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SOCIETY OF CAMERA OPERATORS

SOC.ORG 路 SPRING 2016 VOL. 25, NO..2

Outlander Mozartofin the Jungle House Cards CAMERA OPERATOR 路 SPRING 2016

Ship7 Fast The and Last Furious SOC Awards Awards Review 1


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SOCIETY OF CAMERA OPERATORS 路 SOC.ORG


CONTENTS 8

DEPARTMENTS

FEATURES

4 LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT 6 NEWS & NOTES

8 MOZART IN THE JUNGLE

New SOC President, George Billinger and more

38 SMOOTH OPERATOR "Do We See It First? Looking Over the Camera Operator's Shoulder" Dan Gold, SOC

46 TECH TALK: CASE STUDY "Teradek"

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44 INSIGHT Meet the Members

"You Go To My Head” Mark Karavite, SOC

14 THE LAST SHIP "An Operator’s POV” Bud Kremp, SOC

24 OUTLANDER "An American British Television Series” Andrei Austin, associate BSC, SOC, ACO

30 SOC AWARDS "2016 Lifetime Achievement Awards" Derek Stettler

45 SOC ROSTER 47 AD INDEX

30 On the Cover: Outlander, Claire Randall Fraser (Caitriona Balfe) © 2016 Starz Entertainment, LLC

CAMERA OPERATOR · SPRING 2016

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

BOARD MEMBERS Mark August Rochelle Brown Susan Campbell Dan Coplan Eric Fletcher David Frederick David Allen Grove Frank Kay Hugh Litfin Kenji Luster Tyler Phillips Alicia Robbins Eric Roizman David Sammons Chris Taylor Chris Tufty

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COMMITTEE CHAIRS

CONTRIBUTORS

TO SUBSCRIBE

Awards (Co-Chair) Mark August Awards (Co-Chair) Bill McClelland Charities Chair Lisa Stacilauskas Communications Twojay Dhillon East Coast SOC Rep Bruce MacCallum Historical Michael Frediani Membership (Co-Chair) Dan Turrett Membership (Co-Chair) Eric Roizman Merchandising & Promo. (Co-Chair) Rochelle Brown Merchandising & Promo. (Co-Chair) Brad Greenspan Publications Michael Frediani Technical Standards Eric Fletcher

Derek M. Allen, SOC Andrei Austin, Associate BSC, SOC, ACO Grayson Grant Austin, SOC George Billinger, SOC Dan Gold, SOC Mark Karavite, SOC Bud Kremp, SOC Derek Stettler Meagan Stockemer, SOC Remis Tourmis, SOC

or for Subscription information questions: SOC.org or 818-563-9110

STAFF AND CONSULTANTS SOC Operations Manager Heather Ritcheson Bookkeeper Angela Delgado Calligrapher Carrie Imai Business Consultant Kristin Petrovich Kennedy and Createasphere

CAMERA OPERATOR MAGAZINE Publishing Consultant Kristin Petrovich Kennedy Managing Editor Kate McCallum Layout & Production Stephanie Cameron VP of Advertising Matt Price

PHOTOGRAPHY Robert Dean Heather Dubrow Michael Frediani, SOC Bronwyn Gayle Steve Hanson David Lee Albert Ortega Carter Smith

FOR ADVERTISING INFORMATION Matt Price, Director of Advertising mattprice@soc.org or 310-428-8071 For digital editions and back issues: SOC.org Camera Operator is a quarterly publication, published by the Society of Camera Operators.

Is a registered trademark. All rights reserved.

TRIVIA Source imdb.com

SOCIETY OF CAMERA OPERATORS · SOC.ORG


+4 4 1 7 2 7 8 3 8 4 2 4

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Letter from President Dear SOC Members and Camera Operator Readers: It is with great honor and humility that I step into the role of SOC President. I want to take this opportunity to thank the members that have served before me and laid strong groundwork that brought this organization to where we are today. Our industry continues to evolve and define the latest new technologies. Countless opportunities exist to explore and bring a new direction to serving our mission. It is of critical importance that we participate in the elevation, education and artistry in defining the craft of the camera operator. You will see more events throughout the U.S. and internationally, with the focus on the indelible technical artistry and visual language that we create everyday on sets throughout the world. There is no better way to start my term then to acknowledge our members that were center stage, being recognized for their mastery and contribution to work highlighted at the Academy Awards: Mitch Dubin, SOC - Bridge of Spies; Geoffrey Haley, SOC – Steve Jobs & Trumbo; Scott Sakamoto, SOC – Revenant; Ben Semanoff, SOC - Creed; and Dave Thompson, SOC - Joy. We hope you enjoy this edition of Camera Operator magazine, which illustrates the amazing skill set and creative storytelling of the nominees and honorees of our own Lifetime Achievement Awards. We also get a closer look at the work of many of our Camera Operator of the Year nominees. Sincerely,

George Billinger, SOC Society of Camera Operators, President

APRIL

• April 18 - 19 SOC AT NAB April, 18 @ 5:00-6:30 pm Panel: How’d Ya Get that Shot? 7:00-9:30pm Industry Supporter NAB Party (see website for location) April 19 @, 5:00-6:30pm Panel: Visual Storytelling and the Role of the Camera Operator Panels located in Room #N261 at the Las Vegas Convention Center

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MAY

• May 14, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm J.L. Fisher 10th Annual Open House & BBQ @ J.L. Fisher • May 14-15 CamCon @ University California Santa Barbara

JUNE

• June 5 @ 11:00 am – 4:00 pm Chapman Leonard Product Showcase @ Chapman/Leonard Studio Equipment Inc.

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

SOCIETY OF CAMERA OPERATORS · SOC.ORG


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CAMERA OPERATOR · SPRING 2016

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News & Notes SOC ELECTS NEW PRESIDENT

SOC AT NAB SHOW

We are pleased to announce the appointment of the SOC’s new President, George Billinger. He was elected February 28 at the Board of Governors meeting.

The Society will present two panels at the NAB Show in Las Vegas entitled Visual Storytelling and the Role of the Camera Operator and How Did Ya Get That Shot? Additionally, an industry mixer is scheduled for Monday April 18. All details can be found on the website events page.

George has operated on numerous films and television shows with notable directors including; Wes Craven, Steven Spielberg, David Lynch, Alan Taylor, Peter Weir, and Joss Whedon to name a few. George’s credits include; Lincoln, War Of The Worlds, Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull, Avengers, Oblivion, The Terminal, Ray, and Terminator Genisys, among others.

NOT JUST ANOTHER HOLLYWOOD FACELIFT In February, the SOC office at Tiffen in Burbank took on a new look. Signs Unlimited created super SOC signage for all to see. "We are directly across the street from Contract Services Administration Trust Fund ("CSATF”) on Winona Avenue,” stated board member, Mike Frediani, SOC. “I created a board motion last year for this project because I felt it was important that we establish our presence to the hundreds of daily visitors who attend Safety Pass classes every day, as well as those who visit our offices. The new signage adorns one of our windows and doors to the offices.” Historical Chair, Michael Frediani, SOC, also recently created a wall display of all Operating Cameraman and Camera Operator magazines at our Burbank office. This display is a visible tribute to all who have contributed their time and effort to create one of the outstanding magazines in the television and motion picture industry.

Michael Frediani, Sergeant-at-Arms and Mitch Dubin, First Vice President counting votes.

CHAPMAN LEONARD ATLANTA OPEN HOUSE On Saturday, March 5, 2016 Chapman Leonard held an open house at Pinewood Studios in Atlanta. The event was catered and showcased new products and hands-on demonstrations, and also offered an opportunity for industry peers to network and mingle.

SOC AT NORTHERN KENTUCKY UNIVERSITY Society of Camera Operators presented The Art and Craft of the Hollywood Camera Operator at Northern Kentucky University on April 9, 2016. Geoffrey Haley, SOC led a discussion and screening focused on the art and craft of the Hollywood camera operator. Geoffrey addressed such topics as; challenging aspects that are overcome while creating some of Hollywood’s biggest movies, what is the role of the operator, insights about "a day in the life” on set of a blockbuster movie and how the crew, director, and cinematographer work together to create iconic images and engaged storytelling. Geoffrey also showed clips and discussed what it took to get the shots both creatively and technically.

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Publications Chairman Michael Frediani, SOC creating a magazine display. Photo by Heather Ritcheson Photo by Mike Frediani, SOC

SOCIETY OF CAMERA OPERATORS · SOC.ORG


“outside the box” has kept me with Clairmont since 1989 ; when I first

Always thinking

arrived in Vancouver to operate on the series “Booker.” I immediately noticed a couple of things. Denny and his staff are as passionate about

cinematography as I am

and they treat all people equally. The camera trainee or the indie filmmaker gets the same care and attention to detail as the seasoned DP. I have always shared this philosophy. This is a

collaborative business and

everyone does his or her part. If ever I am looking for a

creative

solution to a problem, I can always count on the Clairmont staff to research, acquire or even manufacture the

solution. I get the feeling that it’s not all about profit margin but

about a sense of

pride in supplying the

newest, best and most well maintained equipment. Achieving and assisting

creative vision comes first and foremost. This is what I mean about thinking “outside the box”. There are a lot of rental houses out there, but there is only one Clairmont Camera. Attila Szalay HSC, CSC

CAMERA OPERATOR · SPRING 2016

www.clairmont.com

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Mozart In The Jungle You Go To My Head by Mark Karavite, SOC

Gael Garcia Bernal in Mozart in the Jungle. Photo courtesy of Amazon Studios

Mozart in the Jungle is a half-hour comedy on Amazon that features life in the colorful world of classical music. What happens behind the curtains at the symphony can be just as captivating as what happens on stage... The winner of two 2016 Golden Globes, Mozart in the Jungle was written by Oscar-nominated writer and director Roman Coppola, actor and musician Jason Schwartzman, and Tony-nominated writer and director Alex Timbers. The project is based on the memoir Mozart in the Jungle by Blair Tindall. 8

SOCIETY OF CAMERA OPERATORS 路 SOC.ORG


It’s a Tuesday afternoon at home, and I receive a call from my longtime agent, Russell Todd. “There’s a series going in New York, and they want you there asap.” He says, “They’re mid-season and making a change. You would start shooting Monday.” As I receive more information, I find out it’s an Amazon Studios series. I wasn’t aware Amazon was producing original content. The DP wants me, per a conversation with another cinematographer I’ve worked with, but he’s too busy shooting to speak until I get there. Both operators are leaving the show, one fired, the other moving on to another project. “And oh yeah, next week is all Steadicam, all day, every day. If they like your work next week, they’ll offer you the rest of the series.” “So what you’re telling me is that there is no time to prep, just enough to pack and travel. I’ve never spoken to the DP, I don’t know anything about the show, both operators are leaving, I’ll be inheriting a crew I’ve never worked with, and production is only committing to me for one week. Well, since I’m currently unemployed and New York is lovely in the fall, let’s go for it.”

DAY ONE ON SET I arrive in New York Friday, and go directly to set to load my Steadicam gear onto the camera truck. The company is shooting at a recurring location, a loft in Long Island City, just east of the 59th Street Bridge. I find a PA who directs me towards the series director of photography, Ben Kutchins. Ben is at the monitors, just minutes away from rolling on a scene. I walk up and introduce myself, and Ben immediately stands up and gives me a big hug, like we’re lifelong friends reuniting after way too long. The encounter is brief, as he needs to roll, and I need to prep my gear, but it left an indelible impression of a man who is kind, compassionate, and as I will soon learn, impressively talented. Such is my introduction to Amazon’s Mozart In The Jungle. This extremely clever Amazon series peeks behind the scenes into the world

CAMERA OPERATOR · SPRING 2016

of the New York Symphony Orchestra, and it’s charismatic conductor Rodrigo, played by Golden Globe winner, Gael Garcia Bernal. Rodrigo’s assistant Hailey, an aspiring oboist, is charmingly portrayed by Lola Kirke.

with Roman and Ben, they're already on set, fixing seven of my nine notes before we ever speak. This is a good sign!

Over the weekend, I read the script, and get some quality time with Ben to discuss the plan for the week ahead. Director/executive producer, Roman Coppola has devised an episode that is comprised entirely of ten Steadicam oners. A half-hour show, ten shots. We’ll do two shots a day for the week, one in the morning, and one in the afternoon. The episode titled, “You Go To My Head,” takes place in one night, from dusk until dawn, at a fundraising party for the symphony at a sprawling Long Island estate.

The scene seems to be going well. My focus puller, Josh Blakeslee, is nailing it, and the camera team is into a very early groove. By take three or four, we are repeating ourselves, and I’m making only fine adjustments to my operating. We should have this in a few more takes, right? But we continue, eventually shooting over thirty takes. Roman is adjusting the performances, and my subsequent timing, along the way. He’s doing a LOT of takes, but they keep getting better, so on we go. We basically shoot until we have to break for lunch. When we have it, we go ahead and shoot some extras crossing close to the camera, in case they want to hide a transition in post, seaming two takes together. I didn’t realize it until later, but considering I was the newcomer, they were covering their behinds, in case I couldn’t deliver a continuous take. As I look back, this was the only scene they shot these crosses. Another good sign!

TECHNICAL TOOLS On the technical side, we’re using a Sony F55, which I had never used before. I get the impression Ben would prefer an Alexa, but Amazon has mandated 4K origination, to protect for future 4K distribution. We have a Panavised F55, a full set of Primo primes, but for this episode, we’ll be shooting the entire episode on an older 24mm Super Speed. The rest of the setup includes the BOXX transmitter, LMB5, Cinetape, etc. In prep, I decided to load up the F55 with some additional weight, so I added an on board battery to the setup. This was more for ballast than power. The F55 is very light, and I find that a heavier camera’s inertia always behaves better on Steadicam. If I wanted to earn my way to continued employment on this show, a heavier, well-behaved rig was the way to go. Monday morning, our first shot is a three minute continuous scene, which is actually the third shot of the episode. It’s long and has many beats to it, but it’s simplified by the fact that it plays out in two rooms of the estate, and a hallway connecting them. In this scene, Hailey meets Marlon, who later turns out to be someone very different than she expected. We set up for a while as Ben worked with the grip and electric crews. On our first rehearsal, I make about nine mental notes as we walk through it. As I hang up the rig to go speak

COVERING THEIR BEHINDS

After lunch we move outside for the episode’s opening scene. It’s dusk, and the who’s who of the New York Symphony scene are arriving at the estate, and so are our musicians. The shot starts high, seeing a row of luxury cars, as we crane down and step off, and push into our characters with dialogue in the back seat. Initially, the grips had built a platform on the side of the car for me to step onto. The shot needs to seamlessly go from a crane shot, to a hostess tray shot,

DID YOU KNOW? Most conductors still wear the traditional tuxedo when they work, but the trend has lately been towards more contemporary fashions. Los Angeles Philharmonic conductor, Gustavo Dudamel wears an Armani tuxedo, while Christoph Eschenbach famously wears a Nehru jacket.

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2015© Luacsfilm Ltd. & TM, All Rights Reserved


to a complex Steadicam walk-and-talk. In addition to the complexity of stepping off the crane, then stepping onto (and off of ) a platform on a moving vehicle, I knew that the Steadicam would be extremely susceptible to any inertia should the vehicle lurch while I was on the platform. I suggested I simply track the vehicle with the lens in the correct “hostess tray” position, walking backwards. Initially, no one agreed with my plan, but I convinced them it was the way to go. I always trust my gut instincts, and those instincts were correct. In addition to the physics described previously, there were two other factors weighing in on my decision. One, even though we did several takes in daylight, the window for getting the shot in the perfect “magic hour” light was about two or three takes. If the platform wasn’t working, we would loose the light while switching gears. The other (and frankly bigger) concern was that the opening scene’s dialogue between Rodrigo and Hailey sets up the entire night at the estate. I needed to be connected with the actors, who I had never met, and quickly dial into their per-

formances. I knew I couldn’t do that if I was distracted by a logistical issue. We executed two great takes during the the perfect light, and day one was over.

THE CAMERA DEPARTMENT As we navigated our way through the week, it became obvious that Roman and Ben had beautifully conceived this entire episode. Shooting the scenes were very physical, but more rewarding than taxing. Seeing how they cut together was even more fulfilling. Every detail was considered, and it shows in the final cut. It’s hard for me to choose my favorite shot. It’s like picking your favorite child, you can’t do it. All of my initial fears of the previous week quickly faded. My camera assistants, 1st AC, Josh Blakeslee, and 2nd AC, Meg Kettell were top shelf. Key grip, Brent Poleski, and dolly grip, Larhn Laurens-Davitt played their own concerto as we flew various rigs in and out to execute these ten shots. We even had art department dressed in tuxedos in shot, who moved furniture around to accommodate my path

through the scenes. Our producers were extremely supportive, giving us everything we needed to be successful.

INSIGHTS I find it interesting when trade articles focus on the technology used to create a film or television show. It’s very digital of us. Personally, I prefer to read why a certain cinematographer did something, instead of how they did it. I’ve read every American Cinematographer magazine cover to cover since 1990. There is no more valuable insight than learning why Conrad Hall approached a scene in Road to Perdition a certain way, or why Rodrigo Prieto used infrared film on Alexander. An emotional connection to the script should drive our decisions. As an operator, being in tune with your cast tells you when, where and how to move the camera. It’s something I’m still learning.

THE ACTORS Everything can come together beautifully behind the camera, but it means nothing

Modern American orchestra generally tune to the pitch "A", set at 440 Hz, and played by the oboe. In 1936, U.S. time and frequency station WWVH began broadcasting a 440 Hz signal at the first minute past every hour in order to aid orchestras in their tuning. It continues to this day. From left to right: DP, Ben Kutchins, director, Roman Coppola, on the table, Mark Karavite. MOZART IN THE JUNGLE: Behind-the-scenes of Mozart in the Jungle. Photo credit: David Lee/Amazon Studios

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SOCIETY OF CAMERA OPERATORS · SOC.ORG


PERSONAL LIFE AND WORK

our eldest son Nicholas, then 13, was diagnosed with Severe Aplastic Anemia. SAA is a rare blood disorder, and Nick needed a bone marrow transplant to survive. Without a sibling donor match, his odds of survival were 50/50. With the grace of God, our 5-year-old daughter, Mandy, was a perfect match. Throughout Nick’s battle, I didn’t work for six months. That call from Russell Todd on a Tuesday afternoon was a milestone. It was the first time Nick was healthy enough for me to even consider leaving home. After discussing it with my wife Pamela, she said,“Take it, we’ll be fine.” Because she’s amazing, and always right, I took this job. I knew my family would be fine. By the way, Nick is doing fantastic now.

In addition to being motivated by the performances, a personal struggle in my life taught me more about connecting emotionally than thirty years in the business. Six months before I was brought on to Mozart,

When your child is faced with a life threatening disease, your raw emotions come to the surface very quickly, and it teaches you what’s really important. What I didn’t realize while on the Mozart set, was how Nick’s illness

if there’s not gold happening in front of the camera. Our lead actors, Gael and Lola have the talent and screen presence to carry an entire three minutes on camera without cuts, and that is a rare talent. Roman knew they could pull off these extremely complex scenes. As we got deep into the number of takes, I was inspired by their performances, not allowing fatigue to affect my operating. Our entire cast, including Bernadette Peters, Hannah Dunne, Saffron Burrows and John Hodgman, were amazingly professional. On other shows, I’ve done big oners multiple times because of the cast. Not on Mozart. Roman’s adjustments were on mood and timing, never because someone missed a line or blew a take. Both cast and crew were laser focused on each take.

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had affected me. I was still very emotional about the events of the past six months, so much that I really couldn’t talk about it on set, and kept it mainly to myself. Looking back, I think my state of mind helped me connect to the emotions of the scene playing out in front of me, and react to the actors on an instinctual basis, as opposed to technically executing the shots. We really didn’t lay any marks down for either the cast, or myself, relying on the rhythm of the scene to motivate

New York City tenant laws allow musicians to practice their chosen instrument from the morning until 10:00pm in the evening. Sometimes the musician's union is called to help their members enforce their right to practice at home. MOZART IN THE JUNGLE: from left to right: Peter Vack and Lola Kirke in Mozart in the Jungle. Photo courtesy of Amazon Studios

CAMERA OPERATOR · SPRING 2016

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the camera through space. I still don’t know how Josh managed to nail the focus throughout that process.

THE SOC I feel honored and humbled that this episode was nominated by the SOC for Camera Operator of the Year - Television. There are an amazing number of extremely talented operators in the SOC, doing fantastic work in both features and television. I think my work on Mozart had an advantage over other stellar work, as long, elaborate Steadicam shots have been en vogue lately. Birdman and True Detective are examples of this trend. The 2015 Camera Operator of the Year - Television winner, my friend Steve Fracol, could not be more deserving of the award. Steve has been doing stellar episodic work for decades. After nearly 40 features, I was lucky enough to get the call on Mozart as one of my first real episodic ventures, and a nod from my colleagues at the SOC. I’ll take that combo any day. The unique approach taken by the producers and directors of Mozart In The Jungle represents the best in today’s new wave of excellence in television programming, and the Golden Globes agree. It’s a great group to work for, and their success is well deserved.

Director Roman Coppola, DP Ben Kutchins, and Mark Karavite behind the scenes of Mozart in the Jungle. Photo by David Lee/Amazon Studios

Mark Karavite, SOC I fell in love with the camera at age 10, starting in still photography. My mom gave up her closet so I could have a dark room at home. Lucky enough to get an early break working with motion picture cameras, I opted to skip college at Michigan State University to work in the busy Detroit automotive commercial market. In 1986, a production company I was working for wanted to use Steadicam on a TV spot for a local radio station. I went to the Maine Photographic Workshops to learn from Steadicam masters Garrett Brown and Larry McConkey. I honed my skills as a Steadicam operator during the music video wave of the late 1980’s

throughout the 1990’s. In the mid-90’s, I transitioned into dramatic features as Steadicam became a regular item on film sets. In 2001, I did my first studio feature, 8 Mile, with DP, Rodrigo Prieto, AMC, ASC. To this day, I still land jobs because I worked on that film. I have compiled around 40 feature credits, and various TV movie and pilot credits. Ironically, Mozart in the Jungle was one of my first episodic television projects, and a most rewarding experience. I’m humbled to have been honored with a nomination by the SOC. The talent and dedication to professionalism that exists within the SOC is beyond impressive. I’m proud to add those three letters to my name.

BE THE MATCH / SAVE A LIFE Our son Nick was fortunate enough to have his sister Mandy as a perfect bone marrow donor match. Thousands of patients with blood disorders and blood cancers are waiting for a transplant, but don’t have a sibling match. These patients lives rely on finding a suitable match. Contrary to popular belief, becoming a bone marrow donor is simple, painless and can be done at home. If you are a match, obtaining the bone marrow is an easy outpatient procedure. Our 5-year-old daughter did it, and was running around like crazy the next day. Please go to my wife’s website, www.TeamKaravite.org for more information on how you can save a life. Nick Karavite received a lifesaving bone marrow transplant from his sister, Mandy. Photo by Mike Ciarelli

SOCIETY OF CAMERA OPERATORS · SOC.ORG


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!

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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.

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CAMERA OPERATOR · SPRING 2016 Mark Karavite on set. Photo by Steve Hanson

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THE LAST SHIP An Operator’s POV by Bud Kremp, SOC

TRIVIA: The US Navy allowed the production team to film scenes aboard the Arleigh Burke-class Destroyers USS Halsey and USS Dewey as well as the USS Iowa museum ship. The Destroyers were sailed several days out to sea so that the cameras could shoot 360 degrees without having to worry about coastlines, buildings, and other ships appearing in the background. Many of the sailors in the background were the crews of those ships going about their duties as cameras rolled.

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Adam Baldwin, Eric Dane, and Travis Van Winkle behind the scenes. ©Turner Entertainment Networks. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.

SOCIETY OF CAMERA OPERATORS · SOC.ORG


While at the helm of the USS Nathan James en route to the Arctic, Captain Tom Chandler learns that the destroyer will be in the best possible place to save humanity from extinction. A virus has wiped out more than half the population since the ship embarked, and despite orders from the U.S. government to return, Chandler decides the safest place to develop a vaccine is at sea. That task falls mainly to virologist Dr. Rachel Scott, a civilian originally assigned to the Nathan James to study birds. The Last Ship is based on a novel by William Brinkley and is executive-produced by filmmaker and director Michael Bay (Transformers, Armageddon). Bud Kremp knew he wanted to be a Steadicam operator, at the early age of 12, after seeing the Steadicam demonstrated on stage as Garrett Brown received an award for technical achievement on the Academy Awards broadcast in 1978. He has been an operator since 1996 on such TV series as; Lost, Big Love, Banshee, Enlightened, The Forgotten, Quarry. Feature Credits include Middle Men and What to Expect When You’re Expecting. Bud was nominated for the SOC’s Camera Operator of the Year (Television) in 2014 for his work on Banshee, and again in 2015 for The Last Ship. How did you get hired on The Last Ship? I have a longstanding working relationship with director of photography, Cort Fey, ASC. This is my fourth show with Cort, and we work well together. We hadn’t worked together for a while and I had just finished the second season of Banshee for Cinemax. He had been hired to do a Michael Bay series called The Last Ship and was checking my availability. I had also worked with the showrunner of the series, Jack Bender, and Cort before on Season 3 of Lost. At the time, Cort had already hired an A camera operator, and he asked if I would do B camera/Steadicam – I immediately said yes! I

CAMERA OPERATOR · SPRING 2016

love working with Cort and had just finished a project so I said yes. Two and a half months later, three episodes in on the first season, the other operator left to work on another show, so I became A camera and I’ve been A camera ever since. We’re now in Season 3. Can you describe what it’s like to work with Cort and his style? Cort Fey is a wonderful director of photography to start with. He’s very inclusive and gives operators the opportunity to have input and freedom with the camera. He’s very open to suggestions and different ideas for shots we have. Cort’s very creative and passionate about what he does but recognizes and relies on the passion and creativity that we offer as operators as well. It’s just an amazing gift to an operator. We have alternating DPs on the show. The first season it was Christopher Faloona. The second season the alternating DP was David Geddes, ASC, and this season, Rodney Charters, ASC is our alt DP. With this type of alternating crew and schedule, you have to try to keep in mind the style and emotion in the shot. What you’re doing as an operator is tracking the emotionality in the scenes. Say we have a scene that involves

our actors communicating from one part of the destroyer ship to the other... Half the scene may take place one day on the ship’s bridge, and we may not shoot the other half of the scene in the C.I.C. (Combat Information Center) until weeks later, yet the look and intensity of the shots needs to be the same. It’s quite a responsibility, but you have to maintain the look and feel of the show. Can you describe a bit more about the challenge of that? Cort has been there the whole time so he specifically understands the show inside and out. The first year is always about finding the show’s look. How do we want to approach the look of the show? Jack Bender and Cort have an extensive work history. They understand and know how to interpret each other, so they basically designed the look of the show; the use of handheld, Steadicam, and the intensity. The other directors that come in would expound upon that, but we didn’t deviate that much from it. What is the cinematic style of the show? A mix of simmering frenzy and high energy. We are dealing with the current day, and an end of the world, post-apocalyptic plague. It’s not zombies, but a world trying to rejuvenate

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itself from a disaster. There isn’t a structure of government or security, and everything is on edge. They are consistently surrounded with mayhem and disaster, not to mention the personal sacrifices they’ve made and that translates in our operating style. How do you achieve that from a shooting style? We are always trying to find ways to move the camera, but moving the camera handheld is not a very good look unless it calls for that. Obviously we do it, but the simmering frenzy requires us to keep our viewers on edge by using an unsettling frame, yet it can’t be a jarring handheld movement that you would get if you were just trying to walk with the camera. We’re always trying to find new ways to move the camera in a hand held fashion without jarring it. I found the camera support system called Easy Rig a very useful tool and I use it to shoot handheld in a more controlled way. We

shoot low a lot, which presents the impression of power. So, if we have bad guys in a position of power or greed, we shoot low on them. We shoot low on our heroes, but we have to do it handheld and that’s an awkward position. Easy Rig takes most of the weight of the camera off of me so that I may do more fluid shots. Riding the dolly while shooting handheld provides the look without the unacceptable jarring of walking handheld. I have found that throwing a simple TV Lazy Susan on the low mode adapter of the dolly, along with one of our “Bud-Rittos” (an apple box shaped piece of foam covered in strong cloth) with a shot bag on top provides me with a great handheld look, yet gives me stability control. And we have other devices that provide us with that opportunity with longer lenses, 12:1 zoom lens. I have a Halo head which is basically a six-inch round inner tube sandwiched between two metal plates, and we attach the camera to that and we can provide a handheld look but very controlled with a 12:1 for long lens shooting.

My favorite tool, which allows for a handheld look overall is what we call the “Proton Pak.” It’s a backpack/Gunner cam configuration and that was designed by Michael Bay. He shoots his own footage at times, and I believe it was designed during one of his Transformer movies. He wanted to be able to run around with a Red body and two handles and a lens and probably a focus motor and that was it. The Season 2 2nd AC, Hadyn Panzanti has worked on many Michael Bay projects. Hadyn informed us that Michael Bay wanted to know if we were using the “Backpack Camera” on The Last Ship. At that time, I was just hand-holding the camera myself. To do handheld with a normal camera there are many components on the camera that weigh it down. You have motors, you have video transmitter, you have matte box, battery power for all the things you are using, focus motor, iris motor, a video monitor—there’s so much on the camera. Even though cameras have gotten

The USS Halsey acts as the stand-in for the USS Nathan James for the most part. The ship's dog, on the show, is called Admiral Halsey. Michael Bay behind the scenes. ©Turner Entertainment Networks. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.

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lighter over time, you still have to put all the items necessary back on the camera. The idea was to remove all of the mentioned stuff and mount it on the backpack. So now you have a 12-foot umbilical cord that goes between the camera and the backpack. My excellent dolly operator, the “eyes in the back of my head,” Bill Allegar wears the backpack and guides me, and I’m carrying just a carbon fiber Red Dragon body with a lens, two motors and a Red monitor and that’s it. It weighs no more than 10 pounds! So I have this small, little unit in my hands, which makes it so that I can go from ground level to as high as I can reach and anything in between. I poo-pooed it when I first heard about it, but then Haydn received the backpack from Panavision (who had designed the backpack with Haydn’s help), and we got it together and used it on the second season. At the end of the second season, I ended up building my own and refining their design. I used it on the last show I worked on, Quar-

ry for Cinemax, and it changed that show because of what we were able to do with it.

TECH ON SET:

4 - Red Dra I redesigned it a bit because Panavigon Cameras Aero Crane with Talon R sion’s version was bulkier. The batBox Meridia n Transmitte emote Head rs 4-19/90 tery pack stuck out more. If you’re Fujinon 2- 45/120 A ng going through doorways, the back2- 70/200 Zeiss 1 - 15.5/45 pack was too deep and it stuck out Fujinon Alu 1 - Backpac ra k Gunner C too far. I found a slimmer battery am sy stem 1 - GPI Pro Steadicam pack and came up with a way to O' Connor 2 5/75 Fluid Support Hea minimalize the space it took up, Cartoni Lam ds bda Head Easy Rig Cam which made it way more streamlined era Support and therefore easier for my dolly grip to follow and guide me. We’re talking about shooting on a destroyer with doorways that are 26 inches wide. Running backwards at full speed, you need every inch to streamWe call it the “Proton Camera Pack” because line and negotiate through these doorways, it looks like something out of Ghostbusters. so every inch matters. I bought the same I thank Michael Bay for forcing it on us bebackpack but had everything else manucause I never would have tried it. At first I factured so we could make our own. It has thought, “I don’t need this,” but that was really changed the way I shoot. I use it all shortsighted on my part. We did need it and the time. I love it and I’ll use it for the rest using it has really brought about a new era of of my career. operating for me.

Even though Tom Chandler, the Commanding Officer of the Nathan-James, holds the rank of Commander, he is called Captain at times because of Naval tradition. That tradition is to call whoever is in command of a Naval Vessel Captain, regardless of the actual rank they hold. Eric Dane Travis Van Winkle behind the scenes. ©Turner Entertainment Networks. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.

CAMERA OPERATOR · SPRING 2016

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Who is in the Camera Department and how do you all work together? This season the DP is Cort Fey, ASC, the DP alternating is Rodney Charters, ASC. Season 1, Christopher Faloona was the alternating DP, and Season 2 was David Geddes. My first AC is Steve Pazanti, and the second AC on A camera is Shane Carlson. B camera operator is Dave Sammons, B camera first AC is Michael Alvarez, and the B camera second AC is Roger Spain. Our digital utility is Joe Sutera and the DIT is James Cobb. This is one of the best crews I’ve worked with. We’ve become a family and the camera department has stayed pretty much the same all three seasons. It’s nice to grow as a family. These guys make long days—14-15 hour days, not including LA traffic—a delight. They make it fun, creative. Dave and I, as operators, compliment each other so well. Just working together to find shots, trying to stay out of each other’s way and still get the shots

we need to get. I’ve never worked with anyone before with such a great personality and sense of humor as Dave. It’s a great crew and I can’t speak highly enough about them. And our ACs have their work cut out for them because we are in very low light situations and using very long lenses. Nine times out of ten these guys barely get a rehearsal and the show proves itself, episode after episode, that there is hardly a moment that they don’t get in focus. It’s impossible and it’s absolutely incredible because they do a great job in the most extreme conditions and they are able to pull it off. They are focus magicians, for sure. How do you adjust to working with new directors? It pushes me to think creatively. I’ve been pushed by many directors to do things I didn’t’ think I could do. Things I hadn’t done before. Opening my eyes creatively to possibilities and ways of covering scenes, ways to truncate when we’re time crunched. I grow as an op-

erator from so many points of view. I work with my DP and he and I work the same way all the time. Although we work well together we’re not able to grow as much because we’re in the same dynamic flow, but when we have new directors come in, it promotes a thought process that opens our minds and provokes creative design. I know how I want to cover a scene but then the director wants to cover it a different way so, between the three of us, it creates something completely new and it changes on every episode that we have a new director. Everybody is different. Attitudes are another factor. Personality types and emotions are different with each person, so you have to learn to keep your head down and do the job. That’s the least of it. Being open to new ideas and new ways to do things is key. What is it like to work with the actors? Our cast is amazing. We are so lucky and I’m very thankful for each and every cast mem-

Travis Van Winkle and Jocko Sims behind the scenes. ©Turner Entertainment Networks. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.

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ber, and I’m not blowing smoke. Our actors couldn’t be more helpful or pleasant, and over time you can’t help but become a family. And our cast is huge—we have in our main cast upwards of fifteen to twenty regular cast members. It’s phenomenal when we’re putting in the hours that we work, the attitudes they provide us with are fun and professional, and we’re just very, very fortunate. Eric Dane, who plays the lead, Captain Tom Chandler, and Adam Baldwin as CO Captain Mike Slattery, are dedicated and passionate. They are prepared, which is huge for us because of the days we have to make. We have a very strong patriarch in Eric. He is the embodiment of someone you look up to and are very blessed to be working with. And the rest of the cast is just phenomenal. We have a lot of running, a lot of gunfire, blood, nights... and these people are right there with us. They adapt to what we need them to do over and over again. A lot of times, we need help from the actors to accomplish the vision of a shot that we’ve got our hearts on getting, and they make the minor adjustments. They’re trying to remember their lines and act emotionally, but yet they’ve got a camera oper-

ator saying, “When you land, can you land two more inches to the left?” and they’re giving and it’s a blessing. What is it like to work on the set/location of the series? It’s very hard. This is a very hard location show. Most people in the biz on an eight-day episode show schedule will say, “We’re five days on stage and three days out.” We average nine to ten days an episode. Of those, we are on average three days on stage and six days out! We shoot in San Pedro, Santa Clarita, Oxnard, Carpenteria, out in the middle of the ocean, San Diego, we’re all over the place. We shoot at Culver Studios and have three stages there. I live in Burbank, California and I (begrudgingly!) drive past Warner Bros. every day to drive an hour to Culver City. I can’t speak enough about LA traffic, how horrific it is, and how much it adds to your day. The locations are hard. It’s muddy, it’s raining, and we’re on the water in rough seas sometimes. It’s a pretty brutal show when it comes to locations. Only those who TRULY love their job could survive it, and I’m one of those people.

We have three major sections of the destroyer ship recreated on stage, the bridge, the C.I.C., and the body of the ship or “Mid Ship,” where there are hallways, staterooms, the ward room or briefing room, communication center, armory, mess hall and a break room...etc. Do you have any interesting special challenging experiences from your work on the show that you can share? Steadicam through p-ways (passageways). Full-speed running backwards through the p-ways with Steadicam on through twenty-six inch doorways—it’s a challenge. It’s one of the hardest challenges I’ve ever had to deal with. I don’t’ know what else to say (laughs). What I’ll do is measure a Steadicam one day when I’m just standing there. And then having to squeeze that through twenty-six inches at full speed backwards is one of the more specific challenges I’ve ever confronted. Is it easier with the backpack? Often times I’ll be charging full speed backwards on a butt dolly with the backpack and racing through the doorways but that’s rel-

Eric Dane and Bud Kremp. ©Turner Entertainment Networks. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.

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atively easy as I have Bill watching for me. But when I have Steadicam on it’s now sixty pounds heavier and have to be mindful of not tripping over the lip at the bottom of the p-way doorways. At the end of last season, we finally got them to cut those out so now it’s easier to walk through them, but you still have to crunch yourself up to get through the twenty-six inch passageway. Now I don’t have to step over the lip anymore but I still have to get through. I just did a Steadicam shot on Thursday and I was walking fast backwards and I crashed into the doorway and it sounds horrible. People in the rooms off the p-way hears the sound and think I’ve lost it. I’m perfectly fine but it’s so aggravating to try to not loose your horizon and to crash into things. Is there anything else you’d like to mention? The military itself. We have actual military advisors on set (project manager, Captain Russell Coons, project officers, LCDR, Mark Correa, and LT. Mike Hume, advisor, Scott Foxx, and longtime military advisor to Michael Bay, Harry Humphries). We are also working alongside professionals on

active Navy ships in San Diego that can be yanked out from under us at any time in the state of an emergency. When we’re on the ships, we are interacting with actual sailors. We work amongst them and it is such a privilege. The first time you arrive at the San Diego Naval base and you are driven onto the bay it’s quite remarkable. At 8:00am sharp they play The Star Spangled Banner, the sun is rising, the flag is waving and you are touched. We all, out of respect, stop, put our hands on our hearts and point ourselves to the flag. When you are standing in the very heart of your nation’s defense, at the naval defense base surrounded by magnificent, huge ships and they’re responsible for saving lives and for the defense of the nation, it’s humbling. We shot on the SS Mercy, which is a naval hospital and we had to reschedule our shooting on it because one of the tsunami’s had just happened and it was about to leave. But, you’re just overwhelmed with the amount of dedication and service that the people have around you. I had never been exposed to it before and it’s just a feeling of appreciation and inspiration and makes you want to do

better. Eric Dane—I watch the man translate what these people do for a living into his character. It’s an overwhelming feeling and it just fills you with inspiration to do this job because you are trying to convey what these people live every day. We’re trying to be as authentic and accurate as possible. On Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day, we appreciate those days with a moment of silence on set. We are respectful of the traditions they have, and they are thankful for that, but we participate because we want to show them that we’re thankful for what they’re doing. It’s an emotional thing that you go through. Even though we’re doing a fictional post-apocalyptic plague, we’re really at the heart of our nation’s defense and these people do this for a living. When Steadicam is weighing on me at sixty-five pounds and I’ve been carrying it all day, I still think about the person who is risking his or her life being shot at in a battlefield wearing sixty-five pounds of gear. It’s an amazing feeling and gives me such inspiration. Just to touch on that. The military aspect of this and the inspiration and dedication that I feel is truly overwhelming.

Eric Dane behind the scenes. ©Turner Entertainment Networks. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.

CAMERA OPERATOR · SPRING 2016

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In the P-Ways of "The Last Ship" with XO CDR. Andrea Garnett (Fay Masterson) and CNO. Capt. Tom Chandler (Eric Dane). Photo courtesy of Bud Kremp, SOC

Bud Kremp, SOC On the evening of April 3rd, 1978, my life changed forever. I was 11 years old watching the Academy Awards with my family. Host Bob Hope had just handed over the ceremony to Billy Dee Williams, presenter of the award for Technical Achievement. Billy spoke of a new camera stabilizing device by Garrett Brown called the "Steadicam" while another man demonstrated it by walking and jogging in place. It was at this very moment, almost fourty years ago, that I knew exactly what I wanted to do for the rest of my life! I have been truly blessed to have achieved a lifelong dream. The highlight of my career would have to be the moment I came face to face with Garret Brown at an industry holiday party. I was near tears as I thanked the man responsible for inventing the stabilizing device that made an 11 year-old boy's dreams come true.

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Photo courtesy of Bud Kremp

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Outlander An American British Television Series by Andrei Austin, associate BSC, SOC, ACO

Behind the scenes. © 2014 Sony Pictures Television Inc. All Rights Reserved

Claire Randall, a married WWII combat nurse, is mysteriously swept back in time to 1743. She’s forced to marry Jamie Fraser, a chivalrous and romantic Scottish warrior, and her heart becomes torn between two extremely different men in two irreconcilable lives. Jennifer Lawrence in JOY. Photo Credit: Courtesy Twentieth Century Fox Outlander was created by Ronald D. Moore from the best-selling books by Diana Gabaldon. 24

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My agent called to say Outlander, Season 2 was ramping up and the production office had called to check my availability. I was one of the camera operators that shot the entire first season of sixteen episodes over a period of twelve months starting September 2013. Season 2 would shoot over a period of nine months and we’d produce thirteen episodes, including Prague as a stand-in for 18th Century Paris.

CHANGE IN STORY CHANGE OF LOOK Our heroes Claire Fraser, Jamie Fraser, and Murtagh Fitzgibbans, played by Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan, and Duncan Lacroix respectively, had escaped to France at the end of Episode 16, so the first part of this season's new environment mandated a different look and feel. Last season originated on the Arri Alexa platform. This season we went to the Amira platform for "Paris" at 4K then to the Sony f55 at 4K (more on this later) for their return to Scotland. Most of the camera team returned from Season 1 (always a good sign) including; DP, Neville Kidd, camera/Steadicam operator, Ossie McLean, but we were going to add a 2nd DP, Steve McNutt ASC, CSC, who would alternate with Neville. The season's shooting schedule was divided into six, twenty-eight day shooting blocks, with a change of director and DP for each block. The prep for each block usually overlapped with the shooting of the next block. Since it's customary for camera operators to attend the tech scout and to fully engage in any pre-prep and testing, Ossie and I also alternated A camera duties for each block of filming. I therefore prepped and operated A camera for all of Steve's blocks and B camera for all of Neville's blocks. This included scouts to Prague and also to Wiltshire in England, as well as all of the Scottish locations in our blocks.

CAMERA OPERATOR · SPRING 2016

WORKING WITH MULTIPLE DIRECTORS We also had returning directors, Metin Huseyin and Mike Barker, and new directors, Douglas Mackinnon and Philip John. As we all know, every director and every DP has their own style and modus operandi, so I find it fun to work with different people. Steve lights and plans his strategy mostly for single camera, whereas Neville will use at least two cameras for coverage. I like to do my own breakdowns and from that produce a camera equipment list over and above that which we carry as standard. I also upload this to a cloud-based calendar so the camera teams can access it and know what extra equipment to expect during the course of the shooting block. It also means they can print out whatever they need.

ON SET TECH Much of the story in first two blocks was shot on our sound stages in a "Paris" apartment. This comprised a truly epic and opulently designed and dressed two story set, complete with an "open air" courtyard that was big enough for a horse-drawn carriage. Wall-hung tapestries, open fireplaces with real flames, and parquet floors that we couldn't damage or stick camera tape to. The props department covered any out-ofvision flooring with long rolls of blue carpet, or we used Ram Board. Brian Milliken, our sound recordist carries dozens of rubber backed barrier mats which he uses to deaden footsteps, and to which we can stick camera tape for marks, so between us, we were able to work efficiently. Steve likes dolly movement, so we boarded the floors for many setups and I ran the Chapman Hybrid, my own Technohead, and Panavized Amira or Sony f55 in full "studio" mode. However, much of the coverage for Metin's blocks was handheld and on long focal length lenses. Wide shots were shot on

50mm lenses, whilst close-ups were on 100mm or more. This presented a tough challenge for my 1st assistant camera, Chris Shaw, but one he mastered, especially as we were often asked to shoot the rehearsal. I am a longtime user of the XCS Ultimate and I've configured my rig with a shortened dovetail plate. I usually keep the bridge plate on the camera base for Steadicam or handheld. I also have a dovetail plate on my Techno head and O'Connor, so mode changes are super quick for the AC's, require fewer tools, and typically take less than seven minutes.

WORKING WITH MY 1ST AC Caitriona Balfe is our heroine and the story is told from her perspective. So when I was planning the shot choreography, I developed a series of protocols with Chris vis à vis focus and who to follow at any moment in time. Cait appears as number one on the cast list, so if I said to Chris, "Rule number one,” he knew I meant rack focus to Cait. Sam is number two on the list, so “Rule number two,” meant pull to him and so on. We had an understanding though that if he had any doubt, rule number one should apply. On the other hand, there were times where I would ask him to ignore the dialogue and to rack focus to what he saw and what was story relevant. Other times, I would initiate a camera move, and ask him to follow my lead. Sometimes I would ask him to trigger a rack focus on a dialogue or action cue and I would follow HIS lead. There were even times when we'd do what the director told us (smiles). A typical day will start with me reading the sides over breakfast and briefing the crew about what to expect of that day's shooting. If we're on location, I may also jump into the production office to see if there are any major changes that might make an impact on us. I like to linger on set whilst the director is rehearsing with the actors, since it gives me an early insight into how the director plans to cover that scene.

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HELPFUL APPS I often use my iPad with the Hollywood Shot Designer app to quickly plot the actor's moves, and I'll also plot some camera positions as suggestions for later discussions with DP and director. Using this app also allows me to communicate to the rest of the crew the intended coverage. Another invaluable app on my iPad is Artemis Director's Finder. I used to use a MKV finder, then later on I used the Artemis on my iPhone, but having the image on the larger iPad screen is much better. Also, I've found the ability to take a picture of the intended framing is invaluable for discussions with DPs, directors, art department, and the sound department. When they inevitably ask, "What will you see?" I simply take out my iPad and show them. On my iPhone, I also have pCam, so I can whip it out of my pocket and calculate a

matching frame size for example. Also on my iPhone I have Sun Scout, which is particularly useful for plotting crane positions for exteriors. As well as geared heads, fluid heads, Steadicam and handheld, we use a range of cranes amd jibs. The Fisher arm is particularly popular with our key grip, Tim Critchell. This will often be paired with the KFX Aurora remote head. We keep both of these for the run of the season for those occasions where we need them. Other times we will rent a more substantial crane from Panavision like the Moviebird 44 with a Scorpio stabilized head.

LOCATION CHALLENGES Our locations are very often in the beautiful but rugged Scottish countryside, so the crane is often mounted on an all ter-

rain motorized vehicle called the Taurus. Since this package has to be sourced from over 350 miles away in London, we have to think very carefully to justify its use, but many times it's the most cost-effective way of achieving a sequence of shots. New this year, we sourced a cable rig system. This was rigged in a forest location for director, Mike Barker's block and it helped us to shoot a chase sequence where our heroes are riding on horseback. We combined this coverage with a camera on a 30' Technocrane mounted on a tracking vehicle so we could get up close and personal with our actors. Credit here must go to key grip, Tim Critchell and his team. I don't know how they held onto that crane whilst we drove on those twisting, muddy forest tracks with the camera inches from our horses and actors whilst I was safe and snug inside the cab, turning the wheels and issuing instructions over the intercom to them and the driver.

The village of Cransmuir is fictional. So all outside scenes were filmed in the small historic village called Culross in Fife, Scotland. Culross is a National Trust For Scotland heritage village. Behind the scenes with camera operator Andrei Austin. 漏 2014 Sony Pictures Television Inc.

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A STAIRCASE SEQUENCE

We interfaced with a Prague-based produc-

We also used the TowerCam for a staircase sequence. It proved particularly difficult, since the stairs were in a rectangular space with our actress moving at speed, then coming to a halt to look around, then run down the last flight of steps. The camera first had to descend to a predetermined height, then ascend to a predetermined height, then descend at full speed, locking a predetermined frame.

were fantastic hosts, and managed to get us

In my down time, I like to research and on one such trip, I visited a company in Soho, London called nCam. I mentioned this to the Producer as a potential solution for Outlander since it allows the visualization of real and CG elements in real time. This proved invaluable on a sequence of shots that had to composite real elements to 18th century CG in a green screen shoot.

The Scottish camera crews are particularly

tion entity for this part of the shoot and they access to some of their most treasured buildings and monuments.

WEATHERING THE WEATHER Outlander is based in Western Scotland which has a particularly wet and changeable climate. In the winter months it can be freezing cold as well.

adept at coping with this, and managing the camera systems. We have taken our cameras into places you wouldn't willingly take your laptop to and they have kept the cameras and lenses going. On one memorable occasion, we lost two E-Z Ups to the driving rain and wind, but the crew somehow kept the cameras dry and working until we wrapped.

We all know that camera teams are the most appropriately dressed crew members on set and in Scotland, in the winter you have to take this aspect of your "shooting kit" seriously. I'm a big fan of salopettes and I wear my Páramo ones all day and either Páramo Aspira smock or Canada Goose on my top half. For base layers I take advice from the Swedish and wear Woolpower on my legs and either Woolpower or an Icebreaker from New Zealand on my top half. I am most known for wearing a USAF sage green flight suit. In fact, many people simply don't recognize me when I'm not wearing one. In summary, Outlander, Season 2, like the first season, was a tough, grueling assignment that required a great deal of skill, experience and endurance in some of the toughest filming conditions. However, that also made it very rewarding and I hope the results speak for themselves.

TECH ON SET:

Three Arri A

mira camera (Panavised)

Three Sony

f55 (Panavi

zed) Cooke S4 le nses (14-135 foca l lengths) 15.5-45mm Alura Two 18-80m m Aluras 45-250m A lura

Two sets of

SHOOTING IN PRAGUE Half of this season's story takes place in 18th Century Paris. This meant a company move to Prague in the Czech Republic for exterior sequences. Prague is like any other capital city so it's busy and you cannot stop it just because you want to film. This necessitated careful planning and scheduling of our five shooting days there, often getting to locations at dawn, setting up and shooting before the tourists arrived.

CAMERA OPERATOR · SPRING 2016

Costume Designer Terry Dresbach is married to producer Ron Moore. She and co-producer, Maril Davis, suggested the books to Moore to produce as a TV show. Claire Randall (Caitriona Balfe), Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan). © 2014 Sony Pictures Television Inc.

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Andrei Austin, associate BSC, SOC, ACO Andrei Austin, associate BSC, SOC, ACO was a nominee for the 2016 SOC Camera Operator of the Year Television Award. His love of photography was ignited on his twelfth birthday when his parents gave him a manual SLR film camera. He quickly became proficient and progressed to developing his own black-andwhite film and printing photographs in his home darkroom. In 1984, he started his career at the UK national broadcaster BBC as a trainee camera operator. Quickly progressing, Andrei found his true vocation shooting television drama, first with electronic cameras, then on Super 16 film, the medium predominant at that time. Developing into a skilled Steadicam operator, Andrei left the BBC in 2000 and carved out a career as a freelance camera/Steadicam operator in film, television, and commercials.

Photo by Chris Shaw

A Remembrance of Phil Radin

Recently, we lost a dear friend of the SOC and a generous heart to our community, Mr. Phil Radin. With his passing, we honor his leadership and contribution to our industry. In 2012, Michael Frediani, SOC  then President, selected Mr. Radin to be the recipient of the prestigious President’s Award. Our condolences go out to his family and friends.

In Phil’s Panavision office April 19, 2013. Photo by Jeffrey A. Goldenberg

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Society of Camera Operators

2016 Lifetime Achievment Awards

And the Honorees and Nominees Are… SOC Camera Operator Lifetime Achievement Award Stephen Campanelli, SOC SOC Mobile Camera Platform Operator Lifetime Achievement Award Jack Glenn SOC Still Photographer Lifetime Achievement Award Murray Close SOC Camera Technician Lifetime Achievement Award Gregory Irwin, SOC SOC Technical Achievement Award Cartoni’s Lambda Head   SOC President’s Award Bruce Doering, National Executive Director (Retired), International Cinematographers Guild

SOC Governors Award Gary Lucchesi, President of Lakeshore Entertainment & Co-President of the Producers Guild of America

SOC Distinguished Service Award Steven Manios, Sr., Former Owner & President of Century Precision Optics

Nominees SOC Camera Operator of the Year FEATURE FILM P. Scott Sakamoto, SOC - The Revenant

WINNER

Colin Anderson, SOC Star Wars: The Force Awakens Mitch Dubin, SOC - Bridge of Spies Ian Fox, SOC - Jurassic World Geoff Haley, SOC - Steve Jobs TELEVISION Steve Fracol, SOC - Scandal

WINNER

Andrei Austin, associate BSC, ACO - Outlander Mark Karavite, SOC - Mozart in the Jungle Bud Kremp, SOC - The Last Ship 30

Geoff Shotz - Vampire Diaries SOCIETY OF CAMERA OPERATORS · SOC.ORG


SOC Awards 2016 Lifetime Achievement Awards by Derek Stettler · Photographs by Albert Ortega

Rolling out the red carpent for SOC members.

The 2016 SOC Lifetime Achievement Awards kicked off on Saturday night, February 6, at the famous Paramount Studios in Hollywood. A vibrant red carpet paved the way to the front of the Paramount Theatre and the beautifully-lit theatre plaza, where guests were treated to hors d'oeuvres and drinks, live music, and the company of friends, old and new. It was a lively and celebratory atmosphere at the annual black-tie event, which honors the craft of the camera operator and celebrates the crew.

ment Award for Distinguished Service, presented by Bonnie Blake, SOC, and given to Steve Manios, Sr. of Century Precision Optics. During his lifetime spent with Century, Manios’ technical achievements in optics include developing several award-winning lenses which have become legendary, and the creation of custom optics for filmmakers such as George Lucas, Haskell Wexler, Vilmos Zsigmond, Bill Bennett, and Linwood Dunn.

SOC CAMERA TECHNICIAN LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

With all manner of celebrities and guests making their way inside the buzzing theatre, the lights dimmed and the show officially commenced with a tribute video celebrating the journey and contributions of the camera operator throughout the history of cinema. The video was crafted by post producer, Jake Huberman and editor, Bryan Yokomi. With the audience engaged and inspired, SOC President and Awards Committee Chair, Mark August, SOC took the stage and welcomed everyone to what was undeniably a night to remember. August declared, “This evening the SOC has much to celebrate. I like to say it’s a coming together of the production community. An acknowledgement of excellence, on set, on the camera, and the leadership that has guided our community.”

Next up to the stage was presenter Geoff Haley, SOC, a nominee himself for Camera Operator of the Year Feature Film for his work on the film Steve Jobs. Geoff presented the Camera Technician Lifetime Achievement Award to Gregory Irwin, a man Haley described as, “The unholy love child between Jimmy Buffet…and Warren Buffet.” Haley praised Irwin for the way he, “plays his focus knob like a musical instrument, his instinctual sense of rhythm and timing virtually replacing the need for marks or tape measures. I’ve never seen anyone nail an improvisational rehearsal, nowadays also referred to as ‘take one,’ with the almost psychic precision of Greg’s effortless touch.”

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD FOR DISTINGUISHED SERVICE

SOC MOBILE CAMERA PLATFORM OPERATOR LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

With emcee, Kiff VandenHeuvel taking the reigns to introduce each of the presenters, the first award of the night was the Lifetime Achieve-

With the show now in full swing, presenters Alan “Moose” Shultz and Brad Rea, themselves past recipients of the Mobile Camera Platform

CAMERA OPERATOR · SPRING 2016

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Operator Lifetime Achievement Award, brought several laughs to the audience as they shared anecdotes on this year’s winner—Jack Glenn. Jack was humbled and very emotional, and accepted the award with a sense of amazement and gratitude that a dolly grip such as himself could be on a stage in front of so many people accepting a Lifetime Achievement Award. Glenn declared, “It feels good to be able to be a part of making movies and to make people happy… I’m going to go out enjoying every minute of it.”

THE VISION CENTER AT CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL LOS ANGELES Mark August and our charities chair, Lisa Stacilauskas, SOC, were then welcomed to the stage to honor the remarkable work of Dr. Thomas Lee and The Vision Center at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. August remarked that, “The SOC has a long-standing relationship with the Vision Center at the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Part of the SOC’s mission is to actively support the Vision Center as our charitable focus, including proceeds from this Awards show.” With the SOC’s contributions of over $200,000 to the Vision Center to date, there was much to celebrate, but Lisa Stacilauskas offered one more, “One way the SOC honors its charitable commitment to the Vision Center is to produce a video each year for the Center’s use in fundraising efforts. We are thrilled to share that last year’s video highlighting the center’s innovating use of telemedicine was instrumental in procuring a one-million-dollar donation from the Petersen Foundation to further that program.” What followed was a video that revealed the cutting-edge predictive medicine techniques Dr. Lee and his team are using to diagnose and treat eye diseases in children, before they develop. The audience was justifiably blown away.

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Bruce Doering, National Executive Director (Retired), International Cinematographers Guild

SOC PRESIDENT’S AWARD With everyone appropriately wide-eyed and inspired, 2012 Camera Operator Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, Paul Babin, SOC, took the stage to share a little wisdom with everyone before presenting the President’s Award to Bruce Doering. “I've worked 42,658 hours on union sets. I figure this qualifies me to share some conclusions about Hollywood and the film business—truths that apply to people on both sides of the camera. The first truth is that nobody knows anything. The second truth is that everybody is crazy. And the third is everyone wants to be seen.” As longtime national executive director for the International Cinematographers Guild, Bruce Doering has “devoted 30 years of his life to improving the working conditions of those of us who knew nothing, were crazy, wanted to be seen, and loved cinematography. He brought heart and compassion to a labor organization that had historically run on intimidation, fear, and exclusion.”

SOC GOVERNORS LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD Presenting the next award was Mitch Dubin, SOC, winner of the 2008 Camera Operator Lifetime Achievement Award, SOC first Vice President, and a nominee this year's Camera Operator of the Year Feature Film for Bridge of Spies. Dubin presented the Governors Award to Gary Lucchesi, which is given by the Board of Governors in recognition of an outstanding career and contributions to the film industry. With several members of the audience having worked on films Lucchesi has produced, including Paul Babin, Stephen Campanelli, not to mention Mitch Dubin as well, “Gary’s unique understanding

Gary Lucchesi, President of Lakeshore Entertainment & Co-President of the Producers Guild of America


of what it takes to have a box office success, tell a rich and meaningful story, and run a set where there is respect and collaboration” was most certainly recognized. Feeling “deeply honored to be here tonight,” Lucchesi shared how being a producer has given him a unique appreciation and understanding of the, “precise, difficult, and critical function that a camera operator provides. During the countless hours of strenuous and demanding work, it is the camera operator who truly captures the images which will last on screen for generations.” Lucchesi related stories of being impressed by camera operators throughout his career, and shared his belief of “being there, and doing the work,” as well as the value of giving back, especially in volunteer organizations such as the PGA and SOC, where “fellowship” is the word he finds most accurately describes the benefit of being involved.

SOC STILL PHOTOGRAPHER LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD One of the most legendary still photographers in filmmaking, Murray Close, was next to be honored. Longtime friend Rob Friedman, co-chairman of Lionsgate Motion Picture Group, awarded the Still Photographer Lifetime Achievement Award to Close. Having taken photos on the sets of directors such as Stanley Kubrick, Clint Eastwood, Steven Spielberg, and Alejandro González Iñárritu, Close shares something with fellow Lifetime Achievement Award winner Stephen Campanelli in that they were both brought to Hollywood by Clint Eastwood. Mentored by Stanley Kubrick when he worked on The Shining, Close revealed many memorable moments with Kubrick and the lessons Kubrick taught him. “It was a film school like no other, demonstrating the importance of attention to detail and to examine all methods of achieving the final image.” Although being honored with a Life-

Alan “Moose” Shultz, Jack Glenn, and Brad Rea

time Achievement Award, Close continues his work as a photographer on some of the biggest films in Hollywood, having discovered that, “a lifetime in this business goes by very quickly,” he urged the audience to, “remember to step back from the mundane irritants of your work life and take a moment to marvel at what you are contributing to and be amazed by the unique talents that are around you.”

HASKELL WEXLER & VILMOS ZSIGMOND TRIBUTE Following Murray Close’s final remarks urging the audience to reflect upon and marvel at the work they do, it seemed the perfect time to remember and honor two great icons of cinema who had passed away within days of each other: Haskell Wexler, ASC and Vilmos Zsigmond, ASC. An emotional tribute video was shown, which can be seen on the SOC’s Vimeo page.

SOC TECHNICAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD The SOC’s Technical Achievement Award is given in recognition of innovative work that has significantly impacted the art and craft of camera operating. This year, that award went to Cartoni for the legendary Lambda Head. Presenting the award was Eric Fletcher, SOC, who has been the camera operator on television series such as Dexter, True Blood, Shameless, and many others. Fletcher remarked that, “The Lambda is seen on most of our sets and it’s safe to say at one time or another pretty much every operator in this room has used it.” Accepting the award was Elisabetta Cartoni, granddaughter of founder Renato Cartoni. She has been running Cartoni for three decades and thanked the SOC Board of Governors while sharing how “immensely

Elizbeth Cartoni accepting the Technical Achievment Award


proud” Cartoni is to be able to support the creation of “some of the most extraordinary images ever made.”

SOC CAMERA OPERATOR OF THE YEAR TELEVISION AWARD Presenting the award for Camera Operator of the Year Television Award were three of the actors from the nominees’ series: Eric Dane of The Last Ship, Annie Wersching of Vampire Diaries, and Darby Stanchfield of Scandal. Dane remarked, “As an actor, we know how critical it is to have trust in our camera operator. It’s a dance, it’s a relationship, and if you are lucky, you build an unspoken trust. I certainly have this with Bud Kremp. Bud knows what I’m going to do before I do. He anticipates my movement, the space I occupy within a frame, my reactions, and sometimes, even my thoughts.” And Stanchfield praised Steve Fracol, nominated now three years in a row, “Scandal is a fast-moving set, we have crazy high-speed "walk-n-talks," and it's typical that we shoot up to eleven pages a day. Steve Fracol is a steadfast beacon of excellence, capturing every moment in true Scandal pace, and much of the time he's executing his job while jogging backwards.” After a thrilling glimpse at what the presenters spoke about in a video highlighting the work of the nominees—Andrei Austin, SOC for Outlander; Steve Fracol, SOC for Scandal; Mark Karavite, SOC for Mozart in the Jungle; Bud Kremp, SOC for The Last Ship; and Geoff Shotz, SOC for Vampire Diaries—it was time to open the envelope. And the winner was…Steve Fracol. The unveiling of Fracol as winner was met with enthusiastic applause from all and loud cheering from several in the audience. With no speech prepared, Fracol kept it brief and from the heart. Thanking his crew, specifically Scandal B-camera operator, Jack Messitt, Fracol acknowledged, “Scandal is a team effort, there’s no way I’d be up here without them.” He dedicated the award to his wife and kids, “I appreciate you guys letting me go to work every day and chase my dream.”

SOC CAMERA OPERATOR OF THE YEAR FEATURE FILM AWARD With the night nearly over, it was time to reveal the coveted Camera Operator of the Year Feature Film Award. Husband and wife acting duo Ioan Gruffudd and Alice Evans, who met while co-staring in 102 Dalmatians, took the stage to do the honors. “Our nominees transport us into stories spanning the globe and through time travel. Their expertise of storytelling using the camera as a tool, movement, framing and no movement in many cases, is what makes these movies so engaging and, in turn, the audience transfixed.” To demonstrate just what Ioan Gruffudd was talking about, an impressive video was shown with some of the most notable sequences of camera operating on display from the nominees—Colin Anderson, SOC for Star Wars: The Force Awakens; Mitch Dubin, SOC for Bridge of Spies; Ian Fox, SOC for Jurassic World; Geoff Haley, SOC for Steve Jobs; and P. Scott Sakamoto, SOC for The Revenant. Opening the envelope, Alice Evans announced that the winner of the 2016 Feature Film Camera Operator of the Year Award was none other than P. Scott Sakamoto, for his singular work on The Revenant. As he was off shooting

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on location in Australia at the time, Sakamoto could not make it to the show and asked legendary cinematographer, and friend, Caleb Deschanel, ASC to accept the award on his behalf. With a note from Sakamoto, Deschanel read, “Thank you SOC for acknowledging this special movie… My career has been influenced by many great DPs, but tonight I want to single out Haskell Wexler. He brought me into this business and was a mentor and dear friend. He always attended this event when I was nominated. He must have some pull ‘up there’ because this time, I won. So thanks, Haskell, may your voice never be forgotten.” The moment was particularly poignant because Wexler had introduced Deschanel to Sakamoto.

2016 SOC CAMERA OPERATOR LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD It was then time for the award of the night, the 2016 Camera Operator Lifetime Achievement Award. After a video introducing the audience to Stephen Campanelli and his work throughout the years, emcee Kiff VandenHeuvel welcomed Clint Eastwood to the stage. Campanelli has worked with the iconic filmmaker in an incredibly close, creative collaboration for twenty-one years. Eastwood initially spoke about how he was first introduced to Campanelli, which was the realization of a dream for Campanelli, as Eastwood was his boyhood idol. Eastwood then took a moment to reveal one of his secrets to directing, “I’m a firm believer that the secret to directing a film is to get a lot of people that you really feel are good, and then let them make you look good. And Steve is one of those kinds of guys.” When Campanelli came up the stage shortly after those remarks, he took the opportunity to take a selfie together with Eastwood at the podium; Eastwood then turned to the mic, smiled, and semi-seriously noted that it was, “The best shot he’s made all year!” Campanelli thanked the SOC for an “amazing award” and expressed the feeling that he is, “Truly blessed to have done—and to do—what I really, really am passionate about. I think as soon as it’s not fun anymore, and you’re not excited to go to work every day, it’s time to stop doing it, and although I’m getting this incredible honor, I still plan on continuing to

Eric Dane, Annie Wersching, Stevee Fracol, SOC, and Darby Stanchfield


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do what I love So you’re not getting rid of me that easy!” While thanking his family and so many of the people who have made a difference in his life, Campanelli made sure to single out Bill Coe, “Any camera operator is nothing without their focus puller and dolly grip. So I've got to thank after 20 years of working together, Bill Coe, who's been a source of professionalism, sharpness, and incredible sense of humor.” He also extended his utmost appreciation for Jack Green, who introduced him and Clint Eastwood, “If it wasn’t for Jack, I would never have met my boyhood Idol, and I wouldn’t be standing here tonight.” Campanelli dedicated the award to, “Aunt Nella, who I know is here tonight with all of us, and smiling from heaven.” Following Campanelli’s speech, the main event may have been over, but the audience of the near-capacity theatre was invited to continue the celebration in the foyer for the reception, where they were treated to an array of sumptuous desserts and joyful intermingling amidst live music and drinks. Congrats were shared to all the nominees and winners, and surely many memorable selfies were taken. You can also view additional photographs and the highlight reel on soc.org.

Bill McClelland, SOC, Stephen Campanelli, SOC, Clint Eastwood, and Murry Close

Derek Stettler Associate Member

Derek Stettler joined the SOC as an Associate Member in 2015. A lifelong lover and student of cinema, Derek discovered filmmaking as his life's passion after graduating high school in 2010, having since made a number of short films and commercials. Derek currently works as a freelance editor and camera operator, and recently worked on his first feature film as key grip and 2nd AC. Photo by Carter Smith

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SOCIETY OF CAMERA OPERATORS · SOC.ORG


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Smooth Operator

DO WE SEE IT FIRST? LOOKING OVER THE CAMERA OPERATOR'S SHOULDER Dan Gold, SOC

Taken on location in Baton Rouge shooting the 2nd Unit of Fantastic Four. Photo by Ben Rothstein It used to be that the director would call, "Cut," then turn to the camera operator and ask, "How was it?" There was no video assist, no video village, and no cluster of chairs crowding around the video monitors. The camera operator had the only really good look at the shot since it was only his eye in the viewfinder. He alone could judge the composition, evaluate the focus, and monitor the hairdressing and the make-up. Peering through the optical viewfinder of a film camera, the camera operator was in many cases, in the best position to evaluate the actor's performance. His was the most intimate, close-up view.

THE INTRODUCTION OF VIDEO ASSIST With the introduction of video assist, whereby an inferior image of what the camera sees is presented on video monitors, the scrutiny of the frame was opened to everyone on the set. Now not only the di-

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rector could peek over the camera operator's shoulder but producers, script supervisors, production managers, hair and make-up artists, and anyone who happened to stroll by video village was able to see what the camera sees. Many years ago as a new operator, I resented this apparent loss of control over the photographic frame. Other crew members would depend less on me for information about the shot, instead, they’d take a look at the monitor and make their own judgments. "I should be the one to inform them where the sidelines of the frame are," I thought. Not some production assistant who glanced at the monitor when the shot wasn't even framed up. Very often I would hear a comment being made about the shot on the monitor while we were still setting up the camera. I soon developed a habit of ripping out the video assist cable, and the comments subsided temporarily.

SOCIETY OF CAMERA OPERATORS · SOC.ORG


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THE FIRST AND BEST LOOK Of course, I was overreacting to the new video assist phenomenon. I came to realize that as the camera operator I still had the first and best look at what went on in the frame. The good directors realized what they could and could not evaluate based on that fuzzy video image. They learned that they still needed to collaborate with the camera operator for crucial information—as did everyone else on the crew. After being burned a few times by looking at the monitor and assuming something about the framing, the smart crew members learned to return to the old-school method and ask the camera operator about the specifics of the shot. Then came digital. With the advent of high-definition video cameras for motion picture production, the eye in the eyepiece no longer has the best look at the visual image. In fact, the electronic viewfinder through which the camera operator looks is significantly inferior to the high-definition monitors around the set. The monitors for the director and producers at video village, and especially those inside the Digital Imaging Technician tent where the director of photography is probably watching, show much more information than what camera operators can see on the tiny monitor in the electronic eyepiece. Greater contrast, resolution, and sharpness allow the D.I.T. to see focus problems much more clearly than the operator can. The first time a focus problem was reported from the tent when I just couldn't be sure about it looking through the viewfinder, I began to wonder if the camera operator still does "see it first." Were we indeed losing our front row seat? Was that privileged viewpoint that makes our position the organizing center for executing the shot on its way out?

THE GOOD NEWS Well the good news is there are some pretty advanced on-board monitors that we can use instead of the electronic viewfinder. Many camera operators have taken to using these high quality external monitors instead of the video eyepiece. Operating with these monitors, we can see focus issues more accurately. Make-up and hair issues are more easily spotted. The dangers at the edges of the frame; encroaching lights, C-stands, and microphone booms are once again visible and can be controlled. The camera operator can even help the director of photography evaluate the lighting to some extent, as we do when shooting with a film camera.

THE TRUTH? And the truth is we do still see it first. Maybe the image in the D.I.T. tent is superior to what the camera operator sees even using a high-definition on-board monitor. But the people in the tent and the people at video village don't see it like we see it. Each of them has their own little world to watch. Some watch the actor's performance, some watch the hairstyle. Some watch the make-up, others the lighting, or even the smoke. But the camera operator watches it all. He or she sees the shot as a whole and yet keeps an eye on all of

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the individual aspects of it. The operator analyzes it to see what parts of it worked and what parts didn't. He or she sees it not only “first,” he sees it “best.” And the camera operator sees much more than what just comes through the lens. The operator "sees" a better way to block the scene and suggests it to the director. He or she "sees" a way to make the scene more interesting by adding a foreground element or introducing motion into the shot and tells the director of photography. The operator "sees" that the clouds are rolling in and suggests to the first assistant director that we shoot another take quickly. Perhaps we should say this about camera operators:   We see it first, we see it best, we see it all… Dan Gold, SOC I’ve been fascinated by photography my whole life. The power of the visual image as it magically appears in the developing tray or leaps onto the screen in a darkened movie theater always gets me. When I was a kid in New Jersey my dad and I built a darkroom in the basement. I spent countless hours shooting photos and enlarging images. My twin brother Michael and I made 8mm movies and charged the neighborhood kids to watch them. Our most successful production, a science fiction thriller entitled The Atomic Burp, grossed over $15 the first week in our basement. When my folks took us to see 2001: A Space Odyssey at Radio City in New York, I was hooked on movies. I studied film production at Wesleyan University and the University of Southern California before joining Local 600 in 1980. Beginning as a trainee, then 2nd assistant, and 1st assistant cameraman, I have been a camera operator for over twenty years. I’ve had the privilege of operating the “A” camera for directors of photography; Michael Ballhaus, John Seale, Fred Elmes, Michael Chapman, Jeffrey Kimball, Larry Sher, and Barry Peterson. I’ve been able to contribute my talents as camera operator to some terrific projects. Spider-Man, Air Force One, Primary Colors, The Perfect Storm, The Hangover, and 21 Jump Street were all amazing experiences. I’ve gotten to work with interesting and creative directors, actors, and cinematographers. People like Mike Nichols, Harrison Ford, Wolfgang Peterson, Barry Sonnenfeld, Ang Lee, and Gordon Willis are my heroes. And somehow while all this was going on I managed to stay happily married to my amazing wife Nancy while we raised three wonderful girls, Allie, Rickie and Jessie. Dan Gold, SOC has been a member of the SOC Board of Governors serving as Vice President and Recording Secretary, and he was awarded the 2015 SOC Camera Operator Lifetime Achievement Award.

SOCIETY OF CAMERA OPERATORS · SOC.ORG


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Insight DEREK M. ALLEN, SOC Job I have yet to do but wish to: I would like to do a whole production consisting of all GoPro cameras. This technology is fast becoming the future. We must explore it’s limits and push the envelope. What would be the most important improvement you would like to see in our industry? Knowing and embracing the standards of our past—this industry has a rich history of camera operators and DP’s that performed incredible works on feature films, documentaries and television production— their technical achievements must never be lost or forgotten. Photo by Robert Dean © NBC UNIVERSAL

Credits: He’s My Rock, Songs Of Our Success, Sneakas Animal Pharm, Jackie Robinson: An American Journey, Huffington Post Live

GRAYSON GRANT AUSTIN, SOC The person who helped you most in your career? My mom actually was the biggest help. I had zero family in the business and we lived 3,000 miles from Hollywood.  She encouraged me regardless of how crazy it seemed. What is the job you have yet to do but most want to do? Everyone says it, but the truth is, I got into the business to write and direct. That's where I ultimately want to be. What would be the most important improvement you would like to see in our industry? Longer turnaround times for crew.  Actors get it.  Everyone needs proper sleep and time with family.

Photo by Hilary Bronwyn Gayle

Credits: Monster, Lee Daniels' The Butler, Oldboy, Focus, Keeping Up With the Joneses

MEAGAN STOCKEMER, SOC What is your most memorable day in the industry? My first job as a PA on Wanted: Ted or Alive.  I found myself covered in camouflage, in a deer blind, alone with Ted Nugent, filming him hunting.   What would be the most important improvement you would like to see in our industry? The end of the gender gap.  The thought that goes behind needing “one girl crew” for a show is primitive.  We are all hustling out there to do our best.  That’s all that matters. Photo by Heather Dubrow

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Credits: I Am Jazz, The Lavender Effect, Key & Peele, Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, American Rehab

SOCIETY OF CAMERA OPERATORS · SOC.ORG


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

CAMERA OPERATOR 路 SPRING 2016

Gary Bush Stephen S. Campanelli Susan A. Campbell J. Christopher Campbell Jose A. Cardenas Robert Carlson Peter Cavaciuti Dave Chameides Lou Chanatry Joe Chess Jr. 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 Richard Crow Jeff L. Crumbley Grant Culwell Francois Daignault Nicholas Davidoff Markus Davids Rick Davidson Richard W. Davis Mark G. Dawson Michael S. Dean Andrew A. Dean Anthony Deemer Kris Andrew Denton Kevin Descheemaeker Joel Deutsch Don Devine Kenny Dezendorf Twojay Dhillon David E. Diano Troy Dick Matthew I. Doll Rick Drapkin Scott C. Dropkin Mitch Dubin Simon Duggan, ACS 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 Eric Fletcher Michael Flueck

Houman Forough Felix Forrest Ian Forsyth Steve G. Fracol Keith Francis Nick Franco Tom "Frisby" Fraser James Frater 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 Allen Gonzales Robert Gorelick Afton M. Grant Bruce Alan Greene Chad Griepentrog David Allen Grove Robert Guernsey 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 Mike Heathcote 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 Philip Hurn Frederick Iannone Dave Isern Christopher Ivins Eugene W. Jackson III Francis G. James Alec Jarnagin Gary Jay Simon Jayes Christopher D. Jones Steven Jones

Jacques Jouffret John H. Joyce David Judy Mark Jungjohann David C. Kanehann 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 Richard Leible Rachael A Levine Sarah Levy Jimmy W. Lindsey Hugh C. Litfin Patrick Longman George Loomis Jessica L. Lopez Steve Lopez 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 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 Olivier Merckx Jack Messitt Mike Mickens Duane Mieliwocki Marc A. Miller Andrew Mitchell William Molina Raphy Molinary Machado Lawrence P. Moody Mark Emery Moore K. Neil 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 Andrew William Oliver John Orland 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 Jonathan F. Phillips Alan Pierce Theo Pingarelli Jens Piotrowski Joseph Piscitelli Louis Puli Ryan Purcell Yavir Ramawtar Juan M. Ramos James B. Reid Ari Robbins Alicia Robbins Peter Robertson Brooks Robinson Eric Roizman Peter Rosenfeld Dave Rutherford P. Scott Sakamoto Sanjay Sami David M. Sammons Joel San Juan Bry Thomas Sanders Milton A Santiago Martin Schaer Ron Schlaeger Mark Schmidt Vadim Schulz David Jean Schweitzer Fabrizio Sciarra Brian Scott Brian David Scott Benjamin Semanoff Barnaby Shapiro David Shawl Geoffrey C. Shotz Osvaldo Silvera Jr. Teddy Smith Needham B. Smith III Dean Robert Smollar John Sosenko Mark Sparrough Benjamin Xavier Spek

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Sandy Spooner Lisa L. Stacilauskas Robert Starling Thomas N Stork Michael R. Stumpf David L. Svenson Ian S. Takahashi Paul Taylor Christopher Taylor Peter 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 Timothy N. Walker Michael J. Walker Adam S. Ward Gareth Ward Gretchen Warthen Raney "Bo" Webb Aiken Weiss Dale A West Clay Westervelt Robert Whitaker Mande Whitaker Kit Whitmore Ken Willinger Chad Wilson David A. Wolf Ian D. Woolston-Smith Peter C. Xiques Santiago Yniguez Brian Young Chad Zellmer Brenda Zuniga

ASSOCIATE MEMBER Christine Adams Ana M. Amortegui Philip Anderson Andrew B. Ansnick Scott Auerbach Ryan Vogel Baker Tyson Banks Jeffrey D. Bollman Peter Bonilla Jean-Paul Bonneau Massimo Bordonaro David Boyd Corey Bringas David Brooks Mary Brown Rochelle Brown Donald Brownlow Clyde E. Bryan Neal Bryant Sasha D. Burdett

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Anthony Q. Caldwell Jordan Cantu Jeffrey Carolan Jack Carpenter Marc Casey Kirsten A Celo Libor Cevelik Damian Church Ricco Ricardo Clement Gregory Paul Collier Mack Collins Gabriel Paul Copeland Gareth Paul Cox Richard P. Crudo, ASC Farhad Ahmed Dehlvi William B. Demeritt, III Johnny Derango Ronald E. Deveaux Jorge Devotto Adam R. Dorris Orlando Duguay Keith Dunkerley Brian James Dzyak David T. Eubank Allen Farst Thomas Fedak Nicholas A. Federoff Kristin Fieldhouse Jessica Fisher Tom Fletcher John C. Flinn III, ASC Mark Forman Tammy Fouts Jerry Franck Fred M. Frintrup Hiroyuki Fukuda Benjamin Gaskell Hank Gifford Michael Goi, ASC Wayne Goldwyn Al Gonzalez Erik Goodman John M. Goodner Brad Greenspan Phil Gries George Eric Griffith Robert Guthrie W. Adam Habib Bob Hall James Hammond Tobias Winde Harbo Anthony Hardwick James W. Hart John Hart Jason Hawkins Anthony P. Hettinger John M. Hill, Jr. Andrew H. Hoehn Scott Hoffman Chris Horvath Nichole Huenergardt 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 Douglas Kirkland Christian Kitscha

Brian Kronenberg Robert La Bonge Laurence Langton Jose-Pablo Larrea Dr. Thomas Lee Alan J Levi Mark Levin Adrian Licciardi Ilya Jo Lie-Nielsen Eamon Long Gordon Lonsdale Jasmine Lord Christopher Lymberis Dominik Mainl Candice T. Marais Nicole Jannai Martinez Jose del Carmen Martinez Jim R. Matlosz Yusuf A. McCoy David W. McDonald Marcus Allen McDougald Mike McEveety Sophie Meneses 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 Michael David Nelson Benjamin Kirk Nielsen Dennis Noack Russell C. Nordstedt Louis Normandin Casey Burke Norton Crescenzo G.P. Notarile, ASC Jarrod Oswald Paul Overacker Justin Painter Larry Mole Parker Steven D. Parker Florencia Perez Cardenal Lee Pēterkin Mark W. Petersen Jon Philion Tyler Phillips W. S. Pivetta Ted Polmanski Robert Primes, ASC Joe Prudente Delia Quinonez Richard Rawlings Jr., ASC Marcia Reed Bill Reiter Claudio Rietti Ken Robings Andy Romero Tim Rook Peter J. Rooney Sam Rosenthal Jordi Ruiz Maso Dylan Rush Jake Russell Kish Sadhvani Danny Salazar Steve Saxon Christian Sebaldt, ASC Christopher Seehase Michael Skor Jan Sluchak Dan Smarg Robert F. Smith Laurent Soriano Don Spiro

Owen Stephens Derek Stettler Michael Street Aymae Sulick Jeremy Sultan Tara Summers Andy Sydney Tiffany Taira Rick Taylor Alan Thatcher John Twesten Daniel Urbain Sandra Valde Thomas Valko Satya Vanii Ioana Vasile Benjamin Verhulst Breanna Villani Miguel Angel Viñas Joel Stephane Wackenheim W. Thomas Wall Justin Watson Thomas Weimer Alex White Tim Wu Tim Yoder Scot Zimmerman

CORPORATE Able Cine Adorama Rental Co. AJA Video Systems Inc. ARRI, Inc. Band Pro Film & Video Bertone Visuals LLC Birns & Sawyer, Inc. 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 John M Grace Ralph Watkins

HONORARY John Bailey, ASC Tilman Buettner James Burrows Alexander Calzatti

Trevor Coop Roger Corman Dean Cundey, ASC Bruce Doering Clint Eastwood Tom Hatten Ron Howard Gale Anne Hurd Ron Kelley Kathleen KennedyMarshall Jerry Lewis Gary Lucchesi Larry McConkey A. Linn Murphree M.D. Diana Penilla Steven Spielberg Robert A. Torres George Toscas Roy H. Wagner, 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 Frank Ruttencutter Carl Martin Schumacher, Sr. Chuck Schuman Philip D. Schwartz Guy Skinner George B. Stephenson Joseph N. Tawil

Sabrina Cullen Annor Doeman David Duesterberg Michael A. Garcia Sean R. Garry Christian T. Hall Rita Hansen Tyler Harmon-Townsend Caleb Heller Andres Hernandez Kendra Hillman Myles Anthony Holt Carolyn Scott Hunt Preston Lane Jeter Crystal Kelley KC Kennicutt Daniel Klockenkemper John P Lansdale Zachary Leazer Jun Li Ari Linn Deidre Charlene Locklear Jose Lora Alexander L. Moeckler Jeff-Steven Arevalo Mojica Fabian Montes James Nagel Lorenzo Pace Orland "Allan" Penales Connor Pollard Karina Prieto Macias Matthew Psyllos Ryan Richard Tiye Rose-Hood Edgar J. Santamaria Emil Schonstrom Kara Siebein Jennifer St. HilaireSanchez Davin Swade Stanley Kezia A. Supit Grace Thomas William Torres Ivan Velazquez Jesse Vielleux Tianyl “Christopher” Wang Anthony Worley Dennis Zanatta Lucia Zavarcikova Qiaoyu "Joy" Zhang Botai Zhong Chenlu Zhu Roster current as of April 6, 2016.

STUDENT Veronica Aberham Michael Acosta Jacober Ahrell Reynaldo Aquino Nathan James Bachmann Melissa Baltierra Zakrey Barisione Daniela Bornstein Ziryab Ben Brahem Jessie Estella Brickley Richard Castaneda Quaid Cde Baca Petr Cikhart Autumn J. Collins

SOCIETY OF CAMERA OPERATORS · SOC.ORG


AD INDEX 360Designs 37 www.360designs.io AJA 5 www.aja.com ARRI, Inc. 29 www.arri.com

CW Sonderoptic  www.cw-sonderoptic.com

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Fujinon  www.fujifilm.com

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Glidecam  www.glidecam.com

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Blackmagic Design 13 www.blackmagicdesign.com

J. L. Fisher  www.jlfisher.com

Carl Zeiss C3 www.zeiss.com

Matthews Studio Equipment  www.msegrip.com

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Chapman/Leonard Studio Equipment  www.chapmanleonard.com

CineGear 43 www.cinegear.com

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Hover-Views Unlimited  www.hoverviews.com

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NAB Show  www.nab.com

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Panasonic  us.panasonic.com/varicam

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Paralinx  www.paralinx.net

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Clairmont Camera  www.clairmontcamera.com

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Teradek  www.teradek.com

Back Cover

Michael Frediani, SOC

Cinematography Electronics  www.cinemaelec.com

SOCIETY OF CAMERA OPERATORS

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 · SPRING 2016

SOCIETY OF CAMERA OPERATORS

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

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SOCIETY OF CAMERA OPERATORS WINTER 2015 VOL. 24, NO. 1

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TERADEK by Remis Tourmois, SOC

Tech Talk: Case Study Steadicam and camera operator, Remi Tournois, SOC worked an intensive six months in New Orleans on the new hit CBS drama series Zoo. Even though he’s worked on a wide range of television, documentary, film, and commercial productions, Remi found this specific project to be especially challenging since Zoo is meant to take place all over the world. “It was a unique production because we barely spent any time on stage; we were either in the mud, in a forest, or in a field,” mentioned Remi. “I mean, we did a lot of moving around compared to other mainstream shows that spend at least half of their shooting days on stage.” To help manage the constant ebb and flow of their demanding schedule, he decided to utilize the Teradek Bolt Pro 2000. Designed and manufactured in the USA, Bolt is a wireless transmitter that can deliver uncompressed 1080p60, 4:2:2 video with a range up to 2,000 feet over the unlicensed 5GHz band. With the Bolt, custom-graded video can be applied, thanks to its integrated 3D LUTs. Remi commented, “In the middle of production, there was a software upgrade for the Bolt that allowed us to set each receiver with a different LUTs. That was a fantastic tool because the 1st AC, DIT, director, and myself could each have our own individual LUTs.” The flexibility and reliability of the Bolt perfectly matched the production’s nomadic activity and fastpaced workflow. Not only did Bolt effortlessly integrate into the setup, the transmitter also operates with zero delay so latency wasn’t an issue on set. “The Bolt 2000 was really the first receiver transmitter unit that I’ve seen work with pretty much every configuration possible. If you’re doing a long shot on the steadicam you don’t have to worry about losing signal or needing a bunch of BNC cable that someone will most likely trip over. With these products, Teradek is ahead of the game.”

Camera crew breaks off for splinter unit. Remi Tournois, SOC is able to adapt quickly thanks to Teradek Bolt wireless video system. Photo by Aeron McKeough

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Remi Tournois, SOC is known for his work on Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Now You See Me, and is currently on Queen Sugar, a TV-series, produced by Oprah Winfrey.


The moment when a zoom becomes your prime. This is the moment we work for.

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CAMERA OPERATOR 路 SPRING 2016

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IT’S A NO-BRAINER... The Sidekick is a 300ft universal companion receiver that works with any 300, 600, or 2000 Bolt model. Perfect for Directors and 1st ACs, Sidekick is an affordable option to expand your wireless workflow.

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sidekick.teradek.com SOCIETY OF CAMERA OPERATORS · SOC.ORG

Camera Operator Spring 2016  

Outlander, Mozart in the Jungle, The Last Ship, and the 2016 SOC Lifetime Achievement Awards

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