I had needed for quite some time. And for that, I am eternally grateful. At the time of this writing, the movie has not yet been released–so I’m not sure how it’s going to turn out. After twenty years in the business, I’ve learned that even the greatest scripts, terrific acting and stellar directing don’t always translate into fantastic films. But Steve Jobs culminated the exhaustive work of some of the most talented, creative and gracious people I’ve ever had the

Apple has become the first U.S. company with a market value above $750 billion, adding to an already long list of achievements for the electronics titan. Left to right: Andy Hertzfeld (Michael Stulbarg), Steve Jobs (Michael Fassbender), and Joanna Hoffman (Kate Winslet) in Steve Jobs. Photo by François Duhamel, courtesy of Universal Pictures



Before co-founding Apple, Steve Jobs worked for Atari.

Courtesy of Universal Pictures

Before co-founding Apple, Steve Jobs worked for Atari. fortune to spend time with. And if karma has anything to say about it, this film will be as fulfilling to watch as it was to shoot. In any event, that operator, the one who passed

Steve Jobs on to me so he could spend time closer to his family—I owe him a very nice steak dinner at a restaurant of his choosing. I’ll even throw in dessert.

The crew lines up a shot underneath the stage of the San Francisco Opera House. Photo by François Duhamel, courtesy of Universal Pictures


Geoffrey Haley, SOC Geoffrey Haley, SOC is a Los Angeles-based, 21-year veteran camera operator whose credits include; American Hustle, The Hangover films, Star Trek 3, Six Feet Under, The Fighter, Fast and Furious 5 and 7, and Trumbo. He’s also available to shoot corporate events, quinceañeras, and your cousin’s bar mitzvah for a piece of cake and some gas money.  Sorry, residents in Georgia, Louisiana, New Mexico, or any other rebate state need not inquire.

Photo by Sarah Levy




The Revenant Shooting In the Elements P. Scott Sakamoto, SOC

Leonardo DiCaprio stars in THE REVENANT, an immersive and visceral cinematic experience capturing one man's epic adventure of survival and the extraordinary power of the human spirit. Copyright 漏 2015 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All rights reserved. Photo by Kimberley French



In the 1820s, a frontiersman, Hugh Glass (played by Leonardo DiCaprio), sets out on a path of vengeance against those who left him for dead after a bear mauling. My journey on The Revenant started in April 2014 when producer, James “Jimmy” Skotchdopple called and asked if I was available to work on “an extraordinary movie.” Jimmy went on to say it was a unique, 1820’s period piece that takes place in the fall and runs through the winter, and Chivo, (Emmanual Lubeski), wanted me on board. There was no doubt I would make myself available.



My first collaborations with Chivo go back to the films A Walk In the Clouds (1994) and Birdcage (1995). Jimmy and Chivo had just finished Birdman with director, Alejandro González Iñárritu, but it had yet to be released. I knew Alejandro’s previous work but we had never met and I was excited to be part of this new project.

intimate, many times at minimal focus distance to feel the terror and emotion of each character. We operated a single camera, a signature of Alejandro’s, and no traditional camera dolly was part of our package. Not since film school had I been on a movie without a dolly so I knew it was going to be a very physically demanding experience.


The story features Leonardo DiCaprio as Hugh Glass, a respected guide and fur trapper who leads a group of trappers, which includes Tom Hardy, into Indian Territory to bring home their annual pelts. It’s the American frontier, and conditions are rough. The harsh weather the trappers experienced in the story was part of our journey as well, as we filmed most of the scenes in the Canadian wilderness.

Chivo and Alejandro stressed to me the style of this movie would be similar to Birdman where each scene is carefully rehearsed and choreographed to convey the story with minimal cuts. The camera would be very

Development of The Revenant (2015) began in August 2001, with producer Akiva Goldsman acquiring the rights to Michael Punke's unpublished manuscript for The Revenant. Dave Rabe had written the film's script.

HARSH, REALISTIC ENVIRONMENTS We began rehearsing and testing early September in Calgary amidst a major snow-

storm and at the start of an early winter. The first day rehearsal involved wearing neoprene waders and boots, working in a river current of knee deep icy water with snow falling. This opening scene included Glass, his son Hawk, and Bridger, a trapper, slowly walking through the water as they spot an elk in the distance. With a single shot Glass takes the elk down. Within minutes an Indian party descends on the camp. This scene involved about 200 actors as Indians and fur trappers, dozens of horses, bows and arrows, and musket rifles. All was carefully rehearsed and choreographed so we, the audience, experience the battle in real time.

WIDE LENSES TO CAPTURE REALISM The Revenant embraced a different visual language from what I was used to. We used wide lenses—from a 12mm to a 21mm, including the equivalent field of view in 65mm. Movement is exaggerated in a wide lens so camera

At the fort with trappers Leonardo Di Caprio and Domhnall Gleeson. Photo by Kimberly French



moves were slow, graceful, and exact. These slow deliberate moves would go from an extreme close-up to a perfectly composed wide, beautiful vista, and back to a close-up. The characters in the movie are so emotionally driven that the camera needed to be an emotional extension of them. Shooting with the wide lenses shows an interesting perspective and makes you feel you’re part of the character. You have their panoramic POV. We’re used to seeing a lot of close-ups and extreme close-ups, but in reality the view a person has is this wide POV. The scope of the scene and the land it encompassed defines the 240:1 aspect that The Revenant utilized.

SHOOTING IN STORY ORDER The movie was shot in story order, and part of Alejandro’s directing style is to maintain a natural story rhythm. This allowed the characters to age and physically change as the story progressed. No detail was over-

looked, including the optimal time for natural light to shoot the scene. Our emphasis on shooting at the right time of day meant the window of opportunity was small and you had to execute under pressure. Our ability to do retakes was severely limited and the pressure was on all departments to perform at exact times. It was a scary but exhilarating feeling knowing you have limited time to shoot such an extraordinary scene with so many moving parts.


Camera equ ipment used : Alexa XT, A lexa M, Ale xa 65mm Panavision 6 5mm Lenses: Zeiss Maste r Primes 12, 14, 16, 18m m Leica Prime 16mm Arri 65mm P rimes 28mm , 24mm

WEATHER AS A STORY ELEMENT Weather is a big story element in The Revenant and we worked in a variety of challenging conditions. We had a couple of early snowstorms in September while in Calgary. Then, in October, we moved to Squamish, British Columbia to shoot during the rainiest months of the year. For those three weeks in BC, we worked in cold rain, on rivers with boats and rafts, and were constantly

challenged to keep gear in tune. When we returned to Calgary at the end of November, we were in major snow with single digit temperatures and dropping lower, testing our mental and physical beings. The key topic of the day was asking each other how many layers he/she is wearing and where did you get those boots? By early 2015,

“Chivo” Emmanuel Lubezki and Scott in the rain forest of Squamish, British Columbia. Photo by Kimberly French



temperatures had warmed up and snow was melting fast so we had to search for an alternate location to film our final winter scene. Alejandro had envisioned for the last battle a river set amidst snow packed high cliffs. Location scouts were sent to various points in the Southern Hemisphere and we settled on Tierra del Fuego, at the southern tip of South America. We were there two weeks and brought most of the crew in but supplemented with Argentine locals. It’s truly a majestic location at the end of the world.

THE CAMERAS AND EQUIPMENT Our original plan was to shoot the exterior day shots in film using anamorphic lenses – 35mm and 65mm – combined with the Alexa digital camera for the low light work. As

we progressed, the Alexa ST, Alexa M and the Alexa 65mm turned out to be the preferred choices along with the Zeiss Master Primes and the 16mm Leica. By December, we had abandoned film completely. The digital cameras provided us with the images we liked and handled the harsh weather conditions as well. The primary equipment we employed on The Revenant was the telescoping cranes, a Steadicam and a hand-held camera. We put the Alexa M in backpacks for handheld work. The Revenant is a one camera perspective shot in three modes of operation (handheld, steadicam, or crane) which created its seamless rhythm and language. The ability to move the camera around gave Alejandro a lot of freedom to do single cho-

reographed moves to capture the scene’s action. It became our stylistic signature.

OUR CREW We rehearsed with all departments to achieve these shots. Ryan Monro, a fantastic dolly grip, worked magic on the front end of the Techno crane. Ray Garcia, the key grip, was instrumental in getting the Techno crane into the most difficult places. Many of our locations were not near roads and gear had to be hiked in or transported on sleds and snowmobiles. In one instance he relied on multiple zip lines to maneuver the Techno crane through dense trees and across a ravine to a rocky mountain slope. Ray also coordinated the use of the Biscuit rig and Edge arm.

Scott with Ryan Monro (dolly grip) executing a shot in the wolf sequence. Photo by Kimberly French



MY FAVORITE SHOT One of my favorite shots on the movie was a shot of Glass, discovering that one of his key guys has been shot and killed. He discovers the murder and hears a thunderous roar in the mountains behind him. Glass turns his head and looks up to see an avalanche of snow cascade down the mountain. This visual is stunning on screen and does not employ any CGI. The success of this shot required the camera and Leo to react at the exact moment an avalanche was triggered via dynamite that was dropped from a helicopter. It’s a very emotional moment for Leo and a very technical filmmaking moment that had to be timed perfectly. There is a delay from the dropping of the dynamite until you hear the sound and the avalanche triggering. Scott

Robinson, our 1st AD, had to cue Leo perfectly, and I had to be aware of Leo’s actions and timing. This was an amazing shot – but very nerve-wracking, as we only had the one chance to get it right. The result was a perfect blending of everyone. It’s a really great cinematic moment where the acting and technical aspects of filmmaking come together.

CHALLENGES AND COLLABORATION Alejandro and Chivo have worked together so closely for so long that they were constantly presenting ideas to each other. Chivo brings a passion and a drive to his work that is exciting to me as an operator, and I quickly became addicted to this style of filmmaking. Alejandro, driven by his heart and emotions, has a vivid imagination that he articulates to his

crew, and dares us to achieve more than we thought possible. I have tremendous respect for both of their talents and how they challenged my skills. Collaborating with Chivo and Alejandro has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my career.

Leonardo DiCaprio was originally approached to star in Steve Jobs (2015), but dropped out to do this film instead.

Renowned filmmaker Alejandro González Iñárritu (Birdman, Babel) directs Leonardo DiCaprio on the set of THE REVENANT. Copyright © 2015 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All rights reserved. Photo by Kimberley French



P. Scott Sakamoto, SOC P. Scott Sakamoto, SOC has been operating A camera and Steadicam since 1992. He established a relationship with Haskell Wexler early in his career and counts him as his mentor and inspiration. He has worked with Conrad Hall, Caleb Deschanel, Tak Fujimoto, Robert Elswit, Tom Segal and Wally Pfister amongst others. His credits include; Road to Perdition, The Patriot, Michael Clayton, Dark Night Rises, and Moneyball. Photo by Karen Ballard

Shot chronologically on a 80-days schedule that takes place over a total principal photography time period of 9 months. This unusually long production time is due to the cold weather conditions, the remoteness of the locations and director Alejandro González Iñárritu's and cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki's aesthetic plan to shoot only with natural light for maximum realism. Only a few shooting hours are available every day and have to be carefully planned in advance.

Tom Hardy hunts for the person he had left for dead, in THE REVENANT. Copyright © 2015 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All rights reserved. Photo by Kimberley French





Operating the Virtual Camera Behind the Animated Feature Film Inside Out Adam Habib, Associate Member of SOC

Courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures



Imagine having any size Technocrane you want, every day of the shoot. Imagine being able to design shots over and over without frustrating a waiting director, actors, and crew. What if you could position the camera for that perfect angle—without taking a bulldozer to the set? And finally what if you could instantly see how the shot you’re framing up works in the edit, and have the ability to change your mind days or weeks later? In many ways, that’s the reality of cinematography for animated films. In the middle of the control console, the top three buttons form Mickey Mouse, otherwise known as a hidden Mickey. Despite this creative freedom, however, we still face many of the challenges of live-action camera operators—with a few extra duties for good measure. Let me take you through some of the challenges we faced while making Inside Out. From inside the human mind, to memories, imaginary friends, and everything in between, it was a show that pushed our creative boundaries to the limit. First, a little background...

FROM LIVE ACTION TO PIXAR Back in 2009, I was a graduate student in the University of Southern California’s film production program, fully intent on working in live-action production. Then I saw Ratatouille, which showed me that not only was there such a thing as cinematography in animation, but that people were doing it at an incredibly high level. Not long after that, I was staring at an email that said recruiters from Pixar were visiting the campus, and they wanted to meet live-action cinematography students. Although I had no experience with animation or computer graphics, I got an interview. The DPs responded to my reel and felt they could train me to work with the CG tools. It took a few months for the timing to work out, but I soon packed


up my stuff and headed for Pixar HQ in Emeryville, California. Inside Out was my third feature at Pixar, after working on Monsters University and Cars 2.

THE CAMERA AND STAGING PROCESS Cinematography, as we know it in live-action, is split into two separate departments at Pixar: “Camera and Staging” (also called by its name in traditional hand-drawn animation, “Layout”), and “Lighting.” The Camera and Staging Department is responsible for blocking out the action, designing the composition and movement for each shot, as well as the overall coverage for each scene. Lighting is supervised by a different DP, and happens after the animation is complete. Instead of “Lights, Camera, Action!” think “Camera (Layout), Action (Animation), Lights (Lighting)!” We often collaborate with our colleagues in Lighting while planning the look of a movie, and they provide very basic lights while we are setting up cameras, but once production is in full swing the departments usually operate independently. A typical camera and staging team might be anywhere from 8 to 15 people, with a DP,

a lead, and a team of artists. The movie is essentially divvied up between the artists on the team. Generally one or two artists will “shoot” an entire scene, and they work with the DP to solve staging problems and explore creative shots for their scene. We also work hard to make the film feel consistent. For example, even though the software supports an arbitrary focal length for each shot, we restrict ourselves to a “package” of five or six lenses, which helps build consistency and also forces you to think about where you’re placing the camera. Similarly, the virtual camera can move in almost any way you can imagine, but we rely on a rig that is modeled after a live-action camera on a dolly or Technocrane, and we try to plan camera moves in a way that makes physical sense and gives weight to the camera. For example, when planning a fast-moving wide shot, I might limit myself to how fast a real helicopter can travel, or the reach of the longest telescoping crane. Although the characters and environments we’re shooting are often fantastical, the camera is our link to reality and believability. If the audience is distracted by the camera physics, the stakes of the story and the characters are diminished.


Naturally, the choreography of the camera is strongly tied to the movement of the characters and subjects, so we usually block first (really our process should be called “Staging and Camera” rather than "Camera and Staging"). Our department receives a “story reel,” which is a storyboard version of the movie, complete with dialogue and a temporary soundtrack that we use as a jumping off point for each scene. While blocking, you’re thinking through the scene just like an actor. If I were this little character, where would I be? What would I do? This process actually takes up most of your time, as each character has thousands more controls than the camera, and there are sometimes dozens or even hundreds of characters in a single shot.

CAMERA PLANNING Starting a new project also often involves some fresh composition challenges. Most people can agree on what a medium shot of a human looks like, but what’s a medium shot

of a talking car? Or fish? What’s a wide shot of your subconscious mind? There are fewer conventions for how we compose our shots, so each film often goes through some trial and error for what works. That pre-production planning period is one of the most enjoyable parts of the process. For Inside Out, Patrick Lin (Camera DP and a veteran of Up and The Incredibles) felt that there should be two distinct camera styles for each of the worlds in the film, the “inside world,” which takes place inside the mind of a 12-year-old girl named Riley, and the “outside world,” which is the stylized version of San Francisco where Riley lives. Patrick and I watched lots of films for inspiration, and (although the subject matter couldn’t be more different) Blue Valentine ended up being a frequent reference, with its two very distinct camera styles. Being able to show our director, Pete Docter, the way that film intercut so well helped him feel confident our plan would work.


Pixar Animat ion Softwar e: Presto Camera Cap ture: Vicon M otion Syste beeb box (c ms, ustom enco ding hand w h ee ls) Rendering: Renderman Cineroid EV F SmallHD DP 7 Paralinx Arr ow for wirel ess monitoring on capture st a ge Camera test s shot on Ale xa

TWO CAMERA STYLES The “inside world” had a more perfect, traditional animated camera style which referenced the straight and simple dolly moves of 1930’s studio films. An example of this is the elaborately choreographed shot where

Our camera ‘rigs' were often primitive but what mattered was the end look. Here Adam Habib records a take in the mocap stage. Photo by Patrick Lin



Society of Camera Operators Lifetime Achievment Awards Saturday, February 6, 2016 | Paramount Theater at Paramount Studios, Hollywood

Join the Society of Camera Operators on Saturday, February 6, 2016 in celebrating the Honorees, Nominees, and Winners at the 2016 SOC Lifetime Achievement Awards, benefiting The Vision Center at the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

Purchase tickets online now •



Joy assigns each of her fellow emotions a task for the first day at a new school. Although the characters move along elaborate paths, the camera travels on two straight tracks, much like a heavy blimped camera might on a classic MGM musical. As a counter point, the “outside world” camera is more imperfect and realistic, with more barrel distortion (which we based on tests of real lenses on an Alexa), focus breathing, and use of motion capture. All camera motion capture was done after animation, so the operator could react to the actual character animation, and also to avoid wasted effort on shots that weren’t destined for the final cut. We did the volume-based motion capture on our own stage using a Vicon system. The style of the motion capture camera evolves over the course of the film, and we came up with some primitive but effective ways of getting the look we were after. For the first act, when Riley’s world is still happy and grounded, we discovered that by putting the camera tracker on the

end of a handheld monopod and then recording the shot at a higher speed (1.5x), it actually created a really nice, subtle Steadicam-like sway when you played it back at 24fps (with apologies to all the operators who keep a perfect horizon!). With our tools, it’s easy to make things look perfect—the challenge is actually in making things feel handcrafted and physical. For the second act, when Riley’s world is starting to unravel, Patrick wanted a style of camera movement that wasn’t quite Steadicam and wasn’t fully handheld either. I had always appreciated the variety of styles you could get out of a gear head, so I developed a set of encoding hand wheels that we could customize and connect to our animation system via USB. This tool, dubbed the “Beeb Box,” allows us to operate the camera just like a gear head or remote head. Since the box plugs into any workstation, we could keep up with rapidly evolving shots from animation, and drop in new cameras without having to schedule stage time.

According to director Pete Docter, each emotion is based on a shape: Joy is based on a star, Sadness is a teardrop, Anger is a fire brick, Fear is a raw nerve, and Disgust is broccoli. He noted that he likes broccoli very much, however.

Finally, in the third act, the camera becomes fully handheld as Riley’s world falls apart. It was important for me that the camera tracker have weight and balance on my shoulder, as opposed to an iPad or some other tools that might be great for sketching out ideas, but don’t move like cameras the audience is used to. To suddenly have full on, raw handheld in our stylized world could be really jarring. Sandra Karpman, our camera polish artist, would take the raw motion capture data and do amazing work massaging it into something that would still fit with the keyframe animation the animators were doing. Once we had the first pass of a sequence in Layout, we would deliver the shots to Editorial. We actually installed a layout workstation into the already cramped edit suite, and the payoff was tremendous. Instead of typing up notes that then had to be communicated back to artists, we were able to address some notes in the room, deliver the new shot back to the editor, and see it in the cut immediately. This eliminated some of the layout and editorial “churn.”

Courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures



Garrett Brown stopped by the stage, and later was kind enough to send us the Steadicam model that Patrick Lin is operating. Photo by Adam Habib

COLLABORATION IS KING Those of us operating the virtual camera feel as live action operators do—this is the best job on the set. In the morning you might explore shots around a beautiful winter lake on the mocap stage, and then after lunch do a “location scout” inside the human mind, all while collaborating with a remarkably talented and giving group of artists. It’s common to hear collaboration and filmmaking in the same sentence, but for me, Pixar was the place where I learned the real meaning of the word. An idea about how to combine shots or restage something starts to evolve the moment you share it with the rest of the crew. It might not be your precious idea on the screen, but that final shot wouldn’t look the same without your taste and input going into it. Loving your work and then letting it go, knowing that the movie will be better for it, that is the one constant of the process at Pixar.


The camera is often a bit shaky when Riley is upset about something. Psychologists and other experts were consulted so the writers could make the way Riley’s mind works scientifically accurate. For example, it is believed that short-term memories made during the day are converted into long-term memories during sleep, which is what happens in Riley’s mind. - All trivia courtesy of IMDB Adam Habib, Associate Member of SOC Adam Habib started in live-action, studying cinematography at the University of Southern California. He joined Pixar Animation Studios in 2010, and has been practicing his passion for cinematography in the CG world ever since on animated features such as Inside Out, Monsters University, and Cars 2. Adam also shoots live action projects whenever he can, and enjoys teaching and working with students. He’s currently the lead camera and staging artist on a 2017 Pixar feature. Photo by Sara Sampson


The Martian Adventures in Space with Camera Operators L谩szl贸 Bille, Graham Hall, and Daniele Massaccesi

The film was shot in Wadi Rum, Jordan. 38


A fierce storm hits Mars forcing the astronauts based there to depart in a hurry. They blast off and leave behind Mark Watney (Matt Damon), who they presumed dead. With a minimal amount of supplies, the stranded Watney must use his ingenuity, wit and spirit to survive and somehow alert Earth he’s still alive. Millions of miles away, members of NASA and a team of international scientists work tirelessly to bring him home, while his crew mates have their own plan for a daring rescue mission.

CAMERA OPERATOR · FALL 39 Left 2015 to right: Camera operator, Bille László, standing on the dolly, Márk Oláh, 2nd AC, and Imre Sisa, dolly-grip. Photo credit Giles Keyte

Camera Operator reached out to three of the international camera operators who worked on the film to get their insights and experiences shooting The Martian:

who have experience in the camera and grip department, and we were especially interested in hiring operators and production crew with whom I have worked with in the past.


I have worked with our Director of Photography, Dariusz Wolski since I first met him while working on Prometheus, our very first 3D shoot. Darius came onboard because of his knowledge of working with 3D. Ridley was very keen to give it a go and it was interesting to see how Ridley would react to this totally different way of shooting. To my surprise, he fell in love with the whole 3D concept and we have been shooting with it ever since. 

CO: How did you come to work on The Martian? Graham Hall: When The Martian was greenlt for production it was already set in stone that I would be Director, Ridley Scott’s operator. He and I have been working together for a long time since I first worked with him on commercials. I have come through the grades with him and have been part of his team for many years. It was decided that we were going to shoot in Hungary for production reasons and the tax credits. We had to hire local crew like camera operators, László Bille and Daniele Massaccesi

I have been part of the whole team ever since I worked as a 2nd AC on many commercials, and then over the years I’ve moved on to become Ridley’s main operator. We have a good relationship and he has been very loyal

to me over the years. I find it very easy to work with Ridley and he allows me to express my thoughts and he takes my suggestions into consideration, which is always a big plus as an operator. CO: Can you comment on production? We have been using the 3ality rigs to shoot 3D and I have to say that they have improved so much since we first started using them. We have the freedom to work in the way that Ridley normally works and we have put the equipment through hell and back and yet the rig keeps coming back for more. We shot The Martian over three months in various locations around Hungary and other locations.  We shot in Korda Studios, a new film studio complex 26 km west of Budapest. They have a very good set up, and I think Ridley was very impressed with the whole set up.

Camera operator, Daniele Massaccesi, with the massive 3D rig. Photo by Giles Keyte





CO: How was it working with Matt Damon and other actors? Matt is in my eyes very professional and understands what everybody’s job is on the set. The rest of the actors understand but I feel they don’t connect the same way as Matt does. CO: Can you explain what jobs Laszlo and Daniele performed? My fellow operators had a big part of the whole show, we have to try and work together to get what Ridley wants and often second-guess what he is trying to put up on the screen. Danny and myself have worked together on other shows so we know and feel where he wants to go. CO: How is it working with Ridley Scott? The whole setup on a Ridley Scott film is a very special feeling and you don’t get that experience on too many films.

DANIELE MASSACCESI CO: How did you come to work on The Martian? Daniele Massaccesi: When The Martian was in pre-production I got a call from the DP, Dariusz Wolski about Ridley’s project. I have been working with Ridley Scott for over 16 years on many different projects; eight movies now since Hannibal, Black Hawk Down, and Exodus. Working with the combination of the two, Ridley and Dariusz, is such a great experience that working became such a pleasure. CO: Can you describe a working day? Working days aren’t easy since the last few projects like Prometheus were in 3D, which Ridley loves, but it is a thrilling experience. I am also a Steadicam operator and the 3D rig it is still quite challenging. The normal

rigs are still quite big but they have improved since we did Prometheus. They are still heavy, but a lot more reliable. Gareth Daley, our stereographer did such a great job making our life easier. Unfortunately, as I said, the Steadicam rig has improved on the technical side but it is still quite a heavy “beast,” with no offense; but both Ridley and Dariusz understand that. CO: How was it working with your camera operator team? I’ve worked with Graham Hall before on many other projects such as; X-men, First Class, and Jupiter Ascending. We’ve known each other for a long time, and he joined Ridley’s team as an operator on Prometheus. László Bille was hired because he was local, but he did a very good job being part of the team. Ridley loves to use multiple cameras and it is not always easy to fit in and everybody has to work as a team to make things

The suits in the film use a very complex and actual functioning lighting system.

Camera operator, Graham Hall, on set with Matt Damon and crew. Photo by Giles Keyte



work, so sometimes it can get a bit more complicated. The nature of The Martian was a bit different, there were some scenes where the main actor, Matt Damon, was recording a video journal so we used some witness cameras for that. There was not much operating on those sequences but they still required a lot of work trying to help the CGI department and make their life a bit easier. I’ve worked with Matt Damon before on the Talented Mr. Ripley which was directed by Anthony Minghella. Matt is a very good actor and such a great man, and he made the all crew relaxed and happy. The Martian has been such a nice experience for all the crew which was made up of an international combination of English, Italian, and Hungarians working together as a team and as a big family, especially the camera boys. Working with 3D can be quite

challenging but Alberto Torrecilla, my focus puller and Kenny Groom, Graham’s focus puller did very good job keeping everything up and running considering all the conditions we went through. We were lucky that we didn’t have to work in space for real, even though that would had made the 3D rig a lot lighter! But anyway, if NASA wants a camera operator on any of their spaceships, I’m available. Before starting the movie l did some research looking at videos and trying to understand how NASA did all their jobs. To make things look real in a movie requires a lot of work in studying what is reality, and then trying to make it look as realistic and similar in the movie as you can.

LÁSZLÓ BILLE CO: How did you come to work on The Martian?

László Bille: The Martian was mainly shot in Hungary and due to a production agreement there had to be a Hungarian camera crew hired, including an operator as part of the entire international crew. I was not available when the interviews occurred but luckily I worked on Vikings, Season 3 and our lead 1st AD, Raymond Kirk (who was the 1st on The Martian), introduced me to the Director of Photography, Dariusz Wolski. We had a frank Skype conversation and he offered me the job. After a couple of days of shooting we established a good relationship and became close collaborators. Most of the time we had to follow Ridley Scott’s instructions to achieve what he wanted. But our ideas were also welcomed so we had some input as well. Although this was the first time for me working with Ridley and Dariusz, our teamwork was accepted and acknowledged by them. The Hungarian crew was fantastic: Tamás Jánossa 1st AC, Zoltán Jánossa 2nd

Filmmakers wanting to portray NASA in a film must obtain permission to do so. NASA must also be shown that the filmmakers are taking the subject matter seriously and are representing the truth. 50 pages of the script is NASA material.

Courtesy Twentieth Century Fox



AC, Péter Faludi, central loader, and the operator’s important support, the dolly grip Imre Sisa. All in all, the entire shoot was a great experience.

For me the main challenge was using the 3D rigs in small spaces, especially when making extreme low or high angle shots, which were preferred by Ridley quite often.

CO: Is there a certain stylistic signature for the film?

CO: What equipment did you use?

The Martian looks like a proper, action rich, sci-fi movie, though the story is non-conventional with good sarcastic humor. I think the cinematography style reflects the sci-fi aspect of it. We had some great practical sets and some huge green-screen sets for the VFX set extensions, and zero gravity wirework on stages in Hungary. We also had some Mars exterior shots in Wadi Rum Desert In Jordan. As we had so much extraordinary scenery to photograph the camera work was mainly conventional. CO: Did you have any specific production techniques or challenges that you can share?

The Martian was shot in real 3D using 3ality rigs with Red Dragon cameras and Optimo lightweight zoom lenses. We had two wide rigs with 15-40mm Optimo zooms and two longer rigs, one with a 28-76mm Optimo and one with a 19-90mm Fujinon zoom. There was a smaller and lighter rig used with primes for hand-held and Steadicam shots. We also used a single camera for 2D capture with extreme wide-angle lenses and in small spaces to handhold it. Beside all of these, there were many GoPro cameras hidden and some were not even hidden on set as part of the directorial and cinematic concept.The main footage on the Reds is at 5K resolution

and the GoPros between 4K and HD, depending on the requested field of view. CO: Any other comments and what is next for you? For me The Martian was an unbelievable experience. First of all, working with a living legend director is an honor and privilege. Chosen and acknowledged by Dariusz Wolski also made me feel very good. On the other hand this was a totally new experience working with 3D equipment. An amazing opportunity to learn. I’m working on Vikings, Season 4 in Ireland. This time it is going to be a long shooting period because we have to deliver 16 episodes this year. So, it is quite a long engagement. Otherwise I never know my future, I’m just floating with the stream. Somehow I have always been navigated to some great challenges such as The Martian.

Camera operator, Graham Hall, in action. Photo by Peter Mountain



Emotional images for modern cameras

T2.0 CW Sonderoptic GmbH Wetzlar, Germany | Los Angeles, USA CAMERA OPERATOR 路 FALL 2015 45

Camera Operators:

László Bille, Graham Hall, and Daniele Massaccesi László Bille

chance to work on some very big projects with the likes of John Toll and Dean Semler, working on films such as; Nottingham, Troy, the Bond films, Clash of the Titans, and Prometheus. Hall is currently working on a big Netflix project with five different directors, which is quite a challenge for an operator as they all have different outlooks on the way they want to compose the frame. Daniele Massaccesi

Photo by Gyles Keyte László Bille, camera operator, studied filmmaking at the Technical School of MAFILM (Hungarian State Film) then spent twelve years as 1st AC on feature films and documentary cameraman. He got his start working as a camera operator on commercials and then with DP Vilmos Zigmond on a feature film Bánk Bán. Since then Bille has worked around the world on such notable productions as; Anti Social, Hercules, Da Vinci’s Demons, The Raven, Birdsong, Hellboy 2: The Golden Army, Underworld, and Robin Hood.                      Graham Hall

Photo by Phil Bray Graham Hall began his career working in a camera rental house back in the early ‘70s. He then went freelance and worked through the grades until he got the chance to operate. He started working as a camera operator shooting TV dramas, and has since then had the


Left to right: Daniele Massaccesi, Director, Woody Allen, DP, Darius Khondji, and 1st AD, Alberto Mangianten. Photo by Fabio Mazzarella Daniele Massaccesi started working as a camera operator in 1991 with Italian Director Francesco Nuti, then he also became a Steadicam operator since he thought it was important to keep up on the various ways to frame a movie. Since then he started working with many international directors such as Anthony Minghella on films such as; The English Patient, Talented Mr. Ripley, Cold Mountain, with the Wachowski’s on Speed racer, Cloud Atlas, Jupiter Ascending, Sense 8, with Steven Spielberg on Munich, Ron Howard on Inferno, and he has had a long relationship with Ridley Scott working on the films; Hannibal, Black Hawk Down, Kingdom of Heaven, Body of Lies, Prometheus, The Counselor, Exodus, and The Martian. Daniele also has had the honor of working with many different DP’s such as; Laszlo Koltay, Januz Kaminsky, Salvatore Totino, Dariousz Wolski, John Mathison, John Seale, and John Toll. He still lives in Rome where he can be inspire from all the arts and beauty of the city.

The writer of the The Martian novel, Andy Weir, first published his book for free on his own website as a blog for fun. Then people asked him to put it in a downloadable form, then fans asked him to put it on Amazon for Kindle download which he did at the then minimum price of $0.99. SOCIETY OF CAMERA OPERATORS · SOC.ORG

Your 4K Toolbox FiDO-4T


Extend Your 4K Reach

AJA’s FiDO line of SDI to fiber optic transmitters and receivers are the ideal way to move signals over long distances without the need for repeaters or distribution amplifiers. The latest addition to the FiDO lineup takes this concept to the next logical step with the ability to handle up to four individual SDI signals in one lightweight, compact device. This is especially useful in 4K applications where four 3G-SDI connections are needed to carry 4K images. FiDO-4 can extend these signals up to 10km utilizing locking ST fiber connectors to prevent accidental disconnects.


4K to HD Down-conversion


Keep your 4K images looking great, even in HD.


Easily integrate 4K/UHD signals into HD workflows using AJA’s high-quality down-conversion technology. The 4K2HD Mini-Converter provides both SDI and HDMI outputs for local monitoring and facility-wide routing.

Find out more at· FALL CAMERA OPERATOR 2015

Convert 4K between SDI and HDMI Integrate 4K HDMI and SDI workflows.

Integrate 4K HDMI and 4K SDI workflows easily with Hi5-4K and HA5-4K. With support for High Frame Rates up to 60fps, you can seamlessly combine professional SDI 4K signals with more affordable 4K HDMI equipment for whatever your workflow requires.


Safety On Set – An Operators’ Responsibility Dave Chameides, SOC

Smooth Operator my survival to incredible wits and intelligence, I know the reality is I’m still here in large part due to the veterans I've worked with. If I got too eager, too out of touch, or just too in the moment, they were always there to smack me back into reality and bring me down to earth.

I’m at the point in my career where I recognize that I have become one of those veterans and that part of my job now entails keeping my eyes out for those around me. Crews are getting younger and jobs in many cities are increasingly tougher to find. In some markets work is so plentiful that they are literally pulling people off the street and we’ve all worked with new members who aren’t up to speed yet. So on Waiting for first team on St. Vincent, photo by Sean Moe any given show it’s possible that a large number of our co-workers may not know enough to speak up about a safety concern or, more than likely, When I was younger I wasn’t very interested in safety. After all I was 20 they may not want to speak up due to a fear of retribution. That’s something years old, a young (hopefully) up-and-coming Steadicam where I believe we come in. operator, and I was invincible. We were all that way at some point, right? So we stepped a little closer to the edge or a few inches towards that fire gag in order to get “the shot” – that one moment of cinematic genius that was going to put us on the map and make our careers. We operators are accustomed to making our concerns heard on set. While generally these involve the shot we are trying to execute—lights in the frame, flares in the lens, something that doesn’t look quite right I can remember a point early in my career when I was shooting a film —part of our job is to be vocal. It’s understood that we have a direct that should have been called No One Will Ever See This Movie, Part line of communication to the AD, the director, the DP, the key grip II. The DP and the pyro guy came over and placed my camera for an and beyond and we are charged with engaging these individuals on a explosion that involved an old pickup truck. While I was psyched to daily basis. Many on the call sheet may not feel at ease speaking up, and operate the shot, my AC on the day, a 20 plus year veteran, told them as such, I believe that it is our responsibility to speak on their behalf. we wouldn’t do it because it wasn’t safe. It ended up as a lockoff and a piece of the truck fell inches from our matte box. I can’t say that I would I don’t mean to say that safety is solely an operators’ job because no have been hurt had this gentleman not been watching out for our safety one person on the crew can ensure that everyone is safe (that would be that day, but I can’t say I would have come away unscathed either. the job of a safety they have in we should



THE ROLE OF VETERANS Thankfully, I’ve not only matured a little bit since then (my wife might disagree), but I’ve also learned a few things after doing, and not doing, some really stupid stuff. And while I’d like to say I owe


have here!). The safety of the crew falls squarely on the shoulders of every crew member, and while there are certain departments that are more involved in the process, keeping our eyes and ears open and looking out for each other is everyone’s job. But if the people who see issues are afraid to speak up than that system doesn’t work.


Make a Statement If you’re in the business of broadcast communications, you’re in the business of change.

About who you are. Where you’re going. What you simply cannot live without.

You can’t lead from behind the cutting edge.

Because here, at the very epicenter of media and entertainment, the entire industry is not only listening; it’s prepared to respond—

—with hands-on, up-close, in-the-know access you won’t find anywhere else.



Greetings all, In the last year or so I have taken to contacting crews I am going to be working with and putting something out there before we start the first day. I recognize that many of you have lots of years in the biz under your belts, some more than I, and as such will speak up when you see something unsafe. Having said that, we all know that days are getting longer, budgets smaller, shooting schedules shorter, and we are often asked to work much faster than we’d like to. Sadly, when this happens, safety is one of the first things that ends up getting thrown out the door. I feel it’s a large part of my job description to speak up if I, or anyone else around m,e feels that we are being put in harms way. If you have an issue that for whatever reason you don’t feel comfortable bringing up, please come to me and you have my word that I will bring it up, leaving your name out of it should you desire. I’ve been blessed to have been making a living this way for 25 years and want to keep that streak going, so your safety is my safety and anything I can do towards that end, I will. But that’s not to say that I somehow see everything. I’ll keep my eye out for all of you the best I can, and ask that in return, you keep an eye on me as well. We are all only as strong as our weakest link and anyone can get caught up in a situation without realizing what is happening. So please let me know if I’m entering into something that hasn’t been well thought Back in the day on ER. Photo by Terence Nightingal

out and I’ll do the same for you. I haven’t seen a script yet (is there one?) but my guess is we won’t be on any train tracks or in the midst of any military bombing runs. What I


can guarantee you though is that everyday we will be working hard and

As members of a prestigious craft and an honored institution such as the SOC, I’d like to suggest that each and every one of us pledge to become the mouthpiece for safety on set. We are often in the thick of it, we are well-trained professionals and veterans in the industry, and most importantly, we are charged with speaking up when we see a problem. If it is expected that we make our voices heard when there is a C-stand or a flag in the frame, shouldn’t we be expected to do so when the safety of those around us is at risk as well?

single greatest threat we each face on a day-to-day basis and it’s the one

THE PERSONAL TOUCH To that end I have been starting every job with a note to my crew letting them know how I feel, what I expect of them, and what they can expect from me regarding set safety. I’ve included a letter that follows as a template of sorts. My hope is that many of you will consider adopting this practice and that from here on every member of every camera crew knows that a safety concern will be listened to and investigated. As operators we are in a unique position to call out safety concerns and as such need to start taking that responsibility to heart. Letting our crews know where we stand before the first frame is recorded is, in my mind, the first step towards that end. Hoping you all agree.


as a result people will be driving home tired. This, in my opinion, is the that scares me the most. Even working a “short” day of 10-12 hours can be problematic depending on turning around to nights and so many other factors. So if there is one thing that you carry forward from this email it’s to not take this very real threat to your safety lightly and to ask for a ride or a hotel. If I see anyone who is making the wrong decision to drive home I’ll certainly bring it up to you and if you see me doing so I’d request that you do the same. Finally, if you haven’t done so already, please consider downloading the ICG Safety App and/or the Set Safety App. Both have safety hotline phone numbers and the CSATF Safety Bulletins embedded within and can come in handy should the need arise. Thanks for your time and I’ll try to shower and/or deodorize as often as possible for the sake of everyone involved. Dave









American Horror Story: Freak Show Inside Out SOC Awards Review Birdman 1


SOC.ORG · SUMMER 2015 VOL. 24, NO. 3

Dave Chameides, SOC is an A camera/steadicam operator with 25 years experience in the industry. He has won two Primetime Emmy Awards for his work and was nominated as SOC Operator of the Year in 2014 for the feature film St. Vincent. In his spare time, Dave, also known as Sustainable Dave, teaches environmental education in schools all around the country. His message of “Want Less” has been heard by half a million young people around the world and his story has been carried in newspapers, magazines, TV shows, and beyond. He lives on the East Coast with his wife and two kids and their fairly stupid dog.

SOC.ORG · FALL 2015 VOL. 24, NO. 4

Dave Chameides, SOC

The Martian Jobs HouseGone ofSteve Cards Girl The Revenant Fast and Furious 7


CAMERA OPERATOR is now available for free online.

Walking Dead Under the Dome HouseTerminator of Cards Genysis Fast andSOCFurious at NAB7 SOC Awards Review 1

To view issues on your desktop and mobile devices, visit



Tech Talk Dan Coplan, SOC

I got into flying drones roughly three years ago when the technology got good enough and the prices came down enough to justify getting into the business of flying cameras. Prior to that I had been, and still am to this day, making my career as a Steadicam and camera operator for movies, TV, commercials—you name it. While I was always intrigued by remote control vehicles, my motivation to fly cameras originated as an opportunity to expand on what I already had to offer clients.

My first drone was a DJI F450 quadcopter kit that contained the basics: frame, motors, ESC’s, flight controller, and props. I had to add the batteries and charger, radio and receiver, GoPro camera gimbal, and wireless video system. I was amazed at how easily and controlled this setup flew, but the servo-driven 2-axis gimbal, cutting edge at the time, was a nightmarish joke. Technology and my setup have come a long way since then.

I started small and inexpensively, breaking new ground with a coaxial helicopter I could fly around my living room and pretty much crash into anything without leaving a mark. At that time the debate between flying cameras on helicopters versus multi-rotors was just heating up and the jury was still out, but the 4-channel control (throttle, elevator, pitch, aileron) was identical between the two and mini UAV’s, similar in size and price, hadn’t yet made it to market. I graduated little by little to bigger and more complex aircraft until I had to make the decision to invest in traditional helicopters or newfangled multi-rotors as my camera platform. I spoke to a number of people on both sides of the fence; each very passionate as to why their technology was better. Anticipating the future, I gambled on multi-rotors.

Today the main ship we fly at Sky Bandit Pictures is a Freefly Cinestar 8 Octocopter. Everything about it is a vast improvement over my initial entry into aerial cinematography. The eight booms provide greater lift, stability, and redundancy in defense of total failure. The brushless motors camera gimbal allows for both a variety of cameras and footage that is solid right off the chip without the need for post stabilization. Additionally, it functions independently of the aircraft allowing for more complex shots executed by my camera operator. Improved wireless video systems and antenna choices provide stronger signals over greater distances. As technology has improved, we’ve kept up with the changes in the interest of greater reliability and providing a better experience and product for our clients. And then DJI

Sky Bandit Pictures octocopter during a test flight. Photo byToshi Imai


Dan Coplan and DP plan a shot using the DJI Inspire for an A$AP Rocky music video. Photo by Matt Finnerty


we have to land. With the Inspire, these settings can be changed remotely while remaining in flight. Our Octocopter is a 2-man operation: one to pilot and one to control the camera gimbal. This is a preferred way of working anyway, but the Inspire allows for a single pilot/operator whereby a switch on the radio toggles between pan and tilt, controlled by a spring-loaded dial. Besides having to walk and chew gum by flying and operating camera concurrently, you’re limited by not being able to pan and tilt at the same time, but this is still a very liberating feature.

Dan Coplan and operator Matt Mosher do a fly-over for an international documentary. Photo byToshi Imai released the Inspire 1 which opened our eyes to what a professional aerial cinematography rig could and should be. The Inspire is a prosumer rig that falls short of the demands of many of our higher-end clients. At the same time, it’s an incredibly well thought out package that works beautifully for our mid-range clients and offers a wish list of features I would love to see incorporated into a professional package. I won’t go through the entire list of specs and attributes because you can look that up online, but a short list that would make our lives a lot easier and our shoots more fulfilling includes the following: The flight controller automatically switches to attitude mode (i.e. manual mode with the assistance of sensors that don’t rely on satellites) when the GPS signal is lost and switches back when it’s regained. A voice from the app alerts you to this change. While GPS is a useful function it can also be the culprit for problems such as flyaways and we avoid it unless absolutely necessary like position hold in strong winds. But the Inspire’s smart switching, dare I say, ‘inspires’ confidence that we won’t be the victim of lost GPS signals causing unpredictable results. Monitoring is lighter and simpler. It’s not that the monitors we use are so cumbersome, but our setup involves a small field monitor, a receiver and antenna, a battery to power the components, a ground station case to contain everything, and a tripod to support it all. With the Inspire, the monitor comes in the form of an iPhone or tablet: thin, lightweight, self-powered, and mounts to a bracket on the radio. One cable connects this monitor to the radio that contains the electronics to receive and pass on the video. Additionally, there is a slew of data provided that is relevant to both the pilot and operator and both team members can have their own monitors. On-the-fly settings are controlled through an app on the monitor. Currently, if we’re doing a shoot that requires taking stills and video, we have to land to change this function. Likewise, if we discover mishaps like forgetting to hit the record button or misjudging exposure,


Honestly, my favorite feature of all might be that the entire package including copter, two controllers, camera and gimbal, batteries, and charger all store neatly in a single suitcase-sized case. With our professional rig we travel with six cases plus the Octo itself. And none of it is compact and light. There are of course limitations. Briefly, the Inspire currently offers one camera with one focal length and no way to adjust the aperture (exposure is adjusted by ISO, shutter, and physical ND filters). It’s a quadcopter so there is no redundancy if a motor were to fail, guaranteeing a plummet straight down to earth. The operating frequency is 2.4 GHz. While this is standard, it’s also within a band that can suffer interference from sources like microwave (believe me, I know...) which is why we’ve switched over to UHF. The multi-rotor industry is growing up fast. It’s exciting to see how quickly the technology is coming along and companies like DJI are developing advancements and improvements at a rapid pace, providing promising innovations in thoughtful turnkey packages that allow aerial cinematographers such as our team at Sky Bandit Pictures to worry less about the technology so we can focus more on providing quality content. I can only imagine it won’t be long until our dream drone will be a reality.

Dan Coplan, SOC Dan Coplan, SOC has been working in film and TV with his eye behind the camera on the ground, underwater, and up in the air for the past 17 years. He’s been a member of the SOC Board of Governors for much of that time. When he’s not busy shooting he’s losing sleep over anticipating the next great project to work on and thanks technology for the multitude of creative ways we can tell stories with moving pictures. Photo courtesy of Dan Coplan


We have received many awards at Clairmont Camera; and the best one is having the privilege of working with you. For you bring us inspiration that fuels our dedication to our craft. Thank you! And keep it coming! Denny Clairmont



SOC Education And Training SOC EDUCATES By Derek Stettler, Associate Member, SOC Education is at the core of the SOC’s mission, not only through publishing Camera Operator, but through educational events as well. So it was with great pleasure that we presented two exceptional educational events while participating in this year's annual J.L. Fisher Mixer and BBQ Lunch and the Cine Gear Expo. To read the full articles visit the SOC website at

SOC at 8th Annual J.L. Fisher Mixer & BBQ Lunch On a beautiful Saturday this past June, the SOC again co-sponsored the 8th Annual J.L. Fisher Mixer and BBQ Lunch. The SOC, followed by ICG and the ASC, presented an enlightening panel, "The Moving Camera Operation" seminar. The panel focused on the collaborative relationship between the cinematographer, camera operator, 1st AC, key grip, and dolly grip relating to camera movement and collaboration. The room was packed to capacity. Continued at

The Moving Camera Operator panel. Photo by Ron Batzdorff

SOC AT CINE GEAR EXPO At the annual CINEGEAR expo the SOC hosted both a booth and presented an engaging and informative panel held in Paramount’s absolutely packed Screening Room 5. The topic of the panel was "Exploring the Key Relationship Between the Director and Operator." Continued at


Derek Stettler Associate Member SOC

Derek Stettler recently joined the SOC as an Associate Member and is a lifelong lover and student of cinema. He currently lives in Houston, TX where he's working as a freelance editor and camera operator, and just worked on his first feature film as key grip and 2nd AC.

FESTIVAL Y MUESTRA INTERNACIONAL DE CORTOMETRAJES CORTO CREATIVO By Michael A. Garcia with Reynaldo Aquino, Student Members of SOC When asked if I was available to participate in four-day project by the SOC, led by Lance Fisher, I knew that it would be a worthwhile project. So without hearing all the details, I quickly responded that I was on board. The next morning, Edgar Santamaria and Renaldo Aquino met Lance at the SOC office to prep the Panaflex Camera. The next day, Reynaldo and I made our way down to San Diego to meet SOC members Lance Fisher and Doug Knapp, and there we met up with Carlos Carrillo, head of the Film School and son of Antonio Carrillo president of UDCI - Universidad de las Californias Internacional. We arrived at the Plaza Del Rio in Tijuana, Mexico, with Lance and Doug. With my fellow student SOC member Reynaldo Aquino we began the process of moving all the equipment to the Cineopolis VIP Theater where Lance and Doug were invited to speak, representing the SOC at the Festival y Muestra Internacional de Cortometrajes Corto Creativo hosted by UDCI. Although Lance had explained the details of the event and our role over the following few days, I didn’t realize until the moment we began setting up, how important it was for us to be there representing the SOC for everyone attending and everyone involved with making the event possible. From the moment


we rolled in and popped the latches on the cases we were surrounded with people interested in the Panaflex camera and its build—others simply wanted to take a selfie with it, which is understandable. Unlike my fellow camera people that came before me, my experience with a “real film camera” was limited. I began to feel excitement, the kind I get when working with a new crew that has been together for a long time. We became the center of attention even before the scheduled presentation. Lance and Doug guided us the whole way, quick to remind us what needed to be done. After we set up the camera, attendees began asking us questions in both Spanish and English, about the camera, but mostly about the SOC and how they can become members themselves. I was proud to be there, answering their questions, many of which I had asked when I first wanted to join SOC as a student in Doug’s camera class. Later that day, the event coordinators scheduled a panel with all the presenters and introduced them individually. The panel was moderated by Juan Jose Tavera, Journalism Teacher at UDCI and included Saul Molina from the ASC and American Cinematographer magazine; Gabriel del Valle, Baja Film Commissioner; Rene Castillo from UDCI; Dean Cundey, ASC; Roberto a la Torre from Red Camera; and Lance Fisher, SOC. Following the panel the festival began screening films. I used this time to introduce myself to Juan Jose. We spoke for a while about how Tijuana is growing to become Mexico’s new center for cinema and entertainment. He explained this was due to Tijuana’s proximity to Los Angeles and mentioned there is a small but growing and eager work force. Shortly after, I was introduced to director of photography, Dean Cundey, ASC. It was a great experience to be able ask him questions and gain insight about my favorite scenes from Back to the Future, Apollo 13 and Jurassic Park. The next day we were invited by Carlos Carrillo to take a tour of the UDCI campus and film school. We saw where students access basic studio equipment including cameras, lighting, sound, and grip

Michael Garcia and Lance Fisher, SOC. Photo by Reynaldo Aquino



equipment. Next we visited the editing suits, post audio areas, and the green screen studio. We were also allowed to visit the new areas of the school that were still under construction. Everything from a new stage area and classrooms, to a screening room was included. After the tour we all headed back to the Cineopolis VIP Theater for more festival screenings and to set up the Panaflex for the presentations. Following RED’s presentation, Lance and Doug were ready to go up next with the SOC presentation. They highlighted the art and craft of the camera operator, as well as discussed the difference between the role of the director of photography and the camera operator. Two videos were presented, featuring the Vision Center at the Children's Hospital Los Angeles and highlights from the 2014 SOC Award Show. Lance also announced that four students and four educators would be selected to receive complimentary SOC Memberships. After the presentation there was a brief Q&A before the screenings continued. Lance was busy being interviewed and demonstrating the Panaflex to a new crew and the rest of us were busy passing out SOC applications, information sheets, and answering questions.

The last day of the event was centered on Dean Cundey’s presentation for which we gladly provided the Panaflex and my small HD-DSLR. Dean spoke about the movie Back to The Future and why it is his favorite film from two perspectives, the first being the story and the second being his own experiences while making the film. He also spoke about the role of the director of photography and the important relationship they have with the director. While Back to the Future was played on the screen, Dean provided commentary about the final scenes of the film and answered questions from people in the audience. Immediately after the Q&A we broke down the camera for the last time. Outside the screening auditorium Dean took time to meet with attendees and event volunteers, take photos and answer more questions. Later that night we all met up for a wrap party at a social night market with many of the Festival participants. A variety of food trucks, live music, and art vendors accompanied the announcement of the winners of the Festival. Each of the winners had their film projected on a large wall while patrons delighted in all the tastes, smells, and sounds of the evening.

Lance Fisher, SOC, Doug Knapp, SOC, and Dean Cundey, ASC at the wrap party. Photo by Michael Garcia


In front of the UDCI Film School: Lance, Juan, Carlos, and Doug. Photo by Michael Garcia

Now reflecting on those few days, I could not be more proud to have helped represent the SOC and my fellow craft members. I am thankful to Lance, Doug, Reynaldo, and Edgar for considering me for the project and the SOC for allowing me the once in a lifetime opportunity to network with so many awesome professionals. The relationships I have built over those few days are priceless.

Michael Garcia and Dean Cundey, ASC. Photo by Reynaldo Aquino

UDCI Film Festival panel. Photo by Michael Garcia


Hugh Litfin, SOC, ON SOC EDUCATION “Our goal is to bring awareness and relevance to the vital skills and contributions that the camera operator makes during the filmmaking process and how they work within the structure of the camera department, at the educational level.” The SOC Education Committee’s mission is to promote and support the position of the camera operator within the educational process. We want to develop a presence at film schools and interact with the students and faculty to help them fully understand this position. We have over 25 schools that we are involved with and these schools over the decades have proven to be a great means of education supporting the craft of cinematography among others.   The students also receive benefits with their membership, many of the same benefits as the associate and active members receive. One event we offer stands out each year, The Student COY (Camera Operator of the Year) Awards held each summer. This last summer we had students participate who won representing USC, University of North Carolina and the Academy of Art University.

SOC UNDERWATER WORKSHOP Hydroflex and Nauticam hosted an open house at Tank One Studios on Friday, September 25 prior to the kickoff of the very successful SOC Underwater Camera Workshop which took place September 25 – 27. Live gear demos and the latest in underwater imaging technology, including waterproof housings for ARRI ALEXA SXT, ALEXA Mini, RED WEAPON, RED EPIC Dragon, and Sony A7R II / A7S II. Hydroflex lighting and HydroHead remote pan and tilt were on display.

Our student membership is currently at 60 members representing many film schools and we are looking to increase our student memberships each year. We also are looking to grow our “Educator” Membership as well, which is available for those who are actively engaged as educators at these schools and universities. For more information about Student and Educator Membership log on to and see details under Membership. Hugh Litfin, SOC Hugh Litfin, SOC served on the Education Committee and as chair for the last 3 years. He is a senior instructor of cinematography and lighting (16 years) at the Academy of Art University, San Francisco. In addition to being an Active Member and serving on the Board of Governors with the SOC, he is also a member of the International Cinematographers Guild, the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and the University Film and Video Association. Photo by Ed Litfin

Top to bottom: Underwater shot, photo by Tammy Fouts; Pete Romano instructing the workshop participants, photo by Mark Bender; group shot, photo by Navid Namazi.



Insight JESSICA JURGES, SOC What is your most memorable day in the industry? Shooting 3D inside the Shuttle Endeavor at LAX. It was a humbling, unexpected privilege. There was something very magical about sitting in the captains chair and imagining the astronauts defying gravity. What was one of your most challenging shot in the industry? My most challenging shot was tracking the Shuttle Endeavour as it landed and took off again at Edwards Air Force Base. I only had one shot to catch the historical moment. Photo by Eddie Barber

Credits: Space Shuttle-William Shatner (Documentary, NASA), Mission 26-The Big Endeavour (Documentary, California Science Center)

DANIEL TURRETT, SOC What was one of your most challenging shot or challenging day in the industry? Every day on Starship Troopers. Deafening explosions, long drives, impossible locations, choking on dust, cameras destroyed, the usual fun stuff. And all for giant bugs. What is your most memorable day in the industry? A day with Dustin Hoffman on American Buffalo. The consummate professional, he understands the important relationship between the “camera” and the actors better than anyone. Credits: Starship Troopers, American Pie, Star Trek, The Artist, Rocky Balboa

Photo courtesy of Dan Turrett

DAVE FREDERICK, SOC What is your most memorable day in the industry? The most memorable day in the industry for me was when amazing actress Anne Bancroft called me, the 1st AC and Dan Turrett, SOC, the camera operator, over for a chat before our first shot in the film, 84 Charing Cross Road. Ms Bancroft told us, “Fellas, you can have all the rehearsals you want, but you must get it right on take one.” There was no joking in her words. She meant it and I have kept that in my mind ever since. Be ready to get it right on take one, and every take there after! Photo courtesy of Dave Frederick


Credits: The Bridge, Sonsof Anarchy, Muppets From Space, Northern Exposure, and Football Town: Barrow, Alaska


SOC ROSTER CHARTER MEMBER Lou Barlia Parker Bartlett Paul Basta Michael Benson Stephanie Benson Rupert Benson Jr. Bob Bergdahl Howard Block Donald R. Burch Jerry G. Callaway David Calloway Philip Caplan Mike Chevalier Bill Clark Dick Colean Steve Conant Jim Connell Rick Cosko Jack Courtland Elliot Davis Sam Drummy Joe Epperson Michael Ferra Ron Francis William Jay Gahret Jim Glennon Ray Gonzales Jerry Good Jack Green, ASC Gil Haimson Peter Hapke Lutz Hapke Bill Hines Jim Hoover Bill Howard John Huneck Wayne Kennan, ASC Bob Keys Gary Kibbe David Kurland Norm Langley Thomas Laughridge Steve Lydecker Brice Mack III Joe Marquette Jr. Owen Marsh Bob Marta Bob McBride Ed Morey Tom Munshower Fred Murphy Al Myers Lee Nakahara Jay Nefcy Rik Nervik Leigh Nicholson King Nicholson John G. Nogle Dan Norris Skip Norton David B. Nowell, ASC Wayne Orr Richard Price Ernie Reed Arnold Rich

Randall Robinson Parker Roe Sam Rosen Peter Salim Lou Schwartz Chris Schwiebert Michael Scott Bob Seaman Hal Shiffman Roger Smith Fred Smith Michael St. Hilaire Ray Stella Joe Steuben John C. Stevens Carol Sunflower Bill Swearingen Joseph F. Valentine Ron Vidor Sven Walnum

ACTIVE MEMBER Peter Abraham Jonathan S. Abrams Bret Allen Colin Anderson Kevin W. Andrews Francois Archambault Joseph Arena Will Arnot Ted Ashton Jr. Mark August Grayson Grant Austin Daniel Ayers Paul Babin Christopher Baffa Lonn Bailey James Baldanza David Baldwin Jr. Jerry Banales Christopher Banting Jeff Barklage Angel Barroeta Jonathan Beattie John James Beattie Tim Bellen Nils Benson Corey D. Besteder George M. Bianchini George Billinger Howard H. Bingham Michel Bisson Bonnie S. Blake Jason Blount Bob C. Boccaccio John Boyd Katie Boyum Kevin D. Braband Gerard Brigante Hilaire Brosio Garrett Brown Pete Brown Kenny Brown Scott Browner Stephen Buckingham


Robin Buerki Gary Bush Stephen S. Campanelli Stephen Campbell Susan A. Campbell Jose A. Cardenas Peter Cavaciuti Dave Chameides Lou Chanatry Joe Chess Jr. Jeffrey R. Clark Anthony Cobbs Steven Cohen Marcis Cole Kris A. Conde Andrew Glenn Conder Michael Condon Brown Cooper Dan Coplan Luke Cormack Javier A. Costa Richard J. Cottrell Tom Cox Jeff Cree Rod Crombie Caleb Crosby White Richard Crow Jeff L. Crumbley Grant Culwell Nicholas Davidoff Markus Davids Rick Davidson Richard W. Davis Mark G. Dawson Andrew A. Dean Michael S. Dean Kris Andrew Denton Kevin Descheemaeker Joel Deutsch Don Devine Kenny Dezendorf Twojay Dhillon David E. Diano Troy Dick Alfeo Dixon Matthew I. Doll Rick Drapkin Scott C. Dropkin Mitch Dubin Louis R. Duskin Allen D. Easton William Eichler David E. Elkins Jason Ellson David Emmerichs Kevin J. Emmons Ramon Engle Steve Essig Brant S. Fagan Diane L. Farrell Dianne Teresa Farrington Jesse Michael Feldman Michael Ferris George Feucht James Anthony Firios Lance Fisher Aaron Fitzgerald

Eric Fletcher Michael Flueck Houman Forough Felix Forrest Ian Forsyth Steve G. Fracol Keith Francis Nick Franco Tom "Frisby" Fraser David J. Frederick Michael Frediani Michael A. Freeman Brian Freesh Steven French Dan Frenkel Mick Froehlich Jeff Fry Paul M. Gardner David Gasperik Rusty Geller Michael Germond William Gierhart Laurie K. Gilbert Harvey Glen Mark Goellnicht Daniel Gold David Enrique Goldman Allen Gonzales Afton M. Grant Bruce Alan Greene Chad Griepentrog David Allen Grove Robert Guernsey Pedro Guimaraes John C. Gunselman Chris C. Haarhoff Jess Haas Kevin M. Haggerty Geoffrey K. Haley John Hankammer Tim Harland Joshua Harrison Kent Harvey Chris Hayes David Haylock Nikk Hearn-Sutton Dawn J. Henry Alan Hereford Steven F. Heuer Kevin Hewitt David Hirschmann Jamie Hitchcock Abe Holtz Jerry Holway Paul Horn Casey Hotchkiss William Stephen Howell II Colin Hudson Jeffrey G. Hunt Philip Hurn Frederick Iannone Dave Isern Christopher Ivins Eugene W. Jackson III Francis G. James Alec Jarnagin Gary Jay

Simon Jayes Steven Jones Christopher D. Jones Jacques Jouffret John H. Joyce David Judy Mark Jungjohann Mark Karavite Adam T. Keith Brian Kelly David Kimelman Dan Kneece Rory Robert Knepp David T. Knox Robert Kositchek Bud Kremp Kris Krosskove Per Larsson Jeff Latonero Eric Leach Sergio Leandro da Silva Richard Leible Sarah Levy Jimmy W. Lindsey Abigail Linne Hugh C. Litfin Patrick Longman George Loomis Jessica L. Lopez Steve Lopez David Luckenbach Greg Lundsgaard Kenji Luster Bruce MacCallum Rob Macey Vincent C. Mack Paul S. Magee David Mahlmann Giuseppe Malpasso Kim Marks Jared G. Marshall Cedric Martin Johnny Martin Philip J. Martinez Parris Mayhew Bill McClelland Jim McConkey David B. McGill Michael P. McGowan Christopher T.J. McGuire Aaron Medick Alan Mehlbrech Hilda Mercado Jack Messitt Mike Mickens Duane Mieliwocki Marc A. Miller Andrew Mitchell William Molina Raphy Molinary Machado Lawrence P. Moody Mark Emery Moore Josh Morton Manolo Rojas Moscopulos Jeff Muhlstock Michael James Mulvey Scott T. Mumford

Sean Murray Saade A. Mustafa Dale Myrand Leo J. Napolitano Marco Naylor Robert Newcomb Julye Newlin William R. Nielsen, Jr. Randy Nolen Kurt Nolen Austin Nordell William O'Drobinak Mark D. O'Kane Michael D. Off James Olcovich Andrew William Oliver John Orland Rafael Ortiz-Guzman Brian Osmond Georgia Tornai Packard Heather Page Nick Paige Curtis E. Pair Victor J. Pancerev Andrew Parke Patrick J. Pask Christopher T Paul Paul C. Peddinghaus Douglas Pellegrino John Perry George Peters Matthew A. Petrosky Alan Pierce Theo Pingarelli Jens Piotrowski Joseph Piscitelli Louis Puli Ryan Purcell Elizabeth Radley Yavir Ramawtar Juan M. Ramos James B. Reid Ari Robbins Alicia Robbins Peter Robertson Brooks Robinson Eric Roizman Peter Rosenfeld Andrew Rowlands Dave Rutherford P. Scott Sakamoto Sanjay Sami David M. Sammons Joel San Juan Bry Thomas Sanders Martin Schaer Ron Schlaeger Mark Schlicher Mark Schmidt Vadim Schulz David Jean Schweitzer Fabrizio Sciarra Brian Scott Brian David Scott Benjamin Semanoff Barnaby Shapiro David Shawl


Osvaldo Silvera Jr. Jamie Silverstein Teddy Smith Needham B. Smith III Dean Robert Smollar John Sosenko Mark Sparrough Benjamin Xavier Spek Sandy Spooner Lisa L. Stacilauskas Robert Starling Thomas N Stork Michael R. Stumpf David L. Svenson Ian S. Takahashi Peter Taylor Paul Taylor Christopher Taylor Paige Thomas David James Thompson John Toll, ASC David Roy Tondeur Remi Tournois Neil C. Toussaint Jamie Trent Bryan Trieb Michael Tsimperopoulos Chris Tufty Dan Turrett Brian Tweedt Joseph Urbanczyk Matt Valentine Dale Vance, Jr. Paul D. Varrieur Ron Veto Andrew Voegeli Stefan von Bjorn Rob Vuona Bill Waldman Michael J. Walker Timothy N. Walker Gareth Ward Adam S. Ward Gretchen Warthen Aiken Weiss Dale A West Clay Westervelt Robert Whitaker Mande Whitaker Kit Whitmore Ken Willinger Chad Wilson Dana D. Winseman David A. Wolf Ian D. Woolston-Smith Peter C. Xiques Santiago Yniguez Chad Zellmer

ASSOCIATE MEMBER Christine Adams David S. Adelstein Ana M. Amortegui Philip Anderson Andrew B. Ansnick Jillian H. Arnold Scott Auerbach Ryan Vogel Baker Tyson Banks Stephen Blanor Jeffrey D. Bollman


Peter Bonilla Jean-Paul Bonneau Massimo Bordonaro David Boyd Rochelle Brown Mary Brown Donald Brownlow Clyde E. Bryan Neal Bryant Sasha D. Burdett Anthony Q. Caldwell Jordan Cantu Bruce Cardozo Jack Carpenter Marc Casey Damian Church Gregory Paul Collier Mack Collins Gabriel Paul Copeland Gareth Paul Cox Richard P. Crudo, ASC Anthony Deemer Enrique Xavier Del Rio Galindo William B. Demeritt, III Ronald E. Deveaux Jorge Devotto Adam R. Dorris Orlando Duguay Keith Dunkerley Brian James Dzyak Christopher Ekstein David T. Eubank Allen Farst Thomas Cole Fedak Nicholas A. Federoff John C. Flinn III, ASC Mark Forman Tammy Fouts-Sandoval Jerry Franck Fred M. Frintrup Hiroyuki Fukuda Hank Gifford Michael Goi, ASC Wayne Goldwyn Al Gonzalez Erik Goodman John M. Goodner Brad Greenspan David V. Gregory Phil Gries George Eric Griffith Robert Guthrie W. Adam Habib Bob Hall James Hammond Anthony Hardwick John Hart James W. Hart Jason Hawkins Anthony P. Hettinger John M. Hill, Jr. Andrew H. Hoehn Scott Hoffman Chris Horvath Rachel A. Hudson Toshiyuki Imai Andrew A. Irvine Gregory Irwin Keith Jefferies Lacey Joy Henry Bourne Joy IV Jessica S. Jurges David Kane Timothy Kane Brandon Kapelow Ray Karwel Frank Kay Alan Kelly

Kevin N. Kemp Jeremiah I. Kent Alisa Khosrovachahi Mark H. Killian Adam Kirschhoffer Robert La Bonge Laurence Langton Jose-Pablo Larrea Dr. Thomas Lee Alan J Levi Mark Levin Adrian Licciardi Eamon Long Gordon Lonsdale Jasmine Lord Christopher Lymberis Dominik Mainl Candice T. Marais Jose del Carmen Martinez Nicole Jannai Martinez Jim R. Matlosz Yusuf A. McCoy Colin P. McDonald David W. McDonald Marcus Allen McDougald Mike McEveety Jonathan Miller K. Adriana Modlin-Liebrecht Kenneth R. Montgomery Matthew C. Mosher Jekaterina Most Hassan Nadji Navid John Namazi Zach Nasits Jimmy Negron Michael Nelson Dennis Noack Russell C. Nordstedt Casey Burke Norton Crescenzo G.P. Notarile, ASC Bonnie Osborne Jarrod Oswald Paul Overacker Justin Painter Kim Palmer Larry Mole Parker Steven D. Parker Michael J Perez Florencia Perez Cardenal Mark W. Petersen Tyler Phillips W. S. Pivetta Ted Polmanski Robert Primes, ASC Barnabas J. Prontnicki Joe Prudente Delia Quinonez Richard Rawlings Jr., ASC Marcia Reed Bill Reiter Ken Robings Andy Romero Tim Rook Peter J. Rooney Sam Rosenthal Jordi Ruiz Maso Kish Sadhvani Danny Salazar Steve Saxon Christian Sebaldt, ASC Christopher Seehase Stephen Silberkraus Charles A. Simons Michael Skor Jan Sluchak Dan Smarg Robert F. Smith

Laurent Soriano Don Spiro Owen Stephens Derek Stettler Aymae Sulick Jeremy Sultan Tara Summers Andy Sydney Tiffany Taira Rick Taylor John Twesten Daniel Urbain Jose Val Bal Sandra Valde Thomas Valko Satya Vanii Ioana Vasile Benjamin Verhulst Breanna Villani Justin Watson Robert Weigand Alex White Tim Wu Tim Yoder Scot Zimmerman Vilmos Zsigmond, ASC

CORPORATE AbleCine Adorama Rental Co. AJA Video Systems Inc. ARRI, Inc. Band Pro Film & Video Bertone Visuals LLC. Birns & Sawyer, Inc. Blackmagic Design Canon, USA Inc. Carl Zeiss Microimaging, Inc. Chapman/Leonard Studio Equipment Cineverse Clairmont Camera Codex CW Sonderoptic Filmtools Inc. Fujifilm/Fujinon Geo Film Group, Inc. Glidecam Industries Inc. History For Hire JL Fisher Inc. Keslow Camera Manios Digital & Film Mark Bender and Associates Matthews Studio Equipment Panasonic Corporation Panavision Schneider Optics Century Division Sony Electronics Teradek, LLC. Thales Angenieux The Vitec Group Tiffen

EDUCATOR Ralph Watkins


John Bailey, ASC Tilman Buettner James Burrows

Alexander Calzatti Trevor Coop Roger Corman Dean Cundey, ASC Clint Eastwood Tom Hatten Ron Howard Gale Anne Hurd Ron Kelley Kathleen Kennedy-Marshall Jerry Lewis Larry McConkey A. Linn Murphree M.D. Diana Penilla Steven Spielberg Robert A. Torres George Toscas Roy H. Wagner, ASC Haskell Wexler, ASC Alfre Woodard

RETIRED MEMBER Aldo Antonelli Gary Olyn Armstrong Tom Barron Al Bettcher James Blanford Bruce Catlin Ivan Craig Richard A. Cullis George Spiro Dibie, ASC Robert M. Feller Dick Fisher Jerry Fuller Anthony Gaudioz Wynn Hammer Ken Hilmer Gary Holt Robert C. Horne Douglas H. Knapp Heather MacKenzie James Mann Stan McClain Michael McClary Ron McManus Mike Meinardus Emmanuel Metaxas Robert "Bob" Moore Sol Negrin, ASC David L. Parrish Aaron Pazanti Andy Romanoff Dylan Rush Frank Ruttencutter Carl Martin Schumacher, Sr. Chuck Schuman Philip D. Schwartz Guy Skinner George B. Stephenson Joseph N. Tawil

Autumn J. Collins Pascal Combes-Knoke Grace Craig Sabrina Cullen Annor Doeman Timothy James Dolan David Duesterberg Rollin B. Fisher III Michael A. Garcia Jonathan Goldberg Christian T. Hall Kiyana Hancock Rita Hansen Tobias Winde Harbo Tyler Harmon-Townsend Caleb Heller Andres Hernandez Carolyn Scott Hunt Preston Lane Jeter Crystal Kelley Zachary Leazer Ari Linn Matt Maio Sophie Meneses Alexander L. Moeckler Jeff-Steven Arevalo Mojica Donald R. Monroe Fabian Montes Moira Morel Benjamin Kirk Nielsen George Ohan Lorenzo Pace Connor Pollard Karina Prieto Macias Tiye Rose-Hood Edgar J. Santamaria Emil Schonstrom Alexandra Schwartz Davin Swade Stanley Michael Street Kezia A. Supit Jesse Vielleux Naeem Washington Jenise Louise Whitehead Anthony Worley Roana Alyssa Wullinger Dennis Zanatta Botai Zhong

Roster current as of October 15, 2015.


Veronica Aberham Jacober Ahrell Bandar Almutairi Reynaldo Aquino Nathan James Bachmann Ziryab Ben Brahem Jessie Estella Brickley Stewart Cantrell Richard Castaneda Quaid Cde Baca Petr Cikhart



J. L. Fisher 


20th Century Fox 7, 11

Matthews Studio Equipment 

AJA 33

New Regency/20th Century 

Blackmagic Design 15

Rob Chsuid/UCLA 


Cinematography Electronics


Clairmont Camera


CW Sonderoptic


Glidecam Industries, Inc.


Hover-Views Unlimited


Michael Frediani, SOC

Chapman/Leonard Studio Equipment

57 5 51 C3

Schneider Optics

4, 14

Sony Pictures

Back Cover


C2, 1, 13


2, 9

Warner Brothers

A great way to connect with the legacy and share the spirit of the SOC. Browse our online store to see the inventory of T-shirts, hats, pins, and more... CAMERA OPERATOR 路 FALL 2015


Edited by Michael Frediani, SOC


Shooting the Breeze

The number of films about Mars listed on Wikipedia *Watch behind-the-scenes clips of The Martian:

AELITA: QUEEN OF MARS (1924) The first Soviet science fiction film because of its "futuristic" sets on Mars, although most of it takes place in Moscow. * Watch it here:


In the mid-1800s, Austria sent unmanned, bomb-filled balloons to attack Venice. Drones continued to be developed during World War I, when the Dayton-Wright Airplane Company came up with a pilotless aerial torpedo that would drop and explode at a preset time. The earliest attempt at a powered unmanned aerial vehicle was A. M. Low's "Aerial Target" of 1916. Nikola Tesla described a fleet of unmanned aerial combat vehicles in 1915. *

“ I've... seen things you people wouldn't believe... Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those...moments...will be lost in time, like die...”

— Roy Batty, Blade Runner (*) Click the hyperlinks when reading Camera Operator online @:



Number of patents attributed to Steve Jobs (more or less)


Of the inventions that bear Jobs’ name, more than 30% were awarded after his death. His first was for the “personal computer.” The big glass cube on New York’s Fifth Avenue was one of his last. — Fortune magazine

“I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that." — 2001: A Space Odyssey “ I'll tell you one thing about the universe, though. The universe is a pretty big place. It's bigger than anything anyone has ever dreamed of before. So if it's just us - seems like an awful waste of space, right? ”

— Contact (1997) – Ellie Arroway (Jodie Foster)

Best movies about surviving the wilderness: * Photos on page 8: A. Fisher 10-682 • B. Chapman Super Peewee 4


Schneider-Kreuznach Xenon FF-Prime Lenses: 25mm T2.1, 35mm T2.1, 50mm T2.1, 75mm T2.1, 100mm T2.1.

Full Frame. Lightweight. More K. Meet the primes built to match the needs of today’s digital cinematographer— Schneider-Kreuznach Xenon FF-Prime Lenses. Ready Now. • Completely covers full frame sensors • Designed for 4K and beyond • Lightweight: 3.3 pounds each • T2.1 across the range •14 Iris Blades for outstanding Bokeh • Minimized breathing • Standard lens accessory ready

• Uniform dimensions throughout the set • Color matched • Changeable Canon EOS, Nikon F, PL mounts • 95mm front thread • Made in Germany

uznach See Schneider-Kre naB Booth c6037 Xenon FF PrimeS at

www. schn eide roptic

CAMERA OPERATOR · FALL 2015 • 800-228-1254 • email: Phone: 818-766-3715


Every Hero Needs A


u n i v er sa l co m pa ni o n r ec e i ve r Zero Delay • 300ft. line of sight • 3G-SDI or HDMI



Profile for Society of Camera Operators

Camera Operator Fall 2015  

The Martian, Steve Jobs, The Revenant, and Inside Out.

Camera Operator Fall 2015  

The Martian, Steve Jobs, The Revenant, and Inside Out.