Meet the Crew
Meet the Crew introduces you to the team that brings Camera Operator to life, like Ashlie Sotelo, Social Media Producer.
What are some of the challenges that you face in your involvement with the SOC?
There are many challenges in the ever-changing field of SM Marketing, and it’s been my job, for over a decade now, to navigate those. Working with the SOC comes with a high volume of events, Awards seasons, magazine deadlines, and lofty social activity to manage. Even so, with the ability to prioritize and collaborate, nothing is impossible for our small (and accountable) team. The reward is in the challenge—it hardly feels like work!
What brings you inspiration and creativity with your involvement with the SOC?
Managing the Facebook and Instagram accounts for the SOC gives me an intimate look at our online community. With that comes daily inspiration from interacting, on behalf of SOC, with each and every one of you. The film industry is immersed in creativity. Everything our community shares—and the contribution the SOC makes to encourage, educate, support, and celebrate—is such a joy to be a part of.
What do you find most fulfilling when working with the SOC?
Truly every aspect of working with the SOC is fulfilling, but I must say it has to be Instagram Takeovers. Teaming up with camera operators to prepare a week of BTS, insights, and a look back at their careers is an incredible experience. When the takeovers go live, inspire engagement, grow our SOC community, and then publish in Camera Operator magazine, it’s beyond fulfilling. Here’s to the next one!
What is your special SOC moment?
I have to name a few here. Special moments working with the SOC would have to be the annual SOC Lifetime Achievement Awards I have been honored to be a part of since 2018; moderating my first Instagram LIVE Q&A with Mitch Dubin, SOC; producing SOC’s Black History Month & Women’s History Month celebratory features; and announcing SOC members—it’s always very special to see the excitement from our new members.
In my free time, I… Sing, write, and record songs. I’ve been a singer my whole life and it’s one of my true passions. My husband, Marcus, is also a filmmaker and we have a blast styling and shooting music videos together. We shot my last music video using our Sisu C20 cinema robot at Load Bearing Studios. I also enjoy strength training, game nights in, and “glamping” trips with my big family.
OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES
OUTSTANDING CINEMATOGRAPHY FOR A SERIES (ONE HOUR) Ben Richardson, ASC Corrin Hodgson
THE CINEMATOGRAPHY IS
AN INTRIGUING PALETTE OF COLORS THAT SLOWLY EMERGE FROM THE INESCAPABLE DIRT AND GRIT OF THE NEAR-SEPIA THAT IS WRITTEN INTO THE DNA OF THE WESTERN GENRE.” THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD “
THE CINEMATOGRAPHY AND SCOPE OF A FILM.”
Society of Camera Operators
Board of Governors
President George Billinger
1st Vice President Mitch Dubin
2nd Vice President Matthew
Secretary Daniel Turrett
Treasurer Bill McClelland
Sergeant-at-Arms Dan Gold
John “Buzz” Moyer
Awards Craig Bauer, George Billinger, Dan Gold, Geoff Haley, April Kelley, Bill McClelland, John “Buzz” Moyer, Dale Myrand, Jan Ruona, Benjamin Spek, Dave Thompson, Rob Vuona
Charities Brian Taylor, Ryan
Historical Mike Frediani
Membership Dan Gold, Dan Turrett, Gretchen Warthen
Corporate Members Craig Bauer, George Billinger, Mitch Dubin, Dave Frederick, Simon Jayes, Sarah Levy, Bill McClelland, Jim McConkey, Matt Moriarty, Dale Myrand, Dan Turrett, David Sammons
Education Colin Anderson, Will
Arnot, Craig Bauer, Bonnie Blake, Dave Chameides, Mitch Dubin, Dave Emmerichs, Mick Froelich, Craig Haagensen, Geoff Haley, Sarah Levy, Simon Jayes, Jim McConkey, Larry McConkey, Matt
Moriarty, Jeff Muhlstock, John “Buzz” Moyer, Jamie Silverstein, Dave Thompson, Chris Wittenborn
Technical Standards & Technology
Eric Fletcher (Chair), Andrew Ansnick, William Arnot, Luke Cormack, David Emmerichs, Steve Fracol, Dan Gold, Jamie Hitchcock, Simon Jayes, Doc Karmen, Mark LaBonge, Rocker Meadows, Matthew Moriarty, John Perry, Manolo Rojas, David Sammons, Lisa Stacilauskas, Gretchen Warthen
Inclusion Sharra Romany (Co-chair), Nikk Hearn-Sutton (Co-chair), Olivia Abousaid, Shanele Alvarez, Alfeo Dixon, Pauline Edwards, Alexandra
Menapace, Jeremiah Smith, Lisa Stacilauskas, Gretchen Warthen, Mande Whitaker
Social Media & Content
Ian S. Takahashi (Chair), Sharra
Romany, Gergely Harsanyi, Ryan
Lewis, Brandon Hickman, Emily
Lien, Agnelia Scuilli, Gloria Bali, Julio Tardaguila
STAFF AND CONSULTANTS
Executive Director Kristin Petrovich
Finances Angela Delgado
Calligrapher Carrie Imai
CAMERA OPERATOR MAGAZINE
Publishing & Executive Editor
Art Director Cyndi Wood
Studio Liaison & Clearances
Writer David Daut
Copy Editor Cyndi Wood
Social Media Producer
Ashlie Sotelo, Your Voice Social
Advertising Jeff Victor
Video Editor Alex Hemingway
Daniel Bishop, SOC
Quaid Cde Baca, SOC
Dave Chameides, SOC
Mitch Dubin, SOC
Geoff Haley, SOC
Jim McConkey, SOC
Brian Taylor, SOC
Gretchen Warthen, SOC
ADVERTISING & SUBSCRIPTIONS
Digital subscriptions: SOC.org/co
Camera Operator is a quarterly publication of the Society of Camera Operators
Registered trademark / All rights reserved
SOC Instagram Takeover with John Densmore, SOCProduced by Ashlie Sotelo
An SOC Instagram Takeover is an entire week of posts dedicated to a specific camera operator and their work.
It gives the operator a chance to connect with the SOC community and provides the SOC with an avenue to further advance the art and craft of the camera operator.
John Densmore, SOC, took over SOC’s Instagram for a week in April. During John’s takeover, he shared behind-the-scenes stories about Super Bowl 57, NCIS: Los Angeles, and Head of Class, his journey entering the episodic world, and a historical look at his career as a camera operator.
John’s takeover concluded with an Instagram LIVE where he answered questions submitted by the SOC community. He talked about worklife balance, a typical day shooting sports versus an episodic shoot, similarities between sports and episodic, attributes of a camera operator, the value of an SOC Associate membership, the most challenging part of operating, and more.
Check out SOC’s Instagram @societyofcameraoperators to see the full series of posts, videos, and behind-the-scenes insights and watch the Instagram LIVE
JOHN DENSMORE , SOC
John Densmore, SOC, began his career in Maryland working in industrials and sports television. Wanting to expand on his passion and curiosity, John moved to Los Angeles and started as a PA on commercials and low-budget films. Having worked in sports, John found early work with the LA Dodgers and City TV stations that offered some stability, which led John to work in the busiest sports market in the world. Covering all LA teams, multiple Super Bowls, the World Series, the Olympics, and studio network shows. John's passion to tell the story through the lens and camera skills led him to work in multiple genres, from sitcoms to episodic. His credits include Head of the Class; The Ranch; Lopez vs Lopez; NCIS: Los Angeles; Shrinking; and the upcoming feature film Dumb Money
The Society hosted three educational events during NAB Show 2023 in Las Vegas.
Kicking off two days of education was the Womxn Camera Operators Panel Discussion.
Shanele Alvarez, SOC; Bonnie Blake, SOC; Liz Cash; Pauline Edwards, SOC; Timber Hoy; Yen P. Nguyen; Sharra Romany, SOC; Theresa Vitale; and Gretchen Warthen, SOC; all actively engaged with participants, offering their unique perspectives.
Day two moved into the Womxn Camera Operating Hands-on Workshop addressing aspects of gear and technology that supports the female body. Proper vest fitting, how to set up gear that enhances storytelling, and techniques to effectively manage the physical demands of the job were among the topics highlighted.
Shanele Alvarez, SOC; Dave Chameides, SOC; and Peter Rosenfeld, SOC, instructed the Cranes, Motion & Movement one day hands-on workshop covering how to work with various gear, best gear to use for what shot, and creative choices for setting up shots using a crane and dolly. Best practices for running a set and communication between the operator, director, dolly grip, and pickle operator were integral to the experience.
Many SOC volunteers generously gave of their time, energy, and expertise to make this education happen and we could not have done it without them. We would like you to hear from several on their experiences:
“I witnessed pure passion and attention to detail from the instructors during the workshops. The attendees and the SOC came out big winners in Vegas.” —JohnDensmore, SOC
“Being part of the SOC at the NAB show was a life-changing experience for me. I really enjoyed the opportunity to learn from experienced professionals, especially the accomplished and talented camera womenx. These incredible womenx took the time to share their expertise and guide us through various production camera set ups, including handheld rigs, Easyrig/Ergorig vests, and Steadicam. Their passion and commitment to passing on their knowledge to the next generation of filmmakers was inspiring and witnessing their dedication and skill up close was an experience that will stay with me for a lifetime.”Martina Coccia
“Big thank you to our team of inspiring people who truly love our craft. It was amazing to see so many passionate filmmakers coming together, exchanging experiences and simply having a great time!” —DenisZemtsov
“Being part of the SOC team was a dream! As an early career camera assistant I’m always looking for ways to learn and develop my craft. Not only did I learn new skills from the workshops offered at the NAB Show, but it was the encouragement and passion of these instructors that really set the stage. The willingness to pass along the knowledge and lessons from their successful careers, really inspired me. I'm grateful to the Society of Camera Operators and our little but mighty team for giving me the chance! Thank you for having me, it was truly an honor.” —JulesRico
“The SOC’s workshops at NAB were super impactful for the many people I saw come through. It was really cool to see the expressions on the faces of people gaining exposure to equipment and instruction they’d be hard pressed to find elsewhere. I had a great experience and was really glad to have been a part of the SOC team for the event.” —JeffreyBall
SOCIETY OF CAMERA OPERATORS EDUCATIONAL WORKSHOPS
The SOC offers online and in person workshops and learning for members in all categories.
LOG ON TO SOC.ORG FOR EDUCATION OFFERINGS.
new Make an Impression
TIFFEN BLACK FOG & NIGHT FOG FILTERS
Discover the new tools to help achieve your creative intent in camera. Choose a subtle nuance or a bold overall look to establish just the right visual mood to best tell the story.
Black Fog provides an overall atmospheric softening that creates a smooth wide ﬂare from the highlights yet keeps the blacks, black without overly muting colors or losing detail in shadows. A subtle effect, it can be used to add an overall look to a project.
Night Fog yields a natural fog effect with overall atmospheric softening and wide ﬂare, coupled with unique contrast reduction technology that reduces highlights without darkening shadows. In light grades it provides a beautiful new look. In strong grades it ﬂattens the contrast and desaturates color so it is useful for day-for-night.
I have used the new Fog ﬁlters a number of times and I am loving them. The Night Fog has been amazing at creating the impression of haze in the atmosphere.
Seamus McGarvey, ASC, BSC
ltersPhoto: Clara Ferri
Camera Operator of the Year
A Conversation with Daniel Bishop SOC | ASSOC BSC | ACO & Dave Chameides, SOC
Hosted by David Daut
During the Society of Camera Operator’s Lifetime Achievement Awards this February, three operators were recognized as Camera Operators of the Year. Daniel Bishop SOC | ASSOC BSC | ACO was recognized in the Film category for his work on All Quiet on the Western Front, and the operating team of Dave Chameides, SOC, and Cristian Trova received the Television award for their work on the fourth and final season of Ozark.
Camera Operator invited this year’s Camera Operator of the Year recipients to participate in a conversation to discuss the awards, their work, and the ins-and-outs of working as a camera operator.
All Quiet on the Western Front shows the horrors of the First World War through the eyes of Paul Bäumer, a young German soldier who enlists out of exuberant patriotic pride only to find the realities of war are far from what he imagined. Directed by Edward Berger from a screenplay by Berger, Lesley Paterson, and Ian Stokell, the film stars Felix Krammerer, Albrecht Schuch, Aaron Hilmer, Moritz Klaus, and Daniel Brühl.
Ozark follows Marty Byrde and his family as they attempt to get make good on a bad money-laundering scheme by starting up an even bigger one. The series was created by Bill Dubuque and Mark Williams and stars Jason Bateman, Laura Linney, Sofia Hublitz, Skylar Gaertner, and Julia Garner. . .
Watch the conversation here on SOC.org WATCH
The Old Man
Not Moving the Camera
A Conversation with Paul Sanchez & Hilton GoringBy David Daut
For his first leading role in a television series, Jeff Bridges stars as a man named—as far as we know—Dan Chase, a former covert operative for the CIA who has spent years living off the grid, hiding himself and his daughter from the fallout of a 30-year-old job gone wrong.
Coming on the heels of their nomination for Camera Operator of the Year in Television, Camera Operator got to talk with the operating team of Paul Sanchez and Hilton Goring about their work on the series—work that was often defined not so much by how the camera moved, but instead how it didn’t. In the conversation, we discuss The Old Man’s unique style, shooting the car chase sequence from the season finale, and the dynamics of working as an operating team.
TECH ON SET
• ARRI ALEXA Mini LF
• ARRI Master Anamorphic Lenses • Chapman Dolly • Chapman Miniscope • Scorpio
• DJI Ronin
2 Remote Head/Gimbal
Decades after being disavowed by his government and forging a new life of hiding and isolation, Dan Chase once again has to employ his training as a covert agent when his former partner, Harold Harper, is tasked with bringing Chase in at the behest of an Afghani rebel leader with whom the two men have a complicated history.
The Old Man was created by Jonathan E. Steinberg and Robert Levine based on the novel by Thomas Perry and stars Jeff Bridges as Dan Chase and John Lithgow as Harold Harper alongside Alia Shawkat, E.J. Bonilla, Gbenga Akinnagbe, Bill Heck, Leem Lubany, and Amy Brenneman. .
Read the story for their bios, and then learn more about their careers and projects at IMDb.com.
What is your most memorable day in the industry?
I was filling in for A camera for a couple of days. The shot, a night exterior, was a super long truck shot of one actor chasing another actor through the woods at high speeds. It was my first time in a tomcar and I nailed it on the first take.
Who is the person who helped you most in your career?
I have a community, but I have to mention first AC Justin Noel. He arranged the opportunity for me to interview for my first episodic.
What is the job you have yet to do, but most want to do?
A syfy/fantasy trilogy. I've shot aliens but I haven’t been to space yet.
What is the most important improvement you would like to see in our industry? More diversity among department heads.
Credits: Naomi (CW); Kindred (FX/Hulu);The Other Black Girl (Hulu); Ms. Marvel (Disney)
BRIAN TAYLOR, SOC
What was one of your most challenging days in the industry?
It was a shoot at the top of the Angel Fire resort in waist-deep snow shooting a battle between US Special Operations forces and Taliban forces for a week on Apple’s Echo 3. The grit, resolve and grace under pressure shown from my New Mexico AC crew, including 1st AC René Vargas, was incredible and created an unshakeable bond.
What is your most memorable day in the industry?
My most memorable days in the industry were the series of daybreak and sunset shots I captured with Allan Graf shooting 2nd Unit on Walter Hill’s Dead for a Dollar. It was impossible not to smile while getting to do those iconic backlit shots of riders silhouetted on the horizon, or with a camera low on the ground as the riders kicked up dust galloping past the lens.
Credits: Dead for a Dollar; El Paso 11:55; The Canyons
QUAID CDE BACA, SOC
What is your most memorable day in the industry?
A day I will never forget was early in my career when I was operating on a US film shot in Italy. We were in Venice and I was in the canals, hard mounted to a boat with my Steadicam. We had dozens of background actors placed throughout our route, on bridges and walkways, dancing as we played “Volaré” by Dean Martin. I’m Italian. I love Dean Martin, and I was in . . . my . . . zone! As I looked up from my monitor in that moment, life was euphoric, and operating was bliss. It’s these moments that fuel our fire, and inspire us to create—the aroma of pizza helps, too.
What is the most important improvement you would like to see in our industry?
I would love to see our industry improve its work-life balance outlook. We work in an immersive hyper-reality, filled with popular slogans perpetuate a toxic imbalance: “life on set,” “film is life,” “set life.” However, there is more to life—and each of us—than our careers, and it’s easy to lose sight of that.
Credits: Fool’s Paradise; 9-1-1 (S.6, E.11); FX 2023 Promos: American Horror Story; Kindred; Snowfall; Kentucky; Retreat
ITS: Insights,Tips & Stories
Video excerpts from SOC Active members sharing personal insights into camera operating, tips learned during their careers, and stories from the set.
Not All Dolly Grips Are the Same
Camera operator Jim McConkey, SOC, speaks to the importance of an operator assessing the dolly grip’s skill level in order to communicate with them effectively.
The Role of A Camera Operator
Camera operator Mitch Dubin, SOC, examines the role of the A camera operator on set.
The Importance of Taking Notes
Camera operator Gretchen Warthen, SOC, is a meticulous notetaker. Here she shares how taking notes on set helps her navigate day to day.
The Camera Operator's Relationship with the Director
Camera operator Geoff Haley, SOC, has great tips for establishing and maintaining a relationship with a director.
THE STATE-OF-THE-ART WIRELESS INTERCOM SYSTEM FOR SAFE AND EFFICIENT FILM PRODUCTION
ENHANCED WORKFLOWS FOR MOTION PICTURE PRODUCTION
• Group conference & private chat
• Seamless integration with walkie talkie channels
• Superior coverage
• Direct integration with 3rd party systems
• Direct integration with production sound mixers
The Society offers different levels of membership for individuals and manufacturers in the production community – Active, Associate, Educator, Student and Corporate.